How To Use Your Oven Effectively
Cook According to Your Oven TypeYour oven’s controls and programmes will vary, depending on whether it’s a gas or electric model. Electric ovens typically offer more even heating, whereas temperatures in gas ovens may fluctuate.
To cook in an electric oven, simply adjust the temperature and oven function dials to suit the food you’re cooking. As gas ovens are a little trickier to use, we’ve put together some helpful tips.
Tips For Cooking in Gas CookersGas ovens are a top choice for chefs and bakers as they allow precise temperature control. However, they require a little extra care to ensure top results. Follow our top tips to ensure your food is cooked thoroughly, without the risk of burning:
- Rotate the food: Heat is less consistent in a gas oven, so there may be higher and lower spots. Rotate your baking trays slightly during cooking to ensure great results
- Use a baking stone: As strange as it might sound, a baking stone can help to regulate temperature. Simply place it at the bottom of your oven and add your food above
- Avoid dark metal cookware: Heat comes from the bottom of the oven in gas models. Dark metal cookware absorbs heat faster, potentially leading to unwanted browning and burning. Opt for lighter-coloured metals, glass, or silicone instead
- Watch out for a strong gas smell: If you smell gas coming from your oven, open all windows and check the switch on the oven is turned off. If this isn’t the cause, turn off the gas mains, and ask a gas engineer to inspect your gas supply, connections, and appliances.
Choose A Cooking FunctionWhen you turn on your oven, you’ll need to select a cooking function to provide optimum results. These are the main types and their purposes:
- Fan: Offers faster cooking times and lower energy consumption
- Conventional: Heat is moved around by convection – ideal for roasting and baking
- Grill: Crisps, browns, and toasts food.
- Heating element functions: The bottom element is perfect for adding crispy bases to foods like pizza. The upper element can brown the top of dishes like lasagne.
Allow your oven to pre-heat fully before adding food – a light or alarm should indicate once it’s ready. Otherwise, use an oven thermometer to check the temperature. Thermometers are particularly useful for gas ovens, where temperatures tend to fluctuate.
More specialist functions offer optimum settings to cook specific foods, for example, bread baking and dough proving. Rapid heat modes also reach temperatures faster – ideal if you’re in a rush. Defrosting functions save time waiting for ice to thaw, so you can cook frozen food easily.
The food packaging will provide cooking times depending on each function, but you may decide to cook longer for browning or crisping.
Select An Oven Level
Decide which oven rack will give the best results. If you’re cooking multiple items at once, think about which rack will best suit each item:
- Top Rack: Used for high temperatures, fast cooking, and browning. Be careful of burning
- Middle Rack: Ideal for cooking most foods at a moderate temperature. Often cooks more evenly
- Bottom Rack: Great for lower temperatures and slow cooking.
Tips For Getting Top Results from Your Oven
- Avoid opening the oven door, especially when baking. Wait until your timer sounds and judge by appearance and smell
- Keep your oven clean to avoid directing heat to burnt on food
- Use the oven’s timer (if applicable) to prevent burning or undercooking
- Choose cookware to suit the food. Glass and ceramic hold heat most effectively, while metal achieves all-over browning
- Add a crispy or browned finish by cooking longer than stated. Or use a blast of heat – around 25 degrees higher should do the trick
- Electric ovens can be quite dry, preventing bread and cakes from rising effectively. Adding a pan of hot water to the bottom of the oven will add steam to help them along.
Oven TechnologyOvens have a come a long way in the last few years with new and improved technology to help you get the most out of your cooking. Here, we outline some of the top features in modern ovens so you can create masterpieces in your own kitchen.
CircoTherm® is a unique hot air-system that lets you roast and bake at the same time on up to three levels, as it circulates heat evenly around the oven. So, you can say goodbye to under-cooked meals, flavour transfer and cooking food separately.
Why not take a look at this NEFF single electric oven with CircoTherm technology – B1ACE4HN0B
Bosch’s 3D Hot Air system is designed to evenly distribute heat on up to three levels, so you can cook multiple dishes, such as savoury and sweet meals, at the same time.
The Bosch HBS534BS0B single electric oven with 3D Hot Air is an ideal choice.
AeroPerfect™ technology takes its inspiration from aerodynamics and aircraft design. AeroPerfect™ uses a constant stream of airflow in the oven to minimise temperature fluctuation for fast and even cooking every single time.
Check out the Beko CIFY71W built in electric single oven with AeroPerfect.
Using a SteamBake oven, you can add the right amount of steam at the beginning of the cooking process. This gives you the best results for your pies, bread, cakes, and desserts. Just fill the cavity with water to get going.
The AEG BES255011M offers SteamBake technology – perfect for amateur and professional bakers alike.
A catalytic oven is when your oven is fitted with special catalytic liners inside the oven cavity. These liners are treated with special chemicals and materials which mean that they are fantastic at absorbing grease. All that is needed is for you to run the self-cleaning programme every month or so. During this cleaning cycle, the oven is heated to 200ºC or higher to burn off and soften excess grease deposits. You can then simply wipe away any residue with some soapy water.
For an oven with Catalytic Liners, check out the OEN9302X from Blomberg.
We know cleaning your oven can be a chore, but with Beko’s SimplySteam™, your oven will do the hard work for you. Simply pour some water into the tray and as the water evaporates it will soften the burnt on food and grease in your oven, making it easier to clean.
Say goodbye to spending hours scrubbing your oven or spending money on chemical cleaners thanks to NEFF’s pyrolytic self-cleaning programme.
By heating the oven up to a staggering 500°C, all the grease and grime is reduced to ash, allowing you to simply wipe it away with a damp cloth. Due to the high temperatures reached the oven door is automatically locked when using this programme for that added peace of mind.
Look for NEFF’s B57CR23N0B Slide & Hide electric single oven if Pyrolytic cleaning takes your fancy.