You probably never think twice about throwing a tray of frozen chicken into the oven or never cleaning the oven knobs—but there are reasons why you should pay more attention to the things you do to your oven.
Putting Frozen Food that Should be Thawed
You might think it saves time to let frozen foods like chicken breasts heat up in the oven before they become totally thawed, but unless you adjust the cook time, you might leave your family at risk of food poisoning.
If you put food that is frozen or partially frozen in the oven, the timing will be off because it will need to defrost before it cooks. Play it safe by letting food fully thaw before cooking it.
Assume the temperature is accurate
Your oven measures the temperature at one spot—which is purposely out of the way, where your food would never go. Because your oven is hotter in certain areas than others, your food might not be cooking at the temperature you thought it will.
As a matter of fact, some cooking experts found that oven thermometers can be off by as much as 50°F. Luckily, there’s an easy fix that will not cost you much.
An oven thermometer will help you ensure your oven is properly heated and cooking your food at the temperature you need it to be set at. It’s the best kitchen investment you’ll ever make. This is why most recipes have you bake at 350°F.
Leave a Mess For Days
Your daily kitchen cleanup is probably more focused on the dishes than on the oven itself, but a few touchups will go a long way.
Allowing dirt build up for days and months are not only harder to clean, but they can also lead to smoke. Not cleaning spills after each oven use can quickly add up and can smoke during preheating the next time you turn up the heat.
If you use a drip tray, don’t forget to remove it and dispose of the grease and drippings after each use.
Allowing Food Mess get to the Oven Floor
To make those everyday spills even easier to clean up, it is best to catch crumbs and splatters before they hit the bottom of your oven. Cleaning experts recommend putting a drip tray or empty cookie sheet on the bottom to make it easier to scrub, or just adding a disposable oven liner.