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Can I ever get used to this *&#$@ gas oven?


SusanGiff
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Okay, so in July, we moved from a house with a nice little Thermador dual-fuel range to a bigger house with a massive Viking all-gas, double-oven, multi-burner range. In the process, I've gone from being a fairly proficient amateur home baker to a lousy one. As I write this, the smell of singed muffins fills the house. The recipe called for 400 degrees; after I preheated, it was at 425 on an oven thermometer, so I turned it down to 375, after which the temp dropped to 350. So I turned it up again. A little. And still the outside of the muffins burned.

In a word, I hate this thing. Oh, and also--can anyone explain to me why someone would spend upwards of 10K on a range that doesn't even have a self-cleaning oven???? (Perhaps there's a good reason.)

That's the rant. Since it would be mildly crazy to replace it (not that I haven't considered it), can someone please tell me how to bake well with a gas oven? Should I just bake as often as possible until I get used to it? Am I missing something, other than my dear old relatively humble Thermador?

Thanks for reading.

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The apartment I recently moved out of had an oven in it that was made about 3 days after Prometheus stole fire from the Gods. Needless to say, the thermostat and the temperature dial were in a constant state of conflict. It took me over a year to figure out proper knob settings and baking times.

Since you've already determined that the oven does not achieve temperature according to knob setting, it's time to have the thermostat and any door gaskets checked.

Theresa :biggrin:

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

- Abraham Lincoln

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One thing you might want to try is adding some thermal mass..

I know this sounds crazy, but when I bake I put some fire bricks in my oven, preheat, and let them get hot.. they take up the heat and then dole it out evenly.. it keeps my oven from cycling frequently..

Pizza stones work also.

Good luck,

Kevin

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Mydogbites2 is right about the thermal mass.

The oven in my old apartment was new -- I saw it installed -- but I'm sure it was the absolute cheapest oven available. Maintaining a steady temperature was impossible until I put in a HearthKit insert.

The difference was amazing. It takes longer for the oven to heat up, because the stone absorbs so much heat, but once it does the temperature is steady and even.

It does reduce the amount of usable space in your oven -- it's not an issue for me, but it might be for you. In that case I think a thick pizza stone or tiles would help do the same thing.

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I don't think it has anything to do with a gas oven. I have had two gas ovens in the last few years, one a very humble one and now a higher end up, and both perform baking duties well. I wonder if your oven needs to be re-calibrated? Or, there could be something wrong with it and you may need to get a Viking repair man in to look at it.

It always takes a bit to get used to a new oven, but if the temps are fluctuating enough to burn something as simple as muffins then it wouldn't hurt to get it checked out.

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I have two old commerical ovens whose thermostats are nearly impossible to use ... they are both set to be sort of 350F, depending on the wind, the humidity, the temperature indoors and out and how I hold my mouth when I turn them on. Mainly I use them for bread, (100+ loaves twice a week, 20 or so most other days) but we sometimes bake muffins in one of them, and pies. I use the system told to me by an old baker from the Prairies ... which was not to fiddle with the dial, but just deal with the oven the way it's heating on any particular day. I do have bricks on the floor of each, though, and that's probably why we get as good results as we do.

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I don't think it has anything to do with a gas oven. I have had two gas ovens in the last few years, one a very humble one and now a higher end up, and both perform baking duties well. I wonder if your oven needs to be re-calibrated? Or, there could be something wrong with it and you may need to get a Viking repair man in to look at it.

It always takes a bit to get used to a new oven, but if the temps are fluctuating enough to burn something as simple as muffins then it wouldn't hurt to get it checked out.

I concur.

Do have a repair person look at the oven; there is something wrong inside. I don't think a pizza stone will solve anything that you describe.

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I am not trying to dissuade anyone from properly maintaining their equipment..Please dont take it like that...

Could just be a fidgety oven and and inexperienced operator of said device.. And dont take that the wrong way either, I ment no cross words about anyones abilitys..

Lining my oven with fire brick has been a blessing for me.. they just reside in there now.. I used to take them in and out mess around with all that crap.. now they just stay there.. its like my own little ghetto brick oven. And if you run them through the cleaning cycle.. those bad boys will make some pizzas like you wouldnt beleive.. I swear that the dang oven is still 700 F after the latch unlocks.. I am cutting the latch off of mine after the warranty expires.. mmm pizza

Good luck,

Kevin

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