Capital Precision problems

laranbrianAugust 13, 2011

Aarrgghh!!!

We were sooo exited about our 48" Precision range but now that we're using it we're having some problems and I was interested in the collective experience with this range.

Problem 1- The door lock for the oven seems to engage at random times. I've seen some chatter about this and people have resorted to tripping circuit breakers and even jimmying the lock with a butter knife to save dinner. What's the real fix?

Problem 2- The baking in the main oven is uneven. I did the sugar on a cookie sheet test at 375F and the front half of the oven is significantly cooler than the back (i.e. didn't melt). For a range that cost more than my car I'd expect a little better performance... Although 375F is only 8F higher than the melting point of sugar. Is it unrealistic to want an oven to have less than an 8F temperature gradient from front to back?

Any input or thoughts are welcome.

TIA

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weissman

For problem 1 you should call Capital - this sounds like a warranty issue.

For problem 2, are you using convection? That should even the heat out more. Generally, you can use convection for everything except things that need bottom heat like souffles.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 9:34AM
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laranbrian

Easy enough. is it naive of me to think that the oven temp would be more even? Has any one else done the sugar test?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 11:33AM
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laranbrian

Easy enough. is it naive of me to think that the oven temp would be more even? Has any one else done the sugar test?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 12:30PM
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trevorlawson

I agree with wissman call Capital for the Oven locking issue

As for the sugar test... I have never heard for that before but it would seem to me that less than 2% swing from back to front of the oven might not be that bad.... but i really don't know.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 1:40PM
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laranbrian

Thanks Trevor. I knew I'd see you here!

Here's a link to the test procedure. May be fun to try.

BTW I did mine on an insulated sheet on the center rack in the main oven. I did the 350F test 1st (passed- no melting) then the 375F test (fail- back 1/2 sheet melt. Convection seems to bypass problem but I'd like to run a test w/ convection only.

Here is a link that might be useful: sugar test

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 2:24PM
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stooxie

How does you food turn out in the oven? Doing academic tests like cooking sugar or cooking paper don't translate so much to your food.

How about baking a sheet of sugar cookies and see how they turn out? Weissman's suggestion is a good one, convection can help if you have it.

-Stooxie

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 2:34PM
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laranbrian

So far we've cooked only three things. My son's 1st birthday cake, some quesadillas, and roasted some beets. The quesadillas burned in an interesting way and the cake also burned a bit on the bottom. It was the consistent burning of things (except the beets!) that caused me to check the oven's consistency of temperature in the oven cavity.

It would be interesting to throw in a batch of sugar cookies and see if it translated into burned cookies in the back of the oven and good cookies in the front or if the difference is totally negligible.

Simple measures like using convection or even just turning the pans halfway thru would probably be enough to mitigate the temperature gradient.

Again, the temperature gradient from back to front is at least 8 degree F which, as Trevor pointed out, ain't much but it does make the difference between melting sugar and not melting sugar.

My main point of curiosity is if anyone else has tried this sugar-melting-temperature-test and what kind of results did they see.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 3:31AM
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plllog

It's a gas oven, right? They do tend to have hot spots. Your burning problem, however, might be an "I have a new oven" problem. If your oven is more accurate or less lossy than your old oven, you may have to adjust the temperature you cook at. Even more so when you're using the convection.

Unfortunately, the kinds of things that don't like convection, at least in theory, are the kinds of things that will show the effects of your failed sugar test most. Mostly egg things like custards, souffles, meringues, chiffons, popovers, and some softer breads like brioche, and soft cakes, especially ones that rise out of the pan like muffins. OTOH, I made choux paste puffs with convection so I could do multiple trays and they were dense enough to puff without getting blown or dried out.

Experiment. Try not to experiment when the family are claiming to be starving. :) You'll get the hang of it. The more you can use the convection for, the less you'll be turning pans. :)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 4:14AM
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Caddidaddy55

uneven oven temp, just out of curiosity, did you let your oven cycle on and off 3 times before the test as is recommended (not in the owners manual) I did have 2 large pans of wiener wraps in our CC side by side and they did get more done in the back, but I rotated them half way thru and they came out fine. I only let the oven cycle once though which for a pizza or something is just fine. Next time I will let the oven cycle 3 times and see what happens.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 8:34PM
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laranbrian

Plllog, your post makes me hungry! I think we just need to adjust to the new oven. I've never done the sugar test before on any oven, so i have no point of reference for results.

Cadd- we didn't let it cycle 3 times. That may help out. Another parameter to experiment with!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 10:13AM
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laranbrian

I repeated the "sugar test" with better results this time. It appears that the temperature gradient from front to back is pretty small, although it appears to be real.

This time I took the same pan I had before (1/2 sheet insulated jelly roll pan), lined it with foil, and sprinkled granulated sugar over the pan as evenly as I could.

I preheated the oven to 350F. It cycled at least two times, but I wasn't paying super close attention. I centered the pan on the middle rack and left it in for 15 mins. Results below:

None of the sugar melted (the melting point for table sugar is 367F). This tells me that when set to 350F no part of the pan made it to 367F for any appreciable amount of time. The sugar did get a little tosted (to be expected).

I then removed the pan and adjusted the oven to 375F. Again, it cycled at least two times when getting to to the 375F setting. The pan went in again in the same position for 15 minutes. The result is below.

All the sugar melted in the pan, with the sugar that was towards the back of the oven browning more than the sugar towards the front of the oven (the top of the pan in the photo), indicating warmer temps in the back as observed before.

What I have learned:

1) my ability to turn a knob to a set temperature in a reproducible fashion is questionable.
2) there is a temperature gradient in the oven cavity, albeit a small one (probably on the order of 8F or less when the oven is set to 375F in this case). The difference, although small, can be significant in certain cooking situations if other basic precautions aren't taken.
3) I am way too caught up in this and need to get on with my life! ;)

BTW the oven door lock issue has not repeated itself. Perhaps the mechanism was just a little sticky when the range was brand spankin' new.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 12:35PM
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weissman

just curious - did you use convection or not for this test?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 1:01PM
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laranbrian

Ah. Important point. No convection. I wish we could edit previous posts....

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 1:37PM
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weissman

Try running it with convection to see if the heat is more even - that's the real test.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 2:44PM
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plllog

Thanks for posting the whole deal. I frankly think there may also be an issue with the rippling of the foil. You might want to try it again with either a new foil pan with no wrinkles, or using parchment if it'll lie flat. You could also just put sugar in the pan. If any burns on too hard to dissolve when soaked, you can get it off with baking soda and boiling water.

I still think the variation you're getting isn't bad for a gas oven. :)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 3:57PM
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laranbrian

It's not bad at all. The 1st result I got was a little weird with the back half of the pan totally metled and the front half totally solid (meaning that the temperature differential straddled the melting point of sugar). The second run with the whole pan melting let me know that the variablility from bake session to bake session was greater than the temperature differences in the oven cavity. Somehow that made me feel better.

BTW the first time I did this- when only 1/2 the pan melted - I popped the sheet back in and turned on convection for a few minutes and all the sugar melted, deomonstrating that convection is able to overcome the temperature differential.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 4:56PM
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plllog

Yeah, I got that the new test was letting it cycle a couple of times. Makes sense, because that means that the whole oven will have had a chance to heat up, rather than just the area near the sensor. There are a lot of ovens that do that, and you'll see recipes that say to start the oven at a much higher temperature then lower it to make sure the oven is full hot. Some oven manuals say to wait for a certain period of time after the set temperature has been reached for the oven to be fully pre-heated, while others will read out that the temperature has been reached, but the pre-heat light stays on for that extra period so you'll know that it's not full hot yet.

I always appreciate science in action, so I've really loved following your experiments.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 6:24PM
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amcook

With regard to the oven lock... When that happened, could you have accidentally turned the knob the wrong way toward the self clean mode for a second before realizing it and turning it back. When we first got our Culinarian, my wife did that a few times. The best way to fix it was to turn it all the way to self clean and wait for the locking mechanism to fully engage. Then turn the oven off. What seemed to happen in my case was that a partial or very short turn to the self clean mode caused the locking latch to start engaging but was turned off before it was fully engaged and therefore didn't retract it. This worked every time it's happened to us and now that we've gotten use to the knob direction, we haven't had an unexplained lock since.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 9:30PM
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laranbrian

Let me preface this 2 year report with a disclaimer that I have not yet tried to have a technician out to evaluate the oven yet. Knowing this, read on.

Now that we've had this range for a couple years I can safely say I do not like the oven. Stuff burns on the bottom on a regular basis while the tops remain ghostly white, things burn around the edges of sheets and pans (extra bad bonus scorching when using convection), when running both the large and small ovens things next to the partition between the two ovens burn. Better results can be obtained by allowing to preheat for >30 mins, using empty cookie sheets on the bottom rack, fiddling with the temperature, and watching it like a hawk. I finally dropped a slab of soapstone on there, which pretty much entirely controlled the bottom burning problem.

On the other hand the range top is pretty good, with the exception of the tippy grates and the cooking-on-a-flaming-hubcap sensation that one has when using a smaller pot on the range top.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 12:00AM
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