Aspiring to master perfect oven-cooked dishes? Even accomplished home cooks who only choose fresh, quality ingredients can still miss the mark if they’re not maximising or maintaining their oven.
In this article, AEG presents some helpful oven cooking and baking tips so you achieve impressive results, with every recipe.
- General tips on how to use an oven
- 5 tips to bake in an oven like a pro
- 5 tips to grill chicken in an oven
- 5 tips to make crispy fries in an oven
- Oven cleaning tips
- Oven maintenance tips
- Make oven cooking effortless with AEG ovens
General tips on how to use an oven
1. Know what type of oven you have
Ovens vary according to fuel type, size and capacity, but you mainly have to note how your oven distributes heat because this determines cook time and temperature. There are two types: Conventional and convection.
A conventional oven radiates heat usually through a heating element at the bottom and a broiler at the top. A convection oven has heating elements, plus a fan and exhaust system for more even and faster cooking.
To make sure you buy the right oven, check out this oven buying guide here.
2. Remember to preheat your oven
Why preheat your oven? Preheating allows time for air to heat up. Once the temperature stabilises, the oven will be able to cook all the ingredients evenly and simultaneously. This achieves the rise, texture, and browning you want, especially for baked goods. On the other hand, starting cold can overcook or undercook your food.
How long you should preheat your oven depends on the recipe but on average, it takes 20 minutes to reach about 160°C to 190°C for a conventional oven. For a convection type, you only need around 10 minutes.
3. Adjust settings for convection ovens
If you have a conventional oven, simply follow cooking directions because most recipes use this. With a convection type, you have to adjust time and temperature to account for its increased heat distribution. Best to check your manual for convection conversions.
As a rule of thumb, it’s recommended to subtract about -7°C to -4°C from the temperature the recipe requires. You may also shorten cook time by up to 20%.
4. Know what rack level to use
Rack placement is crucial in determining the doneness of your dish. The top level is for broiling, the middle part is for even cooking most dishes and baked goods, and the bottom rack is for slow cooking larger meats.
In a convection oven, regardless of where you place your dish, the fan ensures even heat distribution.
5. Give your food space
If you’re cooking multiple dishes at once, place them on different racks and space them out to allow for air circulation. Take care not to let them touch the sides of the oven.
6. Use an oven thermometer
Temperature settings are not always exact. With some ovens, 180°C might actually be 25 to 90 degrees higher or lower. Why settle for inaccuracy? Simply hang an oven thermometer on your middle rack to ensure precise oven temperatures for every dish you cook.
7. Don’t open the door while cooking
Resist the urge, however tempting. When you open the oven door, internal temperature can significantly drop by up to 25 degrees. This causes temperature to fluctuate, making cakes droop, or take food longer to cook. Ensure your oven window is always clean for optimal visibility and use thermometers for temperature precision.
8. Ensure oven maintenance
A well-maintained oven lasts longer, performs better, and is safer to use. In a dirty oven, burnt on grease and grime can affect the flavour of your cooking, and meals may even take longer than usual to cook.
Clean your oven at least once a week to remove baked-on residue. For peace of mind, schedule a deep clean every three months and professional maintenance once a year.
5 tips to bake in an oven like a pro
1. Choose the right bakeware
Glass cooks slowly and has better heat retention, ideal for casseroles that need to remain hot for serving. Metal cooks food more slowly but cools quickly, making it suitable for cakes and brownies. Dark ones absorb more heat for more browning, while lighter ones reflect heat which is best for delicate desserts.
2. Avoid overfilling the oven
Hot air needs enough space to circulate. It’s best to place different items on separate racks, not letting them touch the oven walls. Positioning is also crucial, so don’t let the food on the bottom rack block heat for the one on the top rack.
3. Understand oven placement
For conventional oven users, food cooked on the middle rack to get the most even bake. Dishes placed in the top or bottom cook more quickly and can burn. Where exactly on the rack? Test your oven for cold and hot spots for the most even browning.
4. Scale over measuring cups
Measuring cups won’t provide the most accurate amount because of compressibility differences, especially with dry ingredients. With a scale, an ounce is always an ounce, a cup is always a cup, guaranteeing you the same results every single time.
5. Adapt to recipe differences
Achieving desired results when following a recipe sometimes takes a few adjustments. If the recipe indicates a conventional oven but you have a convection, reduce the cooking time by 25%. If the recipe calls for a metal pan but you have glass, decrease the temperature by -4°C.
5 tips to grill chicken in an oven
1. The ideal pieces for oven grilling
Use bone-in chicken thighs and chicken drumsticks for moist and tender results. When grilling chicken breasts, keep the bone in to retain some moisture. For a deliciously crisp exterior, keep the skin on and pat dry before grilling to remove moisture.
2. Don’t use aluminium foil
Aluminium foil can melt or reflect heat, burning your chicken and the oven’s heating elements. To catch drippings, simply use a large sheet pan lined with silicone for easier clean-up.
3. Basting isn’t always necessary
Basting won’t actually affect the inside of your chicken – but it does leave the exterior crisp and full of flavour. Only baste when the recipe calls for it, otherwise, you might just be letting heat escape by constantly opening the oven door.
4. Grill at the right temperature
Worried about your oven-cooked chicken being too dry? Temperature is key. Cook your chicken in 160°C to 230°C to ensure succulent and tender results. Remove the guesswork by simply checking the internal temperature of the chicken. Lean white meat should reach 70°C, while fattier dark meat should be 80°C to 90°C.
5. Let the chicken rest after grilling
When meat cooks, moisture is driven out of the meat. By letting it rest, you let moisture redistribute, ensuring tender results. Cutting immediately will let juices pool out and make it dry. When it’s out of the oven, tent it with foil to keep it warm as it continues to cook.
5 tips to make crispy fries in an oven
1. Use the right type of potatoes
Choose Russet potatoes. Their high starch and low moisture content deliver fries that are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Avoid waxy potatoes, which have low starch and high moisture content that can make soggy and hollow fries.
2. Soak fries in cold salt water
Potatoes have excess starch that can make fries sticky. By soaking them in salt water, you remove starch and draw out moisture, resulting in crispy golden fries that hold their shape. Use cold water in order for the potato cell walls to stiffen, for maximum crispiness.
3. Dry thoroughly
Leaving your cut potatoes damp can cause them to steam and be soggy. After soaking, pat them dry with a kitchen towel or use a salad spinner.
4. Spread them in an even layer
Try to prevent fries from overlapping on top of each other. Every side of each fry must be enveloped in hot air for the crispiest results. It’s also better to use a special airfryer tray instead of a sheet pan for optimal air circulation.
5. Bake them twice
Just as how you double-fry fries in oil, bake your fries in two different temperatures. Set the oven at 190°C for the initial cooking. After about 20 minutes, raise the temperature to 220°C for an incredibly crisp finish.
Click to find out delicious and easy airfry oven recipes here.
Oven cleaning tips
1. How to clean your oven
Liberally spread your oven cavity with a baking soda-water paste, and let it sit for 12 hours or overnight. Wipe off the baking soda with a non-abrasive pad. Spray vinegar on stubborn dirt then finish off by wiping it clean with a damp cloth. For the racks, soak them in hot water for two hours then scrub to remove the charred bits.
2. How often to clean the oven
Thoroughly clean your oven once every three months if you frequently use it. If not, twice a year is fine. Regular deep cleans prevent grease and baked-on food bits from catching fire or getting on your food.
3. Regularly spot clean
To make your future deep cleans easier, make it a habit to clean messes promptly, especially if your usual menu has sauces or cheese that can bubble up and splatter. After each use, remove crumbs and wipe hardened liquids. Consider roasting bags and try placing a tray on the bottom rack to contain drips and spills.
4. Use the self-cleaning function
For faster and easy oven cleaning, some models use steam to soften and dissolve grease, while some use intense heat to burn off grime, leaving you to simply wipe the cavity afterwards. Refer to your manual on how often you can use your oven’s self-cleaning function. Don’t leave it unattended while it cleans.
Oven maintenance tips
1. Clean around your oven
Don’t forget to clean behind your oven, its sides and underneath it. Food bits might be stuck there, attracting mould and disrupting airflow. Use a broom, mop or vacuum to reach into crevices as part of your regular deep cleans.
2. Leave the oven knobs
Clean behind oven knobs using a dry microfibre cloth — no cleaner or water needed. Knobs are directly connected to your oven’s wiring, and getting liquid behind them may electrocute you and damage the control system. Likewise, avoid removing the knobs so they’re not exposed to water.
3. Inspect oven gasket
Overtime, the rubber seal around your door can be worn out, causing heat loss and temperature fluctuations. Replace it immediately if you see any holes or tears. Until this is fixed, avoid using your oven, especially the self-cleaning function.
4. Check your gas line
Prevent gas leaks by regularly inspecting your gas line. If it’s worn or you suspect you may have a leak, close the gas valve, open your windows, and get in touch with your gas company immediately. It needs to be replaced.
If you have a new oven, it’s also recommended to replace the gas line because the installation process may damage it.
Make oven cooking effortless with AEG ovens
Cook like a pro with AEG ovens. Here are reasons why you should choose AEG ovens.
Read more: What is the differences between ovens and microwave ovens
Instantly elevate your masterpiece
Traditional oven heat is enhanced by steam with SteamCrisp. Cook dishes that are crisp and golden on the outside, juicy and succulent on the inside — the best of both worlds, together in one oven.
The doneness you want. Done
Why second guess yourself? Rare, medium, or well done, accurately achieve the doneness you want without worrying if you’re a degree over or under. With SenseCook, the Food Sensor monitors your food’s internal temperature, so you know exactly when it’s finished cooking.
Why wait to preheat?
It usually takes 15-20 minutes for an oven to be ready, but with Fast Heat-Up, you can start cooking sooner, great news for busy home cooks.
The restaurant experience — at home
Choose from a great selection of specially designed pre-set recipe programmes — up to 160 built-in dishes — and let the oven cook as you would in a restaurant.
Cleaning done for you
Say goodbye to scrubbing your oven clean. Grease and food residue are heated then turned to ash with PyroLuxe cleaning, leaving you to simply wipe with a damp cloth.
For further details and guidance for this self-cleaning function, please refer to this guide on how to use AEG Pyrolytic oven.
Master your oven, master your cooking
Don’t settle for good enough dishes just because you don’t know how to use an oven correctly. When you discover it more, you’ll realise you actually have a game-changing appliance that can consistently achieve excellent results, help you master cooking, and perform at its best for longer.
This is why it's important to choose an oven that you can easily understand. With their responsive displays and intuitive technologies, AEG ovens give you precision and complete control over your cooking for exceptionally delicious dishes. Discover more:
- AirFry your food for a fried taste with less oil.
- Pyro turns food grease into ash for easy cleaning.
- SenseCook delivers professional results.
- Extra Large Cavity Oven
- 10 Multifunction Electronic Touch Control
- Twin ThermicFan & Direct Steam
- SteamCrisp for crisp, yet succulent results.
- SenseCook delivers professional results.
- Pyro turns food grease into ash for easy cleaning.
FAQs about how to use oven
How to bake a cake using an oven?
Here are some quick tips for baking a cake in an oven:
- Let your ingredients come to room temperature.
- Use cups to measure dry ingredients and jugs to measure wet ingredients.
- Before you preheat, remember to check if the oven rack is in the center of the oven.
- Preheat the oven for 20 minutes before baking cakes.
How do you bake in an electric oven?
Here are 5 tips for baking in an electric oven:
- Spend more time preheating.
- Tent some foil over the pan where the crust is browning.
- Use the rack in the middle of the oven for the best all-around heating.
- Choose the right bakeware: metal pans will make your food have more browning around the sides and bottoms; dark metal pans can crisp up the bottoms of your cookies and pastries. Meanwhile, glass, ceramic, or silicone pans help you decrease browning.
- Add steam properly.
How to use an oven for the first time?
When you use your oven for the first time, follow these tips:
- Turn on the fan in the ventilation hood and open windows nearby if possible.
- Adjust the oven to 204°C to 288°C.
- Keep the oven running at this temperature for 30 minutes to one hour.