How often have you experienced a baking disaster due to faulty setting of your oven/ OTG? Wrong settings of the machine and its temperature could easily spoil your perfect dish. We often tend to forget that for the chewiest of cookies and the most perfectly risen cakes and breads, it is as important to know what the correct way is to use your oven/OTG, as it is to know the recipe of your dish! An Oven-Toaster-Griller (OTG) is basically a smaller version of the traditional oven used for baking, and you can gril and toast in it as well, just by adjusting the functional settings.
To get the most out of your oven, follow these simple tips and tricks and bake like a pro!
- Understand your OTG Requirements
You can understandably be tempted to buy something not very ideal for you, so if you are just starting off as a home-baker, it is always recommended to start small with Borosil's Prima OTG 24l which is a classic bestseller.
- Get to know your oven
Understanding the accessories that come with your OTG, the functionality of the knobs and the material of the containers you should use while baking are just as important, as it is to know your oven recipe.
- The Pre-heating process
Pre-heating is always an integral step while baking and the temperate at which you pre-heat should ideally be the same as the temperate you will be baking at. Simply use the temperate knobs to set the desired temperate and generally, 15-20 minutes is the perfect pre-heating time to avoid over/under heating.
- Read the instructions and follow your intuition
Every OTG/ Oven is different and you should know how to make the most out of your oven/OTG. The instructions in an oven recipe are based on the equipment used by the author and it is entirely possible that you use a different OTG/Oven. Therefore, read the instructions and understand what needs to be done, but if you see your dish is cooked before the timer rings, it is likely that it is ready and you shouldn’t wait all the way, to avoid burning the perfectly cooked dish.
- Understand the heating system of your OTG/Oven
Heat distribution across an OTG/Oven different from product to product where for example your dish can be perfectly cooked from the bottom but undercooked from the top. A simple OTG/Oven tip to understand the hotspots of your machine is by spreading shredded coconut on a baking sheet and place it in your oven at 350 degrees. The parts that toast the quickest are the hotspots. You can then simply use the functional knobs and adjust your OTG/Oven to use to your advantage.
- Don’t Open the Door
In the list of OTG Dos & Don'ts, the most important thing to remember is to control your temptation to take a peek inside the OTG/Oven while your dish is being baked. This is because opening the door can drastically drop the internal temperate, leaving your dish unevenly cooked, something that you would definitely want to avoid. Instead, peak through the window and keep it clean at all times for a clear view of your dish getting baked.
- Don’t Overfill the Oven-
It may look like there’s room to fit another dish but avoid overfilling your OTG/Oven to allow space for air circulation to cook the dish evenly and perfectly. There should always be space of a couple of inches between different dishes and none of the dishes should touch the sides of the OTG/Oven. You can check out Borosil's Prima 48l OTG if you want to bake multiple dishes at the same time.
- The Perfect Pan Placement-
The centre of the rack is the perfect place to put your dish for it to bake evenly all around. This allows the heat to circulate around the dish. If your OTG/Oven has multiple racks and you are baking more than one dish at the same time, remember this Oven tip to position your dishes in a manner that neither of them block the heat of the other.
- NO Aluminium Foil
You may have heard of oven tips suggesting to line your OTG/Oven with an aluminium foil to protect it from crumbs and dipping/ melting food, but in the list of OTG Dos & Don'ts, Aluminium foil lining is an absolute no no! The foil can melt due to the high temperatures and the heat reflected off from the foil can burn the food as well as the heating elements of the OTG/Oven itself.
- Keep your OTG/Oven Clean
Crumbs and melting drips are bound to fall at the bottom of your OTG/Oven while cooking but if you leave it there and not regularly clean it, they can catch fire or smoke and either over heat the oven or ruin the taste of your dish. Use a damp cloth to remove any soot once you’re OTG/Oven has completely cooled down.
- Be Patient!
Understanding how you do bake in an oven/OTG is a time taking process and you might not get it right the first time itself. Always observe the process and how much time it takes, and then with practice and patience, you will know how to make the most out of your OTG/Oven by using all its settings and functions, just by a little turn in the knob.