What Is a Bagel Oven?

G. Wiesen

A bagel oven is a device used to cook bagels, either through cooking raw dough into a finished bagel or by heating up one that has already been baked. Commercial ovens are typically quite large and are meant to allow a baker to prepare hundreds of bagels within a short period of time. These ovens often include a large pot or kettle as well, which lets a baker more easily boil the bagels before baking them. A bagel oven can also be a fairly small home appliance that is meant to easily allow bagels that have been baked to be toasted prior to eating.

Commercial bagel ovens are designed to bake large batches of bagels all at once.
Commercial bagel ovens are designed to bake large batches of bagels all at once.

While standard commercial and home ovens can be used to make bagels, a bagel oven often makes the process simpler in one way or another. Commercial ovens that are designed to bake these bread rings are typically made with a flat surface on which individual bagels or trays can be place during baking. These can include conveyor belts that move into and out of the oven, much like a pizza oven, for fast and simple baking. Commercial models can typically reach much higher heats that home ovens, allowing a baker to use a bagel oven to bake batches of breads more quickly.

A kettle or large water pot may also be included in a bagel oven. These kettles typically have deep bottoms and can include a powerful heat source, which allows the water within them to boil quite quickly. Bagels are traditionally boiled briefly before they are baked in a bagel oven. By including both a kettle for boiling water and a large and powerful oven for baking, this type of device allows a baker to prepare bagels in traditional ways quickly; several people can also work together for even more efficient baking.

A bagel oven can also refer to a small home appliance, usually one that fits on a countertop, which is used to toast bagels. These ovens do not typically reach or sustain heats high enough for baking breads initially, but are instead used to heat and toast breads that have already been baked. A bagel oven is often designed as a toaster oven, which is quite small in size and uses surround heating to quickly and evenly toast bread. Some standard toasters may also be designed with bagels in mind, including larger slots in the top of them so that the width of a bagel can more easily fit into them.

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