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heliman 06-13-2010 09:55 PM

New Oven
Just been looking at getting a new electric oven and the Miele brand caught my eye. One model in particular was very appealing as it had a steam facility built into it - great, I thought, for making bread!

Anyone had any experience with an oven with that has this feature and if so, did it work quite well? Looking at paying over $1,000 more for that functionality so want to be sure it is worth it.

mako 06-14-2010 01:08 AM

Re: New Oven
I've never used an oven with an actual steam injector.

I did, however, buy a handheld steam cleaner (Haan HS-20) for ~$50 off ebay and a 16" round stainless bowl for ~$10 from Sam's Club (which I drilled a small hole in). Makes for a pretty great steam-injection rig (works just like the this, but is even cheaper).

I get consistently crisper, cracklier crusts, more consistent and impressive oven spring, and just more gorgeous loaves. I always felt really silly pouring hot water into a tray in the oven or spraying the walls -- I could never notice a significant difference. But a real steam injector does make a difference, without question.

There's a pretty big gulf between my low-rent solution and a high-end steam injection oven. I don't know if my experience points in one direction or the other: yes, steam injection is great for breadmaking; however, it can be done quite effectively without dropping nearly so much money. Of course, I can only do boules, not baguettes (until I find a differently shaped cover); I look pretty ridiculous aiming my steam cannon into the oven; I can't see what's going on inside that bowl. Cost no object, I'd definitely buy an oven with steam injection. But cost is an object, and my 30 year old oven's still getting by. :-)

texassourdough 06-14-2010 05:02 AM

Re: New Oven
Hi Rossco!

I checked this out about eight years ago and at that time none of the residential steam injection ovens had significant steam generation ability. That has probably changed would be good to get first hand experience before shelling out the money and finding that the steam generation is inadequate. (General rule seems to be the more the merrier - at least to a point.)

I will see what comments I can get/find on the Miele!


heliman 06-14-2010 06:08 AM

Re: New Oven
Thanks Jay... keen to hear what you come up with this product.

Not totally convinced that it is worth paying the extra money for...

texassourdough 06-14-2010 06:41 AM

Re: New Oven
David Snyder's steaming technique (from The Fresh Loaf) is pretty hard to beat. He puts a small cast iron skillet in the bottom of the oven below the stone and fills the skillet with lava rocks (as used in gas bbq's). He loads the bread and pours a cup or so of boiling water on the lava rocks and into the skillet and closes the door quickly - no spraying. This works really well in my experience and gives oven spring that is spectacular. The biggest issue is to be cautious and protect your oven glass for water can easily crack it. The other issues are you need to wear a long oven mitt to avoid steam scalds when you pour the water in, and DON'T put cold water in the cast iron, it has a high probability of cracking the cast iron skillet (though the lava rocks help a bit).

I checked some of my sources and scanned the web for new info on steam injection ovens. There was a lot of talk about steam ovens about 2-4 years ago and the fact that Miele, Kitchen Aid, and others were bringing out steam injection ovens but reviews, ratings and comments since seem to be nonexistent. I think that is troublesome. The early steam injection ovens relied on the oven to heat the steam generator (and that didn't work well). As I understand it the new generation has the steam generator powered separately. NOTE: steam generation is non trivial. You want a burst of steam - not a slow dribble - if possible. So the generator needs to get the water to above 212 so that it vaporizes when the pressure drops - this means a pressure vessel of some kind and quality that is beyond conventional manufacturing specs. I heard complaints about the early ovens. Nothing on the new ones so... (The advice I got originally was to go commercial (which means mega bucks) or use a pan - I chose the latter).

DrakeRemoray 06-14-2010 07:30 AM

Re: New Oven
No comment on the steam function, but I have the Miele ovens with the built in rotisserie, and I love them. They are heavy ovens so retain heat well, yet still heat up pretty quickly and seem to be consistent. And I love the rotisserie feature

heliman 06-14-2010 07:57 AM

Re: New Oven
I didn't see a rotiserie attachment but the model that I looked at today also had a probe which you stick into a piece of meat and it cooks it automatically according to your "doneness" requirements. It is also fully self cleaning...

texassourdough 06-14-2010 08:07 AM

Re: New Oven
Hi Drake!

Good to hear more good words on Miele. They seem well made. I think they were first to offer a steam injection oven - but whoever it was it was a wimp. I suspect the new one is pretty good but I wouldn't want to speculate at the price they are asking!


egalecki 06-14-2010 10:43 AM

Re: New Oven
I hate my ovens- I have an 8 year old Bosch double oven. It doesn't heat up quickly enough and the damn things vent air all the time (on purpose, I think) so if you put steam in, it doesn't stay.

Be sure whatever you get has a big enough element, that the elements and thermostats aren't impossible to change without pulling the whole thing out, and that they don't intentionally leak out the steam you're putting in!


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