Going out to get baked foods isn’t always convenient. I prefer to bake my own stuff at home in my microwave oven and enjoy the baking process itself. I’m sure many of you feel the same way. However, are you sure that you’re getting the best out of your baking endeavours? Are you making use of your oven to its fullest potential? It’s easy to look for tips on cooking and forget all about getting the most of your equipment.
Microwave Oven Baking Tips
Here are some microwave oven baking tips to help you bake better!
1. Keep Your Specific Oven Type In Mind
You need to know your oven’s features and heating mechanisms before baking with it. Its performance will vary based on different types of microwave ovens. The type determines where the heat is coming from and how it circulates around the oven.
For example, certain ovens produce heat from the bottom. These ovens also come with a calrod coil that helps to distribute the heat evenly. Meanwhile, convection ovens come with an extra advantage- they have fans that help the heat spread faster, resulting in a shorter bake time.
Pre-heating is an incredibly convenient feature, especially for baking. The oven needs to be pre-heated to bake evenly and properly. Most recipes will tell you how long to pre-heat before putting your dish in. Keep in mind, though, that the length of time the oven needs to pre-heat varies depending on how hot the oven runs.
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3. Use The Right Temperature
Baking is all about precision, so it’s important that you use the right temperature. Having an oven thermometer can make a world of difference between a bland taste and an excellent taste. It’s pretty much a must for proper cooking. That’s because even the best microwave oven might not always run with the exact temperature you set- it could be off by more than 20 degrees! Just get the thermometer and place it somewhere by the side of the rack while the oven runs.
4. Remember To Rotate The Pan
As you use the oven, you’ll start noticing certain ways it bakes things. For instance, you might notice that the back of anything you bake browns faster. In that case, it might be good to rotate the pan halfway through to ensure that everything is evenly cooked.
If you forget to rotate, your cake or cookies might come out lopsided or with burn marks.
5. Swap Positions When Baking Two Things At Once
Here’s another helpful microwave oven baking tip. When baking two things at once, you can ensure both your dishes come out well by swapping their places during baking. The dish on the bottom will brown faster due to its closeness to the heating element, and you need to counteract that by letting the other dish receive similar heating as well.
6. Avoid Using The Exact Baking Time Offered In Recipe Instructions
Ovens heat and bake differently. As a result, baking time varies. If your oven gets hot slowly, items will take a while to bake. If it heats fast, then they’ll bake faster. Setting the timer a little under what’s suggested in the recipe might be a good idea if the heating is fast.
If you’re not sure how much time you need to deduct, lowering the temperature from what’s recommended for the recipe can also help counteract the faster bake time.
7. Learn The Hot Spots Of The Oven
When you know your oven’s hot spots, you can adjust the placement of stuff you want to bake to get better results. Even knowing the cold spots is going to be handy when you bake different types of food at the same time. You can put the denser item in the hot spot while keeping the item that needs less heating in the cold one. Here’s how to do that;
First up, get an oven thermometer. And then, pre-heat your oven as you normally would when microwaving bread. I would recommend letting it pre-heat up to 160°C-170°C. Then, put in 9 slices of bread on the rack, or as many as the size of your oven supports. Start baking the bread after everything’s set, and then see how they’re getting cooked after every 5 minutes till they’re toasted. Keep an eye on each piece. Every one will heat differently.
The pieces that brown fast will be in the hot spots of your oven, while the ones that brown slowly will be in the cooler spots. You might notice that some pieces are also evenly brown, even in spots close to where other pieces aren’t. This means that the air in that area is more consistent.
8. Don’t Open The Door
When you’re baking a cake or making cookies, you might want to open the door to check how things are going. However, if I were you, I’d avoid doing that regardless of how impatient or eager I am. If you open the oven door while it’s running, the temperature might fluctuate. Sometimes, it can even drop to as low as 25°C. Such fluctuations can lead to your cakes being less cooked. The cooking process might last longer as a result, too. Try to peek through the window instead. If yours is grimey, now would be a good time to clean it.
9. Clean The Oven
This one is pretty obvious. Cleaning your microwave oven might not be as fun as learning new things about it. However, it’ll pay off in the long run. Dirty heating elements or leftover crumbs from previously cooked stuff can create new hot and cold spots. This will make the heating process inconsistent.
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With these microwave oven baking tips, you can maximize the potential of your oven and get nothing but the best results. Give them all a shot, and you’ll be able to bake tasty goodies in no time!
Oh, and one more thing. Though these tips are primarily meant to help you bake things like cakes, they can help you with other top baked microwave recipes as well. So keeping them in mind and following them is worth more than you think. That’s all for now, thanks for reading!
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