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Help with commercial convection oven!

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

We just finished construction on our first commercial kitchen for a cupcake bakery. This is in a small space in a basement, but we wanted to be able to bake multiple pans of cupcakes, cookies, muffins, or brownies at a time. We looked into full-sized convection ovens but they were far too big for the space. We finally settled on a Unox Anna oven (electric), which we could technically fit 4 pans of cookies or 2 pans of cupcakes in. We purchased this brand new, but neither my partner or I have ever baked with convection before, so we realized it would take some getting used to.

 

Unfortunately, we haven't managed to get anything to bake properly yet. We tried chocolate chip cookies first, at various temperatures from 250 ranging up to 400. Each time, the top of the cookies got quite brown, but the bottom of the cookies was not brown at all and the inside was completely uncooked. Next we tried our cupcake recipe with the least moisture in the batter, and we had the same result-- except this time, the top of the cupcake collapsed into the center because it was so raw inside.

 

I contacted the manufacturer and they sent a tech out to check 2 things: whether the fan was shutting off (which it shouldn't), and whether the temperature was off. Neither of these things was the answer, so the manufacturer has no answers for me. They don't think the oven is faulty.

 

I phoned a lady in Calgary who uses the very same oven, and she has never had this problem before. She said at first when moving to convection, she had to adjust her recipes to have less liquids in them, but they were only "a little too moist", not raw on the inside. Her suggestion was that the lower element in the oven wasn't working properly... turns out there is no lower element, so that can't be the answer.

 

The best I can figure is that the top of the items is directly exposed to the heat in the oven and so it is baking quicker than the bottom, where the heat has to get through the pan first. But if this is the problem, I don't know what to do to fix it.

 

Please help!!!

post #2 of 3

Every electric convection that I know of, has the elements all in a bundle wrapped around the fan (called a squirrel cage fan).  Thus, the fan blows hot air, it does not pick up heat from the floor of the oven and blow it round.

 

You will not get bottom heat or top heat in a convection.  Think of those fancy wierd hand sinks in the new shopping malls and hotel bathrooms  that don't give you hot or cold water, just a steady stream of ____ warm water.  That's a convection, it has no soul.

 

Remember, on most convections, the fan only blows one way, thus you have a hot airstream on only one side of the oven.  Usually, you have to turn the trays end for end at least once during your bake to get a half-decent colouring.

 

Generally, you lower the heat about 10% on a convection, and bake at about 10% less time.  Generally.  You will have to experiment.

 

There are a zillion ways to "cheat" on a convection.  My favorite is to line a baking tray with BBQ bricks, and pre warm it for about 20 minutes.  If you bake directly on this it gives you a half-decent bottom crust.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #3 of 3

Did the tech see the baked goods or just check out the oven?  Get them to come back and show them what the oven is doing.
 

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