ILVE ovens are A Rated for energy efficiency which means that heat does not escape from the oven cavity during cooking. This results in consistent and even oven temperatures as well as a humid and steamy cooking environment which is perfect for baking cakes and roasting meats.
As a result of the ovens beings tightly sealed and energy efficient, steam does build up during cooking more than it would in a lesser rated oven. In certain conditions, when the steam does escape (i.e. when the door is opened) some of the released hot air will condense against cool surfaces, find the lowest possible point and sometimes pool beneath the cooker.
Condensation build up occurs on many brands of appliances with A rated ovens, not just ILVE (this is well documented online) and is not considered a fault, but a by- product of highly efficient ovens.
Condensation build up can be affected by external factors such as the placement of the cooker and the ambient temperature of the kitchen. A cooker fitted into an old chimney breast for instance, may experience more condensation build-up due to the lower temperature surrounding the cooker and lack of insulation in old brick work. Open plan living often keeps the surrounding temperatures lower around the cooker.
There are things that can be done during cooking to try and alleviate some of the steam build-up:
1.Make sure the ovens are up to temperature before placing any food in the oven.
2. Use a tight fitting lid or wrap food well in foil to seal in moisture.
3. Open the door during cooking to let steam escape – especially if cooking for long periods / cooking particularly wet food
4. Be vigilant with letting the steam out on colder days, as if the cooker is cold, it may cause more condensation to build up.
5. Use the extractor fan even when just using the oven, as this will take the steam away when the oven door is opened.
Note: As a precaution, always open the door in two stages. First, partially open the door by 10cm for a few seconds to allow the steam to escape and then open the door fully. Keep your face and head away from the door when opening.
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