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How To Choose Cooking Appliances?

How To Choose Cooking Appliances?

Stoves require major financial investment and should therefore be chosen for long-term use.

Everyone has different requirements when selecting a stove, and there is a huge variety from which to choose.

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Choosing a Stove

When choosing an oven or a stovetop, consider your cooking needs, bearing in mind the advantages and availability of different fuels, and any space limitations in the kitchen. Look for a design that is attractive and practical, with few dirt traps so that cleaning will be easy.

Choosing an Oven

When buying an oven, decide which features will be most useful, bearing in mind your lifestyle. Below are some features to consider first.

  • Capacity Choose a large or a double oven to give you flexibility, especially if you cook for a lot of people.
  • Cleaning facilities Choose an oven that is self-cleaning, or that has stay-clean features.
  • Timer Consider a timer to control cooking for you while you are busy.
  • Convection To encourage even cooking and reduce cooking times, choose a fan- assisted convection oven that circulates heat evenly.

Selecting Burner Surface & Fuel Type

  • Choosing burners Select burners that will be easy to clean. Consider ceramic burners, which also use electricity efficiently. When not in use, the cool surface can be used as a work surface for rolling out pastry or dough.
  • Combining fuels If you are able to combine fuels, consider two gas burners and two electric rings. The mix combines the safety advantages of electricity with the easy heat adjustment of gas burners, and is useful in a power failure.

Placing burners

If you are planning a new kitchen, consider setting burners in a line, rather than a square formation, and set them well back from the front edge. Install a heatproof surface for resting hot saucepans in front of the burners.

Considering Details

  • Catalytic liners Reduce oven cleaning by choosing an oven with a catalytic oven lining that carbonizes food spills. Alternatively, select a pyrolytic oven, which has a high- temperature, self-cleaning cycle.
  • Built-in ovens Choose a built-in oven, which is usually mounted at waist height, for convenient positioning.
  • Eye-level grills Choose an oven with the grill positioned at eye level if you want to check food frequently during cooking. The grill pan should have a support and stops to prevent it from being pulled out too far.

Cooking Appliances

Resting A Hot Dish

Choose an oven with a strong door that pulls down rather than opening sideways. The door will provide a useful surface for hot casseroles or cookie sheets as they come out of the oven.

Considering Safety

  • Choosing warning lights Pick a stove with controls that light up and warn you when the burners are hot, even if they are not glowing.
  • Checking safety Make sure that, if a gas stovetop has a lid for covering burners when not in use, the stovetop has a cutoff switch, and the lid is made of heatproof glass.
  • Avoiding accidents If you have young children, install a stove guard to deter them from touching hot pots and pans. Turn saucepan handles inward to prevent children from pulling them down.

Using a Stove

Whatever type of cooking you do most often, it is a good idea to be aware of your oven’s rate of energy consumption, and to check regularly that it is running efficiently. Refer to the manufacturer’s handbook for tips on how to make good use of special functions.

Checking Temperature

Using a thermometer Check the accuracy of your oven regularly by placing an oven thermometer in the center of the middle shelf. Heat the oven to 350°F (180°C, then compare with the thermometer reading.

Cooking Efficiently

  • Saving energy Turn solid- element burners off a few minutes before you finish cooking. The food will continue to cook on the residual heat.
  • Preheating the oven Allow at least 10 minutes for an oven to preheat. Arrange the oven shelves before turning on the oven to avoid losing heat or burning yourself.
  • Setting a timer Avoid opening the oven door, which lowers the oven temperature, to check if food is done. Use a timer to monitor cooking times.
  • Avoiding scratches Prevent damage to ceramic burners by lifting pans off rather than sliding them across.

Saving Fuel

Cooking a complete meal Use fiıel economically by cooking a complete meal in the oven at the same time. Place dishes that need the highest temperatures at the top of the oven, and other dishes on the lower shelves.

Wipe up cooking spills on a burner or inside an oven immediately after they have occurred. Once they harden or burn onto the surface, you will have to use a commercial cleaner to remove them. Switch off the power before cleaning an electric oven or burner.

Cleaning Efficiently

  • Reducing cleaning Stand pies and casseroles on a cookie sheet in an oven to catch spills.
  • Wiping a ceramic surface Wipe up fruit juice, sugar, and acidic food spills on ceramic burners immediately, since they may cause etching or pitting on the surface.
  • Cleaning shelves Wash oven racks in the dishwasher, remove them before the drying cycle, and wipe over with a cloth. Alternatively, place them on an old towel in the tub, and soak in a solution of ammonia and hot water to loosen food deposits.
  • Saving energy Start a self- cleaning cycle when the oven is still warm to save energy.

Removing Burned Food

Using a damp cloth If food burns onto a burner surround, turn the heat off, let cool, and cover with a cloth wrung out in a solution of water and dishwashing liquid. Let stand for two hours, then wipe clean.

Money Saving Tip

Cleaning chrome trim To clean rust from chrome trim, rub it with a piece of aluminum foil wrapped around your finger, shiny side out. Buff up with a cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Using a Microwave

Cooking in a microwave is quick, easy, and economical. However many people you cook for, a microwave can be an invaluable addition to the kitchen, saving time and energy.

Choosing a Microwave

  • Many microwaves have useful features that you should consider before buying.
  • Power Most full-power ovens use 650—750 The higher the wattage, the shorter the cooking times.
  • Controls Digital controls will give more accurate timings than dial controls.
  • Turntables Ensure that the oven has a turntable. If it does not, the food will have to be turned manually.
  • Browning option This will add a rich, golden color and crispness to food.
  • Cleaning Look for self-cleaning interior panels on combination ovens.
  • Compact models If kitchen space is limited, choose an under-cabinet model.

Learning Basic Skills

  • Adapting recipes To adapt a conventional recipe for the microwave, reduce the cooking time by about two thirds.
  • Adjusting cooking times When doubling recipe amounts for the microwave, increase the cooking time by one quarter to one third. When halving recipe amounts, reduce the cooking time by approximately one third.
  • Checking temperature Use a microwave thermometer to check that food is thoroughly cooked. Frozen dinners should reach 158°F (70°C).
  • Adding color To enhance the color of food cooked in a microwave, top savory dishes with toasted nuts or a sprinkling of paprika, and top sweet dishes with toasted nuts, brown sugar, or ground spices.

Increasing Capacity

Stacking plates Use plate- stacking rings to cook two portions of food at once, and increase the cooking time by ½ minutes. Move the plates around halfway through.

Using shelves

Buy shelves and trivets, both of which are available as microwave accessories, so that you can cook more than one item at a time. Alternatively, choose a microwave with a shelf.

Microwaving Safely

Follow a few basic guidelines to ensure that you use a microwave safely, choose suitable containers, and cook food thoroughly. Used correctly, a microwave is a versatile appliance, cooking and reheating food in a fraction of the time that it would take in a conventional oven.

Cooking Thoroughly

Arranging food For safety, make sure food is cooked thoroughly. Distribute it evenly in a dish, and cook wedge- shaped items, such as pears or fish fillets, with the narrow ends pointing to the center of the dish.

Choosing Dishes

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Checking heat resistance To ensure that a dish will not overheat, place it in a microwave with a cup of cold water on High for two minutes. The water should heat up and warm the cup, while the dish should remain cold.

Safety

  • Following instructions Read the manufacturer’s handbook, and follow cooking instructions on packaged foods.
  • Avoiding metal Do not use metal dishes, dishes that have metal decoration, or kitchen foil in a microwave.
  • Supervising cooking Always avoid letting foods cook unattended, since some high- sugar foods may catch fire.
  • Cooking and reheating Make sure that microwaved food is thoroughly and evenly cooked before serving.
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Category: Furnitures, Appliances And Supplies

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