December 30, 2017 - 12:59pm
opinions please: kitchen oven, electric or gas? duel fuel?
Please advise me, do you prefer electric or gas ovens? Conventional? Does duel fuel make a difference? Are there any brands that you would stay away from? I bake European style whole grain bread every week, and otherwise use the oven for slow cooking roasts. I would use a convection oven for drying fruit, but am not sure of the benefits of one for me otherwise. Thank you! (Sears took my Whirlpool and I am oven-less.)
Most folks I know find electric easier to use and get to precise temperatures, but I don't know much about brands.
Can I complicate your question a bit? I've found that most any oven will get to 350F easily and hold that temperature. I've had more trouble getting to 450F and staying there, even with a relatively fancy oven (a 30" Gaggenau). I don't know if you bake at that temperature, but it would be interesting to find out about people's experience with ovens and the upper ranges of heat.
of modest gas and electric ovens. I find that the electric ovens (even the most modest) will hold their temperature reasonably well and they heat the interior relatively well. Of course none of the knobs can set the temperature precise so I use a good (yet inexpensive) oven thermometer to get my temps exactly where I want them. The Cooper-Atkins oven thermometer http://amzn.to/2C2eWpl has worked consistently well for me for many years.
Gas ovens seem to vary their temperature greatly, necessitating rotation of the half sheets and even then I still get uneven results. I've also heard that some users have problems getting their gas ovens steamy enough, so that might be a concern for you. All of the electric ovens I have used do have a vent, so I do not think that venting is the issue, all I can say I that when I use a gas oven now I will always use a dutch oven so my loaves come out consistently good.
Use of a "cloche" (cover) to preserve the loafs self generated steam will work in either gas or electric as will the use of a stone or steel heat reservoir to reduce the extent of the temperature variations. I use an inverted stainless steel steam tray pan as they allow the loaf to spring in free form - the cast iron method is more one of a bread or pan mold for the baking dough though it achieves the same purpose. Other considerations have to do with what other items do you intend to bake in it? Electric ovens are used almost exclusively for baking cakes for instance.
Long term considerations are cost of energy and safety concerns.
I have a Thermadore Pro free standing range. The oven is huge and my gas bill has gone up considerably since I started baking. The temp stays even and it’s well insulated. I bake in a cloche anyway. If I had it to do over I would buy the same brand in duel fuel just to cut my gas bill.
I can only recommend Gaggenau - (ebay have them too). I've had a total of four now over the last forty years, I tried Wolf and was disappointed. I came from a gas oven. The Gaggenau Steamer is the oven of choice time and again for me.
I needed a gas or conduction hob because copper pans don't work with induction. I don't have gas here so I chose Miele because the make a big electric conduction hob and size matters when it comes to busy kitchens. Ebay strikes again.
Modern, digital control panels are a pain and I constantly curse the thing because it bleeps when I put something down on top of the control panel - it often turns off everything when that happens.
Thank you for writing! I ended up with an Electrolux duel fuel that I bought on Kijiji when its previous owner was upgrading to a (different) European duel fuel. Since I already have a gas cook top I only use the oven, which is electric and electronic. I will look up your brand for interest. We had a offer of a very large Miele electric stove, but it would have required electrical wiring upgrading, so we passed on the offer. (It was a professional stove.) As my dad said when he was offered a job in Jasper National Park "If I was a younger man I would take it." If I had 20 years of intensive cooking left I would have rewired for that stove. For now, I hope that the digital panel and controls in the Electrolux last the five or so years for me.
Again, thank you for your input! - moira
Someone kindly replied to my duel fuel post and noted most brands have problems holding temperatures over 450 degrees. I am very fond of recipes by Swedish baker Jan Hedth_ and European bakers in general and have noticed that they seem to use temperatures much higher than we do. 400 + is quite common for them where I would only use those for starting pies or oven french fries. Since the air-fryer does a better job, it is pies only for me. However I always use an oven thermometer. The current trend in instructions to turn the item 1/2 way through only wastes heat. I also load my oven with several items & don't seem to have any problems. Thank you to all who replied.