Older Gaggenau Steam Oven

ontariomomAugust 24, 2011

Hi all,

I am considering buying a slightly used Gaggenau Steam Oven model number ED231-610 . It was made in 2007. I am trying to determine how many features I would not have with this oven versus a new Gaggenau Combi-steam. I called an appliance store, and they said this older model does not have convection cooking -- or at least not as fast cooking in comparison to the newer models. Of course, he was trying to sell me a newer combi-steam oven.

Does anyone have this 2007 steam oven? Is so, are you happy with it? Does it do convection cooking? Does it offer any speed cooking? What, if any, features does this older model steam oven lack compared to the newer combi-steam oven?



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I found this as a description of this model: http://www.universal-akb.com/ed231610.html

I would have to print out the current features of the newest model to see what has changed although at first glance it looks very similar. I would be more concerned with the ability to service and get parts for it - you could call Gaggenau and see if there are any issues with this aspect.

Is there any kind of warranty with the oven.. Gaggenau offers a 5yr warranty on their products but I don`t think they had this offer in 2007. Service calls and parts could get costly if needed.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 12:44PM
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I asked this question a while back, and was told that changes in features/capability were minor and unimportant -- I have no personal knowledge of that.

p111og has that model I think (maybe the ED221, which is identical except for the width of the door, interior is the same), but maybe has the newer one. I just bought a floor model, unused, never connected of the ED220-630. I found after checking the serial number with Gaggenau that it was manufactured in 2001 -- not sure I would have bought it had I known that, but it fired up just fine.

I've seen new ones (ED22x) getting cleared out lately for $2k or less with warranty . If you are getting the slightly used one for significantly less, I would go for it. Just be sure that it comes with all the standard items, since they add up to about $500+ :
rack, pan, perforated pan, inlet hose, drain hose, power cord.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 1:54PM
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The older model does have convection -- that is the way it works.

Regarding speed cooking, I don't know of any combi-steam oven that has what is generally regarded as speed cooking. i.e. microwave + conventional heat at the same time. Steam will cook a bit faster than dry at the same temperature, but not so much in these unpressurized ovens.

BTW, the ED221-xxx vs ED220-xxx is just the direction the door opens, left or right.

The ED230-xxx and ED220-xxx have the same instruction manual.

The -630 vs -610 is aluminum vs stainless front trim.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 2:10PM
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Thanks Muskokascp and attofarad for your helpful insights. I will check into warranty and be sure the unit comes with all the standard accessories. Also, I will print off the specs on the new one to compare to the link you kindly found Muskokascp. I am glad to hear this older model offers similar features to a new one. I wonder why the old one is called steam oven and the newer one is called combi-steam? Perhaps rebranding of a similar product.

Plllog may I ask what Gaggenau combi-steam oven do you own? I have read your favourable reviews on Gaggenau ovens.

Thanks for your help.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 3:02PM
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Maybe they now emphasize the "combi" since Miele also markets a steam oven in the U.S., which is only steam.

One other standard accessory that should be there:

temperature probe.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 3:14PM
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Mine is BS281-610 30" combi-steam oven, and as far as I know the current model with the stainless under glass door. There's a bottom central large display with two round knobs and some touch keys on the sides. This lines up with the similar control panel on the large single convection oven. I've never seen the "ED" model designation. Is that the older model?

There is a discontinued version with aluminum under glass for the door, but that didn't sell well, I think, probably because it's very blue looking and clashes something fierce with stainless (as in your cooktop), even though it looked great on its own. Some people got great bargains on these when they went out. This model also comes in 24", the only difference being the size of the housing. The cavity is the same for either. There is also a 30" version that have a tank rather than plumbing.

The previous version has a stainless door with a window and lever shaped knobs on an angled panel, with a very small display. I don't know of any appreciable differences other than appearance and maybe some (unnecessary) computer functions, but there may be some inner workings differences I'm unaware of. The big difference is that this one came in 27" and, I think, 24", rather than 30" (I'm pretty sure it didn't come in a 30" as well).

Perhaps Attofarad was thinking of Gizmonike? She has the older version, but hasn't been on much recently.

I agree that emphasizing the "combi" may be a way of making sure people remember that it's a fully functional convection oven. The Miele is steam oven only (though they're supposed to have a combi- in Germany), the KA is steam assist (i.e., shot of full steam into regular oven), the Sharp is a microwave with steam. The Sharp may be the closest thing to a combination between speed and steam, but other than one guy, who, I think, sells them (and uses one), there hasn't been a lot of talk about it. We've also heard very little about the Thermador, which is pretty new. It has fewer settings, no steam level adjustment, and seems to be tank only, but it is a combi-steam that also does convection only like its fancier cousin. It also has "easy cook", which is preprogrammed settings a la Miele.

The Gaggenau combi- works great as just an oven (though it's convection only). The main knock against using it for some things is that it's a total pain to clean when things get messy.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 3:32AM
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I'm surprised it's that hard to clean. One oven, I forgot which brand , actually used steam to clean it, instead of "Intense heat". As I recall the poster said it clean pretty well, but that was quite a while ago.
Oh Well, since you dont have the Miele ovens to "Keep Arms in Shape", "scrubbing the Gag" should do the Job!!!


    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 9:43AM
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Gary, it depends on in what way it needs cleaning. There's a steam cleaning cycle that will loosen up baked on gunk and assist in cleaning, but there are a lot of crevices and finicky little areas which could be kind of awful if you had a tomato explode all over it. Plus, because of the stainless interior you should be getting all that tomato up right away before it makes permanent spots and starts the road to corrosion. Which means heavy cleaning after all the cooking, rather than a wipe up an a promise for cleaning day.

I noticed that in the Thermador manual it actually says to use a solid pan underneath a perforated one to catch gunk. I don't do that for steaming vegetables, but I learned to do it for anything drippy after a casserole pot bubbled oven on the wire rack. Cleaning the goo from the crevice around the drain was a very tedious and annoying task. This really applies to the convection oven usages, rather than the steaming ones. That's where things pop, spatter, drip and explode. :)

OTOH, I think after many years on GW I probably have a different idea of what constitutes clean than many. I tend to think spotless and disinfected. A lot of people are happy with clean enough.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 2:07PM
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Thanks everyone for all your help!

Plllog, I really appreciate all the background info you shared on the different Gaggenau combi-steam ovens. I took the plunge and bought the steam oven. I won't get to try it for several months until the addition and then kitchen are done. I can't wait to use it.


    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 10:29PM
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A bit of history about the 'Combi Oven':

Modernist Cuisine covers the history, physics, and real-world testing of steam-convection cooking in their massive tome (though they tested the far more expensive commercial version rather than the 'cheaper' home Gaggenau).

The term was coined by Rational AG in Germany for their newly invented combination convection and steam oven made for industry, not home, in 1976. They called it the 'combi oven' because it combined convection with steam (as plllog supposed).

The Rational oven (still the biggest brand of combi oven in the commercial cooking industry) allows you to set a variable level of a steam rather than the few preset levels of the Gaggenau.

From a physics point of view this gives you more control over the wet bulb temperature in addition to the dry bulb temperature of cooking. With humid air, water condensing on the food heats it much faster than dry air -- this is the opposite effect you experience when water evaporates off of you, cooling you. This also inhibits evaporation of water from the food while it cooks, keeping it moister.

Gaggenau was (as far as I know) the first to introduce a 'Combi Oven' to the home market (they didn't coin the term, they just used the term already in use in the commercial industry, so it is an accurate name for this type of oven).

I had some concern before I started reading Modernist Cuisine as to how limiting the preset levels of steam would be in the Gaggenau version of the combi oven. I turns out to be not much at all. Relative humidity in your air in general limits the effective range, anyway. If it is extremely humid, and relative humidity is near 100%, you can't lower it with a combi oven -- it can only add steam, it can't remove water from the air. If your food is wet and adds humidity, then venting can help some.

Lots of gory physics data on combi ovens (and the related CVap steam oven) if you can get your hands on the book (a few libraries have bought and keep a copy in reference as well as one in circulation -- though some waitlists are now a year long).

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 12:00AM
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Hi Zartemis! Thanks for the book suggestion. I will try to get it through inter-library loan.

To all experienced Gagg Combi-steam users

Are there any good receipe books that I can get to help learn to maximize the use of this combi-steam oven? Secondly, is it possible to only have this one oven in my kitchen? Do I really need a second wall oven. Finally (I apologize if this is stupid question), but what adjustments, do I need to make to cooking/baking times when using the convection cooking mode of this Gagg combi in comparison to cooking with a standard oven (non-convection). I have only ever cooked using an electric standard oven so the world of convection is also new to me.

Thanks for your help.


    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 6:11PM
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OntarioMom: Alas, I doubt it's the kind of book you can get through loan right now (wait a few years) -- this is a $400 to $600 dollar set and very few libraries have it (which is why the waitlists for loan go out for years!). And it's really only useful if you are the very geeky type. It's not a practical cookbook-type reference for most people. And its HUGE. The photos are gorgeous. It's an odd thing: a coffee-table style book with differential equations and recipes requiring a centrifuge or rotary evaporator. It's basically a set of textbooks (at textbook prices -- and actually cheaper per pound than most textbooks) but with high end paper, inks, and the latest stochastic color photography printing, none of which are used for real textbooks).

If you happen to be lucky enough near a library that has it in reference, there are maybe a dozen pages on the physics of steam cooking in Volume 2. Only a few recipes appropriate for the combi oven, of which only one or two, if that, will interest non-food-geeks.

More about the book, and many videos, including a TED Talk, naturally.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 7:37PM
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Zartemis, it sounds like an interesting read, but I'm sure I don't have the patience. :)

Carol, I haven't looked at it for awhile, but the Purcell-Murry (BSH distributor in California) website has recipes and how-tos and stuff. They do demonstrations and classes too, but I don't think they have videos of those online.

I find the clue wheel particularly helpful. If your oven doesn't come with it you might try getting one. Also, if you look through the recent threads on the subject, there was one where someone posted a link to a Gaggenau cookbook that's online in a PDF. I haven't had a chance to look at it yet, but if it's the one that was called the "Spa Cookbook" someone else said that a good portion of that one was devoted to the combi-.

Even if you don't have these resources, the overview in the manual has enough information to get started with. After awhile you get a feel for it and, like in other cooking, you can sort of figure out how much steam, time and temperature will work for something that isn't exactly like something else.

I keep running out of time to bake bread that no one is going to eat, but for years I've been reading about making artisan breads and I've gone so far as to buy a small baking stone that fits in the combi- so I can take advantage of the plumbed steam. I'm scared of making a new bread recipe in it, though, because if it explodes I don't want to clean it up!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 8:28PM
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At plllog's suggestion I emailed Larissa at the Purcell Murray web site, and got the "clue wheel" two days later, yea!

If you go to youtube.com and search for Gaggenau steam, you will find a few helpful videos.

Here is that Gaggenau cookbook link again.

Here is a link that might be useful: First ~70 pages are combi-steam

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 10:45PM
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attofarad, plllog and zartemis,

Thank you for your receipe suggestions, online tips and books. I get hungry just thinking about using this oven.

Is it possible for this to be my only oven? What would I not be able to do with this oven? The one I am getting is a 27" exterior (1.48 cubic feet) so a little smaller than the 1.7 cubic feet that corresponds to the new combi-steam oven available.



    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 9:27AM
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Actually, I think the cavity is the same size. There's no difference between the 30" new one and the 24" one except trim, and the optional water tank instead of plumbing. I doubt the 27" has a different sized cavity from current by more than a centimeter or two, and is probably exactly the same.

The opening of mine is just about 18" deep, 12" (usable) across, and 8" (usable) high. I can fit my graniteware roaster, barely, or my large (17") Pyrex baking dish. I don't know what the side racks are like on your model. Mine are C shaped pieces of stainless which are attached to the oven walls and the location of most of the hard to clean crevices. The others are around the drain, which is in the center bottom. Again, I don't know if yours is the same, but I doubt it's too different.

You can make anything for a small, nuclear family in this oven that you can cook on convection. That's hot air only--no other heat source. Most things you bake should do fine. Maybe not a souffle, but even then you can cheat and use baking powder and salt to give it rigidity. The convection in the small oven seems a lot gentler than the big fan convection in the big oven--I assume because it doesn't have to be stronger for a small space. I'd be less worried about delicate baked goods here. Plus, add 30% steam and the weight of the air might (speculation here) counteract some of the ill effects of the blowing.

A butterflied (spatchcocked) chicken will fit in one of the pans. A vertical chicken will not fit, and you wouldn't want to clean up even if it did because of the spatter. Similarly, you could fit a small turkey (I've never cooked one under 22 lbs. so most of them seem small to me...), but, again, because of the spatter, I'd use a roaster or one of those covered clay turkey pots that are supposed to be so good (they don't come in 25 lb. size!).

I often cook for mobs. One can't invite A without B, C, D, E, F, and all of G's kids. The combi-steam is my smallest oven. Probably a similar size to some people's counter top "toaster" ovens (way bigger than real toasters). I usually have the main in the big oven (Gagg 30" single), the made ahead sides in the Advantium on convection, and the alternative main in the combi-.

People rave about using the combi- for breads, and, as I said, I intend to try it, but my standard batch of challah is three loaves and they just barely fit in my mother's 27" Gagg single. They're a little more comfortable in mine. They don't like convection at all, but even if they did, I could only fit one in the combi- at a time, which means a smaller batch (hard to accomplish) or retarding the rise. This is also a recipe which can flow over if the yeast is too active, and a potential for getting into those danged crevices.

The cavity size is that kind of European oven that is lovingly (not) known as Easy Bake. You really can cook anything that you can feed to the number of people who fit in a tiny European apartment in it. Like four or five. And you can bake in small quantities. Not necessarily room mother amounts of cookies, but you can even do that if you have patience and time. If you're not bothered by the crevices you can cook just about everything that fits, though there's no broiler. Oh, and you can't reach in and turn things or stir them or, probably, baste. Opening up isn't good because you let the steam out, but there's no room inside for hands, so you'd have to take things out to tend to them. I generally only use mine for stuff that can stay in without attention.

In a suburban home, you really should have (or have room for an easy retrofit) a larger oven. For a tight little bijou flat with two chairs and a sofa, it's plenty.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 4:58PM
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Wow plllog,

Thanks for all the insights and details in your response. I can see from your helpful description that I will need more than this one oven. I will find another regular wall oven, and hopefully that will do the trick for the 6 of us on a daily basis and some entertaining.

I really appreciate everyone's help. You guys are so knowledgeble.


    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 9:42PM
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We purchased floor model of the ED220 (we think manufactured in 2004) but don't have the wiring schematic. Our electrician wants to know if the 15 amps shown on the front of the unit is correct. In the manual, it states 16 amps. Can anyone who has the ED 220 installed let me know if you have 220V or 240V and what amps? Thanks so much.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2011 at 1:46PM
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jomikey --

I would go by what is on the unit.

Is this new wiring? If so, I would pull wires to handle higher current, in case you ever want to put something else in the hole that takes more power, and put in a 15A breaker. It never hurts (other than your bank account) to have larger wires than required, and some alternate 24" ovens/steam ovens/speed ovens take 20A to 40A. Even if the wires handle 40A, the breaker should still be the one appropriate for the installed appliance (15A in this case).

    Bookmark   November 30, 2011 at 9:08PM
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Attofarad, I went to the Purcell Murray website and could not find any contact information for Larissa. Can you send me an email via my gardenweb ino page about how to contact her for the wheel? Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2011 at 10:25PM
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