Using your oven properly and maintaining it regularly are the two keys to maximizing the life of your appliance. Cooking methods, thermostats, use of options… We reveal all the secrets of a perfectly successful recipe!
Which cooking method for which type of dish?
Hot air, natural convection, grill, forced air grill ... Current ovens offer different cooking methods that should not be used in any way. Natural convection is a cooking method that evenly diffuses heat thanks to its resistances placed on the top (top) and bottom (bottom). It is recommended for baking cakes, soufflés and lean meats (beef or game), provided that you use only one level of the oven. If you are looking for a very tender meat, opt for gentle cooking! The forced air (or circulating heat) function promotes uniform heat distribution throughout the interior of the oven thanks to the fans located at the rear. It is ideal for baking pastries, poultry or large pieces of meat, and allows you to cook several foods at the same time without mixing their smells or flavors. The grill mode is preferred for grilling steaks, sausages, toast and pieces of fish: it is ideal for very tender meats from the ribs, loin or sirloin. If you choose the forced air grill mode, the grill resistance and the fan will work alternately, thus promoting the crispiness of the food.
What about thermostats?
The temperatures indicated in the recipes are sometimes converted to a thermostat (from 1 to 10). If you want to know the correspondence in degrees, simply multiply the value of the thermostat by 30. Example: Thermostat 4 = 120 ° C. Small thermostats (3 or 4) are preferred for "delicate" foods (such as meringue for example) or long cooking such as eggplant caviar or 7-hour leg. Thermostat 5 is ideal for baking sole fillets, cookies, macaroons or light cakes. Thicker fish, petit fours, cakes and soufflés will rather require a thermostat 6. Finally, the highest degrees are preferred for meats, gratins, pies and cakes.
Thoroughly clean your oven
For an oven to function optimally it is essential to maintain it regularly, especially if you are a diligent cook. This maintenance first and foremost involves thorough cleaning, whether manual, catalytic or pyrolysis. After each use of the oven, when it is just warm, remember to clean the spills and spilled food: it is much easier to clean it progressively than to wait until it is too dirty! Some cooks have the habit of covering the walls and the trays of the oven with aluminum foil so as not to dirty it: an error never to be repeated because the leaves deteriorate the enamel of your appliance. Finally, use the yellow side of the sponge rather than the scraper so as not to damage the fragile and porous wall (for models with catalysis) of your oven.
Have you just installed your brand new oven in the middle of your kitchen furniture? Remember to heat it a first time when empty (at a temperature of around 200 ° C) for 1 hour, leaving the door ajar to remove odors and fumes from the oven. Subsequently, preheating - even for a few minutes - allows you to sear certain meats, preserve the nutritional value of the food or even make your pastries "rise".