The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Kitchenaid steam assist convection oven

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Kitchenaid steam assist convection oven

Does anyone know anything about these Kitchenaid ovens with built-in steam assist technology?

http://www.kitchenaid.com/catalog/product.jsp?src=Compare&categoryId=124&productId=1318

 

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Paul,

Best to get a baking stone and a stainless steel cover. The bread is baked underneath the SS cover for the first 15 minutes of the bake. It's called cloaching. The cover keeps the space around the bread very moist during the spring rise of the bake and begins the development of the chewy, crunchy sourdough crust. Most of us have tried pouring water or tossing ice cubes into a hot cast iron frying pan to develop a steam blanket. I even tried using a roasting bag just to see if would work (it did). I bought a deep (8 inches) half size steam tray pan at a restaurant supply for the cover. It's now standard equipment. One other point with the cloach method is doesn't matter whether you have a gas or electric stove. The results remain the same for either...,

Wild-Yeast

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

-Delete Double Post-

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

They are incredibly expensive for starters and the reviews haven't been great. I guess trying to get them serviced is not easy. I'd certainly check some review sites before expending the money for this oven. I'm with YW - a stainless steel cover works great and the price is right!

Trish

Pablo's picture
Pablo

OK, thanks for the comments. I realize that part of the fun of this whole enterprise is getting creative and trying new things.  With a steam assist oven I'd be locked into one way of doing things.  And expensive and apparently bad service.  So thanks for bringing me back to planet Earth. 

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

If the oven works the way commercial ovens work, you control how much - if any - steam to use.  Normally, you use a bit of steam at the start of the bake.  After that, no more.

 

There is a tremendous difference between steaming and baking.

 

Still, it's a lot to spend on an oven that may be somewhat unreliable and hard to get fixed. 

Mike

 

Stefania's picture
Stefania

While I know that this is an old thread, I am new to this board and wish to tell everyone about my new steam oven.  We had been looking for an extra oven because my bread baking always seemed to conflict with the rest of the meal.  The wall ovens we looked at were expensive and nothing special...except maybe the kitchen aid steam assist.  We had been looking at a Cadco half size oven for awhile when they launched a new line not too long ago.


http://www.cadco-ltd.com/ovens-full.html


 


The company operates out of Conn. but the ovens are made in Italy.  We had it to our door for half the cost of the Kitchen Aid and it is an amazing thing.  It has a convection fan that is so powerful that it can blow the pepperonis off your pizza and reverses every 2 minutes.  It has the ability to put in 70 different programs with varying the time, temp, and humidity from 0-100%.  It is well insulated and stainless throughout.  They are all the rage in Europe and are popular in small restaurants and coffee shops.


 


I did call King Arthur when we got it to ask about times and humidity and the baker I talked to was stunned that I had a steam oven in my home.  He promptly wrote down all the information and was going to look into it.  It has done wonders for my breads, but I don't like it for quick breads.  We have done roast chicken in it and it's wonderful.  We have had it since July and we are still learning all it can do.  The people at Cadco are great and will answer any question you might have.  The steam is pumped thru a tube that you drop in a gallon of distilled water and I use a gallon about every 8 weeks baking 4-5 days a week.


 


I'll be glad to answer any questions that you all may have.  My icon is my oven!


 


Cheers,


Stefania

Stefania's picture
Stefania

Oops, forgot to say we bought the XAF-115.  It takes 220v and a Nema 6 plug so we had to have an electrician install one.


 


Stefania

bingomar's picture
bingomar

Hi Stefania,


Were there any issues installing the Cadco oven in your home? Is it installed like a regular wall oven?


Best,
Ingo

Stefania's picture
Stefania

As stated before, the only issue was the 220v and the nema 6 plug.  Otherwise it is a table top unit.  It's all stainless all the way around except the double glass door.  They say they are popular in Europe and used in coffee shops and the like.  We have had ours over a year and still love it.  It is so much better than a wall unit and much cheaper.  The only thing to remember is that you can't turn off the convention and it is breezy.

jstephen's picture
jstephen

I know this thread is pretty old and I can only assume that KitchenAid has made some improvements because I have recently purchased the range and love how well it works for breads and roasts. Haven't done any desserts yet but can't wait to try these as well.

JuRae's picture
JuRae

I have been looking at steam ovens - particularly ovens that will manage a high volume of bread baking for home consumption.

Viking had a steam oven that it has since discontinued. 

I've heavily considered the Gaggenau Combi-Steam oven (but at *gasp* $7k - it's too much)

The Kitchenaid KEBU107SSS is now the front runner.  It's $2,800.  (I need to clarify if it's hard-plumbed or uses a resevoir.  My preference is hard-plumbed.)

I considered Cadco, but a size comparable to the Kitchenaid  runs almost $4,500.  I also didn't care for the Cadco website as the images for the XAF ovens are digital renderings rather than real photo's.  I actually would like to see real photo's to get an idea of how the panel really displays and the overall look of the oven - especially the clarity of the glass.  Digital renderings don't quite give that. 

I like the French-door style of American Range which will be the oven above whatever steam-convection oven we ultimately choose. 

Any other steam-combi ovens out there?

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

A gaggenau combi-steam. Wish I had known about cadco when built our new and LAST house. Our oven needed plumbing, too. Does the Cadco require plumbing?
Pam

Stefania's picture
Stefania

The Cadco does not require any special plumbing.  It has a tube with a weight on the end that comes out of the back that you merely drop into a jug of distilled water.  It works well and we still love the oven.  However, since posting last , we accidentally touched (very lightly) the front glass panel with a pot and the tempered glass exploded.  They wanted over $200 to replace it, but my husband cut out some plexi-glass and screwed it in since there is airspace between and it doesn't really get hot....a much cheaper solution.

We have also been producing wonderful pizza at the 500 degree setting using an aluminized steele plate from Instawares I believe.  It was about $35 and works so much better than a stone.  In fact, they have also come out with a plate that fits over the convection fan so you can cook more delicate types of pastry which I may try.  Regardless, we still love the oven.

Stefania

 

 

 

 

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Well, just looked at both links, and there's about a $600 difference between the KitchenAid and the Cadco XAF-115.  Not much more for the K/A, is it?

 

Rosa Cooks's picture
Rosa Cooks

Recently purchased Kitchenaid Steam Oven.  Should I be modifying recipes to take advantage of steam ?

utahcpalady's picture
utahcpalady

I am about to build a new home and was wondering how your kitchenaid steam oven is working?

JuRae's picture
JuRae

Hi there -  we have not purchased the oven yet.  We are going to wait until after the holidays as we will be doing other rennovations to the kitchen.  I still plan on purchasing this oven, along with an American Range french door style oven as well.  Good luck on the house build!  (Friend is going through that now.  I believe she is going with the KA SA as one of her ovens.:)

utahcpalady's picture
utahcpalady

 So, are you concerned at all about the somewhat negative reviews of the KA Steam oven, the ones I have read were a couple years old, so I don't know how the more current review are.  Now, why choose the American Range oven, other than the french door looks SO cool..?  The American Range is in a totally different price range than the KA.

JuRae's picture
JuRae

The reviews are older reviews and the KS SA oven is in a different iteration now.  That doesn't mean the reviews aren't valid to me - they are.  However, I personally know KA to be a very reputable brand that stands behind their products.  I recently had an unfortunate experience with a KA appliance and KA replaced the appliance over attempting to repair it. This is not the first time I have experienced KA repairing or replacing a product of mine very few questions asked. 

Any oven has the potential to have problems and I know that going in.  How a company addresses problems is very important to me.  (Years ago, I spent $$$ on a custom range hood by Vent-A-Hood.  This hood has not worked right from the get go and we finally exhuasted our patience with that company.  They did not stand behind the product and, as such, I would never get another one or recommend them.)

With regards to the AR French door.  I have personally gotten up close and personal to that oven and really like it.  The French doors are a big selling point for me because this will be an upper oven.  I currently have that arrangement now and because of the size of the pull down door, rarely use the upper oven because it's difficult for me to reach in over the door.  The French door style allows me to virtually walk into the oven.  Prior to considering the AR, I was looking at Gaggenau for the same functionality.  Gaggenau was a HUGE price difference - more than $10k (We were looking at a combi)

I didn't find the price difference between the KA and AR to be significant - less than $1k, I believe. 

utahcpalady's picture
utahcpalady

That is really very helpful.  I appreciat you sharing your opinion.  So, are you going to put a french door AR on the top and a steam assist KA on the bottom for a double wall oven configuration?

JuRae's picture
JuRae

Hi - I am trying to reply.  There is a problem with this site.  Keeps deleting and bumping me mid post.  I'll keep trying.

JuRae's picture
JuRae

After some effort here and browser reset, I'm going with cut and paste!

Yes - that is the configuration. The KA will go on the bottom and the AR on top. Although it would seem more practical to go with French door style for both, it actually doesn't work for me. I've looked at and had hand's on demos with both configurations and found that the French door on the bottom was somehow more awkward than a standard drop down door. (I wish I could pinpoint why this is the case, but I really can't). Best case: find dealer showrooms in your area and thoroughly check out the configurations. Many dealer showrooms have small or private consultations in which you can actually interact with the equipment. Also - if you have a chance, check out Blue Star Range. They are really nice. They are an American company with a history in Canada, but have recently begun showing up in the U.S. If I didn't already have a Viking range, I would be purchasing a Blue Star.
JuRae's picture
JuRae

After some effort here and browser reset, I'm going with cut and paste!

Yes - that is the configuration. The KA will go on the bottom and the AR on top. Although it would seem more practical to go with French door style for both, it actually doesn't work for me. I've looked at and had hand's on demos with both configurations and found that the French door on the bottom was somehow more awkward than a standard drop down door. (I wish I could pinpoint why this is the case, but I really can't). Best case: find dealer showrooms in your area and thoroughly check out the configurations. Many dealer showrooms have small or private consultations in which you can actually interact with the equipment. Also - if you have a chance, check out Blue Star Range. They are really nice. They are an American company with a history in Canada, but have recently begun showing up in the U.S. If I didn't already have a Viking range, I would be purchasing a Blue Star.
utahcpalady's picture
utahcpalady

Delete double post

Cmorath's picture
Cmorath

i have the 48inch steam assist Kitchenaid range.  I have used it heavily for a year, so I thought I would try to answer some of the questions in this thread.  I love the oven. it works very well for bread, but I use the steam for meats and veggies as well.  Food comes out great.  it is very easy to use because the oven's touch screen walks you through the steam settings by type of food being cooked.  There is also a manual setting function, but I have never used it.  Some asked if you need to adjust cooking times with steam, the answer is yes,  I have found steam cooks faster so you need to keep an eye on it the first couple of times,  The stove is hooked directly to the plumping similar to an ice maker on a refrigerator, so there is no need to add water.  The water hook up includes a rather large filter that we have mounted under th sink where the stove water line is connected.  we did have one service call about a week after installation. we called KitchenAid and they tried to set us up with A&E (Sears) for repair.  I have had issues with Sears in the past so I called the independent dealer we purchased from and they came out and repaired it with no fuss.  They also reseated the convection fans which made the stove quieter.  So no problems at all with service, just not a fan of A&E.  It is hard to avoid them since they are so large, but I think you are always better off with a local guy if you can find them.

in short, love the oven.  Results have been good.  No service issues.  Only downside I see is:

1.  kitchenaid publishes lots of good cookbooks, but not one for steam assist ovens.  They have quite a few recipes online, but I would like a full cook book like the rest of Kitchenaid's products.

2. There are small fans that blow for about a half hour after you end baking.  I don't mind them, but my last stove did not do that.  Appliance guy said that is normal now because off all of the electronics on new ranges.  Really no big deal, just different. 

Hope this helps.

 

 

 

 

 

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Thanks for the review, it is hard to find anyone that has one of these.  Glad to hear it is working out well for bread.