Commercial Deck or Convection Oven?

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Joined Aug 20, 2019
I am growing my bakery business, and need a new commercial oven. We currently are making muffins, cookies, banana bread, brownies, cupcakes, and cinnamon buns. We're currently using deck ovens. I like them, but sometimes have problems with the bottoms of our cakes getting burned, or the muffins/banana bread/brownies not rising enough (I probably could adjust the temperature settings better-any advice welcome). Sometimes the heat & gas fumes can be too much to handle as well, even with our ventilation piping attached.

We are currently pumping out up to 100 muffins, 30 banana bread loaves , 20 brownie loaves, 1000 miniature cookies, & 100 normal cookies a day.

I've never used a convection oven, but it sounds like they can handle larger orders more efficiently. However, I'm worried the fan would cause uneven baking for our lighter batters (banana bread, muffins, cupcakes), or blowing our parchment paper into the cakes (we line all our banana breads, and brownies in individual trays).

Any advice welcome, thanks so much! :)
 
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Joined Apr 15, 2019
Convection isn’t good for everything, but what it is good for you’ll be glad you got it. Plus, I’m pretty sure every convection oven I’ve used, you can always turn the fan off. Honestly though, looking at your product list, I don’t think I’d use the fan for any of that.
 
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Joined Aug 19, 2019
I don't know the size of your bakery or your budget. You should look into investing in a Rational brand oven. Theres 10 shelves in the full sized oven. Great for baking muffins, danishes, etc. Remove every second shelf for bread or cake baking. It has a proofing program and automatically goes into baking. We have 7 Rationals at our hotel. I have over 10 years experience on them and very impressed with their performance.
Do yourself a favor and check them out!
 
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Joined Aug 21, 2004
I've never used a convection oven, but it sounds like they can handle larger orders more efficiently. However, I'm worried the fan would cause uneven baking for our lighter batters (banana bread, muffins, cupcakes), or blowing our parchment paper into the cakes...
I worked for a caterer for 5 years and we did all those items in a convection oven. We used to put table knives from the dining room on the edges of the parchment paper to keep them from blowing about.
 
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
I’ve written extensively about convection vs decks in numerous threads, so I don’t want to repeat myself too much.

With decks, you have a heat intesivity knob to control top heat, and also one to control bottom heat. Usually these knobs are marked 0 through 3 or4. Say you want to bake banana bread, set bottom heat to 2 , top heat to 2 and your thermostat to 325-350. If you find your bottoms scorched, adjust the bottom heat to 1.

A Rational is a great oven, only with this brand does the fan turn clockwise for 5 mins, the pauses, then runs counterclockwise for 5 mins and so on. Not hard to do with every other brand of convection oven, but no one other than Rational seems to give a sh*t about lopsided muffins.

Regardless, a convection oven just blows hot air around with your product suspended in mid-air. This works pretty good for many baked items but is not ideal for many pastries (pies,etc) or hearth baked breads—because there is no hearth.

Remember this:
A convection oven is all about adjusting your recipie or work flow to accommodate the oven.
A deck oven is all about adjusting the oven to accommodate the product

Hope this helps
 
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Joined Aug 20, 2019
Thanks so much for the feedback guys, well noted! I will also look into a rational! foodpump foodpump Yes, I have read into a lot of your posts, and they're so helpful, thank you! Would you also suggest setting the top burner to the same level for muffins? For the brownies & cookies I don't even set the top burner, would you recommend this? :emoji_pray:
 
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
Both top and bottom elements work together to achieve the set temperature ie. 350 f , what the separate top and bottom knobs control is the intensity of the heat.

Think of it as this way: You can choose between smart car with a 1 ltr engine or a Cadillac with a 5 ltr engine to get you to the airport. Both will get the job done, one will get you there faster.

Usually for things like muffins you’d have both top and bottom heat in tandem, like 2 for both top and bottom. Now let’s say you’re doing a deep dish quiche, you’d set bottom heat to 3 and top heat to 1 to get a crispy bottom and just done top. Lemon meringue pie would be 4 for the top heat and 0 for the bottom.

Rationals are fantastic ovens, but they are made for catering, and this is where they earn their keep. They do well in baking, but no better than any other convection—yes the fan blows in two directions, but you don’t have any control over top and bottom heat. They are obscenely expensive, and if buying an oven solely for baking, you’re not getting your money’s worth from a Rational.
 
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Joined Jun 27, 2019
I added pizza stones to make a "deck" in my convection oven and use it daily to make pizzas and calzones. Works great and I get a nice bottom crust and even cooking on the top.
 
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