Every baker’s fear is a burned, under-cooked or overcooked pastry. If you’re new to the baking world, mate you’re going to get plenty of miserable baking attempts. Even if you’re a professional, you can get 80% of the baking process precisely but when your pastry reaches the oven, everything is missed up. The only fact affecting the whole process is that ovens aren’t trust worthy! You have to build a solid relationship with your oven before you start the real job. What I mean by the real job is like inviting 100 people to your house and bake for them or starting a small baking business from home with a new oven! You need to understand your oven and how it works, what its weakness and goods. In this post I’ll give you a few tips to help you getting the best results from your oven and minimize the chances of having a burned food.
First Tip: Test Your Oven:
From my experience, as I moved a lot and cook in different households, I noticed that the cooking time, the crust and crispiness color change along every oven. Therefore, if I’m cooking at my friend’s house, I have to ask them how their oven works. Also, when I moved to a new apartment, I had to bake different dishes to test out the oven. As I’m testing, I found out that my macaron, which I used to bake at 315 °F back home; I bake it now at 290 °F with the new oven. Also, the baking time is significantly reduced, usually my macaron takes 10 to 12 minutes to bake but now it takes 6 to 8 minutes! When you do the test, do it with different dishes. Choose the ones that sensitive to heat such as macaron, cookies, puff pastry … etc. Do a test for the upper and lower heater to see which one releases more heat than the other. The simplest way to do it is to put a small slice of dough on a tray. Set the oven at 350°F ( 180°C ) and turn the upper and lower heat on. Then, place the rack in the middle and watch the development of the pastry. If the top and bottom is golden brown at the same time, this means that both heaters are working similarly. On the other hand, if the top is done before the bottom, it indicates that the upper heater is stronger than the bottom so you need to place the rack in a lower level to reduce the affect of the upper heater and increase the lower heater, and vice versa. Moreover, give the fan a test if you’re using a convection oven, some fans are bad at circulating air.
Tip 2: Get an Oven Thermometer:
Most ovens don’t set the temperature accurately. You adjust the temperature at 350 °F but later you realize that it’s much colder than it should be. Baking food in temperature below or higher than the suggested temperature will absolutely make everything goes out of the window. Therefore, you need to get an oven thermometer to double check the temperature inside the oven. If you attempt to bake macarons or cookies, I highly recommend you to get one because these types of pastry are so critical.
I did a whole experiment on the affect of heat on pastry to show how important is to get the precise temperature, click here to read it.
Tip 3: Buy an Oven That Has an Interior Light:
This is one of the things to look for when you porches a new oven. Get your oven light fixed if it’s not working, because there isn’t anything more frustrating than leaving your food unwatched in the oven. There are some dishes that need to be baked without any human interruption. So, opening the oven every second to checkout your food wouldn’t be a great idea, cold air coming from the outside will ruin the baking process and you will get loads of air inside your pastry. To prevent all this drama, oven light is the answer peeps. It lights up your oven in order to watch your food cooking without opening the doors back and forth and wasting all the hot air that suppose to be kept inside the oven.
Tip 4: Daily Checkups:
Always check out the door and the rubber around the doors if they still alive or they need to be changed. These two items are so important to keep the hot air inside the oven, otherwise you will always bake undercooked food or you will die waiting for your food to be cooked. Meanwhile, I’m dealing with an oven that has a leakage from the top cause the door isn’t closing tightly. So I have to raise the oven’s temperature in order to reach the required cooking temperature. Consequently, the whole kitchen becomes a hell of a mess, it becomes bloody hot because the hot air leaks from the oven to the kitchen. No one wants to experience this. My mom didn’t discover it until I came, but she was always wondering “why the oven is taking too long to bake!”, here you go mom!
Tip 5: Purchase a Convection Oven:
Conviction oven is the one that provides a fan. The role of the fan is to circulate the hot air around the oven which gives us an even temperature all over the place. This helps to minimize the chances of burning your food because the hot air isn’t concentrated in one place. It’s distributed all over the oven, unlike conventional ovens.
Follow these tips, and share with me what do you do to enhance your. If you still getting problems with your oven, comment down below I’ll help you out as much as I can.
Thanks for reading!