3 Ways to Control Oven Humidity

Control oven humidity, so heat can be properly transferred to the product.

While your products are busy baking in the oven, they need available moisture, or humidity in the air.

Without it, heat isn’t transferred to the product so starch gelatinization and other reactions can’t take place, and moisture migration can’t happen properly.

Factors that influence it are:

  1. Oven Load: Humidity inside the oven increases as more products enter the baking chamber, and humidity will finally reach equilibrium. Simultaneously, heavier loading requires more heat to evaporate the water, resulting in a slight temperature drop in concert with the humidity increase.
  2. Temperature: Absolute humidity is lower on average at low temperature than at high temperature, because water evaporates more rapidly at higher temperatures.
  3. The saturation level and amount of steam:

Ok, how do I control oven humidity?

  1. Control the water level of the steam used for the oven.
  2. Do not overload the oven.
  3. Use fans and dampers: The humidity in existing ovens is usually controlled by fixed-speed extraction fans and extraction dampers. The humidity on new ovens is usually controlled by variable-speed extraction fans.

A humidity sensor can be used to measure oven humidity at product level and with the oven under full product load. It can also be used to document the relationship between oven moisture and finished product moisture.


About the Author:

Lin Carson, PhD
Dr. Lin Carson’s love affair with baking started over 25 years ago when she earned her BSc degree in Food Science & Technology at the Ohio State University. She went on to earn her MSc then PhD from the Department of Grain Science at Kansas State University. Seeing that technical information was not freely shared in the baking industry, Dr. Lin decided to launch BAKERpedia to cover this gap. Today, as the world’s only FREE and comprehensive online technical resource for the commercial baking industry, BAKERpedia is used by over half a million commercial bakers, ingredient sellers, equipment suppliers and baking entrepreneurs annually. You can catch Dr. Lin regularly on the BAKED In Science podcast solving baking problems. For more information on Dr. Lin, subscribe to her "Ask Dr. Lin" YouTube Channel, or follow her on LinkedIn.

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