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How do I Choose the Best Oven for Baking?

By J. Airman
Updated May 16, 2024
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Choose the best oven for baking by evaluating the options that best fit your needs. Ovens are available in a wide variety of sizes and fuel formats that meet the specifications of the most demanding bakers. Setup location and available fuel resources are often the most important factors in determining which type of baking oven is right for each individual situation. Researching an oven purchase through catalogs, appliance retailers, and online typically increases understanding of oven styles and price ranges. A brief consultation with a professional baker or knowledgeable oven sales person is generally helpful in narrowing down the multitude of oven choices.

The best oven for baking the foods you intend to cook must have sufficient space and provide the desired heat range. Internal volume and temperature range vary greatly among portable, home use, and commercial grade ovens. Giant industrial ovens are ideal for large-scale commercial baking, but may be inefficient or impractical for the batch sizes you plan to produce. Some baking requires very high or very low temperatures that are often difficult or impossible for some ovens to sustain. Find out the minimum and maximum temperatures of any oven you are seriously considering.

There is a small enough oven in the kitchen space you have available. Counter-top and portable oven models are ideal for quick set up and break down in a mobile kitchen. Measure the space you are willing to dedicate to an oven before choosing one with oversized external dimensions.

Gas and electric ovens are not the same. Gas ovens generate water vapor in the cooking chamber as a byproduct of combustion. Electric ovens produce a dry heat, especially when accompanied by convection fans. Convection fans circulate hot air inside the cooking chamber to eliminate hot and cold zones. Moist cooking environments are better for meats in an oven for baking a long time at lower temperatures. Dry heat from an electric oven is generally considered superior for pastry baking and even browning.

Focused research can help you select the best oven for baking the foods you love. Set a price range and eliminate any choices that do not meet your minimum feature requirements. Factors like warranty coverage, optional upgrades, and model variety directly influence the final price of an oven. Programmable digital controls and other high-end features can reduce food loss and result in a savings over time. Investigating the details of viable ovens often leads to confidence in the final purchase decision.

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Discussion Comments

By ladyjane — On Jun 28, 2011

@MsClean - I've seen oven baked beer can chicken recipes before although I have never tried it myself. There was one that I was tempted to try though that looked pretty simple that I'll try to explain for you.

The cook lined a roasting pan with foil then emptied and rinsed out the beer can and filled it only half way with sangria. You can use the half filled can of beer if you prefer, or wine, soda or fruit juice works just as well.

She punched four or five holes in the top of the can with a pointed can opener for ventilation then placed the can in the center of the roasting pan.

She then put the marinated whole chicken, large cavity down, over the beer can and roasted it for one and a half to two hours.

I'm sure someone who has done this before will have a better answer for you. You might also search the Internet for some different techniques but I think that's basically how it's done.

By MsClean — On Jun 27, 2011

Okay. I'm calling on all you cooks out there. How do I make oven baked beer-can chicken?

I attended a cookout not long ago that served BBQ beer-can chicken amongst other things that was the most tender and juicy chicken I had ever tasted.

The cook explained his technique for grill cooking and even offered me his secret marinade but I was so caught up in it that I forgot to even ask if I can use the beer-can technique in the oven.

I don't have an outdoor grill. Any suggestions or tips are greatly appreciated.

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