Pro tips for using your oven: Preheating, Cooking and Cleaning

Taste | 6 minute read |

While ovens have become a mainstay in kitchens around the world, many people aren’t always sure how to properly use their oven to cook delicious meals. Oven maintenance and cleaning are also incredibly important to keep your oven in great shape for many years to come.


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In this blog post, Electrolux Malaysia will give you the best tips for using your oven smartly and efficiently. Read on to find out how to:

  • Preheat and cook meals in your oven
  • Clean your oven properly
  • Maintain your oven

3 tips to preheat and cook with your oven


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Know how long to preheat an oven

Before you start cooking in your oven, make sure you’ve given your oven enough time to preheat to the correct temperature. Consult your recipe to find out which temperature it should be set to and turn it on well before your meal is ready to be cooked. Preheating will ensure that your food cooks evenly and is cooked all the way through.

It typically takes around 12-15 minutes to preheat an oven, though this depends on the oven as well as on the desired temperature. Most ovens have an indicator on the outside, often a light or part of a display, that will show you when the oven is done preheating. Consult your user manual to find out more.

Choose the correct setting and placement for cooking your meal


Most modern ovens come with a variety of modes you can set, be it conventional convection cooking, fan, or grill settings. The fan setting usually saves energy and cooking time thanks to the circulation of hot air inside the oven, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best setting for any food.

For example, a pizza is often best served with heat from below in order to create a crispy bottom, while a lasagna or a casserole needs heat from above to melt cheese and brown the top layer. For baking in an oven, use heat from above and below to ensure your cake or bread is baked evenly.

Where you place your food inside the oven is also essential and will increase or decrease the effects these settings have. For example, if you cook with heat from above and put your food on the highest level, the top will be browned much more quickly. If you’re not sure, choose the middle rack.

Avoid opening the oven while you’re cooking


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When you open the oven door, the heat escapes into your kitchen and the temperature inside your oven decreases. That means that your oven needs time to heat up again once you’ve closed the door. This may increase the time needed for cooking your food and could even lead to it being undercooked.

For this very reason, the vast majority of ovens have windows that allow you to look inside the oven without having to open it. While you’re going to have to open it at some point, try to avoid that until it’s absolutely necessary.

Read more: Your complete guide on how to use your oven

Tips for cleaning your oven


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If you want to keep using your oven for a long time, you need to keep it clean. This also ensures that your food doesn’t pick up any odors or germs from old and possibly burnt food residue. There are several different ways of cleaning your oven if you don’t want to use store-bought cleaning products:

Self-cleaning ovens

Many modern ovens have a self-cleaning function that usually comes in one of three different varieties.

Pyrolytic ovens use high temperatures to burn the residue left on surfaces inside your oven, meaning you only have to wipe up after it’s done.

With catalytic ovens, you achieve a similar effect, though they have one drawback – it doesn’t work on sugar residue.

The third option is steam cleaning, which uses heat and water to soften up the residue, leaving you to wipe it up.

 

Cleaning with homemade cleaning products


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You can rely on Mother Nature to get your oven sparkling clean without the use of potentially harmful chemicals. One option is to use baking soda and vinegar. It’s a combination that generations of people have bet on to clean everything from bathroom tiles to greying clothes.

For oven cleaning, simply make a paste of the two ingredients and apply it to all the surfaces inside your oven. Leave it for one night, and you’ll be able to easily wipe the inside of your oven clean.

Alternatively, you can also use the cleaning power of lemons. Putting two halved lemons in an oven-proof bowl filled with water inside your oven and leaving it at 120 degrees for an hour will do wonders for softening up that grime. After the hour is up, let the oven cool down just a bit and wipe it down when it’s safe to touch.

Discover more simple tips to clean your oven in our article.

*Disclaimer: Professional oven cleaners might be required to provide the best care for your oven surface.

 

3 oven maintenance tips to take care of your oven


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Cleaning your oven already helps to give it a longer lifespan, but it needs proper maintenance beyond that. Always consult your oven’s user manual in order to find out how best to keep your appliance in working order, but here are a few basic tips:

Keep your oven door seal clean


The seal on your oven door ensures that hot air doesn’t escape the oven, ensuring that the temperature on the inside remains steady while you’re cooking. This is essential for cooking your food evenly and preventing bad flavors or even food poisoning. Keeping the seal clean is as easy as regularly wiping it down with a damp rag.

Keep your oven fan free of obstructions

Regularly check the vents in front of your oven’s fan for obstructions and make sure to remove them by wiping off the vents. Unless you have experience, do not attempt to clean the fan itself, since this is usually only possible if the appliance is at least partially disassembled. Better to leave it to the professionals.

Find out the support you might need for your oven from our website.

Schedule professional maintenance for your oven

Making sure experienced maintenance workers take a look at your oven at regular intervals will help catch any issues before they become real problems. Not only will this ensure that you can enjoy your oven for a long time, but it will also give you peace of mind.

Check out more pro tips to use your kitchen appliances:

 

Use a great oven that suits your needs

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A high-quality oven with intuitive controls and great features can easily become the center point of your kitchen, allowing you to create amazing meals for yourself and your loved ones. And ovens from Electrolux with convenient cleaning functions like steam or pyrolytic cleaning also make oven maintenance a breeze.

To find out more, check out the broad selection of ovens Electrolux has on offer and find the one that best suits you. Read this article to find out our expert tips to choose an oven for your kitchen.

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