Baking cakes in commercial convection ovens -- yes or no???

Discussion in 'Professional Pastry Chefs' started by callyspieg, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. callyspieg

    callyspieg

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    I have been baking cakes out of my "regular" double wall oven for 10 years, but want to expand my business and move to a bigger space (all the way to the basement!)  90 percent of my business is cakes (wedding, special event, etc.), so I need an oven that bakes well and can handle several pans at once.

    I've got the space designed but can't seem to decide on the type of oven.  For every post/site/blog that says convection ovens are great, there are just as many that say don't even THINK of baking in a convection oven!  I am going crazy and my contractor is about to kill me because I can't make up my mind!

    Can anyone offer advice specifically related to cake baking?  I was about to purchase a Duke E101E Single Series Convection, but now I'm rethinking it.

    Any help would be appreciated!
     
  2. foodpump

    foodpump

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    For cakes only, a convection isn't bad, not bad at all.  You will have to remember that the fan does blow, and thin batters will have a lopsided top to them.  You can counteract this by rotating your pans.

    Convections have only one temperature zone, i.e. the fan blows only one temperature.  Deck ovens have separate controls for top and bottom heat zones, heat intensity, and overall temperature very nice to have for pastry items and specialty breads.

    Duke is a pretty good brand, good warranty. 
     
  3. panini

    panini

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    callyspieg,

      I have both types of ovens. The convection just takes a little getting used to. Works just fine.

    Please research the Duke and get some feedback from users.

    Never owned any Duke products, but the E's leads me to believe this may be electric.

    If so. Check electrical. These could be 3phase. Most residential is single phase.Commercial ovens are not insulated like home

    ovens and get quite hot while running. Ventilation will probably be needed.

    The oven has to have a two speed fan. hi/lo Cakes bake on a low fan speed.

    Ask as many questions as you like.

    panini
     
  4. dominique

    dominique

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    I've never had a problem with using a convection oven either. Besides a low fan, they always seem to require setting the temp about 25 degrees lower.
     
  5. callyspieg

    callyspieg

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    Thanks to all of you for the prompt replies!  You have eased my mind a bit.

    Panini, since you are offering, I do have a few other questions...

    Yes, it is an electric oven.  My contractor looked at the specs and said we are wired for it (the previous owner had a workshop here,) but I have a gas line and can handle a gas oven -- what's your preference?  A local restaurant supply place said I should have electric as it maintains a more consistent/accurate temperature, but won't the convection fan do that regardless of the type of oven?  FYI, am an avid home cook as well and prefer gas for the stove.

    Regarding ventilation, how do I determine what's needed?  The oven is actually going into the space where a shower stood, so we have a vent there.  Is that enough? 

    Do you know if gas is more or less cost effective than electric?  I will probably only use the oven 3-4 days a week for several hours at a time.

    I have researched Duke and it has a pretty good rep -- and a 10 year warranty on the doors (which, I understand, will be one of my biggest issues.)  Do you have a brand you prefer?

    Thanks in advance for the help!
     
  6. foodpump

    foodpump

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    For ventilation, check with your local municipality.  It's commercial eqpt., so I don't know what kind of fire rating you will need, if you will need a mech. eng.'s drawings submitted, or if you will need a grease trap (interceptor).
     
  7. panini

    panini

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    Like Foodpump says.

    Local and also the local health department will let you know specs on things like traps,lighting, sinks atc.

    DO NOT TRUST YOUR CONTRACTOR ON THINGS OF THIS NATURE. I DON'T CARE IF YOU'RE MARRIED TO THEM!

    It might cost triple to correct the simplest thing.

      I prefer gas because of the cost factor. The problem is that they usually have to be vented. With a hood, exhaust and return.

    Some electric requires no venting. Health depart will tell you the code.

    Remember that local gov't offices follow their own guidelines. You don't want  the city give you a CO and have the health department

    come  by and find all sorts of complications.

    If you are planning to put coolers and things that require compressors. Ventilation is criticle. We have a small 500 sq ft space with

    compressors. It requires a 3 1/2 ton AC unit running 18-24 hours a day to keep an abbient temp for the compressors to run efficiently.

    Feel free to PM anytime. Over the years I probably have made most of the mistakes.

    Jeff

    btw the AC thing. I'm in Texas
     
  8. blkmgk10007

    blkmgk10007

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    I am purchased a new SouthBend Commercial electric convection oven...Do I need to vent it to the outside?
     
  9. jcakes

    jcakes

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    "technically" you don't have to vent an electric convection oven; but you should check and see what the local code requires.