OK, so what oven do you guys use?
I can't afford to buy one of those big boy $5000 commercial ovens, and I'm opening a small bakery - so I wanted to see what people who have home bakeries use.
Is there an oversized oven that I could use? What about two standard size ovens? For now I'm doing maybe 2 cakes a weekend, but business is starting to pick up.
So what does everyone use??
I have a home based shop. I use two electric. I did get the largest size that was available at the time for about 400.00 each. ( I waited for the good sale) I think they work great and could not imajine working with less than two.
what kind of appliances will your health dept approve? Some states permit household appliances .... others require the stainless steel commercial $5,000 models.
No less than double oven capacity.
As far as the $5000 oven goes- check for a restaurant supply store near you. They almost always have used equipment to sell. That's where I got my oven and it definitely wasn't $5000, but it's a Blodgett convection oven, just like I've used in school.
That being said, you will be able to find coolers, sinks, etc there as well. I'm not sure where you live, but you can check ebay as well- just make sure you factor in shipping costs. You can always search by area so you could go pick it up as well.
And check out www.auctionzip.com and see if there's a restaurant auction coming up near you. That's where I got my tables!
You don't NEED to spend $5000 on an oven, and can get a $5000 for much left if you do your research!!!
Jodiey, check out www.deluxeovens.com , click on full size sheet pan ovens, then see the different models & click on "to see complete listings".
I have a Deluxe electric convect-a-ray CR2-3 in my shop. I can bake several wedding cakes at a time.
Deluxe ovens are designed just for cake bakers. They make ovens for different applications. The fan blows gently and the cakes come out perfect. I've had it for 6 years and I love it. I can bake 6 12X18 cakes at a time to give you an idea of the size. If I did buy one again, I would get the 4 shelf. Call them to get the price. I do 3 or 4 wedding cakes a week. CindiM
CindiM - do you recommend these ovens over a convestion oven? I am opening a bakery and am trying to decide on the equipment I want and I am nervous about baking in a different oven than I have at home and have been baking on for 2 years now and eveyone loves how the cakes come out. I would die if the cakes started coming out dry and tasteless because mt business has been built on great tasting cakes that are moist. I would love some more oven advice from anyone else out there too!
divaricks, hello!!! The deluxe oven is a "convect-a-ray" oven. It is convection, but designed to be gentle for cake baking. If you call deluxe, www.deluxeovens.com , they can tell you how many of the top "cake bakers" use deluxe. I didn't even have to get an expensive exhaust system as my building inspectors said this oven doesn't need it.
My cakes are real moist too!!!!! Bride's roll their eyes, when I do bridal shows, and they say, "Do you know how good this is?" I say, "Ah, yes, yes, I do." CindiM
Definately check auctionzip for auctions in your area. I got a 1/2 size electric blodgett oven for $5.00 and a 1/2 size gas one at another auction for $50.00. Also pans racks and other things. Plastic storage containers that are about $60.00 new for $4.00 each......I missed a kopycake machine it went for $25.00.
Worth checking into.
If you call deluxe, www.deluxeovens.com , they can tell you how many of the top "cake bakers" use deluxe. CindiM
Did they tell you which "top" cake bakers use the deluxe ovens? I know Ron Ben doesn't use one he has vulcan ovens in his shop. I was think about buying a deluxe but put it on hold after I found out the shelves aren't movable.
Also, if you get a commercial oven it has to be hard wired. It doesn't just plug into a normal 220. I bought a home range and so far I love it. I turned out 25 layers last week. This was 2 three tiered wedding cakes, a grooms cake and several birthday cakes. I know I will eventally need a commercial oven or at least 2 ranges but my space is limited and I don't want to put up an expensive hood system.
CindiM - Thanks for all the good info - I will definitely call deluxe on Monday and talk to them about all this - I definitely want something gentle for cakes as that is what I do! Also, I will check the auctions for other inexpensive things. We are hopeful to be open and up and running at our new commercial location by Fedbruary! Wish us luck and any other advice coming through this forum about this is greatly appreciated!
Sugarlove, Yes, I toured the factory in Florida ( easy for me, I live here ) and the vice president of deluxe showed me letters from cake people that I heard of from American Cake Decorating magazine. And you are right, Ron Ben Israel can get any oven he wants. (Side note- I am taking Ron's class in Northridge, CA, in January at Cal-Java International!)
The shelves don't need to move for just regular cake baking 2 to 4 inch tall pans. The only thing that goes in my oven is just cake. I just wanted the best product for the money.
Southernbelle, my deluxe oven is not hard wired and it doesn't need a hood. I baked 60 layers on Wednesday in a couple of hours. I am sure most people love their ovens and what ever works for them.
Good luck to divaricks!!! CindiM
CindiM - As you do, I am also only putting cake and cupcakes and cookies in there - nothing else so I want the best oven for the money and I am really impressed by all you have said so I am definitely calling them tomorrow and talking to them about all this! I am so excited and I was also impressed you did 60 layers in a few hours? How did you manage that?
divaricks, I only bake once a week on Wednesdays. I warm up my oven for 30 minutes and my assistant gets all of my pans ready to go before the timer goes off. I have commercial mixers at my shop and I get a big batch of batter ready, a batch at a time. I load the oven until it is full, then I keep feeding more cakes in to the oven as I pull finished cakes out on to stainless steel tables to cool like most people do. My oven is the size of 3 full sheet pans. I know people with really big ovens are laughing. I mainly bake wedding cakes, like 6/8/12 or 6/8/10/14. Rarely do I bake a cake larger than a 14. I am in a small SW Florida harbor town, resort type area near the Gulf of Mexico, so I get the destination weddings, at the beach and out on the islands. Yes, I get to take cakes out by boat to private islands! Someone has to do it! I do bake 12x18 sheets for bridal shows. My normal load is about 30 layers a week. I've had some giant weddings lately, like 500 guest & up. I am just a small 2 person custom shop and we try to just work part-time. I am only open by appointment and I stay booked up.
Sorry to be so gabby, I love what I do, Cindim
You are so inspiring to me - I am also a 2 person shop and like I said we are getting ready to open up our commercial space. I am a stay at home mom currently and the location we are opening is about 1.5 miles from home and about .25 miles away from my daughter's preschool. I already do a lot of business and have maxed out my house capacity, hence it is time for an upgrade and this oven thread has definitely helped me decide what I want. Thanks for everything and I will keep you updated on the progress...
I'm getting a Deluxe soon and I can't wait for it! That will be a happy day!!!!
Congrats peacockplace, Wow!!! Let us know how you like it!!!
And divaricks, thank you for your kind words!!! Keep us posted on your progress. Opening a shop is a lot of work (and fun). Seven years ago, my husband and I had to paint walls, put in tile ceilings, tile floors, get permits, bring in a plumber and an electrician, build cabinets, buy signs, buy equipment, pass building and dept of ag inspections and pay for state license. My deluxe oven was my "shop opening gift" to myself. Yes, I am very creative about my gifts to me! Two years ago, I gave myself a 30 inch somerset sheeter! One year ago, I hired a part-time apprentice and my husband does the Quicken payroll. I have 950 Sq ft in a shopping center. It is a lot of work, but I have a ball. Enjoy, CindiM
I am thinking about buying the Deluxe CR2-4 oven but I have a few 4 inch pans but mostly 2-3 inch pans. Will they work in the 4 rack oven? I like the idea of having 4 racks better. Do the racks come out at all or do they just not move? I know it's been awhile since anyone posted on this thread so I hope someone can help me out. Thanks! Bren
The racks will come out to you can clean, or if you want to use a taller pan. They are not adjustable. I can measure the distance between racks when I go into the kitchen tonight. Let me know if you want me to do that.
I have two Deluxe ovens I bought three years ago. I wanted them for four years before that, but I have to say that now that I have them, I really don't like them. I bought them for the even heat they advertised, but they really don't heat evenly. They are hard to calibrate and they often suddenly get hotter than what they are set at for no apparent reason. Things on the bottom rack cook more quickly than the middle. Though the instructions say to load from the top down, we usually don't even use the top rack if we don't have to. The manufacturers rep will talk to you on the phone and try to troubleshoot, and he sincerely wants to help, but they don't have service people, so you are kind of on your own. At the beginning they sent me new thermostats and new thermocouples to see if that would fix the problem (my husband installed them and said it wasn't too complicated) and one oven is better, but the other is still kind of wonky, (though to be fair it may just need calibrating again)
One advantage that is touted is the heating coils above and below each rack. This is OK if you only want to bake cakes, though I'm not sure it is really an advantage, but is a problem for macarons or anything that doesn't want browning on top. I'm not sure what I would get if I had to do it over again, since I'm not a fan of convection for cake baking, but I would not buy these again if I could help it.
An additional irritant is that it seems you can only set the timer for a full minute. If you want to bake something for 30 more seconds you just have to watch--, not a big deal, just an added annoyance.
AThanks so much for the information about the ovens being inconsistent in their baking Because that is what I am having problems with already and want to avoid this in the future. I have a convection oven at work and absolutely love it! It has 2 settings and you can turn the Air down so it does not blow around the cupcake tops. Does not effect the cake tops at all. No, I do not need you to measure for me because I think I have decided to hold up on ordering. Appreciate your help very much!