It’s that time of year again. Slade is playing in all the supermarkets, the Halloween fright masks have given way to Snowmen and Santa and to coin a phrase, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…”
Which brings us to your oven. Whether it’s a built in, freestanding or range model, the last thing you want is for it to let you down on Christmas day (unless of course, you’re eating out and letting someone else’s cooker take the strain!)
Unless you’re a Bake Off hopeful or strut around the kitchen like Gordon Ramsay, there’s a good chance your cooking equipment is seldom used to its full potential. Except at Christmas, that is, when you need all the hotplates going full pelt, the main oven piping hot and the smaller oven (if you have one) heating up plates or keeping food warm.
So now is the time to check that all of these parts work! And to help you, here are some tips on how to do this early and then relax, safe in the knowledge that even if the tree lights blow or you run out of batteries, the cooker is one thing that won’t let you down.
Whether gas or electric, most people only use a couple out of the 4 (or 5 or 6 or 8!) rings on a regular basis. So start using some of the more redundant ones. Unless it’s a specific slow burner (usually only on gas cookers), they should all be capable of boiling and then simmering a pan of water.
If you don’t use your grill often have a go with it. Even if you have a toaster, give it a miss, spread your bread out over the grid and make sure it toasts evenly across the full width. There may be some smoke from the element if it’s not been on for a while but don’t panic! This will dissipate quickly (just remember to put the battery back in the smoke alarm!)
Next time you bake a cake or cook a small joint of meat, try the smaller oven. It will probably be a ‘conventional’ or ‘radiant’ heating system so unlike your fan oven you’ll need to pre-heat the oven before you put the food in. It will take a little longer to cook too but the results should be pretty well the same as your main oven.
If there’s a problem with this, you’ll probably already know about it but just make sure everything seems OK next time you cook. Also, check that the door shuts firmly and that there’s no heat escaping from around it when the oven is up to temperature.
If you find anything amiss on your journey of discovery, just pick up the phone and have a chat to us while there’s still plenty of time to fix anything that’s not 100%.
With a little forward planning as part of your normal cooking routine, you can be certain that on December 25th your Christmas dinner will be as good as those in the adverts.
Multibrand. Every Little Helps (…with apologies to Tesco)