Convection Steam Oven ?

hmtretMay 14, 2014

Hello
I was wondering if anyone had any information on convection steam oven pricing. I have an old (10-15 yrs) Garland convection steam oven. I am interested in purchasing something very similar. The model number is CT-1-EL. Does anyone know of anything newer that is equal to this model/oven?
Thanks

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philwojo99

I think the 3 main CSOs (Convection Steam Ovens) on the market right now are sold by Gag, Miele and Wolf. That doesn't mean there aren't others, but those seem to be the most sold brands from what you see posted on here.

I don't know anything about your model so I really can't comment on that, but I do own the Wolf CSO24 and have had it a bit over a year and love it. It is our favorite new appliance in our kitchen remodel.

Phil

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 10:45AM
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leftpawdog

I am very interested in pricing also philwo. I see that Wolf has introduced an update to their CSOs. Perhaps this means we can pick up an older model for a discount? If anyone knows how a budget conscious cook might go about getting their hands on one please let us know! I am not interested in the sharp countertop model. I don't care for the thermador model I just saw in pacific kitchen (BestBuy) either. I do not yet know how Miele stands up.... anyone have one? The Gag is way outta my range though I have heard people picking up older models via ebay... sort of sketchy though and requires full plumb which would really be a pia for the location I have planned.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 4:00AM
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ChristyMcK

In terms of a discount model, ask your local dealers. We were looking at Miele and the new models come out this summer. We asked our Miele showroom and they had already promised their floor model to a large local dealer whose to sell it at a discount. I don't know about Wolf but they move floor and already produced models somehow, probably through local dealers.

We bought a Gagg brand new combi steam oven (previous model from current) from ebay 1/2 price the current model and more in line with the Miele/Wolf pricing. We verified that the dealer was authorized with Gagg which means we have the 5-year warranty on the function of the oven. Cosmetic damage is not covered because of concerns over shipping but it arrived safely and unscathed and quite frankly is already worth the cost savings. The side opening door will work best in our narrower walk way - the drop down door would have blocked most of the aisle. The key to ebay IMHO is to independently verify you are working with an authorized dealer with the manufacturer and understanding exactly the warranty you are getting.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 7:12AM
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ojai

Phil - when you use your Wolf CSO, do you use it for cooking things that might benefit from browning (e.g., chicken, roast, baked goods)? If so, how would you compare the browning effect with a conventional/convection wall oven?

I'm trying to decide between the Wolf CSO and Miele (with broiler element).

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 10:44PM
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plllog

Ojai, things brown when the heat is over 350ð. The issue with browning in steam is that browning happens best when the surface is dry. That's why they say to dry off your meat before searing it. When you're steaming, you're not dry. Things brown in dry convection the way they do when dry baking in a conventional bottom heat oven. Steam, OTOH, aids with crispness, but I forget why. There's a whole learning curve to using convection, using steam, and using both together. I can't speak to the Miele broiler, since I have Gaggenau, but I thought it was for people who need one little oven that can do it all, like in a lot of tiny European apartments (or Manhattan, San Francisco, et alia), so they can broil chops.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 1:07AM
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philwojo99

We cook chicken in our CSO all the time, mostly breasts, and while they don't come out as brown as they would in a non-steam oven, they do have some browning to them. The steam on the Wolf CSO does not stay on for the entire cooking cycle (At least from what I have observed with my use) but rather it is on at the start and then it shuts off. So the water is still in the cavity but it is not pumping in more steam after a certain point. I think that if you cook long enough it can then start to brown things as it cooks off most of the water on the items.

I have also done a roast in the oven but I don't recall if I used the steam option or not with that. The CSO offers a standard convection option for cooking, no steam at all, so it is then just a smaller version of a non-steam oven, and cooks 100% how any other oven would cook with convection.

We still love our CSO and are learning more about it every day. We find it does a great job for what it was designed for in terms of cooking pastries and breads better than we have ever been able to do before. Cooking blueberry muffins in it has been amazing.

Phil

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 9:56AM
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Mistman

I've done a lot of things in my CSO. Roasting birds is one of our favorite, we use convection/steam and they come out beautifully browned. I've used all modes, we use straight steam all the time for veggies, rice, pasta, fish, etc. I've made pizza, cookies and roasted in straight conv. mode. Stream/conv for bread or whatever. Experimentation is key to figuring it out. I wish it would go hotter than 445 though, I like to do pizza @ 500+, breads I like to do ~500. I use the BS oven or the Wolf conv. oven more than the CSO for those things. My only complaint is that since it's relatively small when using convection on anything that may spatter it gets all over the oven. You have to pull the racks and supports to clean it and it doesn't get as clean as one would think being an all SS interior. I don't like using hardcore cleaners so end up scrubbing a lot. We've been moving away from that oven for messy stuff, but still, makes the best roast chicken of any of our ovens.
One of the things I like about the CSO is the Wolf Gourmet mode, very handy. Reheat is awesome also.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 11:40AM
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ojai

Thank you Plllog, Phil & Mistman! This info certainly helps with the decision making.

Have you had to descale your Wolf CSO yet? If so, how did you find that procedure?

I also understand that Wolf "recycles" the water that condenses (that it feeds back into the reservoir to create steam. Can you attest to this? Any observations/comments regarding this?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 1:21PM
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Mistman

Yeah, not sure about the recycling, at least not on mine which is just over a year old. If your steaming something that takes a while (rice) there will be a LOT of water in the bottom of the oven. There's no drain or aperture for sucking it back into the res. If I use straight conv. shortly afterward it will dry it out but Wolf recommends that you leave the door open after using it. I've had to sop the water out w/a towel, sometimes there can be a lot of it in there. If you fail to leave the door open the condensation will remain in there and the oven will take on an unpleasant odor (back to my comment on the spattering during conv. baking). It's not a perfect machine and does require a little more maintenance than a normal oven (refilling the res., cleaning, drying, propping the door open). However I won't have another kitchen without one, they're just that useful. The maintenance I mention is really quite minimal. I haven't descaled mine as there really isn't any 'scale' in it, I've run the routine with just water though. Since it's small and is our upper oven cleaning it is pretty easy.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 2:58PM
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philwojo99

We have had our CSO for a little over 18 months now, and we have not yet had to descale, at least it hasn't told us too as of yet.

I don't completely agree on the cleanup, is it maintenance free, heck no, not at all. But for me if it splatters I just follow the Wolf cleanup guide in their manuals and use the "magic erasers" and it isn't all that bad to do.

I love that it is smaller as it does heat up quicker and it doesn't heat up my kitchen as much either.

You do get condensation on the bottom after some cooking modes, but it is easy to wipe up with a rag and it only takes a few seconds. We don't mind it at all, but our oven is at about just below eye level, so not hard for us to do. If it were lower it might be more of an issue for us.

I am also not sure on it going back in, but at some point at the end of a cycle it does say "pumping off water" or something like that, so it seems to imply that. Though I personally think it means it is pumping back water in to the holding tank that it had put in to what I will call the heat chamber that it uses to make steam that it never had to use. But that is just a guess on my part, nothing more. I don't think it is pumping water back in that was in the cooking space.

If you can go to a Wolf Cooking Demo, you get a free meal and drinks for the night, and get to see them use the appliances and touch them and ask questions after. Check it out, it is a great thing to do if you are seriously considering this and may be on the fence.

Phil

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 5:31PM
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ojai

The return of water to the reservoir from the heating chamber/channel makes sense (vs. recycling).

I am indeed considering the cooking demo that is coming up! The fact that the nearest center is 3 hrs away (through Los Angeles/Orange County traffic) is one of the deterrents. Thus trying to gather information from gracious users like you to help me refine my questions. :-)

Currently I have the counter top Cuisinart steam/convection oven and have been very happy with it. Clearly it has a much smaller capacity but has a broiler element. I picked this up to try my hand at steam cooking before taking a leap into something that is 10x the price!

Apparently Miele is also introducing a humidity control capability in their convection ovens that will be introduced later this year. Not quite sure how that will compare with their combi steam oven or Wolf's.

Thank you all, for sharing your experiences and insights!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 6:27PM
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