Going deep into the holiday cooking season?! Here in Essex we are buried! The one appliance that should be in a perfect shape now is your oven. November and December are months of heavy cooking in the kitchen, therefore you’ll have to be prepared for anything that can happen, appliance-wise. Make sure you avoid costly oven repairs or, at least, nasty burnt smells, by keeping your cooker clean and neat. Apart from that, though, there are many other useful tricks for the holiday season, that can stack up the chances of your oven survive it.
It takes incredible amount of effort to cook during the holidays and host Christmas dinners. You have to bear in mind a lot of things, such as who is going to visit you, what are you going to cook for them, are they vegans, meat eaters, lactose intolerant, hate pork. Then it comes the Christmas shopping that will probably take you at least a couple of days. But how many of you weigh in the possibilities if your own oven is ready to take up all the upcoming cooking work?
Many households resort to the easy short-cuts of using their oven’s self-cleaning function. While it can be useful for a short-term period of cooking, it’s not very wise to overuse it during the heavy cooking and baking season. Ovens can experience problems after a cycle of self-cleaning which leads to their consequent breaking-down. Not to mention what can happen to your baking work if you forget to turn off the self-cleaning function.
November and December are also months of higher electricity bills due to the increased oven usage. How anxious you are, on the scale of 1 to 10, to open the door and peek into the oven chamber to see if the meal is done? Well, think again next time, because, every time you do that, you lose precious temperature and the stove have to heat up again, thus increasing the cooking time and your bills. Why not scrub the oil stains from the oven window? It is meant to be used to throw an eye at the meal, anyway.
Here are the best 9 things you can do to guarantee yourself no oven accidents are going to happen around the holidays.
The best way to do that is to use the self-cleaning cycle prior to the Christmas dinner. It’s a fact that the electrical parts of the oven can easily damage and fail after that function has been overused. If there’s no other way but using it, then, follow strictly the recommendations written on the user manual.
In order to observe whether your oven is working properly, make sure to check regularly the temperature in the oven chamber. Don’t look at the thermometer, as it might be wrong. The best way to check it is by cooking a basic cake. Follow the recipe strictly, with the proper timing, preheating and temperature setting. If there’s something wrong with the quality of the cake in the end – being dry or not cooked well, then there’s a high chance your stove doesn’t heat properly. Make this test before the festivity season, and, if a heating element is faulty, consider changing it. Most of the times, it’s quite easy to remove the heater without having to chop off the whole oven from your kitchen installation.
It’s an irrefutable fact that the cleaner your cooker is, the better job it will do in the kitchen. From gas, through electric and up until dual ovens, they all work better when given a nice deep clean. What do professional oven cleaning Essex technicians advice? Get your oven cleaned at least once every six months. Your best synchronization will be just before the autumn and after the winter. Here’s another piece of advice – you can get any kind of dripping pans and oven mats to minimize the risk of accidental spillages of food.
Mind that a faulty door hinge can prevent it from fully closing. That is a sure-fire way to allow heat to escape, thus increasing your electricity bills. Replace any faulty part of the oven door mechanism, if needed.
Just in case your oven’s chamber is big enough and allows it. You can save both yours and your oven’s energy by going all-in on your main baked dishes. The important thing is to leave enough space inside to allow proper heat flow.
If you really want to save on electricity and your cooker’s not quite in the shape to do that, try cooking with another appliance. One of your best and healthiest options can be a slow cooker – it takes a lot of time, but, consider this – you put the ingredients in the morning, go to work, get the kids from school and when you’re back, the dish is done! The microwave can also replace some of the functions of the oven, but don’t use it too often, as it is more and more considered unhealthy to cook with it.
If there’s moisture building up outside the oven door it means your cooker gasket’s damaged. It is one of the main heat holders of your cooker. So, replace it if problems with the so-called “oven sweat” arise.
Whether you are cleaning the appliance or you have decided to repair it on your own, make sure you fasten your seatbelt beforehand. Turn off the electricity and gas pipes when cleaning or repairing the oven. If it is a more complex repair, consult a technician. Use protective gear when dealing with cleaning chemicals.
Check out the condition of your oven before the celebrations come. If you detect an issue, make sure to allocate enough time to repair it. If it turns out to be too costly, consider replacing your appliance before the festivities.