How to properly bake dishes in the oven so that they turn out juicy and aromatic, which cooking method to choose, what to bake and some other subtleties of the process.
Oven dishes are definitely healthier for humans. They are prepared using the minimum amount of oil in their own juice.
Almost any dish that you are used to cooking on the hob can be cooked equally delicious in the oven. The oven comes in handy even when you do not want to completely abandon traditional frying. You can add benefits and reduce harm to dishes by combining the two types of preparation.
Often, especially in restaurants, chefs first fry the product until golden brown, and then bring it to readiness in the oven. Each oven is individual and has a number of features, which you can read about in the instructions for it, but there are several general secrets that will suit the owners of all ovens.
Choosing a level
In order for the dish not to burn, remain juicy and aromatic and at the same time fully cooked, it is important to choose the right cooking level in the oven. A safe option is to choose a medium level, it is on this level that the dish will not burn, it will cook evenly. If a golden brown crust is important, then an almost finished dish can be rearranged to a higher level for a short time. The latest trend is to cook food at low temperatures for several hours. It is believed that this is the way to preserve the correct texture of food, taste and aroma. Using this method, you can cook in the oven on the lower level, but in a mode in which the lower heating is not strong.
Some foods are harder to brown at the bottom, so it is best to cook them on the lower shelf with a lot of heat in the lower shade. For example, this is how chefs recommend preparing pizza. This will prevent it from burning on top and will be crispy on the bottom. We advise you not to push the baking sheet close to the back wall, this interferes with air circulation and does not allow the dish to be baked evenly.
Selecting the mode
In modern ovens, there are many modes that help you prepare even the most complex multi-stage dish with maximum comfort. For example, the simultaneous use of top and bottom heating is considered a traditional baking format and can be used to cook almost any dish. It ensures even heat distribution and natural convection. This mode is quite slow, while the lower ten is more powerful in almost all ovens, which means that the dish may not cook quite evenly. Traditionally, biscuits, biscuits, bread, lasagne, stuffed vegetables, roasts, poultry, beef, fish and fish casseroles are cooked in this mode.
Simultaneous intense bottom heat and standard top heat are used when you need to quickly fry a dish from the bottom or achieve a golden crust. This setting is ideal for baking in pots and small tins. If you are using dishes that do not conduct heat well, such as glass, aluminum, then this mode is ideal.
The mode of simultaneous bottom, top heating and fan helps to evenly influence the food and creates an even microclimate in the oven. In this mode, food is heated more intensively due to air masses and food is quickly browned on all sides. This function is suitable for large baking trays, a large amount of food in the dish and large whole pieces. For example, for shanks, rolls, roasts, casseroles, whole poultry, boiled pork. It can be used to cook when you need even cooking inside and out. In this mode, we do not recommend experimenting with omelets and meringues. These dishes do not like convection.
In the bottom heating mode only, we advise you to dry the bottom of the pies with wet fillings, additionally brown the pizza, and preserve. In this mode, you have to move the dish more often to a level higher or lower, watch out for browning. We recommend the bottom heat and fan mode to finish baking open cakes, dishes in tins with low sides, or for baked goods that do not rise well. In this mode, the dishes are crusty on the bottom and juicy on the inside.
The fan top heating mode is useful for dishes where you need even cooking and a baked crust. It is very convenient to bake products in tins on it. Suitable for casseroles, soufflés, lasagna, julienne. We recommend using the grill mode for steaks, chops, kupat, rolls, fish fillets, vegetables, toasts, bacon, kebabs, sausages, pork ribs, dishes in various sizes. It can be used as the main cooking mode or as a final step to achieve a recognizable appearance. This mode can be called both grill and infraheating, and barbecue - depending on the model and manufacturer.
What we bake
Today there is a huge amount of baking dishes. The most environmentally friendly are ceramic, glass and cast iron molds. It is very convenient to bake in baking trays that come with the oven. We advise you to choose a baking sheet with high sides for juicy, moist dishes, and a flat one for dry dishes. It is convenient to cook in ceramic pots and tins, but we advise you to put them in the oven before heating, this will save the dishes from cracking. The pot may even burst from a sharp drop in temperature. In an ordinary cast-iron frying pan, we recommend making casseroles from various products, it is in such a dish that they bake faster and more evenly. Silicone molds are convenient for baking, bread, cheesecakes. Nothing burns in them even without lubrication, which makes it possible to prepare diet baked goods.
Cooking in foil, sleeve
Any food can be baked in foil, except for fruits, soft vegetables, cereals, mushrooms. They turn out to be too boiled and have lost their taste. For the rest of the dishes, the foil perfectly retains the juice and prevents the food from drying out from high temperatures. An important rule is that the shiny side of the foil should always face the dish, and the matte side should always face outward. Thus, the temperature required for cooking will be kept longer. When wrapping meat or fish, it is important to ensure that protruding bones or sharp corners of the product do not break through the foil during cooking, otherwise the dish will lose valuable juice. For this, we advise you to always fasten the edges of the foil tightly.
On average, food is cooked under foil at 200 degrees. The roasting time depends on the size of the product. For example, meat is cooked from 40 minutes to 2 hours. Fish - 20 minutes to 45 minutes. Vegetables - about half an hour. Bird - from half an hour to 3 hours. In order to get a crispy crust, at the very end of cooking, unfold the foil and cook the dish in the mode of intensive top heating until blush. Avoid getting strong acids such as wine and pickles on the foil. Foil can be used even at very high temperature conditions, it can withstand up to 600 degrees.
Plastic bags and sleeves made of heat-resistant film allow you to bake in modes up to 230 degrees in sealed conditions. They can simultaneously bake meat and potatoes, fish and vegetables. The garnish is saturated with the aroma and taste of meat or fish, the juices are mixed, and the dish with this method of preparation turns out to be very tasty. It is this method that allows you to significantly save cooking time. For example, if a medium-sized turkey is cooked under foil for about two hours, then on a sleeve - about an hour. But it is important to choose a sleeve and bags of high quality, food grade, specially designed for baking, then they are absolutely harmless.We recommend that you be very careful when unrolling the dish and transferring it to the serving plate. There is a lot of juice!
We advise you to make a few punctures with a fork in the upper part of the sleeve or bag before cooking. This way the hot air can escape and the sleeve does not burst. There are a few tricks when baking in an artificial casing. A large piece of meat does not need to be salted, so it will turn out to be more tender and melt in the mouth. When baking poultry, it is better to use dry spices, raw ones can impair the taste. When baking minced meat, salt and pepper it in advance and add a little flour, which absorbs excess salt and moisture. We advise you to salt the fish several times more than usual, about a tablespoon of salt per kilogram. We advise you not to add salt or seasonings to baked vegetables. This can be done ready-made by adding them to taste along with butter, sour cream and sauce.
If you are preparing a dish without an artificial shell, then during the cooking process it is important to constantly water the dish with its own juice that appears. Especially if you are cooking large cuts of fish or meat. This method provides a brighter crispness, but can also threaten a drier and burned result. The traditional way of baking is to be in the kitchen all the time. We do not recommend baking dishes from small pieces of meat, fish and vegetables in this way. They may be too dry.
Many people do not know that it is possible to cook porridge and soups in the oven. We advise you to try to do this at least once. The soup is cooked in a ceramic or refractory dish under a lid for about 1.5 hours at 200 degrees, then it can be simmered when the mode is off until the oven cools down or at a very low temperature for about another hour. This soup turns out to be very tasty, with the effect of simmering in a traditional Russian oven. Porridge is prepared using the same technology. In milk or water, it cooks for about 1.5 hours at 180 degrees and languishes for about 40 minutes more. This is delicious!
Cooking in a water bath
Another way is baking in a water bath. It is used when you need to cook dishes from "capricious" products. For example, soufflés, cheesecakes, pates, creams, some casseroles are recommended to be cooked this way. For a water bath, a volumetric form is needed, into which hot water is poured and a form with the dish being prepared is already placed in it. The water level should be up to the middle of the main mold or slightly higher. This will prevent water from entering the dish when heated. Cook in a water bath at 180 degrees. It is this method that allows the dish to warm up evenly and not burn. Even the most delicate cheesecake will turn out to be airy and elastic at the same time when baked like this.
Stew in the oven
You can stew not only on the burner, but also in the oven. You can stew both pre-fried meat, fish, vegetables, and fresh ones. We recommend adding liquid to the form at the rate of two-thirds of the total volume of products. The minimum amount of liquid is one third, but you need to make sure that it does not boil away. Can be stewed in water, kefir, milk, whey, broth, depending on the recipe chosen.
A Few Tips
- Be sure to preheat the oven. We recommend heating the gas cabinet 10 minutes before cooking, and the electric one - 20. Only very fatty meat is placed in a cold oven.
- To prevent the vegetables from boiling soft and turning into cotton wool, we advise you to turn off the oven until ready and leave the vegetables in the cooling cabinet.
- We do not recommend opening the lid while cooking. This disrupts the microclimate and air circulation. It is enough just to sometimes look through the glass, turning on the backlight function. This rule is especially important when preparing muffins and pastries.
- Always adhere to the temperature indicated in the recipe.In any case, until you become a professional cooking lover.
- If you have a very old stove without a thermometer, you can use a simple sheet of paper to determine the degrees. In 30 seconds at 100-120 degrees the leaf turns slightly yellow, at 190-210 degrees the paper is yellow-brown, the leaf starts burning at 220 degrees.
- Water and salt prevent burning. Delicate foods are best cooked in a water bath. To prevent burning, you can use a kilogram of coarse salt scattered on the bottom baking sheet.
- We advise you to remember that puff pastry is baked at high temperature, butter or biscuits at medium temperature, protein dough at low temperature.
Solving typical problems
Very often the sauce burns when cooking roasts. This means that next time it is better to use a smaller pan and add liquid as you cook. To prevent your food from getting dry, we recommend using artificial casing or cooking shorter times at a higher temperature. When baking meat in a piece, we advise you to take a piece of at least a kilogram, then it will not dry out. White meat is baked at a moderate constant temperature of 150-175 ° C, red meat - at 200-250 ° C.
It is advisable to remove red meat from the refrigerator an hour before cooking, then it will remain soft. Meat may not cook well if you salted it before cooking. We recommend salt it in the middle of the process. Small fish are cooked at a constant high temperature. Medium-sized fish - at first at high, then gradually reduce it. Large - with constant moderate heat.
If there are fewer problems with the second courses during preparation, then muffins, biscuits and other pastries can create a number of difficulties. If your pies constantly fall off and turn out flat, then we advise you to observe the kneading time indicated in the recipe, take less liquid and bake at a temperature 10 degrees lower than usual. If the cake does not rise at the edges, then do not grease the sides of the form with fat. When the top of the pie is burnt, move it to a lower level, but bake longer.
If the bottom of the cake remains too light, then choose a dark dish next time, put it on a low level and turn on the additional lower heating mode. The baked goods may brown unevenly if the shape is incorrectly selected. A light and shiny shape is not a suitable solution. To prevent the cake from turning out too dry, you need to pierce small holes in it with a stick, pour a drop of fruit juice, syrup into them and shorten the baking time.
If the outside of the baked goods looks ready, but the inside is soggy, then we recommend using a mode with a lower temperature and lengthening the cooking time. For juicy fillings, it is better to bake the cake or base in advance, and then add the filling, be sure to sprinkle the cake with breadcrumbs or crushed almonds.