The powers that be.....

5,551
991
Joined Oct 10, 2005
The Rational oven guy screwed back on the access panel and started on his paperwork. I knew what he was writing, the oven needs a new fan motor and most likely a new fan. Quote for the job will be north of $3,200 assuming nothing else goes wrong, and assuming the powers that be will agree to fix the oven.

Problem is, the oven was built in 2000, parts for this model are hard to get, and will become obsolete in a few years time anyway. I've explained to the powers that be, that if it were my money, I'd get rid of the oven and buy a new deck oven.

Might as well be talking to a wall. "But a new Rational will cost over $30,00, we can't afford that now"
(Me) "I didn't say new Rational, I said a new deck oven, it will be much cheaper, and there are no moving parts to wear out or mother boards to fry"
"No, no, Rational are the best there is, it's an expensive good oven, we're fixing it"
"They are the best, hands down for catering, no argument there, but only so-so for baking. It's kind of like a contractor taking BMW 7000 series to Home Depot to buy lumber. The bimmer is an excellent car, one of the best, but the contractor would be better off with a Ford eco online van."

"We're fixing the rational. Convection ovens are supposed to be better anyways"

"What will you do if after you've sunk that money into the oven and 3 months later some thing else goes wrong. It is 17 years old"

"Don't worry about that, we know better. Get back to work."

I'll be baking out of those crappy Garland gas ovens in a few weeks.......
 
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Joined Sep 26, 2017
Funny thing is, our bakeshop got rid of the deck ovens for Rational; and we couldn't be happier. To each his own, I guess.

Then again, I suppose that 17-year-old model probably can't do what the newer ones can, so I can understand why you don't just love it.
 
5,551
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
Pat pat,

What the rational--any model of rational can't do is have separate top and bottom heat zones, which is what you need for baking pastry. Convections work pretty good for bread, but decks are ideal for pastry.

The other nice thing with decks is that there are no moving parts to replace or motherboards to fry and replace.
 
790
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Joined May 4, 2005
The higher ups want to replace our deck oven as well. I KNOW this oven and we work together and I like it. I don't need programs and fancy settings. They say I will like it and maybe they are right but I get a certain satisfaction out of being resourceful and getting great results. Also, where did they suddenly get the money for this monster? I suspect they want to get it just to say that we have one.
 

chefpeon

Kitchen Dork
834
252
Joined Jun 15, 2006
Oh man. Can I relate. Nothing makes me madder than having the "powers that be" tell you what's best for you, because
you're not in their office shielded from the bakeshop and don't know any better. foodpump foodpump , you have common sense. They obviously do not. I feel your pain.

I hate convection ovens. For baking they have more drawbacks than advantages. I will take an old deck with top and bottom heat settings over a Rational or any other convection any day of the week.
 
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Joined Feb 18, 2007
I bought convection 6 years ago because I was sharing space and needed my own dedicated ovens and that was the best I could do in the space I was allowed under the existing hoods. My first rental kitchen had decks and convections and I used the decks exclusively. I miss them. Now that I have my own place, I just don't have the room :( The only time I like the convection is when I'm baking biscuit or pate a choux and need the lift. I hate it for cake, and cupcakes.
 
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Joined Sep 26, 2017
I use my Rational in combination with a baking steel if need be. The oven and his steel buddy can tackle everything :cool:
 
5,551
991
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Meh, Rational was plugging those porcelain coated steel trays back in the '80's. They kinda/sorta work, you do get better color, but nothing compared to a deck oven.

When all you have is a convection oven and you need crispy tart bottoms or quiches, you trott off to the hardware store and buy bbq bricks. These are ceramic tiles, maybe 4" x 6" and about a 1/4" thick, norm ally you'd put these over the gas burners in a bbq to prevent flare ups when fat drips down. You line a regular sheet pan with them and shove it in the oven to heat up, then bake directly on it, Rational or not. Works almost as good as deck, and a heckuva lot better than those 1/6" thick steel trays suspended in the middle of an oven with no direct heat source underneath it.
 
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Joined Mar 4, 2015
Pat pat,

What the rational--any model of rational can't do is have separate top and bottom heat zones, which is what you need for baking pastry. Convections work pretty good for bread, but decks are ideal for pastry.

The other nice thing with decks is that there are no moving parts to replace or motherboards to fry and replace.

I have a 4 deck Polin at work, and the one thing that has almost fried is the actual wiring for controls on the oven. The wires have gone very brittle.

Why do you say that decks are ideal for pastry? Is it more for crisping tart shells, and avoiding soggy bottoms?

We have converted most of our ovens to Baxter convection or rotational ovens. I use a double rack rotational for bread and croissant/danish, and our pastry department has a small single rack rotational convection.
 
658
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Joined Sep 26, 2017
No no, I don't use the rational-issue one. My baking steel is 1/2" thick. Seems to simulate the deck oven just fine in the required applications. Or maybe we just have different expectations of the result? LOL.

It's a little inconvenient, but the way I see it, you do things like inverted pan, double pan, etc. with deck ovens anyway, so you kinda get used to it.
 
5,551
991
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Nooo.... I just put the bottom heat setting to "1" or"0" if I want no bottom heat on a deck. That's the nice thing about a deck oven, separate top and bottom heat settings

But 1/2" thick steel sheet pans! Great score! Never have I seen 1/2" thick sheet pans. The armour on some of the personnell transport vehicles in the army was 1/2" thick, wonder what a 18 x 26" sheet pan 1/2" thick would weigh, or what a stack of 4 or 5 pans would weigh.....
 
5,551
991
Joined Oct 10, 2005
I have a 4 deck Polin at work, and the one thing that has almost fried is the actual wiring for controls on the oven. The wires have gone very brittle.

Why do you say that decks are ideal for pastry? Is it more for crisping tart shells, and avoiding soggy bottoms?

We have converted most of our ovens to Baxter convection or rotational ovens. I use a double rack rotational for bread and croissant/danish, and our pastry department has a small single rack rotational convection.


If the wiring has gone brittle, it's probably old, older than 15 years anyways.

For all of those who haven't worked with a deck oven--Not a pizza oven, but a deck oven, the difference is this:

A deck has a general thermostat, as well as controls for top heat and bottom heat, these are usually 3 step knobs.

Example 1, lemon meringue pie. Set the general temp to 425 f, set the bottom heat to 0 and top heat to 3.

Example 2, quiche, pecan pie, apple pie, etc. General temp to 350f, bottom heat to 3, top heat to 1

Example 3, puff pastry sheets for Mille feuille or the like. Set general temp to 325f bottom heat to 3, top heat to 2

Example 4 cookies. General heat to 325, bottom heat 2, top heat 2.

Rotational rack convections are great for high volume bread/yeast risen product, but not so great for pastry items.
 
658
276
Joined Sep 26, 2017
Nooo.... I just put the bottom heat setting to "1" or"0" if I want no bottom heat on a deck. That's the nice thing about a deck oven, separate top and bottom heat settings

I guess that's the proper way to do it. Our old deck ovens took a while to come up to, or drop in temp, and we have different products going in and out all the time, so we find it quicker to do the double pan thing.

wonder what a 18 x 26" sheet pan 1/2" thick would weigh

I just weighed it for your entertainment! I have them in half size for ease of use, and they are around 30+ lbs a piece. So a full sheet pan would be like 60+ lbs :eek:
 

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