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afrank

Does anyone know of a toaster-oven that can maintain accurate temperature?

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Hi.

 

Does anyone happen to know how of a relatively small oven-type device, like the size of a large toaster-oven or even smaller, that can maintain accurate temperatures?

 

I’m looking to heat at a relatively stable temperature around 230-240F.

 

I would use my oven, but it’s too inaccurate and the temperature range is all over the place.

 

I actually experimented using a couple of thermometers. I set my oven to 220F and started keeping track of the temperature after about 15 minutes. The actual reading was from a low of around 225F to a high temperature of 255F. I should note that I have a super cheap oven and I kind of assume a higher-end unit would be able to maintain a temperature more accurately.

 

I would replace my oven, but I can’t. I’m living in a rental and the oven came with the apartment. So I’m looking for a device that is relatively small, that I can stow away easily when I don’t need it.

 

Thanks!

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Will be interested to see if anyone has checked the calibration on their CSO. I have not.

 

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"Accurate" may not be the total temperature control personality of a cooking appliance.

 

You probably would also need to know the temperature control range.

 

For instance, your oven may be very accurate to keep temperature from 200F to 250F.

 

dcarch

 

 

 

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I have checked my Breville Smart Oven in the past .

 

The 300F setting gets you swings from 275 to 325.

 

The heating element doesn't have  variable settings. Its either on or off.  The set temp is reached by  "on" cycles followed by  "off "cycles.

 

If you want a set stable temp, an immersion circulator would be the thing.

 

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If I wanted the type of accuracy you're talking about—I would buy an old analog toaster-oven, drill a hole in the back, install a temperature sensor and connect it to a PID.


Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
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Hi, thanks for the quick replies!

@dcarch - you're right. I guess both are important for me in this case. My question is more about temp control range. I want to be able to keep the temps within a smaller range compared to what I get from my cheapo oven. However, if it's inaccurate — and assuming I can't measure, figure out the offset and adjust manually as needed — that would not be good for me either.

@gfweb - yeah, that's what I'm trying to avoid — those binary full blast/off solutions. Immersion calculator sounds interesting! I've never used one. What liquid would you use to heat something up to around 230-240F (given that in water I assume it won't go higher than 212F)?

@DiggingDogFarm - I like that idea! I did a quick search on Amazon and found some PID controllers that come with a cable and heat sensor for less than $40. The only problem is that I couldn't find one that can handle heat as high as 240F. They all seem to max out at around 200F more or less. Do you happen to know of a recommended reseller of a device that can go higher than 240F and with a sensor that can survive that heat?

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11 minutes ago, afrank said:

The only problem is that I couldn't find one that can handle heat as high as 240F.

 

You can find PIDs which can take over 1000F. Try ebay also.

 

dcarch

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PID is a great idea.

 

The Breville/polyscience Control Freak ought to be able to heat oil to that temp and keep it stable. There are those on eG who have them and could perhaps test it

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7 minutes ago, dcarch said:

Try ebay also.

Was just going to write that I stumbled onto this:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/301222493616

Still trying to figure out if all that assembly is not over my head.

I'll keep looking...

 

2 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

The Anova Precision Oven!

I actually did find that on Google before posting here, but it seems like a product that has been discontinued or something. All I could find is Anova cookers, which are their immersion cookers.

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 Perhaps if you told is why you need such accuracy in an oven we might be better equipped to help you out.

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It's almost a standing joke here.  The release date of the Anova Precision Oven keeps getting pushed back.  Though there are several people on eGullet who are interested to see what they can do.

 

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35 minutes ago, afrank said:

yeah, that's what I'm trying to avoid — those binary full blast/off solutions. Immersion calculator sounds interesting! I've never used one. What liquid would you use to heat something up to around 230-240F (given that in water I assume it won't go higher than 212F)?

 

I'm sure if I am saying this wrong, someone here will correct me. 

 

A traditional oven is heated to 350F or 400F or whatever to get the food to an internal temperature of 140F or 150F or similar because air is not a great heat conductor and you have to overshoot the temp to get your food to cook. An immersion circulator heats the water to 140F instead and the food cooks in the water bath, which is a better heat conductor. 

 

So if you use an immersion circulator (Anova, Joule, etc), you don't need to have a temp similar to an oven, you only need a temperature similar to the desired end food temp. And they are pretty good at maintaining a set temperature. 

 

Are you sure that you need to heat something to 230-240F or are you trying to maintain an oven temperature such that a food will cook to the acceptable range, which will be quite a bit lower than your oven temperature? 

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I just checked the Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro.

I set it at 220°, on "Bake", with convection.

I let it run for about 20 minutes so the temperature could stabilize.

I then checked the temperature every 5 minutes for an hour.

Here's what I got:

7:05 232°

7:10 235°

7:15 230°

7:20 231°

7:25 233°

7:30 238°

7:35 230°

7:40 232°

7:45 237°

7:50 232°

7:55 236°

8:00 231°

8:05 234°

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8 minutes ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

I just checked the Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro.

I set it at 220°, on "Bake", with convection.

I let it run for about 20 minutes so the temperature could stabilize.

I then checked the temperature every 5 minutes for an hour.

Here's what I got:

7:05 232°

7:10 235°

7:15 230°

7:20 231°

7:25 233°

7:30 238°

7:35 230°

7:40 232°

7:45 237°

7:50 232°

7:55 236°

8:00 231°

8:05 234°

 

Breville has gotten tighter since I did my test on the old 1st gen unit.

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36 minutes ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

I just checked the Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro.

I set it at 220°, on "Bake", with convection.

I let it run for about 20 minutes so the temperature could stabilize.

I then checked the temperature every 5 minutes for an hour.

Here's what I got:

7:05 232°

7:10 235°

7:15 230°

7:20 231°

7:25 233°

7:30 238°

7:35 230°

7:40 232°

7:45 237°

7:50 232°

7:55 236°

8:00 231°

8:05 234°

 

Thanks for taking the time to test out your Breville! That's actually pretty good! I see it has good reviews, though there are several complaints about a thermal fuse going out after about 18 months or so (warranty is 1 year). Just curious how long you've owned yours.

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35 minutes ago, afrank said:

Just curious how long you've owned yours.

 

Since ~August 1st.

It's our only oven.

We use it multiple times per day.

FWIW, I got an extended warranty.

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I had a first generation oven that lasted 3 yrs. with 3 times a day use.  It just died. Wasn’t the fuse. 

 

my second  Breville  seems better built and sturdier. Love the thing. 

 

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If it is decarboxylation you are after - sous vide 95º C (203º F) for 1 hour. 

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19 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

If it is decarboxylation you are after - sous vide 95º C (203º F) for 1 hour. 

 

:)

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39 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

If it is decarboxylation you are after - sous vide 95º C (203º F) for 1 hour. 

 

OH, just figured this out.   🙂

 

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1 hour ago, Kerry Beal said:

If it is decarboxylation you are after - sous vide 95º C (203º F) for 1 hour

Nice catch!

Full disclosure: I'm experimenting with edibles and testing a few different theories regarding decarboxylation, which is why we would want to minimize the temperature range. Also curious if different temperatures have any effect when during the baking itself (if baked edibles).

I'm new here and wasn't sure what the reactions would be 😀

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26 minutes ago, afrank said:

Nice catch!

Full disclosure: I'm experimenting with edibles and testing a few different theories regarding decarboxylation, which is why we would want to minimize the temperature range. Also curious if different temperatures have any effect when during the baking itself (if baked edibles).

I'm new here and wasn't sure what the reactions would be 😀

Baked in things decarboxylation appears to be inconsistent, baking in a 350º oven doesn't mean the thing being cooked reaches 350º - so the suggestion seems to be to decarboxylate first before putting your edible together. 

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1 hour ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

 

:)

 Yes I had my suspicions!

 

 

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Didn't mean to be sneaky about it : )

I've just read and heard so many different "tested and proved" theories, each with convincing arguments, graphs charts and formulas... I've decided to test for myself.

My kitchen is far from being a science lab, nevertheless would like to try and be as accurate as I can.

So for steady heating solutions I thought the best place to ask would be a forum like this one.

I'm currently trying to decide between three suggestions that were brought up here:

  1. modified toaster oven with PID controller and thermocouple temperature probe
    still need to research this a bit more and figure out what equipment to purchase. I'm also not so sure a toaster oven heating elements would be best for this type of experimenting
  2. sous vide / immersion circulator
    Most likely would keep the most stable temperature of the three options, but I have no experience working with these and still researching how easily I would be able to use liquids other than water, in order to be able to reach temperatures of at least 240F
  3. Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro
    probably the most ready out-of-the-box and easy to work with, but also the more expensive option. Assuming the temperature stability is as @DiggingDogFarm describes, this might ultimately be the way I go

I genuinely appreciate all of your help. If you have any further suggestions, I'd be happy to hear them.

 

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