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How to use an oven effectively

These days ovens come in many shapes and sizes. Here we will focus only on convection ovens. Earlier, they used to come in a lightweight variety, round in shape with a lid that had a glass window. Simple equipment but very effective. In fact, some companies still make this model and the best of breads and cookies can be made in it. Even large cakes, upto two kilograms at a time, are no big deal.

What are available for the modern kitchen are sleek square models that are called OTGs (Oven-Toaster-Griller) to be operated on electricity. You can bake a cake, toast sandwiches, or grill kababs with the appropriate press of a button or turn of a dial. There are instruction manuals and recipe booklets that come with the oven. Do make it a point to read them thoroughly. There are gas ranges that have flame burners on the top and a large oven at the bottom. This too is as effective as an electric oven. Please ensure to read the instruction manuals and learn about the gas marks.

Baking
When baking cakes, cookies, breads, pies ensure that the oven is preheated to the correct temperature as the recipe demands. It is the simplest rule for getting perfect results. When baking use the setting that gives both top and bottom heat.

Toasting
To make pizzas, open sandwiches or simple toast, use the setting for top heat. Place pizzas on the tray and toast on the wire rack.

Grilling
To make kababs in the grill, use the skewers provided and the basting tray to catch all the drips. Use the setting that gives top heat and remember to baste the kababs regularly and rotate them.

Reheating
Ovens are great for reheating samosas, patties or stale bread. Use the setting as for baking.

Safety tips

  • Use the oven only for its intended use.
  • Never heat water in the oven. Never try to cook a whole egg.
  • Never use an oven to heat a room.
  • Never leave a working oven unattended especially if there are children around.
  • Never use an oven to store things. If it is switched on accidentally, there could be a major disaster.
  • Use of oven mitts is highly recommended to handle the hot baking dishes.