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Ovens that vent hot air

 
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KitchenBarbarian



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:45 pm    Post subject: Ovens that vent hot air Reply with quote

I've been cooking for 45 years and have never had this problem before, but apparently new stove designs now often vent hot air directly into the kitchen in various really unpleasant ways. At first I thought it was just cheap stoves (like the one I got stuck with in my apartment after the old one sparked out in a really spectacular fashion), but apparently even some really expensive stoves are doing this now.

Some vent through the backsplash, some vent directly behind the oven door handle, and some (like mine) vent directly through an open hole under a back burner. The result for me has been that I cannot cook on that back burner if the oven is on because it will burn whatever I'm trying to cook, and it isn't safe to touch that burner even when it's off if the stove is on because you WILL be burned.

Not only do I find this unsafe, it is causing huge problems for me when baking. Anything over 375F, maybe 400F tops if I'm lucky, and instead of coming to temp and shutting the lower element off, the oven rollercoasters all over the map. I get temperature swings of +/- 50F. I've had to move my pizza stone up a notch because that element being constantly on was superheating the stone, so the crust would burn, but the air temp would never come up to temp so the toppings wouldn't be cooked yet.

I shudder to think what it does to our electric bill to have that lower element on the entire time I'm trying to bake baguettes.

I have never had an oven do this. One person insisted to me that without venting like this the oven would "explode" because "steam would build up from the food you are cooking". I thought he was being hyperbolic, but he REALLY believes your oven would ACTUALLY explode if there wasn't a huge hole in the top of it.

All I can say is no stove I have ever owned has done this, and I WISH they would retain steam that well, I think a lot of us wouldn't be shelling out the big bucks (or wishing we could) for a steam injected oven in search of the perfect baguette. I'm sure if venting is necessary for ovens I would imagine they have typically been vented through a series of baffles to retain the heat as much as possible, because I have NEVER had an oven blast hot air out at me through any orifice unless I actually open the door.

So somebody help me out here - how can I avoid an oven that pumps nearly as much heat into the kitchen as it does into the oven, that will retain heat so I can bake evenly at high temps, and won't require me to run that element at full on the entire time I'm trying to do it? Apparently I can't do it based on price - I've heard from someone who recently installed a pricey all steel oven that he now owns a very very expensive space heater. I don't know what to look for to avoid since I had never even heard of this kind of venting until 3 months ago. I do not want an oven that purposely pumps heat into the kitchen; I DO want an oven that I can preheat to 500F or even 550F without having to have the element on all the time (which my current oven won't do because it can't retain the heat).

BTW, I've had people insist that the simple solution is to stuff that vent with foil.

Somehow that ideal just doesn't appeal to me ...
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 971
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

>>BTW, I've had people insist that the simple solution is to stuff that vent with foil.

>>Somehow that ideal just doesn't appeal to me ...

but it works.

baking bread, I rigged up a stopper for the tea kettle, a copper tube that ran from the stopper down thru the hole under the burner (remove burner first...) and plugged with wadded alum foil. voile - instant oven steam.

that's the Rube G. school of engineering . . . solutions by direct application of brute force . . .
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yocona



Joined: 18 Mar 2011
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Ovens that vent hot air Reply with quote

KitchenBarbarian wrote:

So somebody help me out here - how can I avoid an oven that pumps nearly as much heat into the kitchen as it does into the oven, that will retain heat so I can bake evenly at high temps, and won't require me to run that element at full on the entire time I'm trying to do it? Apparently I can't do it based on price - I've heard from someone who recently installed a pricey all steel oven that he now owns a very very expensive space heater. I don't know what to look for to avoid since I had never even heard of this kind of venting until 3 months ago. I do not want an oven that purposely pumps heat into the kitchen; I DO want an oven that I can preheat to 500F or even 550F without having to have the element on all the time (which my current oven won't do because it can't retain the heat).

BTW, I've had people insist that the simple solution is to stuff that vent with foil.

Somehow that ideal just doesn't appeal to me ...


If you don't like the idea of stuffing in foil, how about one of those round burner covers? They're made of metal, usually sold in sets of four. You could cover the eye with foil (or a piece of that kick-ass reflective foil insulation), then set the burner cover on top. I bet that would cut back significantly on the heat loss.

One simple thing that you can do to compensate for that lower element, would be to place a dark-colored cookie sheet on the rack immediately below your stone (or whatever else you're baking). It helps to prevent things from burning on the bottom to some extent.

If you can't afford to upgrade your stove, perhaps you could afford to upgrade your exhaust fan. If you are stuck with this poorly insulated oven, a top-notch fan will at least keep your kitchen a little cooler.

If you do want to replace your stove, what is your budget?
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 352
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Ovens that vent hot air Reply with quote

KitchenBarbarian wrote:
I've been cooking for 45 years and have never had this problem before, but apparently new stove designs now often vent hot air directly into the kitchen in various really unpleasant ways.


My gas oven/range has been venting in to our kitchen since 1952. I imagine though that at first the flue was piped and run to the outside in some fashion. It comes out the top, out of the "backsplash" for the range, wafts up and in to the hood for the stove-top. No direction towards anything that may burn a human or other inanimate object though. I like it, keeps things all toasty!

xo, Biggles
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KitchenBarbarian



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dilbert wrote:
>>BTW, I've had people insist that the simple solution is to stuff that vent with foil.

>>Somehow that ideal just doesn't appeal to me ...

but it works.

baking bread, I rigged up a stopper for the tea kettle, a copper tube that ran from the stopper down thru the hole under the burner (remove burner first...) and plugged with wadded alum foil. voile - instant oven steam.

that's the Rube G. school of engineering . . . solutions by direct application of brute force . . .


OK ... you're still here so I assume doing this hasn't sent your kitchen up in a puff of smoke Teasing

Do you ever remove this foil plug, or has it become a semi-permanent installation?

I like the teapot idea - I presume you have it merrily boiling away while piping the steam into the oven?
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KitchenBarbarian



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Ovens that vent hot air Reply with quote

yocona wrote:

or a piece of that kick-ass reflective foil insulation ...

If you do want to replace your stove, what is your budget?


"Kick-ass reflective foil insulation" - what's this and is it rated to withstand temperatures of 600F? Yeah, the stove is unlikely to go over 500F but safety factors are nice things ...

Don't know what the budget will be, but my son (with whom I live, poor child, to have a prematurely aged mother) is deadset on buying a "good" stove once he finishes his doctorate and gets a "real" job. I don't know why he has his mind set on this, given that I do all the cooking, but he's got features in mind I would never have thought of when buying a range. Such as a "warming shelf".

At any rate, my requirements for a range/oven revolve around energy efficiency, the ability to heat the oven up to 550F, EVENLY (though I'd settle for 500F), NO direct venting of heat, as few electronics as is possible to get away with, and durability. Self cleaning feature would be nice.

I have no idea what ovens run these days except that my brief foray into modern ranges shows that the $500 I thought would by a really good stove is probably about 25 years out of date. *sigh*
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:36 pm    Post subject: Oven Vents Reply with quote

I just had the same rude awakening. A new KitchenAid electric wall oven, and no external vent. The first attempt at self-cleaning was a shock, as the kitchen filled with fumes.
Can anyone (perhaps from KitchenAid or another manufacturer), explain why they discontinued external venting?
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1606
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What do you mean by external venting? All the ovens I've looked at vent into their immediate surroundings. On self-cleaning, you have to them evacuate the air from the room to the outside (usually through your vent hood, but open window/door with box fans can work if your vent hood doesn't vent to the outside). Personally, I wouldn't consider running a self-cleaning cycle without a high powered vent hood that pushes air to the outside.
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KitchenBarbarian



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In addition to the normal venting (read: air exchange to avoid moisture buildup) for an oven, there is the issue of venting the range hood, which should always be done to the outside.

In the house we had built almost 30 years ago, I insisted this feature (externally venting the range hood) be added as I frequently cook with oil and a lot of spices, plus there's the whole self-cleaning oven fumes thing. I think that's what the other poster is thinking of; it's the range hood that is vented directly to the outside, not (usually, to my knowledge) the oven. Any ductwork should be a straight run, as short as possible, with no bends so you can clean it out easily (otherwise oil collects and it becomes a safety hazard). Ideally, the oven should be placed on an outside wall in order to accomplish this. There are probably other ways to accomplish this but they might involve having to hire professionals to get the ductwork cleaned out properly (read: EXPENSE).

However the oven should not vent fumes directly into the living space when the self-cleaning oven cycle comes on. It should be sealed until the cleaning cycle is complete and the oven has completely cooled. Any venting of the air should not result in a fume-filled kitchen.

Also, venting of the oven should not result in a major loss of heat; in the past this was achieved by many different methods I am sure but the only one I know about is to use a series of baffles to retain heat while venting the air.

A hood over the range accomplishes exactly nothing if it doesn't vent to the outside. But that's a separate issue from what I was talking about and what the other poster describes; in my case, the oven is vented directly through the top of the range in the left rear corner, which results in a strong chimney effect and causes everything in that corner to burn while the stuff in the right front corner is barely cooked. It also makes it impossible to preheat the oven to anything over around 350F and makes bread baking and cookie baking much chancier than they ought to be. (The constant cycling on-and-off of the lower heating element causes my baking stone to super heat even at lower temps which burns the bottoms of my artisan loaves even at lower temps).

I've come to the conclusion that my only hope is to stuff heavy duty foil into the opening and make sure to change it occasionally. I've not had a single successful baguette since they installed this crappy oven.
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 285
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And your point is?
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just had a new gas Fridgidaire stove installed. SAME problem! All this hot air pours out from a vent at the back of the stove when the oven is on. Going to be unbearable in the summer. I went to Best Buy today to ask if it is supposed to do this? They are going to come look at it, but say if this is just the way it is, I'm basically stuck. My last oven never did this. Why this awful change in ovens? I hate it, and am very disappointed. I never even knew this was such a thing, or I would've asked about it and made sure this one DIDN'T do this before buying it.
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 352
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
I just had a new gas Fridgidaire stove installed. SAME problem! All this hot air pours out from a vent at the back of the stove when the oven is on. Going to be unbearable in the summer. I went to Best Buy today to ask if it is supposed to do this? They are going to come look at it, but say if this is just the way it is, I'm basically stuck. My last oven never did this. Why this awful change in ovens? I hate it, and am very disappointed. I never even knew this was such a thing, or I would've asked about it and made sure this one DIDN'T do this before buying it.


That's the way it is. And, that's the way it has been for many years.

You may want to consider buying an antique gas range from Craigslist or similar. Not only are they set up for exterior venting of the oven, but the burners simply cannot be matched by modern gas ranges below $2500+. They're also adjustable and can easily be turned in to flame throwers, oh yeah. All parts and any adjustments or repairs can be sourced easily on the internet. My 1952 Wedgewood is stunning and after 10 years of daily use cost me a total of 550 bux for repairs and the cost of the stove itself.

xo, Biggles
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