Microwave oven makes it easy to cook and bake. But you need to be familiar with using it the right way. Choosing the wrong settings can have a disastrous effect on the recipe and the oven itself.
You should always get right with choosing the temperature and time in the settings. This ensures things do not get worse.
If you have questions on how to make the best use of an oven then, this article is for you. In this writeup, we shall discuss everything you need to know about using an electric oven the right way. Furthermore, we will also try to learn some effective tips that will help you cook like a pro.
So, why wait! Let us started with the discussion right away.
1. Get to know the basics first
The most common mistake that many people tend to make is not familiarizing themselves with the basics of using an oven. Every electric kitchen appliance comes with a user manual to refer to. One needs to read all the instructions mentioned in this information guide before he starts using it. Starting with how to turn the device on and off to moving the racks up and down comfortably, it talks about everything. Follow all those points carefully.
The next crucial step is to choose the right temperature and time settings. If you do not know how to adjust the temperature settings you better start learning it as the first thing. If you have an electric oven, this wouldn’t be a problem. All you have to do is just tap the button to set the temperature easily. They even come with an indicator light or alarm that will tell you when you can use the oven. If it is a light, it will switch on or off automatically. If it is an alarm, it will make a noise that indicates the oven got heated.
2. Preheat The Oven
Now that you are familiar with the basics, let us get started with how to use it. The very first step is preheating the oven. Many recipes may ask for oven preheating as a part of the cooking process. Pay attention to this part. If your recipe does not demand anything as such, you can skip this step. If it does, preheat the oven by simply turning it on and setting the appliance to the recommended temperature.
Preheating the device before baking or cooking facilitates the heating elements in the oven to reach the desired temperature as needed. Some ovens come with a temperature control knob. Adjust the temperature accordingly by turn on or rotating the knob.
Some ovens come with a digital panel to select the temperature settings with just a touch. Set the desired heat for cooking or baking, and the oven will preheat automatically. This may take you a few minutes. During this time, the heat will get evenly distributed inside the cooking chamber. You will hear a beep sound that indicates the oven is preheated and is ready to use.
3. Program The Cooking Time
Let us move forward. The next step after preheating the oven is to program the cooking time. Select the required time for your recipe by adjusting the time in the settings menu. Each recipe requires a different time. Hence, set the recommended for the item that you are preparing. Similar to the temperature settings, you will have a knob or a touch interface button on the digital panel to adjust the time.
An old-fashioned oven may not have a timer. In such a case, you need to be watchful about the device and ensure your food does not get burnt or overcooked.
The benefit of having an oven with a timer is that it helps you cook your meals as per your preference and liking. Additionally, it allows you to focus on other important works while your food gets prepared.
4. Program The Temperature For The Food
The next thing to do after setting the time is to adjust the temperature to the required heat for cooking the meal. And again, it may differ from recipe to recipe. Choose the appropriate heat setting based on the recipe. Once the baking or cooking process gets started in the oven, you will have to check on the recipe frequently. This will help you confirm that the process is going well as it should be. This is a recommended step, and do not neglect it. You can regulate the temperature based on your need and the meal you are preparing to allow it to cook slow or fast.
5. Select The Right Bakeware For What You’re Cooking
The prominent factor to consider when using an oven is the right kind of cookware. Not all types of cooking vessels are compatible with an oven. Although you can use a variety of cookware in an electric oven, the results may vary for every bakeware. Hence, it is always advisable to use the right cookware or bakeware for preparing your dishes.
6. Bake Items In The Middle Oven Rack
Always bake items in the middle rack of the oven to allow equal distribution of heat to the food and ensure even cooking. Unless the recipe recommends or specifies about the placement, i.e., upper or lower rack, place in the middle one always. This helps your food to get cooked evenly.
7. Add Steam When Necessary
Most electric ovens may be dry. Because of this, the bread or other baking foods may time more time to rise. If you face any trouble with rising the bread or pizza crust, start adding some steam to the oven. You can do it this way. Take a pan, fill it with hot water and place it at the bottom rack of the appliance. You may also open the oven door slightly and spritz some water inside using a spray bottle.
8. Remove Your Food
Here is the final step. The moment you get an indication or alert from the device that the food is ready, it is time to remove the food from the appliance. For ovens that do not have any indicators as such, you will know when the dish is complete. Open the door completely and remove the food. Make sure you are using cooking gloves or oven mittens when taking out the food.
Most ovens come with an auto-turn-off feature that allows the device to turn off immediately after the food is ready. If not, turn off the device before closing the door. If you think that your foods need to get a little cooked, put the food back inside and allow it to stay a little longer. Meanwhile, have a close watch on the progress to avoid overcooking.
What is a Self-Cleaning Oven?
As the name says, self-cleaning ovens are those appliances that come with a self-cleaning feature. This is an advanced feature available in most electric ovens and can be of great help to the users.
This feature is similar to the preheat function in the oven, and you can easily access it as a knob or on the door handle. Some devices may have a touch button that helps you enable this feature at a single touch.
When you enable this feature, the oven automatically cleans the device by using the heat inside. This can be over 800 degrees Fahrenheit temperature for decomposing food spills and turning the residues to ash.
The best is that the door locks automatically during the cleaning process to ensure anyone does open it accidentally throughout. The cleaning process may last from an hour to three hours. When it is complete, the door unlocks, and you can wipe off the ashes inside using a damp cloth.
Here are some simple yet effective tips to help you make the most of your oven.
- You can turn off your oven 10 minutes before the indicated time of the recipe. This way, you can make use of the heat inside and save on energy consumption.
- After you finish cooking, leave the door open slightly for a few minutes. This allows the appliance to cool inside.
- Defrost the food first before putting it in the oven. This way, you can minimize the energy consumed.
- For safe and efficient cooking, it is advisable to use the trays or bowls that come along with the oven. You may even use glazed or dark trays for the same purpose.
- Ensure that the placement of the trays is a little away from the heating element and never let it touch the heat source. Always have them placed in the central position to allow equal distribution of heat around and over the food.
Cleaning Your Oven
Regular cleaning and maintenance of your oven are very crucial to ensure the best working condition of the device. Here we are with some helpful hacks and useful tips for cleaning the appliance:
- Never bake or cook your food at high temperatures is may burn the food and leave behind a mess. This will make it difficult for you to clean the appliance inside and also the tray.
- Never use rough cloths or rags for cleaning your oven. This may result in leaving scratches on the appliance.
- It is always advisable to clean the oven after each use. Never leave it for the next day or for several days to clean. This will result in unpleasant odours from the appliance because of the food spills. Furthermore, it may also become difficult to clean as the spills get dried and stuck to the surface.
- If you want to maintain the quality of your oven and ensure the proper health of your family, regular cleaning and maintenance is a must.
- It is advisable to use parchment paper inside instead of foil.
- If you are facing trouble cleaning the hidden parts of the oven, seek the help of a professional. He will get the job done for you without any difficulty.
To conclude, using an oven in a better way helps you to reap the benefits from it and enjoy it. I am sure this article equipped you with everything you need to embark on your cooking journey. Now that you know how to use your oven the right way, follow the same method to get the best out of it.
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Stay home, enjoy your cooking and stay safe.