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Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the right oven for me?

The right oven will very much depend on the capacity you require, whether you need it to be powered by LPG gas or electricity and the environment for use, whether you need the versatility of mobility or a fixed unit. All of these questions can be answered by looking at our specifications and comparisons and then view the detailed information for the products you wish to consider. You can also call us to discuss your requirements in detail and we’ll be very happy to help.

How do I go about setting up my own Big Ben baked potato business?

We have helped hundreds of people start up their own business with a mobile potato oven in more than 20 countries, over the past 28 years.

You’re probably wondering where to start, so here is a step by step guide to help you to go about starting the business of running your own Big Ben.

Step 1

Determine where you would be able to set up. It has always been said that location is everything. This is especially true for setting up with the Big Ben. Research any potential locations, look for events, e.g. markets, boot sales, town centres, shopping malls, carnivals, festivals, sports meetings etc.,. Generally, places with large pedestrian flow, or a captive audience, private functions area good source of profit.

Step 2

Secure permission to set up the Big Ben. Talk to your local council. Talk to show organisers, market managers, landowners for permission, and agree rent fees. Make sure they are reasonable.

Step 3

Arrange a visit to our premises for a demonstration on how the Big Ben cooks potatoes, pizzas, toasted sandwiches, bacon, burgers, sausages and chestnuts and lots more. The Ben ovens will cook anything a BBQ will cook and cook it quicker.

Step 4

Check availability and order your Big Ben.

Our Quality Guarantee

The Big Ben is built to give you a long and reliable service. Should the Big Ben fail due to defective materials or workmanship, Victorian Baking Ovens Ltd will replace or repair any faulty parts with no quibble. Our reputation depends on your satisfaction.

The Big Ben stands out in a crowd and is synonymous with traditional hot baked potatoes. Be noticed, be popular, be busy and be independent. Feed and succeed.

If it’s reliability you want, then the Big Ben should give you at least 10-15 years of good service if looked after responsibly.

What are the benefits of running a Big Ben?

  • Good CASH business
  • Flexibility
  • Freedom to move where the customers are
  • No long property leases to sign
  • No council rates to pay
  • No high electricity bills
  • Pay rent only when you are working
  • No staff to employ, so no National Insurance, holiday pay or sick pay to worry about
  • Low cleaning bills
  • No cheques, all cash
  • No credit customers
  • Low stock outlay
  • Comparatively low business set-up costs
  • Leasing available, subject to status
  • Buy with confidence from Victorian Baking Ovens Ltd with 28 years of successful trading

What are the CE and ETL Marks?

The CE stands for European Conformity, which means that Victorian Baking Ovens Limited were required to have the Big Ben, Little Ben and Pickwick Village Stove Gas ovens tested by a Test House Laboratory, appointed by the European Government. This ensures that every gas oven meets the strict safety requirement laid down by the EEC. All our manufacturing procedures are tested every 12 months by the Laboratory inspectors, to ensure the high standards of safety are being maintained during production.

The ETL is the American equivalent to the CE.

The CE has been compulsory since 1996. Any products manufactured after January 1996 must have been built to CEstandard and carry the official CE logo. Without this CE standard, products will not be covered by Public Liability Insurance, which could prevent working at events or locations. Beware of products without CE. For more information contact Victorian Baking Ovens Limited.

Once I’ve placed my order for a Big Ben, how long until the unit is ready?

VBO have a continuous production program so that products are usually available within 3 to 4 weeks from receipt of order. Large multiple orders are by negotiation and export orders require an allowance depending on the distance for delivery.

Is it easy to obtain potatoes for baking?

Yes, baking potatoes are available in the UK, Europe & North America ready washed and graded, needing no preparation and come in a variety of packs and sizes giving you portion control.

What about storage handling and of potatoes?


  • Always store potatoes in a dry, frost-free and well ventilated environment
  • Ideally store potatoes between 5 to 10 degrees Celsius
  • Store potatoes away from strong smelling food or chemicals
  • Ensure your storage area is regularly cleaned
  • Avoid storing potatoes in strong light (either natural or artificial) as they will turn green
  • Keep potato stacks low to avoid squashing and bruising


  • Don’t handle potatoes more often than is necessary as they bruise easily. Ideally, treat them as if they were eggs
  • Avoid using potatoes if they feel damp in the bag or box
  • Avoid using potatoes that look green or are sprouting

Potato varieties for Baking

Baking Potatoes are widely available ready washed and graded in the UK, North America and most of Europe. Standard potatoes are available in 15kg boxes or 25kg bags. Graded potatoes are supplied in boxes from 6-8oz of 250gm potatoes, 8-10oz of 280gm potatoes and 10-12oz of 340gm potatoes depending on your requirements.

The Cara, Marfona and Estima varieties are particularly good for baking but all of these potatoes will provide a good quality, delicious potato for your customers.

  • King Edward (UK)
  • Cara (UK)
  • Marfona (UK)
  • Estima (UK)
  • Desiree (UK)
  • Maris Piper (UK)
  • Vivaldi (UK, Israel)
  • Pentland Dell (UK)
  • Samba (France)
  • Russet Burbank (USA)
  • Romano (UK)
  • Saxon (UK)
  • Almera (UK)
  • Klondike Rose (Canada, USA)
  • Rooster (Ireland, UK)

For a list of useful links in regards to the potato industry please see our links page