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cookie ovens

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hi there,  I am starting a new business making cookies and have been using a residential gas convectional oven. Now things are getting busier I am looking into a commercial oven to bake the cookies in   What would you suggest name, electric or gas etc?  Any advise would be greatly appreciated

Thanks

Richard

post #2 of 18
Hi Richard,
I'm going thru the same situation here I've been hearing a lot but I would really like to know too what's the best
best of luck
post #3 of 18
From my research, and I'm no professional baker, it seems the best ovens are electric combi ovens with reversible fan forcing and true steam injection.
Upfront costs will be higher on electric and running costs will be higher too (larger sized 6-10 tray ovens) require 3 phase power, but they can produce a more accurate heat distribution and digitally controlled level of humidity far beyond a gas oven that needs to constantly suck air in for oxygen to keep the flame burning and expelling the exhaust gasses.
post #4 of 18

You won't be needing steam injection for baking cookies.  In any case, there are very few convections with steam injection, there are a lot of models that squirt a jet of water onto the fan, the water evaporates and turns to steam, but this cools down the oven considerably.

 

Electric ovens are probably a better bet.  For one thing, most municipalities don't require electrics to be vented--so you don't need a hood or fire suppression.  Electrics also have few or no moving parts, and a lot less maintainence than gas ones.

 

There's nothing better about convections for cookies.  True, they take slightly less time to bake and use slightly less energy, but you have to open the doors and turn the trays around to get even baking.  Every thime you open those huge doors you loose a lot of heat and cool down your oven as well as heat up your kitchen.   True, combi ovens have fans that reverse every few minutes. but a combi oven--a 1/2 pan size will cost just as much or more than a decent 2 full pan deck oven.  And a deck oven will bake better because you can control top and bottom heat.

 

So my vote--basded on cooking and baking commercially for 30 years, is an electric deck oven 

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post #5 of 18
Great advice Foodpump. I've been looking into buying a used 6-10 tray oven for baking pies and from what I've found the brand Moffat (Bakbar) ovens like the E32 combis sell for very reasonable prices- and have all of the features of the expensive brands for baking as far as convection, reversing fan, true steam injection (from a boiler), just with dials instead of digital touch pads. It's probably what I'll be going for anyway.
As far as deck ovens, I've read a number of posts elsewhere saying exactly what you have said- they are brilliant. I've just found them a lot more expensive in the used market, but as they say, buy once, cry once, and then you have the best!
Can you get steam injection in deck ovens?
post #6 of 18

I have always favored my decks. Gas is usually cheaper to run but you can usually set only one temperature for all the decks. With the electric you can set different temps for each deck, The decks are conduction heating emanating from plates. I have also had very good luck with gas convection ovens for cookies. As long as you can get people not to slam the gaskets on the doors, the heating can be very consistent. I have one double just for cookies.

I'm not quite sure why both of you have requested steam, are you planning on doing breads? Also, going with a 3 phase piece of equipment when you have single phase can be very costly. Usually 7-25,000. to run in 3 phase. You have to keep the single for the equipment you already have.

Many people will tell you you can just use a 3 phase converter. This is OK for a mixer but not something that need immediate heat amp on start.

If you run single phase coolers and freezers on 3 phase the draw will trash the motor. Trust me, if you send back a copeland under warranty they will cut that compressor in half to see if it's been on 3 phase.

Also FP makes a great point about fire suppression with the gas.

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post #7 of 18
I was just asking about steam as I personally want it for pastry baking. It just gives you more options should the OP decide to bake more products where steam can be beneficial.
post #8 of 18

ddelights I hope you got your answer as now I'm going to hijack your topic lol!
 

Foodpump if I bought an electric deck oven with stone floor and no fan, would it be the best option for baking pies with puff pastry lids?
Or would convection and/or steam give better results?
I can't find a convection oven that can take the smallest pie tray/pallet within, so I'm getting quotes on custom sized pie trays to suit the Bakbar E311 I (was) about to buy.

Just thinking that if a non-fan pizza style electric deck oven gives better results, and they are a similar price and do fit full pie trays then I'll go with that type of oven.

Thanks!

post #9 of 18
Really, the only time you need steam is when baking crusty breads, Ive never seen steam used for anything else unless you count chinese steamed buns.

Decks with stone bottoms are fantastic, they are especially great for hearth baked breads with deep, crusty bottoms, but then again a convection will do a decent job as well.

Some nomenclature here. Virtually every bakery uses standard 18" x 26" sheet pans, aka baking trays. Half size is 12" x 18" , but this size is generally useless for any kind of production work. Now, what size are your pie tins?

When shopping for ovens never ever bre athe the word "pizza". Pizza ovens are designed to bake at 475 f /320 c and are downright sh*tty at temps lower than this. Never buy a deck oven at a restaurant supply store, they'll confuse it with a pizza oven, since it doesn't look like a convection. Aways buy deck ovens at a bakery supply store, new or used.
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post #10 of 18
406 x 655mm are this particular pie tray manufacturer's sized tray for the oval pies I'm looking at producing.
Their link: http://www.mackies.com.au/bakery07_pie.htm

I have been shopping for used ovens for some time now and you are right- some describe their deck ovens as bakers deck ovens and others call them pizza deck ovens.
Both styles appear to the novice (me) to look the same inside and out, including ceramic floors on each deck, so is the temperature range and ability to accurately control the temp the difference or how can I tell the difference between a deck oven I should be buying for baking and one unsuitable- and good for pizzas?

All of this advice is invaluable, could save me and others from buying an expensive mistake, and is very much appreciated.
post #11 of 18

As a retired pastry chef I can say for certain that you will not need a steam injection or combo oven for your pastry baking. As for ovens to look at, I am more prone to use a conventional or convection oven over a deck oven. Don't get me wrong, I like my deck ovens for baking bread, quick bread items, etc. but for more delicate pastries I will always stear towards the convection or conventional. 

post #12 of 18
Ah, I see the tray you're talking about.
Hate that style of tray, about as intelligent as doggie do in a box.

Look,, you have several choices to line out your pie tin, stamped is one way, or to line out with rolled out dough. When you line out a tin with rolled dough, you need to rotate the individual tin while pressing one thumb aginst the wall and base of the tin, eliminating any air pockets. You can' t do this if all the tins have been welded to the tray. Its also very cumbersome to put lids on pies if the tins are welded to the tray, you need to rotate the individual tin as you "glue on" the lid. Never understood the logic of this style. It works o.k.with liquid batters though.

A decent deck oven will have several controls. The first is general temp,thermostat, anywhere from 50 - 300 cel. Next you have individual knobs for top and bottom heat, usually marked in steps of 1,2, &3. This controls the intensity or speed of the heat. Lets say you want to bake a pie, general temp at 180-ish, bottom setting at 3, and top setting at 2. Result is a dark gold crispy bottom and a pale gold top. Lets say you want to bake a lemon meringue pie. Bottom setting at 0, and top at 3. Result, cold pie, but a light brown baked fluffy meringe.

Any good oven--and this includes convections, needs a steam vent. In many cases you need to vent out the steam you create when you bake. Its just a simple damper that you can control, but it is very important and many ovens don't have this. Many bakers "cheat" by cracking open the door with a spoon or fork.


Hope this helps
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post #13 of 18
Yes it does help a lot- thank you.
The pie-making videos I've seen show bakers in smaller bakeries all using these pie trays and what they do is use a long thin timber dowel almost like a broom handle to roll the pie lid in between each row of pies and then again at 90 degrees so the self-cutting lip cuts the pie edge and they pull the excess away.
They never show how the dough base is pressed in though- I assumed they forced it down with the filling (and wondered if it affected the eveness of the pastry base...
All of the pies I've baked have been with individual pie tins exactly how you've mentioned (i finish off the edges with a fork though).

As for bakers deck ovens, I cant find anything under AU$9,000 in used condition... most are up over $12,000! That's like US$8 grand... and over my budget.
I know you get what you pay for though.
My home oven was a 900mm wide ILVE freestanding electric convection oven with gas cooktop and it was good for home use. For $4,500 it should have been too. I never had any problems with it in 6yrs of home/domestic light useage but have recently read horror stories of their unreliability. And if that's the best you can get for domestic use then commercial equipment is my only choice....
Maybe a single phase Bakbar/Moffat convection oven with individual pie dishes is the best I can aford for now.... I can get one for $500-800 used.
Thanks for everyone's help. I've learned that I need more money ha ha!
post #14 of 18
To start off, a convection oven isn't a bad way to get going. I'm familiar with bakbar ( its a N.Z. Division of Moffat) and they are solid and well built. Most of us have started small, with small equipment, and upgraded when money allowed, or when sales increased.

So your shopping list will include:

A mixer
An oven
A method and equipment for rolling dough
A method and equipment of cooking the filling
Refrigeration for ingredients
Refrigeration for product
Method and equipment for selling product.

If you buy used eqpt. get it from a reputable dealer. Firstly he will warranty the stuff for at least 3 mths. If he doesnt, run. Secondly the dealer will take back eqpt. If and when you trade up for newer or larger eqpt. Thirdly, the dealer will service what he sells.
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post #15 of 18
That's exactly what I'm looking at buying- and pretty much in that order too lol.
I bought a mixer at an auction- a Hobart HL200 Legacy. Should do the job. Now it's the oven... I do have domestic type fridges (one a 540L) and an upright freezer (with full height drawers) but I'm sure I'll need to upgrade. Well I hope I'll need to!
Thanks for your great advice again.
post #16 of 18
I've uploaded a few pics of the pies I cook from home- these are Aussie individual gourmet savoury meat pies. I am not sure how to make them appear in this reply (I'm on an iPad so struggle with copying and pasting) but please check them out in my album- any comments, advice and criticism will be appreciated- the more you tell me the better I become at my newfound passion. Thanks!
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hello. I have a recipe from Epicurious for a Vanilla bean coconut cake. I found it to be too dense. Any ideas how I can make it lighter?
post #18 of 18
How to make it lighter?

Well, the usual way is to leaven it more. Your choice of chemical or mechanical methods. Another way is to scale out less batter into the pans.

You're a professional baker, use your experience and knowledge.
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