Which brand of convection commercial oven is best?

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Joined Aug 9, 2017
  1. Vulcan
  2. Hobart
  3. Doyon
  4. Southbend
  5. Bakers Pride
  6. Baxter
More information: We crank out 2000 cookies a night non-stop. We tried Bakers Pride electric but we don't love it. We have a used rotating Baxter mini rack but it acts up too. We want to get a brand new one and we aren't sure how much variance there is from brand to brand.

Thank you!
 
5,398
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
They all suck, but at least Blodgett has a really good warranty.

Look, convections are not ideal for small thin items like cookies. The fan blows clockwise, so product on the r,h. side of every rack will be darker. Don' t know of any convections where the fan blows both ways except for Rational ovens, but Rational is a waste of money for your purposes. If its a gas oven the bottom racks will darken faster because of where the firebox is located. This becomes apparent with small, thin, well portioned items like cookies moreso than larger items like bread.

The best oven would be a deck oven. With convection, you will be opening the doors every 5 mins to rotate the trays. Every time you open those huge doors, you blast out hot air into your kitchen, and your oven has to work harder to maintain temp.
 
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Joined Apr 25, 2017
Blodgett makes all kinds of ovens - the question was about brands. We like the Blodgett brand and find their ovens to be very reliable - as do most people we talk to about ovens. Oddly enough we had the same conversation with friends from two different places this week, one for bread and one for bagels.
 
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Joined Aug 9, 2017
They all suck, but at least Blodgett has a really good warranty.

Look, convections are not ideal for small thin items like cookies. The fan blows clockwise, so product on the r,h. side of every rack will be darker. Don' t know of any convections where the fan blows both ways except for Rational ovens, but Rational is a waste of money for your purposes. If its a gas oven the bottom racks will darken faster because of where the firebox is located. This becomes apparent with small, thin, well portioned items like cookies moreso than larger items like bread.

The best oven would be a deck oven. With convection, you will be opening the doors every 5 mins to rotate the trays. Every time you open those huge doors, you blast out hot air into your kitchen, and your oven has to work harder to maintain temp.
What if our cookies aren't thin. Each one is 6oz and about 2 inches high. In other words they look like a baseball when we put them in. Do you still recommend a deck oven?

I was looking at some deck ovens but it seemed that they had lower production capability. The ones I saw were for 3 trays in comparison to the double decker convection oven that will have 10 trays for the same price.

Are deck ovens just more expensive? Do they have 10 tray or higher deck ovens?
 
5,398
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
Yeah, decks are more expensive, no you can't stack any trays inside of them. Decks have " crowns" or cielings, typically 8-10" high. You can get decks to accommodate 1,2,4, or6 sheet pans. You can stack the decks ontop of each other though.

A convection is a workhorse, not a thoroughbred. It has only one tempertaure zone, most don' t have a damper or any way to control humidity, and as I said the fan only blows one way, so you MUST rotate the pans at least once, and depending on the oven, might have to move the lower pans to the upper racks. Most convections accomodate 5 racks or trays, and to do this means you need HUGE doors. Every time you open those huge doors, you loose heat, the fan continues to blow hot air into your kitchen. While its true that convections use less energy and less time than decks, that advantage is pretty much neutrilized every time you open those huge doors.
This is a workhorse oven and is all about formulating your product to suit the oven.


Decks have separate controls for top heat and for bottom heat, controls for heat intesity, controls for humidity, and the better ones have controls for the first 1/3 of the oven, as well as choice of steel or stone hearth. The doors are only 8"high, so you don't loose any heat when you open the doors
This is a thoroughbred type of oven, and is all about making the oven suit the baked good's requirements.

Kinda like comparing a F150 to a Lexus. Both have 4 tires and a steering wheel, but performance is very, very different.
 
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Joined Sep 20, 2017
I agree with Foodpump. People normally don't know the real benefit of having a deck oven, especially if this one has steam injector for bread or without for cookies, shortbreads, biscuits, etc.
Today I was having a size problem with the future bakery I'm designing. Finally, I found a convection oven that fulfills all my needs and is the Turbofan E32D4. It has 4 full-size sheet pan capacity with 110mm tray spacing, 2-speed bi-directional reversing fan system (this kills the one-way fan problem), 5 levels of moisture injection or manual injection (perfect for bread like buns or rolls, also genovese or cakes) and the thermostat range goes from 50-260ºC (122-500ºF).
If I'm fussy I would say it doesn't look robust or strong as Blodgett or Vulcan convection ovens but I will give it a Tray to Turbofan and if it accomplishes all my necessities I'm gonna buy another and make it a double stacked oven.
I have a question for you guys and is that I have my bakery and pastry kitchen separated so the deck oven for the pastry zone I will buy I want to use it as much as I can. So what else I can bake (not bread) in the deck oven?.
 
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
A deck? I've baked everything from quiches to lemon meringue tarts in them. Lots of cookies, cheesecskes and terrines in waterbaths, too.
 

Cdp

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Joined Aug 31, 2017
rational oven have a large range of ovens, and yeah they are not cheapbut easy clean and yeah big difference over our old combi and technology plays a big part.
 
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
Rational ovens sre best used in catering, they earn thier keep with roasting meats with less than 10% weighg loss, and make money for you by re thermalising fully dressed bsnquet plates. Yes they can be used for baking, but they are still a convection oven.

At work I have a rational oven, usually once a week I need to make 6 deep dish 12" quiches. In order to have a nice product, I need to bake the quiches blind- linjng it with paper, filling with stones, baking, remiving paper and stones, baking a bit more to dry out the bottom, then putting my filling and custard mix in, and bsking until the custard has set.

With a deck, I set the bottom heat to 3, the top heat to 1, plunk my filling and custard into the raw shell, and walk away.

As I've said before, with a convection, you alter the ingredients, technique, and work flow to suit the oven. With a deck, you alter the controls to suit the product.
 
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Joined Aug 6, 2018
Rational ovens sre best used in catering, they earn thier keep with roasting meats with less than 10% weighg loss, and make money for you by re thermalising fully dressed bsnquet plates. Yes they can be used for baking, but they are still a convection oven.

At work I have a rational oven, usually once a week I need to make 6 deep dish 12" quiches. In order to have a nice product, I need to bake the quiches blind- linjng it with paper, filling with stones, baking, remiving paper and stones, baking a bit more to dry out the bottom, then putting my filling and custard mix in, and bsking until the custard has set.

With a deck, I set the bottom heat to 3, the top heat to 1, plunk my filling and custard into the raw shell, and walk away.

As I've said before, with a convection, you alter the ingredients, technique, and work flow to suit the oven. With a deck, you alter the controls to suit the product.

FoodPump, appreciate your replies on this thread. We are a social enterprise that has been focused on coffee. However, we are starting to do "coffee corners" and are now supplying a simple line of baked goods. Our staff have some experience baking but with a standard domestic oven (non convection). We have about USD$6-7,000 in a grant to purchase a commercial oven. I thought we needed a convection oven for sure, and was trying to find which brand was the best when I stumbled on this thread. But now after reading this thread I'm second guessing the convection part. Our main line of baked goods: banana bread, scones, cinnamon rolls, cookies, muffins, cheesecake, pie. We'd like to learn how to do a really good quiche too. Might get into croissant and tarts/turnovers down the road.

We aren't high volume (baking about 3 of the above items in a day, and baking 3-4 days out of the week) but want something that we can also grow into. I think we could squeeze in a "baking depth" single deck convection LPG oven with dimensions of W 38", depth 44", height 60" but it would be nice if we can even get a smaller footprint.

Should we be looking at convection ovens or deck ovens? I'm new to this forum so now sure if this is the best method or if there is a direct message feature that is more appropriate.

Thank you for your time and sharing your wisdom.
 
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
Well, a convection will give you good to decent results with banana bread, scones, cookies, muffins, and cheesecake. It will give you less desirable results with pies, tarts, and quiches. The main selling point of a convection is 10% faster baking times (and therefore 10%less energy) which, currently is not really bothering you.

Deck ovens can be stacked. Many bakeries start with one or two decks, then buy additional decks when needed. However almost all decks are electric.

On the other hand, many municipalities are demanding a ventilation system with any gas appliance, and many municipalities don’t demand a ventilation system for electric ovens. Depending on your local codes and the infrastructure you have or don’t have in your bakery, this can be a deciding factor, as a ventilation system and obligatory fire suppression system (a.ka. Ansul )can get very pricey. Oh, and convections are available in electric as well.

What I suggest is finding a bakery eqpt. supplier in your immediate area and kick some tires. DO NOT confuse a restaurant supplier with a bakery eqpt supplier, the two are not the same.

Hope this helps
 
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Joined Aug 6, 2018
Very helpful, thank you. One take away is that it seems neither one is necessarily a "wrong" choice given what we do, but still some research to do, particularly with code/reg's.

If we go with a gas convection, would you choose any of these that I've researched so far: Blodgett, Vulcan or Garland?

Thanks!
 
5,398
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
Blodgett has the best warranty, but check out the warranties on the other brands anyway, they might have changed. The doors take the most abuse on a convection, and this is where a 5 yr warranty on doors is nice. Oh, and gas convections will need more maintainence than electric convections. You can also check out the Moffat brand, they have one with a smaller footprint, albeit still full-size.

One other caveat with convections— now that it’s so toasty hot in August... Every time you open those huuuuge doors on a convection, you’ll get a blast of hot air directed at you and warming up your bakery. This might sound like nit-picking, but in a small, un ventilated bakery on a hot day, it ain’t nice..... Also, the more you open the doors, the more heat you loose, and the harder the oven has to work to “ catch up”.

Take your time and do your research, once you buy, you’re stuck with it, so you better like it....
 
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Joined Jan 4, 2011
WOW ... I would have just gone with the cheapest one with the longest warrantee ... but after all that ... I'd buy whatever oven foodpump says.
 
2,691
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Joined Jan 4, 2011
I'm not looking for a convection oven.
From what you have said so far I was giving your opinion credit.

Nice job though ... not understanding a compliment and making me explain it.
 
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