Wall oven as good as my Breville countertop?

dalf18March 19, 2013

I love my Breville countertop oven. It bakes so evenly, however it takes up a lot of space and my KD is having trouble fitting into a new design. How do I find a wall oven which bakes as well? How do I know how to really take advantage of the features?

I am getting a 30" DCS gas cooktop and was thinking of getting the DCS electric oven installed underneath. I baked in it once and was not happy but have since found out I should have used other settings. (I baked a pan of blondies and a small loaf of bread. The sales guy said to use the "pastry bake" setting. I recently learned I should have used just bake, no convection.)

Even with a good wall oven, doesn't it still make energy sense to use the little one when I can?

I met with my KD for 1 1/2 hours yesterday and need help!
I very much like her approach and her innovative ideas but this countertop oven is proving to be a real problem. Thanks.

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Kitchens require small appliances. If a countertop oven is a "real problem" I'd be looking for a new KD. hint: #appliancegarage

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 2:48PM
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I have the DeLonghi version of the countertop oven. I was planning to keep it in a corner but ended up moving it to my pantry and powered the pantry so I can use it when needed.
I also have a speed oven and since I figured out how to use the speed oven, I seldom use my DeLonghi - but it sure does a great job cooking! It was my life line during the kitchen remodel.
If you like your little oven - keep it - it is handy when you need to cook multiple items!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 9:16PM
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I would not be soon parted with my Breville countertop oven. It's our most-used small appliance and I will have to find a way to incorporate it into the plan when I remodel my kitchen.

If I had to choose between my Breville or a microwave, the MW would have to go.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 9:55PM
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Thanks for your responses! I had also come to the conclusion that the new pantry will be a good place for it and it will be near the new baking area.

What is the best way to learn how to best use my new wall oven? If I were to buy a Miele or Wolf, I could go to the showroom for instruction and practice. However it seems that for other brands, all that is available is an inadequate instruction manual and trial and error. I do a lot of baking and don't know when to choose convect bake or pastry bake or just bake or whatever other options there are.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 5:29AM
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Dalf18 - given what you've said so far, I advise you to find the least complicated wall oven. Miele that you mentioned is known for being a quite complicated wall oven that has a steep learning curve. I would instead look at Wolf or, at a lower price point but lots of pleased users, Electrolux. I also would have suggested DCS, but you said you tried it. I like a wall oven with knob controls, but there are few of them these days.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 8:22AM
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akchicago - Thank you. I think I am going to stick with the DCS. I also like the knob controls and think I just need to learn when to choose the various options. I was in Yale appliance when a chef was cooking and he said I should have used the non-convection bake option for the bread and 13 x 9 pan of blondies, and that convection was good for multiple trays of cookies. For some reason, these details are difficult to come by.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 8:39AM
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Wolf offers a useful guide for their convection ovens and dual fuel ranges that indicates which bake mode (convection, regular bake, etc.) is best for different kinds of food and baked goods. The guide helped me get up to speed with using a convection oven. You can download the pdf on the Wolf/Sub-Zero website.

The one thing I learned right away was never to use convection for baking things like popovers that need heat from the bottom of the oven to rise.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wolf oven baking mode guides

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 8:43AM
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francoise47 - Thank you for this information. I just took a look at the DCS guide and it also has some good information. Maybe that will be enough and I am just anticipating problems. My current convection oven - a Jenn-Air dual fuel range - had such a poor manual that using it was a lot of trial and error. I tend to like a lot of information so that I'm not just instructed how to use something but so that I understand the reasons.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 9:57AM
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Glad you made your decision.
As far as energy efficiency - I am not sure which is better - the little oven does not have much insulation but the big oven takes longer to heat up.
So for little things - the little oven is probably fine.
I still use mine - especially to heat up appetizers and for toast.
Just to show a fun picture- and for the non-believers! - this was during our reno - Zingerman Pot Pies came out just right. (This is the DeLonghi oven but basically the same as the Breville) These pot pies take an hour to cook if defrosted and 1.5 hours if frozen in a standard oven -times held true in the small oven

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 6:23AM
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Using an oven with convection can be trial and error. Think about what convection will do. It moves the air more so you have increased heat transfer so things will cook faster and the heat will be more even in theory. It also is drying to what you are baking. This is good if you are roasting or wanting to brown something or make it crispy. It is bad for things that need to rise, at least until the rise is complete. Yet there are people that have reported using convection for cakes and even popovers with good results so there must be a difference in fans. Some convection ovens cut the speed way down for convection bake. I have not agreed with every reccomendation by the manufacturer of my oven for using convection. I try to think about what I want to do and what will be the best to make it happen.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 8:23AM
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wekick, thanks for your post. I mostly bake and rarely cook meat. When I first heard about convection, it sounded like a good idea if you have a sheet of cookies on all three oven racks, or, I guess, anything on multiple racks. The heat circulation should lead to more even cooking.

I'm not certain about the effect of the circulating air which makes it difficult to determine if convection would be good. For example, why is it not good for things which need to rise?

I bake bread every week, sometimes in the big oven, sometimes in the Breville. In the the Breville I have baked it with and without convection and it seems fine either way.
I would, though, like to understand more about convection and what it can do for me.

One reason I wanted to keep the countertop - a 13 x 9 pan of blondies in the Breville comes out evenly browned and evenly cooked. In the Jenn-Air, it is unevenly browned, sunken in the middle and puffy around the edges. The Jenn-Air in general has been a nightmare with very unreliable oven temperature (and a very long list of other problems). I would hope my yet-to-be installed new DCS would perform much better.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 8:09PM
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I hope your new oven is better than the JennAire - it is amazing what those little ovens can do!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 9:32PM
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