You can compare ovens by evaluating their capacity, heating, and value. A wide variety of ovens are made for the commercial and industrial market. From large-scale, computer-controlled industrial models to small, portable counter-top designs, there is an oven to meet the needs of any baking operation. Modern ovens are heated with electrical heater coils, hardwood, or natural gas flame. Ovens are available in a wide range of prices for bakers who are not looking to make a major investment and those who want something specialized.
Compare ovens by their capacity to separate the workhorse from the toaster oven. Base the capacity comparison on the internal dimensions of the oven as well as the size and number of oven racks. An oven with a smaller capacity will often reach baking temperature faster but limits the amount of food product you can produce. Larger ovens may take longer to heat up, but they often sustain temperatures better than smaller oven models. Oven capacity can be evaluated for a specific project by attempting to fit as many of the proposed baking pans as possible inside each prospective oven model.
The way an oven is heated can make a big difference in how the final product comes out. Electric ovens heat up quickly and evenly, but can be expensive to operate for long periods of time. Burning hardwood to heat an oven can add flavor to the baking foods, but requires constant attention to maintain and presents a ventilation problem in many indoor kitchens. Moisture is a product of natural gas combustion and can cause gas ovens to be more humid than electrical models. Compare ovens you are considering by the availability of the necessary heating resource and what would work best for the foods you plan to bake.
To fully compare ovens by their value, you need to consider the individual features they offer and the performance history of the manufacturer. Oven prices vary greatly and are often based on brand reputation and the features of the individual oven model. The final cost of an oven is what you must pay to purchase, operate, and maintain the unit. The warranty for an oven is a feature that should not be overlooked when determining the overall value. Two similarly designed ovens can usually be differentiated by quickly comparing the differences in customer reviews, user-friendly features, and options, as well as the manufacturer's asking price.