7 common mistakes you make when cooking in the oven


The oven is an essential and versatile appliance for kitchen lovers. However, there are common mistakes when using it that you must correct to further improve cleaning or gastronomic preparation.

The oven is one of our main allies to cook all kinds of dishes, from pastries or homemade bread – so fashionable in quarantine – to stews, quiches, pizzas, roasts or stews. To get the most out of it and keep it clean, it is essential not to make some of the following mistakes.

So that you can keep this appliance in perfect condition, we review the most frequent mistakes you make with the oven and the easiest ways to correct them.

7 most common oven failures

1) You never wait for it to preheat: It doesn’t matter if you’re making a puff pastry, roasting, or baking cookies. It is essential to wait for the oven to heat up completely, since the cooking times in the recipes are based on a fully heated oven. Normally preheating it is around ten or fifteen minutes. Remember to place the food at the proper height and control the times and temperature. Of course, you can turn it off ahead of time to take advantage of the residual heat.

2) You don’t use the right containers: Be careful with the dishes or trays you use to cook food, since some of them are not ovenproof. You also cannot insert utensils with plastic or rubber handles if they are going to be exposed to heat for a time, as they could melt.

3) You don’t use the oven light (and you open the door): Did you know that every time you open the door your oven can cool 50 degrees? In the case of cupcakes and other desserts, you could ruin them. Turn on the light and watch through the glass. Also, putting your face near the oven when opening it is dangerous as you could get burned. Also, do not use damp cloths to remove trays.

4) You put multiple trays: If you find that your baked goods are not cooking evenly when you place more than one tray in your oven, go for a single tray at a time located on the center rack. Patience is the mother of science, and cooking is not exempt from this rule.

5) Do not remove the racks or trays during the self-cleaning cycle: If your oven is pyrolytic, catalytic or hydrolytic-steam-you should know that it is important not to leave the trays inside for the self-cleaning cycle. In order not to damage its finish, it is recommended to wash them by hand.

6) Height that does not correspond: As in the fridge, height is not a trivial matter. The highest part concentrates more temperature and will be the ideal place for very fast cooking that require sudden or gratin heat. Slower roasts, which take time, should be placed on the bottom. The central space is ideal for fish because it requires faster cooking than meat. You must bear in mind that the fish should be cooked in the oven at a mild temperature – lower than the meat – so as not to get parched.

7) Not using the right vegetables: Meaty vegetables are ideal for the oven – not leafy ones, like spinach, which is best boiled. The hard ones can be longer in the oven, like onion, squash or eggplant. Soft ones like leeks take less time. You must unify the size of the pieces of vegetables, always use baking paper and do not forget about spices, salt and a splash of olive oil.

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