Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Beauty is a Beast

No doubt about it, the Gaggenau oven is a striking piece of equipment.  Several people have commented, though, about it not fitting my original vision for the kitchen.  I actually hadn't really thought of that and wondered why it hadn't bothered me.  

If I think about it, I am a little disappointed at the loss of the homey, retro look I got with my first Fisher & Paykel oven, but that was gone long ago.  I've had more contemporary ovens since; some worse than others, in my opinion, for how they suited my kitchen.  

Glass, reflective face...With fingerprints
This one, with its massive presence, and with its glass-over-stainless front (uh-oh... fingerprints!), is probably the farthest from my vision of any I've had.  But there is something less objectionable about it to me. I think, that though it's large, it doesn't demand a lot of attention.  

Its overall impression of monochromatic silverness means no 'black holes,' like some oven windows and control panels appear, and no flashing red or green lights.  I think I didn't object to it as an oven, because it looks almost more like another fridge!  So I'm missing a little piece of my 'home and hearth' vision, but really, I can like it far better than most modern ovens.

This oven's beastliness is not only in size, but in engineering and build.  The doors have 4 layers of glass to help with heat regulation and visibility.  The glass is clear and the window area is so large!  
Hardly any part of the oven is out of sight.  The large halogen light on the side, and also one from the top help in seeing an accurate view of baking progress and browning level.

These ovens have an additional element surrounding the door area so that during self clean the front edge of the oven and the door get more heat.  I shouldn't end up with the residual black junk I had in other ovens near the front edge of the oven and on the door, nor the brown glaze on the glass.  Not that this is a huge deal, but it's nice, especially for long-term maintenance (which I've yet to experience), and shows some wonderful planning.

The woman in the distributor's showroom described the Gaggenau oven as being designed and built by German engineers to the specifications of French chefs.  She said other ovens are meant for the home cook, and these are meant for the home chef.  --I think I'm under-qualified for my own oven! 

The oven has 17! cooking modes, graphically represented on the control screen (and, thankfully, more in the manual and a cookbook she gave me) as to what elements and fans are used in each.  

This means I can pick and choose the heating directions, and, to some extent, the amount of heat from each, in order to get exactly the result I want.  I happened upon a chart that showed me which heating elements and fans were used at what percentage for each mode in the Wolf oven, and I found it very helpful in choosing which method I wanted for each item I was cooking or baking. So, this oven offering that kind of information to me on its face is impressive and wonderful. 

This has gotten long enough, so I will continue with the challenges I'm facing with this oven in another post.  Also, I think another with further explanation of the cooking modes, as symbolized on the screen shots above, is necessary.  Of course, I'll be sharing experiments and projects I attempt as I get to know my new friend.

In case you missed why I am on Oven #7, all within 5 years, you might be interested in previous Oven Saga posts.

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