Combination Ovens and Remote Thermometers
Posted: 10 January 2011 02:54 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I started baking my own bread a couple of years ago using Rose’s Bread Bible and the No-knead bread and I got used to using a cheap, ancient gas oven and leaving a probe in the dough and setting my thermometer (cheap IKEA FANTAST thermometer/timer) to ring at the appropriate doneness - temperature. I’ve never used temperature to test doneness for cakes, but I’d like to start. If you’ve never seen the FANTAST, it has its temperature probe at the end of a wire and you leave the display part of the device outside your oven. It’s magnetized, so it’s usually very convenient to slap the display onto some vertical steel surface in the kitchen—like the side of the oven, if it doesn’t get too hot.

Now, I recently moved into a new apartment with no oven whatsoever and no gas line to the kitchen (though I do have a tank on the deck if I want to acquire another old cheap gas oven). To begin with, I decided to get a good countertop Sharp combination grill/convection/microwave oven (model R96STA), mostly on the strength of Rose’s and Hector’s well-informed choices. I don’t think there’s any way to turn the fan off when baking, so I’ll always be in convection mode, but I’m sure that with a little experience I can figure out how to make it work out.

My question for you all is about taking temperature in this sort of oven. The door seals perfectly, unlike the gas oven I was used to, and I’m worried about damaging the seals or otherwise throwing off the functioning of the oven with all its new-fangled fancy electronics. The manual doesn’t mention anything about the issue, and I imagine that if I call Sharp’s technical support they’ll probably say I’ll void the warranty.

Do you think it’s a good idea to use a remote (non wireless) probe in this case? Do any of you use them with these combination ovens? Or should I just resign myself to opening the oven and testing with an instant-read thermometer?

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Posted: 11 January 2011 01:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Not sure about using your inside/outside themometer, though I can see it has some nice features- no guesswork about when the internal temp is right.  The method I use is to put an oven thermometer in the oven (DOT stand-alone) to keep an eye on oven temp (and to see where hotspots are), then go by a combination of looks and time to judge when to take the bread or cake out.  I test internal temp with an instant read when it looks done.

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