These are The Mistakes You Make The Most For Cooking in The oven
The oven is an appliance cooking the food using heat controlled in a closed space. If we know how to use it the same way it helps us to make a fantastic roast beef as some appetizing vegetables au gratin. The grace of this cooking is that it preserves the internal juices of the food , making it tasty and nutritious. But like everything in the kitchen, it has its secrets.
It is essential to know well what we are talking about because today we have the traditional oven of a lifetime (with selector of time and temperature and resistance above and below the cooking space), the convection oven (they incorporate a fan system that efficiently distributes the cooking heat) and mixed (they have a steam generator that helps compensate for the loss of moisture in the food).
Once located, we will discover where we went wrong when the chicken is dry or some vegetables are more cooked than others. Do we know where we should place each elaboration? Do we dominate the cooking times? Is grilling a fish the same as a loin? What is the steam function for? What are the dangers of the oven? The chef Lluís Massanés , from the Eshob school in Barcelona , explains everything point by point as if we were in class.
1. Do not preheat the oven when necessary and do not control the temperature
In general, it is advisable to preheat the oven 15 minutes before starting to cook. Not all dishes need it, but most do. “It is like when we are going to make a chicken and previously we heat the griddle”, exemplifies Lluís Massanés, professor of PIC, Pre-preparation and Preservation of food at the higher school of hospitality in Barcelona, ESHOB.
It is important to preheat the oven before starting to cook, place the food at the right height and control the times and temperature
As the cooking in the oven is by concentration (that the substance of the food does not expand, as when we make soup and it ends up in the broth) in this way we will lose less juices from the food and avoid it from being dry. If I need to cook at 180 degrees, I will turn on the oven and when it reaches that temperature, it will let me know and then I will put the tray with the preparation, previously greased.
2. Placing the food at the wrong height
The heat in all ovens rises from the bottom up. Therefore, we must take into account that the highest part will be the one that will concentrate the most temperature and will be the ideal place for very fast cooking that needs sudden heat or gratins. For example, to make a roast with red pepper and roasted aubergine with skin and whole. Slower cooks, such as meat and lamb roasts, which take time, should be placed at the bottom. "If we don't do it like that, they will brown before they are well done inside," explains Massanés. The central space is ideal for fish because it requires faster cooking than meats.
AndreyPopov / Getty
3. Not knowing how to use the steam function in combi ovens
All our lives we have used the traditional oven, but now the most modern ones are convection (with an internal fan to homogenize the temperature throughout the space) and have a very useful steam function that we must know how to use. They do not generate steam, they have a water vaporizer that, in contact with heat, turns into steam and allows us to take better care of hydration and cooking of food. Now, "it should never be used when you want the result to be crunchy," says Lluís Massanés, a professor at the ESHOB school, who also advises combining it with the normal function. “At school we cook chicken in a mixed oven for everyone with the steam function and at the end, we take it off so that it is golden brown,” he explains.
4. Open the oven many times and put your face close when opening it
"The oven is like the fridge in summer," says Massanés to explain how inconvenient it is for cooking to be continually opening and closing the door because it "loses temperature." We can open it, for example, if we make a round of veal and we want to check how it is. "When more or less an hour has passed, we open and insert a digital probe thermometer into the meat, which measures about 15 centimeters and costs about 15 euros, which tells you the temperature reached", says the cook who prefers this technique to the traditional of piercing the meat continuously with a covered, to avoid losing internal juices. If we don't want to use a thermometer, "there are many tables that indicate how long the meat should be in the oven according to its weight."
It is dangerous to use damp rags to remove trays and place the head near the oven when opening
An important precaution is to avoid putting your face near or almost inside the oven as soon as you open it because the interior temperature could burn us . "You have to wait a few seconds before removing the tray," the teacher tells us.
5. Do not use the appropriate containers and do not remove them from the oven carefully.
The ovenware can be made of glass, stainless steel or earthenware, preferably. With a flat bottom, depending on the dish we are going to make, they will be more or less deep, “for example, if we want to gratinate vegetables, a flat tray will suffice, but if we want to cook a chicken with a base of potatoes and onion we need a container with more base so that everything can fit, including the juices resulting from cooking ”, says Lluís Massanés.
Tempura / Getty
Handling can be dangerous , especially when removing the containers or trays from the oven, and especially if they contain oil or juices . We must do it carefully so as not to burn ourselves. With one hand we remove the tray and the other we place it at the bottom to maintain horizontality.
It is very important to use protectors such as gloves . If we use rags, they are completely dry because moisture immediately conducts heat to our hand. To avoid burns, it is also convenient to have a part of the kitchen clear to place the tray , and notify those around what we are doing.
Fish requires quick cooking, while meat requires a longer cooking time.
6. Cook fish in the oven for a long time at high temperature
Due to its constitution, fish is cooked at a lower temperature than meat and its preparation is faster. It is important that the temperature is soft so that we do not get dry , and take into account the times because "if you spend a little time it can be too done," explains the ESHOB professor who advises doing it shortly before setting the table to eat . Although all fish are suitable for the oven, he cites sea bream, sea bass and sea bass as ideal because they are quite fatty. " Monkfish and sole are much tastier grilled or fried ." Gilthead sea bream is an exception because it needs a higher temperature (about 200 degrees a piece of 800 grams for half an hour).
If, on the other hand, we want to cook it in the oven with a base of potatoes, onion and tomato , we will have to pre- cook the vegetables by placing it in the oven a while before. When it is almost done, in the same tray we will place the bream.
belchonock / Getty
To grill fish fillets, we must take into account that the size of the pieces is similar so that some are not more done than others. We will know that the fish is finished when the meat is easily detached from the spine.
7. Do not use meaty vegetables or respect their textures
For the oven, the ideal vegetables are fleshy vegetables as opposed to leafy ones, which are better boiled. Even so, within this category we must distinguish between hard and soft to determine the cooking time . Onion, carrot, pumpkin, tomato and aubergine need more time than others such as zucchini or leek, says Lluís Massanes. "You can have the hardest ones in the oven for a while and, in the same tray, add the others later," he advises.
The heat is more intense in the upper part of the oven, where we must prepare the fastest cooking
As in the case of fish, if we make them in foil, it is convenient to unify the size of all the pieces of vegetables and also prevent them from sticking to the tray by using baking paper between the food and the utensil.
Stuffed vegetables are highly recommended, and the potato is also very appreciated, which is baked at 200 degrees . If it is roasted whole, it is convenient to wrap it in aluminum foil and it takes between an hour and an hour and a half. If cut in half, they don't need to be wrapped and take 20-30 minutes.
nerudol / Getty
8. Rush with the chicken and not take into account that it needs hydration
The chicken can be cooked in the oven in a container with a base of vegetables "so that they add juice and do not dry out", or roast it whole with a spit or by placing it on a rail of the appliance. If we opt for this second option, we have to choose a chicken with enough fat to make it tasty and place a container in the oven to collect the juices that will fall.
“We will open the oven from time to time to irrigate the chicken with these juices and control how it is roasting,” explains Lluís Massanés. If we prefer to cook it with a chup-chup , we will put a lot of oil and vegetables, at a mild temperature so that it is made in its own juice. "We are practically talking about a chicken cooked at a low temperature, that is, we have to calculate an hour and a half ." If we place it in small pieces, “it will cook more than a whole one and therefore it will be more golden and a little less juicy”.
Like any appliance, we must keep it in good condition and clean. Today many ovens have their own cleaning functions such as pyrolysis
9. Use entrecote or steak and ignore the pre-sealing of the meat
When we go to the oven to roast beef or pork it is advisable to seal the piece before a live fire in the pan with oil on canvas painting and until slightly browned. "In this way we close it with a shell that prevents its juices from going outside, although it is not essential to do so", Lluís Massanés tells us. It is also important to flange the meat so that it does not deform.
In the case of veal, it is very important to know that the less noble pieces will be the ones that will best adapt to cooking in the oven. "Entrecots, ribeye and steaks need faster cooking like the grill", says the professor. Second-rate cuts such as chuck, round or hock have much more collagen and work better roasts. Its cooking will be long, with a mild temperature, and it is advisable to accompany it with a bed of vegetables to help its hydration. Massanés proposes a cooking inside a totally iron casserole with vegetables and wine , which we will introduce into the oven, as if it were an oven within another. "You cook evenly giving heat to everything and it turns out fantastic."
belchonock / Getty
In the case of pork, you can choose the loin or sirloin, which can be cooked whole, as well as suckling pig. And the shoulder and leg of lamb also work very well in the oven, cooked at a low temperature .
10. Attention when cleaning the oven
Like any appliance, we must keep it in good condition and clean . Today many ovens have their own cleaning functions such as pyrolysis . When activated, once all the rails and accessories are removed, the inside of the oven reaches up to 500 degrees of temperature and burns everything. We just have to remove the ashes with a damp cloth . "It is very efficient but also not very sustainable because it uses a lot of energy," says Massanés. Another more ecological cleaning program for day to day is aqualysis , for which we need to deposit water at the base of the oven. “We can also clean the oven as has always been done, with water and some degreaser. taking advantage of when residual heat remains because it is easier to remove dirt ”, explains the ESHOB professor.