Working with a gas oven is very similar to a professional guitar player being partial to using tube amplification. Because the guitarist feels the give and take of their physical movements on the instrument through the amp’s vacuum tubes, there is a feeling that they are working with a living entity. In much the same way, homeowners that use a gas oven are operating with fire, and it is the give and take with this powerful element (with its glorious results), that creates gas oven users for life.
Still, it important to know a few things about your gas oven to be safe. Whether you’re a kitchen veteran or a first-time user, here are five tips that can help you best work with gas ovens:
1. Hot Spots Aren’t Just on the Sun – If you’re a watcher of a cooking shows, you’ll hear everyone say, “Rotate your pans.” Many gas ovens have hot spots, making certain areas of the cooking environment warmer than others. If you’re oven doesn’t employ interior fans to move air, by rotating your trays, there is a greater likelihood of even baking (i.e., consistent color and cooking all the way through the dish).
2. Browning is Nice but Be Careful – Some dishes can be tough to brown on top. You run the risk of overlooking the dish if you leave it in too long, but if you still want to get that nice, brown color, you can use the broiler for a concentrated burst of heat, but be careful as it’s easy to go from awesome to burned in a matter of seconds.
3. Be Sure Your Oven is Calibrated – It may be shocking to think that gas ovens can sometimes be off by a lot, even as much as fifty degrees. It is important to make sure you have your oven calibrated so as to be able to use the temperature of your oven as an accurate measure of the heat you’re using. Plus, you’ll ruin less food, which save money.
4. Pizza Stones Help Even Things Out – A pizza stone is designed to hold heat very well, plus it also puts out heat in an even way. A pizza stone may be the way to go to help settle an oven with crazy hot spots. Don’t be fooled by the name, though. The stone can also prove to be a great way to help set the bottoms of various types of casseroles and can be very pivotal in one-pan dinners.
5. Understand Cookware Materials – Depending on the type of materials you use to bake (i.e., aluminum, silicone, stainless steel, Pyrex), you’ll have to keep track of variations in cooking time, how much browning you’re looking for, and what dish best suits your general baking needs.
A gas oven is a tremendous culinary tool, and in the right hands with the right knowledge, it can be the key to tremendous meals for a lifetime.« Back to Glossary Index