Ovens: What to Look For | PCRichard.com
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Ovens: What to Look For

You have many options to choose from when it comes to the oven: single oven or double oven, conventional or convection, time cooking or automatic modes. I'm here today to make it easy when selecting your new oven. The double oven allows you to cook two dishes at different temperatures. The smaller oven located on the top pre-heats faster than the lower oven. This is great for when you're running late or just want that quick late-night snack.

When it comes to convection, there are two types. The basic oven has a bottom element for baking and an element on the top for broiling. Convection is an added fan on the back wall of the oven. This fan moves the heated air continuously throughout the oven supplied by the bake and broil element. Convection helps the oven cook more quickly, evenly, and efficiently, with less temperature fluctuation. Your baked goods are evenly browned on every rack, and large roasts come out juicy and delicious. The second type of convection is known as European or true convection. In European convection, an additional heating element surrounds the fan, providing even more even cooking, and better yet, no flavor transfer from multiple foods being cooked at the same time.

Probe cooking is a great way to ensure that your roasts are cooked to perfection every time. Have you ever cooked a roast or a turkey to only find that it needed to go a little bit longer? With probe cooking, you can take all the guesswork out. Simply place the probe into the food that you're cooking, select the desired internal temperature that you're looking to achieve, and the oven will alert you when your food is ready. It's all about great results. Oven racks are also available in multiple configurations. The basic wire rack will slide out along ridges on the side of the oven walls and extend out about 3/4 of the way. Full extension racks are just that. They extend completely, allowing easier access to your baked goods. Full extension roller glide racks have roller bearings that glide smoothly in and out no matter how much weight you have on them. Some ranges even have split oven racks that flip out of the way, providing quicker access for taller items and greater oven configurations.

The bottom drawer is a great place to store pots, pans, covers, and cookie sheets. Today, many manufacturers have added additional features to these drawers. Some of these drawers actually have a bake mode that can reach temperatures as high as 450 degrees. This allows you to bake two things simultaneously at two different temperatures. Many have added a warming feature. A warming drawer will not actually bake. It is, however, a great way to keep foods warm so that everything is served hot and at the same time.

Sabbath mode is available in some models today. When Sabbath mode is selected, a predetermined temperature is achieved and maintained. It also overrides the standard six or 12-hour automatic shutoff, all display lighting, oven signals, most control pads, and the convection fan will also be deactivated. Why do they call it Sabbath mode? On some holidays, food may be cooked, but turning the heat on is prohibited.  

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