Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cake machine heating elements

I still want to build a cake machine, it's true. The major impetus to actually doing so is that I don't know the best way to provide heat. My options are electric, gas, and wood. I wish I could consult some heating experts, but I don't know any. I tried wandering into a grill-and-fireplace supply store this afternoon, but the clerks were not helpful at all. Tragisch.

Electric heating has been recommended by some people. My small-scale tests with electric heaters suggested that they can probably get a full-size oven up to the operating temperature range. Unfortunately, I have no idea what to do from here. There are so many kinds of electric heaters and I don't know where to get ones that are the appropriate size and shape for my rather specific application! Some of the Schlee GmbH machines use infrared bulbs, so I think I would do likewise. But I don't know exactly what I'm looking for in a bulb, so I could end up throwing my money away.

Gas is quicker to start than electric heating. I could stop it and restart it when I need to open the oven and apply batter. But I'm more likely to blow myself up. The Schlee machines that don't use electric use something called "infrared gas heating" and I can't find any good resources on this. There are plenty of resources on how to make pipe burners that I could use, but again, I run the risk of blowing myself up.

Wood fires are the traditional heat source for baumkuchen. But I'm worried that it might compromise the taste! I do not know if this is a valid concern. This is probably also a lot easier to get started with now, and I could eventually graduate to a gas or electric heater later.

Now, onto the issue of getting a metal drum for my oven!

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