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Humidity in ovens...

 
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EngineeringProfessor



Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 3:33 am    Post subject: Humidity in ovens... Reply with quote

It occurred to me that the humidity of ovens must vary greatly. A natural gas or propane fired oven should have more humidity than an electric oven, which should be totally dry.

My oven has ports on each side of the base plate above the burners. The water vapor released has entrance into the oven prior to exit from the vent. As such, I would imagine that my oven is more humid than an electric oven and slightly less humid than a similarly constructed oven that burns propane.

Humidty affects browning, crisping and other aspects of baking.

Comments? Observations?
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the humidity, or relative humidity in a 350 or higher degree oven significant when browning? How does the humidity created by gas combustion compare volumetrically with the humidity created by having water or drippings (which include water) in a roasting pan? I was under the impression that with or without humidity, the heat would be high enough to brown if you set the temperature properly. I like water in the drip pan because it keeps the humidity higher around a turkey for example, which would seem, helps keep it moist while cooking.

Has this ever been tested?
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DrBiggles



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

PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 8:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Humidity in ovens... Reply with quote

EngineeringProfessor wrote:
It occurred to me that the humidity of ovens must vary greatly. A natural gas or propane fired oven should have more humidity than an electric oven, which should be totally dry.

It does.

My oven has ports on each side of the base plate above the burners. The water vapor released has entrance into the oven prior to exit from the vent. As such, I would imagine that my oven is more humid than an electric oven and slightly less humid than a similarly constructed oven that burns propane.

Humidty affects browning, crisping and other aspects of baking.

Comments? Observations?


Yeah well, as long as you're actually cooking your food will brown just fine in either types of oven. The problem comes when you're attempting to keep fried chicken or waffles warm in a gas oven. They turn limp and discusting in very little time.

Biggles
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EngineeringProfessor



Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 2:54 am    Post subject: Re: Humidity in ovens... Reply with quote

DrBiggles wrote:
Yeah well, as long as you're actually cooking your food will brown just fine in either types of oven. The problem comes when you're attempting to keep fried chicken or waffles warm in a gas oven. They turn limp and discusting in very little time.

Biggles


That sounds like hearsay. The operative question is "Does it matter which oven you use?" My preference has always been electric oven/gas range and that seems to be what professional chefs prefer. Also, very high end kitchen equipment bears this out (dual fuel stoves).

Again, have any studies been made?
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DrBiggles



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

PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Humidity in ovens... Reply with quote

EngineeringProfessor wrote:
DrBiggles wrote:
Yeah well, as long as you're actually cooking your food will brown just fine in either types of oven. The problem comes when you're attempting to keep fried chicken or waffles warm in a gas oven. They turn limp and discusting in very little time.

Biggles


That sounds like hearsay. The operative question is "Does it matter which oven you use?" My preference has always been electric oven/gas range and that seems to be what professional chefs prefer. Also, very high end kitchen equipment bears this out (dual fuel stoves).

Again, have any studies been made?


Uh, I wouldn't know if studies have been made and I'm not going to spend any of my time searching the place where all these studies are kept. I wouldn't believe any company in their right mind would pay the UL or similar people to study such drivel. As your title implies, you should already know that the burning of natural gas emits moisture. My hearsay says, the pilot light in my gas oven creates moisture. When I put anything crispy in there to keep warm, it gets soggy. Put your hand in there, it's humid. I don't have a mositure meter to measure the exact amount, but it's enough to tell the difference.

Here's more hearsay. When I use my electric convection oven for keeping toast/waffles and fried foods warm, they don't get soggy. They stay crisp and warm. Again, just hearesay.

I don't trust studies as far as I can toss 'em. They're usually done by nitwits with government funding and don't have half a brain between them.

Biggles
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

household-Conditioned air, quite quickly attains a VERY low vapor pressure (which is where the rubber meets the road) at even low oven temps.

Example, start at a comfortable room temp of 20 C with RH of 45%.

Heat without adding water. Let's only go as far as 50 C (poultry is not safe until 70 C.). Inside your oven, the relative humidity is now 10%


Reference: US Oceanographer of the Navy charts
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