Ways to get the most out of your oven
To get the best from an oven you first have to choose one that meets the family’s needs and your culinary prowess.
Selecting an appliance with all the bells and whistles is ok but unfortunately, many people only use a few whistles and hardly any bells (or vice versa).
For example, your PC comes with many bells and whistles (programs) most of which you never use. Go to the Start menu on your PC and see how many preloaded programs there are. How many do you use regularly, compared with those you don’t? I suspect the latter outweighs the former by a mile?
When choosing an oven it’s easy to get carried away with the vast array of gizmos, all of which can add to the cost. The oven you want is modern, sleek, and looks great, but you can buy an oven that will compliment your kitchen’s modern design and cooking ability without breaking the bank.
To start with you might not be able to choose between a gas or an electric oven – your fuel supply will make that decision for you.
Let’s assume you have dual fuel, which increases your choice.
What features do you need (not want, there’s a difference) built into your oven?
Here is a list of built-in oven features to enhance your Cooking/Baking experience – but how many do you really need? It’s time to select or mix and match the features and then choose a manufacturer.
- Double oven.
- Self-clean facility.
- Pyrolytic cleaning (superheating facility).
- Single fan-assisted heat.
- Single/double fan assisted heat.
- Slide away oven door/s.
- Triple or quadruple insulated doors.
- Timer (once the oven’s timer has been set it turns itself on and off after the cooking cycle).
- Steam cooking facility (with water containers).
- Automatic controls (you choose the dish, the oven selects the heat, cooking cycle, moisture levels, etc.
- Defrost facility.
With so many features to choose from it can become confusing. However, help with your decision is closeby. Access the WHICH best buy reviews online. WHICH gives impartial advice on all types of ovens and many other appliances. It’s worth investigating.
Let’s assume you’ve made your decision and your new oven suits your needs, now you need to make sure you get the most from it.
Here are few obvious tips to help you do so:
For Oven Repair
Getting the most out of your oven
Don’t peep inside the oven too often
It’s tempting to see how your favorite dish is cooking. A temporary drop in temperature will result when the oven door is opened. This may add more time to the cooking process. If extra time is not considered, your dish may not have cooked through completely? Timing is also important, so always follow the recipes cooking times to the letter. Clocks and timers are always helpful (perhaps it was a feature you selected).
Chef’s on every TV cooking program always give the cooking times. Stick to them, is our advice. If you don’t there is a risk of over/undercooking. Based on test results, oven temperatures can drop by as much as 25 degrees each time the door is opened. So, keep the oven door closed and only peep inside when it says so in the recipe.
Make sure the temperature reading is correct
Usually, today’s ovens have an LED temperature readout, these are pretty accurate and easy to read. Once the recipe temperature has been set it will manage the heat needed throughout the cooking process. As the heat rises and reaches the preset temperature the oven thermostat will switch the heat off. When the temperature drops below the required temperature it switches back on again. This off’ cycle is continuous throughout the cooking process, so there’s no need to hover over the oven for the duration of the cooking or baking cycle.
There are also portable thermostats you can pop inside the oven if the oven of your choice doesn’t have a built-in temperature control (unlikely). There are many different manufacturers and design types available. Remember to handle it with care and oven gloves when removing it from the oven, as it’s going to be hot, hot, hot!.
You can cook multiple dishes in one go but they will usually take around 10-15 percent longer than just a single dish. Raise the preheat temperature first before inserting the dishes. Make sure the dishes are not too close to each other so that air is evenly circulated around the dishes. You may want to rotate the dishes partway through the cooking cycle. A really busy or overcrowded oven is not recommended. If one of your requirements (from the above list) is an assisted oven, then it will significantly contribute to an evenly cooked dish.
Oh, and the dishes can play a part in the cooking process as well. Make sure you use optimum-sized dishes, made of high-quality stainless steel or cast iron, even clay pots or glass are pretty good heat managing materials.
Do not rely totally on the self-clean facility
The self-clean facility uses very high temperatures. It simply reduces food particles to ashes. Remove any obvious food particles with a wooden or plastic utensil before using the self-clean facility. You don’t have to put it on a self-clean cycle after every cook or bake. It’s been said that the self-clean facility should only be used maybe 4 or 5 times a year? After the self-clean cycle is completed and the oven has cooled down remove the remains with a damp cloth. Leave the oven door open for a while to allow air to circulate to rid the oven of any nasty smells before it’s used again. Try a blend of vinegar and water (non-aggressive) which is a good wipe-down mixture.
Watch out for cross-smells
Do cross-smells happen and how? Well to be blunt, you’re probably not cleaning down your oven after each cook or bake thoroughly. A boiled over spicy food dish if not cleaned up afterward might permeate your apple crumble, affecting the taste. How confusing can that be for your taste buds? Therefore, it’s necessary to prioritize your cooking timetable so that the desserts are cooked first, followed by spicy, garlicky foods. It’s not recommended to cook certain dishes side by side unless you like spicy cheesecake or garlic-infused Victoria sponge!
Rotate the utensils
If your oven has multiple racks, and you use both racks at the same time, you can rotate the dishes. Hot air rises so the dish on the higher rack will cook quicker. Rotating top rack dishes with the bottom rack ones help to cook both dishes evenly.
Good luck with your new oven and let’s hope it helps redefine your dishes to the delight of the family