Oven uses and functions.
There are so many functions in modern ovens that, if you study them all, you can prepare restaurant-quality dishes. Another thing is that rarely anyone uses all the functionality of their oven – most users limit themselves to standard programs.
Some housewives have a real epiphany when they open the instructions for use (often for the first time after several years of using the equipment) and see how many cooking opportunities their own oven provides them. Even the most budgetary oven allows not only tasty and varied but also convenient cooking.
We recommend that you at least familiarize yourself with the programs of the device after the purchase, because sooner or later the moment will come when you want to cook something special. It is worth noting that you may not need additional functions, so you should carefully study the characteristics of the oven at the stage of selection and do not overpay for functionality that is unnecessary for you.
For example, if you already have a microwave oven, then most likely there is no point in buying an oven with a microwave function. If you do not plan to bake bread, you do not need an oven with a bread maker mode. But practice shows that most users are just switching to new equipment and simply do not know about the technologies that are implemented in modern cooking equipment. We will briefly talk about some of them, and below we will dwell on the necessary and most useful functions of the ovens.
Immediately, we note that 90% of all ovens are electric since they have wider functionality than gas ones. But it is in most gas appliances that there is a skewer, which is an elongated metal rod and serves to bake meat evenly from all sides. In electric ovens, the skewer is usually not used, because in them the dishes are baked evenly. In gas models, such a device allows you to compensate for the technical imperfection of the equipment.
A thermostat is used to maintain the set temperature in the ovens. Heating elements are heating elements and a burner – for electrical and gas appliances, respectively. Some models are equipped with a slow cook function that allows you to bake food at a low temperature while maintaining all the beneficial and nutritional properties of the ingredients.
Another way to cook healthy food is to buy an oven with a steamer function. Such devices are equipped with a steam generator, thanks to which you can use wet, intense, or hot steam.
Self-cleaning functions are present in almost all ovens today. These include hydrolysis, catalytic and pyrolytic methods of cleaning the working chamber. To implement the first, pour water with the addition of detergent into a special container and turn on the device for 40-50 minutes at a temperature of 140-190°F. The steam softens the dirt and can be easily removed with a regular cloth.
The chambers of ovens with a catalytic system are covered with special enamel, the chemical elements of which, at temperatures above 400°F, react with fatty deposits and decompose them into water and carbon. This cleaning method is convenient because it is performed directly during the cooking process, which means it does not require additional time.
Pyrolytic self-cleaning is implemented in advanced models of electric ovens. At the end of cooking, the device is turned on at a temperature of 900°F, at which all impurities are burned out. The hostess will not have to deal with fatty deposits on the walls of the chamber, you just need to remove the dry ash after pyrolysis.
Now let’s move on to a more detailed examination of the most common features of modern ovens.
- Oven uses and functions
- Automatic programs
- Oven with built-in grill
- For bulky food, it is best to use the turbo grill
- What is convection in ovens?
- Timer function
- How Child Lock works?
- Telescopic guides
- Tangential cooling
- Microwave function
- Thermal probe
- Steam function
- Double convection
- The fan
- Cooling fan
- Sliding door
- Pyrolytic cleaning
- Steam cleaning
- Electric ignition
- Slow cooking function
- Warming function
- Drying function
- Quick reheat function
- Bread maker function
Oven uses and functions
When we cook by hand, we choose one of the food heating modes, whether it be a combination of top and bottom heating or a combination of convection and grill. The automatic oven programs are ready-made ways to prepare various dishes. Using this function, the user does not need to worry about what level to put the dish on, what temperature to set, and how long to cook. An oven with an automatic system will automatically set the mode and will switch the required heaters during cooking.
Using an oven with built-in programs significantly reduces the risk of food scorching, and the optimal distribution of heat in the cooking compartment will ensure the best cooking from the inside. The device offers to cook either using a temperature probe or to do it based on the weight of the product. If, for example, you need to cook boneless meat, you can use the temperature probe, if you need to bake chicken, it is better to set the weight of the product and use the automatic mode.
Advanced ovens have a steaming function and even a simmering mode for food at low temperatures. The automatic program will automatically select the desired method depending on the recipe. Modern models have up to 150 built-in recipes and the ability to program your own. Automatic programs are prepared with little or no user input. It is enough to put the ingredients in the oven and select the desired recipe – the equipment will do everything by itself and turn off on its own at the end of cooking.
Oven with built-in grill
All modern electric ovens are equipped with an overhead heater, which is also found in most gas models. Heating the food from above allows the grill function to be realized. This is a very healthy mode that you can use to cook meat, fish, vegetables, and other crispy foods, similar to cooking over an open fire. Now, to cook shashlik, ruddy chicken, and appetizing sausages, it is not necessary to go out into the countryside and cook it all over a fire – an oven with a grill will cope just as well.
There are several types of grill: small, large, and turbo. The heating element located under the ceiling of the working chamber has a zigzag shape and consists of two sections – inner and outer. For small or flat dishes, it is sufficient to use the small grill when only the internal heating element is switched on. Using this function, you can cook toast, sausages, kupaty, meat, and fish with energy savings.
But to prepare large meals, one internal heater, which only bakes the middle, will not be enough. It is necessary to turn on the entire top heating element and use the so-called large grill. In this mode, infrared rays will spread over the entire area of the grating, and the temperature will be much higher. The large grill can cook chicken, large cuts of meat, wide flat dishes, and even roast a whole pig, all the while cooking is fast enough.
For bulky food, it is best to use the turbo grill
function. This mode is implemented only in electric ovens and differs from the large ones in that the fan operation is added to the upper heating. This way the ingredients are baked more evenly and you do not need to use a skewer to cook large pieces of meat. In turbo grill mode the maximum oven temperature is 340°F, while with small and large grills it is 460°F.
What is convection in ovens?
This is a very important mode that greatly simplifies and improves the cooking process. Oven convection can be natural, forced, or humid.
If you remember how cooking took place in old ovens, then it immediately becomes clear what a natural process means. This is when the baking sheets constantly have to be turned over and interchanged so that the baked goods do not burn. The fact is that the temperature at the back wall and the bottom of the oven are much higher than at the top and near the door.
The owner of a natural convection oven has to reshuffle and turn the trays 190°F from time to time so that the dishes are baked equally on all sides. Sometimes you need to open the door to let out hot air and protect the baked goods from burning. The natural convection cooking process is laborious, tedious, and time-consuming.
Today, manufacturers of gas and electric ovens equip household appliances with forced convection. A fan is built into the rear wall, which drives hot air throughout the working chamber, ensuring the same temperature at any point. Regardless of whether the food is near the door, top, bottom, or back wall, they bake in the same way.
If you use the forced convection mode for baking, then in addition to even baking, it is also covered with a crispy appetizing crust. In some models of ovens, an additional rear heating element is installed near the fan, which is often used for cooking pizza.
We have already talked about the function of steaming, but there is also wet convection. The convection principle of operation of the oven, in this case, does not differ from the forced mode, only instead of hot air, the dish is blown with steam. With moist convection, the dough rises faster during baking, and food prepared in this way contains more useful components.
In the lines of almost all manufacturers, there are ovens with a timer. This is a very important device, the task of which is to notify the hostess of the end of cooking. Timers in ovens are mechanical and electronic, and their principle of operation is very simple. The time required to prepare a particular dish is set, after which the countdown begins. The end of cooking is indicated by a characteristic signal. The presence of an oven with a timer relieves the hostess from constant control over the process. While the food is being prepared, she can calmly do other things and not worry that she will miss the moment and the dish will burn.
How Child Lock works?
Ovens are potentially unsafe equipment, so manufacturers are concerned about the protection of users and the safety of the curious, prying little family members everywhere.
How are Child Lock functions implemented? The most dangerous element of the oven is the cooking compartment. If a child opens it, hot air will come out on him, which can lead to severe burns. Modern ovens have a door lock, made in the form of a hidden lock, which is located at the bottom or on the side, so that the child cannot even accidentally press it.
If the control panel is equipped with rotary knobs, these are usually recessed. After setting the mode, you need to press the switch, and the child will not be able to turn it. If the oven is equipped with touch controls, the child lock is programmed.
An important protective function is the multi-layer glazing of the door, due to which it practically does not heat from the outside. Additionally, an automatic shutdown mode can be implemented at the end of cooking. In gas ovens, the most important protection function is gas control, when, when the flame goes out, the device blocks the gas supply.
The ovens have a multilevel cooking mechanism. The levels are counted from the top, and the first section is usually stationary. The rest are baking trays that need to be pulled out to place the ingredients and check their readiness. The most practical, convenient, and safe way of pulling out involves the presence of telescopic rails in the oven.
“Telescopes” allow you to easily, smoothly, and quietly pull out the baking sheet without the risk of scalding, since jamming is practically excluded. Convenience also lies in the fact that the telescopic guides securely hold the metal sheet, so that the hostess does not need to remove it to place the ingredients.
Works by a fan and depends on the number of glasses. At the same time, it does not heat up, we can calmly hold the door handle, and also touch the glass. The oven function is very useful in those kitchens where there are children.
Is used not only to heat food using special microwaves but also to prepare various dishes and pastries. Microwaves, working in conjunction with other functions, save us time because cooking is much faster.
Controls the temperature inside the dish itself and displays it on the oven display. It is not available in all ovens, most often in elite ones.
Allows us to steam food, where all the nutritious and healthy elements are preserved. This function is used by those who monitor their health and is also suitable for people who are on a diet. This function has a lot of advantages, including the fact that it saves space in the kitchen and financial costs for separate equipment. It is also used to heat food or other foods.
Designed to evenly cook chicken or other large pieces of meat. The cooking process on it is as follows: a chicken is inserted onto a metal skewer, and during cooking, it spins. Due to this, the chicken or kebab is cooked evenly with a ruddy and crispy crust.
In this function, two fans work, designed to distribute heat evenly. They are located on the back of the oven, one above the other, and each fan distributes heat at its level.
Is a function that distributes heat so that the dish is cooked evenly from all sides. It can simultaneously work with other modes and functions, with this combination we get new modes that can cook dishes even tastier and rounder. It also cools the outside of the oven, especially the oven door.
Designed to cool the door with glass and the entire oven body. When you open the door to check the cooking, this function will prevent our handles from getting burnt. Thanks to the function of cooling the body of kitchen appliances, the furniture next to it also do not heat up and does not spoil its appearance.
Convenient for those who are too lazy to bend over when checking or putting food or food. It is also convenient in the case that we do not have to climb our heads into the oven, since the grates slide out by themselves, otherwise, hot air can get into our face at any time.
But this function has one drawback, when the oven door is pulled out, the temperature of the inside of the oven decreases. When the temperature drops, you have to spend time again so that it warms up again, and it can also affect the preparation of a certain dish. Not all baked goods or other products can tolerate temperature changes.
Used to clean the oven. The process goes like this: the temperature of the oven heats up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit, and then after a certain period, all dirt, grease, food debris simply turns into ash. We just have to wipe it with a cloth.
This function is also intended for cleaning the oven, only it does not use temperature, but water. Pour the prepared half a liter of water into a baking sheet, and by pressing the function, the oven will clean itself.
Catalytic cleaning is an oven cleaning function that is cleaned by coating the inside of the oven with a special enamel. The cleaning function works already during cooking at a temperature of 400 – 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Used in gas ovens to automatically ignite a flame. There are two types of them: mechanical and automatic. With mechanical electrical ignition, the flame is ignited by pressing a button, and with automatic ignition, it is enough to turn the switch.
Slow cooking function
When using a low temperature, the cooking process takes a long time. With the slow cooking function, the dish is stewed, so that all the useful and nutrients that everyone needs are preserved.
Used for heating food and food and for defrosting. The function works when using certain modes, namely bottom and ring modes, where the presence of a fan is mandatory. After all, it is he who will evenly distribute the heat in the oven. The hot steam of the oven is also used to heat food.
Allows us to dry vegetables, berries, mushrooms, and many other different products at any time, regardless of the weather. The only drawback is that it takes a lot of time to dry, and therefore energy.
Quick reheat function
It is used not to reheat food or products, as many might think, but to heat the oven itself before starting to cook. With this function, all heating elements work. With it, we can quickly preheat the oven, spending little time and electricity.
Bread maker function
Designed for making bread, rolls, and various types of pastries. Such a function will itself knead and rise the dough for us. It is present only in electric ovens.