How Would We Have Known?
For the last few weeks, we've felt like our outrageously priced commercial ovens have been baking a little uneven. Even turning the baking trays several times through the baking process still resulted in a pie or two that was simply just overdone on one side. (And maybe you've seen this at PJP...they typically end up on the half-price table and are marked "Fire Sale!" on the box). But after two full trays of Pecan and Chocolate Bourbon Pecan ending up on fire sale last week, Jeanne called up a commercial appliance repair person and scheduled an appointment for someone to stop by. And before the person would even commit to visiting PJP Buttonwood, he told us that it sounded like a heating element had gone out and they are around $400-ish each to replace. Because of course they are.
A repair person was able to stop by later that afternoon and the very first thing he did was turn both ovens on and place a thermometer on the outside of the oven and an attached wire inside the oven. And after a few minutes, he examined the readings, said "huh", and then looked our oven settings. And then he turned around and said "hey, why don't you have your fan on high on both of these ovens?"
Well. Well, that because no one ever told us it is supposed to work that way. (And let's keep it real, if you put $8,000 worth of shiny new oven in front of either of us, neither of us is going to read the manual before firing them on. We just aren't. And furthermore, if having the fan on high is really important, then why don't the commercial oven manufacturers just make it so choosing the fan setting isn't even an option???)
So, it turns out that if you own a convection oven and you set the oven to 350 degrees, it is really going to bake at 375-ish degrees because the fan isn't on high. And our decision to have our fans on low just meant that everything was baking at 370-ish degrees. This is apparently explained in the manual...the one we didn't read.
And then the guy said something that will live in Jeanne's memories all the days of her life: "These are actually the cleanest ovens I've ever serviced."
Cleaning is Jeanne's jam. While we all wash dishes and take out trash and sweep the floor and pitch in on the average tasks, NONE OF US use the special oven cleaning razor blade and scrape off spilled cherry pie drippings on the bottom rack. Mainly because it sounds like a terrible task and also because Jeanne loves to do it...so to see her high standards recognized by an industry expert was a beautiful thing.
And after she finished gloating, he asked if he could take a look around all of our other equipment and in our refrigerator and freezer so he could marvel at the depth and reach of her cleaning standards. And then he said she could write a manual on the proper care and cleaning of commercial baking equipment.
Except we would probably never read it. Ahem.