If you think I just open up a bakery store to supply all my yummy desserts, well, I hate to disappoint you. Unless it pays more than $30 an hour, I don’t have to work more than 45 hours a week, dealing with labor issue, and extremely difficult health department, there is no way I would quit my day job and make a career change!
So what are we talking about here? Hmm……. let’s look at how I have been making attempt to bake small treat in the past, a counter top toaster/pizza oven:
The counter top oven is a good size for pie, 9″ sponge/chiffon cake, which is what I bake very often. However, the oven has a few flaw that I can no longer tolerate, nor want to take the chance with. The counter top oven has many features, from broiling, convection bake to rotisserie, yes, you can do rotisserie chicken in this thing. However, if you look at the side, you would notice a big problem.
The oven door is not completely sealed! I’m not talking about a small gap of a toothpick, but a few millimeter that run almost from top to bottom. Since heat get lost from this gap, it takes forever for the oven to preheat. Once it’s preheated and start cooking, the whole kitchen heat up like a sauna room, reminded me of my sister’s kitchen back in Malaysia when she bake. Also, if you cook roast duck or pork, the smell of the grease could be overwhelming since the whole kitchen would smell like pork fat and duck grease!
The counter top oven has its design flaw, it’s good for toasting and broiling, just not good for dessert baking, well, not my style of baking anyway. Looking into the interior of the counter top oven, you would see heating element tube on top and bottom of the oven:
The bottom heating element is very close to the bottom rack, having the baking rack in the middle position, it’s still only a few short inches away from the bottom heating tube. So, imagine you want to bake a pie, you put in the middle rack of the oven so the bottom do not get burn, but guess what? The upper heating tube is also a few inches away from the top crust of the pie! If you want to bake cookies, you can only bake one tray at a time using the middle rack.
Don’t get me wrong, the counter top oven is good for making savory dish like roast pork, air fry chicken, hot pocket or anything that you like to air fry or would splatter. It’s one of the reason I consider it to begin with as I don’t want to spend time to clean the big oven that built into the cook top. With a counter top oven, if it get dirty to the point of beyond cleaning, I would just toss it away and get a new one, and it only cost me about $90!
When come to baking dessert, which is what I enjoy the most and do it quite frequently, it’s time to get serious. So, a few days of research online, product demo in YouTube, and price comparison, the next thing you knew is, I had my order in, and within two weeks, the UPS guy drop a big box in my front step. I carried that big box into my kitchen, but it seems to be too big to put on the kitchen island. It’s not heavy, just bulky so if I put it on the kitchen island, I wouldn’t be able to retrieve what’s inside of the box:
When the big box is cut open, I’m really impressed by the packaging, it’s so well cushion, the smaller box inside has no sign of crush or dent.
Well, the box inside is the real deal:
I was already excited to see the box is in good shape, when I saw the label, I’m even more excited, it’s made in Italy!!!!! Not those crappy quality Made in China stuff!
My OCD kicks in, and I refuse to tear the box apart, so I took my time to get the new gadget out of the box, ta-da! A commercial oven!!!!
The oven is very easy to operate, just two dial, the one on the left for timer, the one on the right for temperature setting. There is also a light indicate if the heating element is on or off.
Once I peel off the sticker protective layer, the true beauty reveal, a shinny tough mean looking oven that can take on any commercial all day baking and abuse kind of job:
When you open the oven door, guess what, a gasket around the baking chamber! This will ensure heat insulation and efficient.
If you peek inside the baking chamber, there is no heating element!!!! Everything inside is high grade stainless steel for ease of cleaning. So where is the heat come from? Well, the heating element is actually hide in front of the convection fan. When the oven heat up, the fan blow heated air into the chamber to create an even cooking throughout the whole chamber, so it doesn’t matter if the cookie is on the top or the bottom rack, they will cook evenly.
The back of the oven is very simple, just standard household plug, and a chimney looking vent at the corner for moisture to escape, that mean I can push it against the wall quite close if I want to.
One of the impressive part is the oven door, it’s not only heavy and study, but it’s double glass such that the second panel will always cool to the touch, I think they call it double insulated door.
The oven is design for quarter size sheet pan and tray kind of baking. With the cooking chamber measuring at about 9″x14″x12″ (H x W x D), it’s really perfect for a pie, a 9″ sponge cake and perhaps two 9″ layer cake. I don’t bake cookie much, but I’m sure it will do an excellent job since it’s convection oven. I wish I have room and money for a bigger commercial oven since most of my baking sheets are half-size standard. But the bigger oven cost almost 2 times more, so I decided to go with this and use my full size oven if I need to use half-size baking tray for big scale cooking.
The full size oven built into my cooking range is 4.4 cubic ft, if you want to bake a pie in it, yes, it’s more than adequate, but it’s also a waste since it take longer time to preheat, and no reason to heat up a big space just for a small item. This little tough box? It’s only 0.8 cubic ft. Now, since it’s a commercial oven, the fan could get very loud, but you get use to it, and when the bake goods come out from it, you’d forget about all the short coming of the commercial oven.
I’m telling you, once you’ve gone commercial equipment, it makes you wonder why household item cost so much, perform badly and can’t take the abuse! If I can do it all over around my house, I want to have a commercial fridge/freezer, commercial ice cream machine, commercial stove……and the list go on.