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36

There is lots of use for high temperatures. Especially pizza is the first thing that comes to mind; there is no home oven which can get to the proper temperatures for a Neapoletana (which are above 500 Celsius), but more is always better. Of course, the salesman will tell you what you need to hear to buy his product, don't listen to him. This still doesn't ...


27

Smoke is normal in an electric oven, but flames are definitely not. In order to start a fire, you either need a spark, or you need to heat something beyond its autoignition temperature (AKA kindling point). You might have had a short - or you might actually be using a gas oven with spark ignition - but I'm guessing your issue was the latter. Cooking oil ...


22

Removing things from the oven halfway through is not very friendly to baked goods. In general, they'll collapse as they cool off since the structure isn't cooked and set, and the leavening (baking soda/powder in these cases) will be spent, so there's no way to get what you originally wanted. It might be something like what'd happen if you forgot the ...


18

When you don't preheat, you cook your food at a lower temperature as your oven heats up for the first 5-15 minutes, depending on the target temperature and your oven's strength. For forgiving foods, like a casserole, this may not affect you much - you'll just have to bake longer than the recipe says to. As long as you're careful, you'll be fine. But if ...


15

I've always cooked it on top of aluminum foil, at 350°F (~175°C) for 20 minutes. Flipping it once at about the half way point. If you prefer crispier, go for 25 minutes.


15

Preheating is mainly needed for breads and anything that has a short cooking time (< 15 mins or so). I don't bother preheating when I'm roasting something for a longer time. If you're setting a timer, I assume this is something that will take a while to cook, so I wouldn't worry about preheating.


15

I agree with Jay's answer that one of the reasons is because of keeping the skin crispy, but I don't agree about the difference with other types of poultry and have a bit more background info. The root difference between duck and other poultry is that duck is much fattier, and most of that fat is stored under the skin. If you don't do anything about the ...


14

Actually I do this, and I do it because my oven is old and tempermental. Adding a heavy heat-sink (like a pizza stone, or a half dozen fire bricks) to your oven will increase your pre-heat time, but it makes your ovens temperature much more stable. It's a good thing to do if you're planning on cooking anything that is really temperature sensitive.


14

You absolutely don't need a bread maker for good bread. They have been making bread for at least 22,000 years and I promise, in the vast majority of those, having a bread maker would have gotten you stoned as a witch (if you had electricty to run it). However, a good bread maker will vastly cut down on the time you have to spend making bread. Basically, ...


13

A oven is a box for containing high heat. It really is the best place to have a fire. Though electric ovens are not supposed to have fire in there they do a fine job of containing it. Even if you somehow manage to set the heating element aflame (I've done this and still don't know how). Leave it closed and wait for it to go out.


12

Presumably the reason you're cooking directly on the oven rack is to let the fat drip down. If so, do yourself a favour and get yourself a roasting rack. It's an inexpensive piece of equipment that you place in a baking pan or on a cookie sheet; the food cooks on the rack and the pan/sheet catches all the drippings. Way better than trying to replace an ...


12

To clarify: forced-air (a/k/a "convection", a/k/a "fan bake") ovens rely on a fan to circulate the air in the oven. The fast-moving air substantially enhances the rate at which heat is transferred to the food. It is particularly good where you want the surface to brown, such as roasts and breads; it is not as good for more delicate items, such as custards ...


11

The idea of a "fast" oven comes from the time when wood-burning stoves without temperature gauges were the most common ones in kitchens. A fast oven is anywhere from 400-425° F. Conversion to Fahrenheit Very slow (very low) oven: 300-325° F. Slow (low) oven: 325-350° F. Moderate (medium) oven: 350-375° F. Fast/quick (high) oven: ...


11

Grilling / broiling the potato after it comes out of the microwave is quicker than baking it and achieves the same crispy outside. If you really prefer them baked though, you can speed this up by inserting a large metal skewer into the potato while it's in the oven


11

The forced movement (convection) of the hot air by fans is what improves the cooking in a convection oven. The beautiful part is that it allows you to cook on ANY or EVERY single rack in your oven. Here are the adjustments you'll need to make: For baked goods you typically drop the temperature by 25 degrees. If the recipe says to bake at 350 then you'd ...


11

If we had a magical (or 4d) oven that could heat up the inside of the food all at once and uniformly, the baking rule would be simple: bake batters and doughs at 100°C / 212°F until dough expands and dries, and then increase to 150°C / 302°F to brown. Any recipe that followed it would take way longer (several hours) than regular recipes, ...


11

The book "Cooking for Geeks" has a preview available online which explains how to use sugar to check whether your oven's temperature is above or below 186°C (367°F). It won't tell you whether it's getting up to 250°C, but if you're right that it only gets to 150°C then it will be obvious that it's not fixed.


11

Yes, there's a risk, but it's not significantly higher than having most other home appliances turned on (eg, a lamp, dehumidifier, dish washer or dryer). Although it heats up, a full-sized oven is insulated, and you're not operating at a very high temperature. Provided it seals well, even if there's a fire, there would be little oxygen to sustain it. I ...


11

Absolutely not. There are a lot of tricks to get good thick (or thin) pizza with oven temperatures under 300C (572F). The people at Serious Eats have researched the problem at great length and with excellent results. Few home ovens reach 300C. I made this pizza last weekend using the recipe in the above link, my oven's top temperature is 274C (525F): ...


10

For baking cakes and breads it is important to control the humidity in the oven. In early stages of baking one typically needs the humidity to remain in the baking chamber, which is hard to do with a gas oven. Two of the bakeries near my house use electric ovens with brick lined baking chambers; the other uses gas. Expansion Gas and electric ovens can be ...


10

This depends on a lot of things. The idea of preheating is that you want to get all the surfaces inside your oven (walls, floor, door, racks) up to the desired cooking temperature. This makes for more even temperatures throughout the oven, and gives a little thermal mass so you don't lose ALL your heat when you open the door for a few seconds or put ...


10

Oven cleaner will take that right off. If you're sensitive to nasty harmful fumes you can get the fume free kind. Make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter, and make sure no kids or pets are around.


10

Short answer: They're probably not safe. Unlike "microwave safety", there isn't a safety risk in contaminating the food contents of the jars due to heating in an oven; in this case you just run the risk of the jars breaking. I am not sure what the symbols on the bottom of your jar mean; (see edit below) from what I understand—unlike plastic resin ...


10

Microwaves specifically heat water molecules in the food. This turns them to steam, and because the air in the microwave is actually cool, the steam then condenses. There is often not proper air circulation to move the steam away from the food. Often times the outside edges of the food will not be soggy, but rather burnt, because they receive more energy and ...


10

There are differences between baking in a plastic bag and in a Dutch oven. If you have access to both, I prefer the Dutch oven. What both do is to Trap steam This makes your food a bit moister, and keeps pan juices and additions to the roast, like a dry rub or mirepoix, from drying out into an unappetizing, carbonized spot. It is not as important for ...


10

That was bad advice. If you're not par-boiling the potatoes they will need at least 40 minutes, but to be honest you are much better off par-boiling. Pre-heat the oven as before and place a roasting tin in to pre-heat as well. Cut the potatoes as before, then place them in a large pan of salted water, bring it to the boil, and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain ...


10

On a different tack to those above you can stabilize your oven temperature by using heat absorbing materials such as brick and stone, which will absorb heat when the oven is on, then release it when the power goes out. It does mean for longer pre-heating times as it takes lots of energy to get the stone or brick up to temperature, however it could save your ...


9

If you're cooking something that is likely to spill over, you might want to remove it. They can be difficult to clean. Otherwise, just make sure it isn't blocking airflow (possibly a problem with the very bottom of the oven, but depends on the design). I leave mine on the bottom rack all the time... See also: What are other uses for a pizza stone?


9

Electric ovens produce a very dry heat, which for some cooking processes may be preferable. Gas as it burns gives off a certain amount of water vapour and doesn't dry out the ingredients as much and it may take slightly longer to get a golden brown finish. There various schools of thought about this. One thing I have noticed is that many professional ...


9

I set the oven to 400F, line a half sheet pan with aluminum foil, place a cooling rack inside the pan, and then put the bacon on top of the cooling rack. It takes between 20 and 30 minutes to reach the point that I like it, but you may want to stop it earlier. Also good, blend some brown sugar and pecans until the pecans are well mixed with the sugar and ...



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