5 Insider Tips on Getting the Most From Your Oven

September 14, 2016

5 Insider Tips on Getting the Most From Your Oven

Whether you use your oven regularly or every now and again it pays to give it a little check once and a while.

5 best tips to use your oven

If you are planning a major dinner party or just want to get yourself ready for the festive season when your oven will be used a lot then it is a good idea to give it a check.

A bit like your car or any other equipment a good check up is a good thing.

The worst thing you want to happen is that your oven does not work properly when you are in the middle of your best dinner party. What a scene stealer.

Here are our 5 Best Tips to getting the most from your oven


1. Check the Oven Temperature

Just because the oven temperature display or indicator says 200° degrees does not necessarily mean the oven is heating to the 200° degrees.

Even if there is a 5% margin for error at 200° degrees this means there could be a 10° degree if temperature with what you are cooking.

The temperature could be too hot or too cool for what you are cooking. Remember some foods require that you cook at a set temperature to make the best dish.

If the food takes longer to cook than required then it will taste different as well.

The 2 main browning reactions in cooking are temperature dependent, so if your oven is too cold you won't create the rich flavours you associate with roasting. 


2. Use a Probe Thermometer when Cooking

The best way to guarantee great roasts, perfectly cooked fish, and juicy birds is to heat them to the right temperatures, ones that cause some of the fats to melt and some of the proteins to denature.

For fish, this is somewhere between 160° C and 165° C.

For meats, most of us prefer them cooked between 180° C and 160° C. For more info on cooking temperatures check out this article from BeefandLamb.com.au

Why not measure the temperature directly, instead of relying on a guesstimate with a timer?

Tuck the probe into the food, run the cable out the oven door, and set the digital thermometer’s alarm to beep a few degrees under the target temperature.

You’ll get consistent results time and time again. If your foods are overcooking, drop the target temperature a few degrees the next time.

5 Best tips for getting the most from your oven


3. Clean Your Oven

An important way that foods cook in an oven is by infrared radiation.

This is what you feel when sunlight hits your skin.

The inside of your oven is designed to normally bounce infrared radiation around.

If grease is on the walls of your oven then you will reduce the effectiveness of your oven.

Cleaning your oven is an easy fix.

Depending on how often you cook food that splatters grease you should clean your oven at least every few months. We recommend that you clean your oven every time you cook a roast, lasagne, pizza.

If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your oven, it’s probably time.

I find it easiest to run the oven’s cleaning cycle mode, which turns that grease into easily-swept-away ash, but a good scrubbing with a scouring pad works, too. If you are using your oven’s cleaning cycle, leave your pizza brick in the oven during cleaning—it’ll come out cleaner too!



4. Use a Pizza Stone or Brick on the Lowest Rack in Your Oven

If you use a Pizza Stone or Pizza brick in your oven then you are adding thermal mass to your oven. (It is funny I can remember growing up and my parents or grandparents always talking about adding a brick to the oven so it cooks better.)

By adding the Pizza stone to your oven there is more material to heat up and cool down.

This means the oven will take longer to heat up, but when you go to add poultry or a roast into the oven, the temperature won’t drop as much, meaning faster cook times and better browning. 

Let your oven pre-heat for at least 30 minutes, even if it claims to be ready sooner.

Check out our Pizza Stone

Fiori Pizza Stone


5. Be Aware of Humidity When Roasting & Baking

Higher humidity means more heat transfer, even at the same temperature.

Depending on where you live, humid summers will cause foods to cook faster than they will in the dry of winter.

The type of oven also matters:

  • Gas ovens tend to maintain a standard rate of humidity as the gas combusts and displaces the air in the oven
  • Electric ovens start out drier and become more humid as water from the food being cooked evaporates and gets trapped.

If your roasts are coming out dry on the outside, try covering them for the first half of cooking, using either aluminum foil or a container with a fitted lid.

The baker’s trick of adding a pan of water on a lower rack can also help by increasing humidity.

You should find that if you follow these tips you should enjoy an improved experience with your oven and some wonderful dishes that you have cooked. 

Check out our range of Ovens and Appliance Packages


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