How To Improve Heat Distribution In Your Oven
Have you ever experienced uneven cooking in your home oven? This problem can be infuriating if gone unnoticed as it results in food that is undercooked or overcooked at the same time. Whether it’s a conventional fan oven, aga, toaster oven, or almost any other type of oven, heat distribution can be a real pain and requires an effective solution.
Most people who face this problem simply resort to turning their food periodically as it cooks but this is far from ideal. One of the best parts about cooking using the oven is the ability to simply let it cook, giving you more time for necessary prep or clean up. Thankfully, there’s a simpler solution using a versatile and reliable piece of kitchen equipment you might already own!
Checking the Problem
If you think your oven might be cooking things a little unevenly but aren’t entirely sure, it’s best to check before trying any solutions. If you’re certain your oven is unevenly cooking your food (i.e you’ve noticed half-burned, half-undercooked cuisine), feel free to skip this step.
To check your oven’s heat distribution, heat the oven as you normally would (when cooking something, of course) and check the temperature of various locations using an oven thermometer. You’ll need to leave the thermometer in each location long enough to detect a change, this will be specified in the manufacturer’s guidelines. Having checked the temperature in various places, you’ll know for sure if your oven has heat distribution problems if the temperature isn’t the same at each spot.
So, you’re sure your oven has a problem distributing heat? Have you tried using a pizza stone to regulate the heat distribution?
Pizza stones are a popular kitchen item used for cooking, you guessed it, pizza. They work by imitating the conditions of a traditional pizza oven, using the stone to achieve an evenly cooked pizza base, crispy crust, and succulent top. The stones can be purchased affordably, come in all different shapes and sizes, and are subsequently perfect for any sized oven. But these stones have a pretty neat benefit – they help to regulate oven temperature.
Simply place the pizza stone on the bottom shelf of your oven then set the desired temperature. As your oven preheats, the stone heats up to, providing a secondary and more reliable heat source. When the oven and pizza stone have suitably heated up place the food on top and leave to cook for the specified time.
Choosing the right pizza stone
As we mentioned, pizza stones come in all shapes, sizes, and materials which means you have plenty of options to choose from. Although we’re told size doesn’t matter, it does for pizza stones if you want them to fit in your oven. In fact, size is without a doubt the most important thing to consider when buying a pizza stone. After measuring your oven shelf, you should be able to find a pizza stone that covers most of the surface area.
The next step is to choose the material. While you can find pizza stones made of many materials today, the most popular are cast iron, steel, or stone. To make it easier for you to choose, here’s a list of the main features of each material:
Cast Iron – Whether it’s a cast iron skillet or pizza pan, this robust material is ideal for your kitchen needs and is easier to clean than traditional stones. Cast iron equipment also benefits from handles to make it easier to move. These handles are crucial as it can be difficult to move a hot pizza stone, especially one made of a heavyweight material like cast iron.
Steel – Steel pizza stones can cook food more evenly and work at lower temperatures than alternatives stones, making them a great choice for versatile use in the kitchen. However, they can be heavy and usually don’t feature handles so they can be tricky to move when hot.
Stone – The classic pizza stone is ideal for anyone looking to improve heat distribution in their oven while providing the option of cooking some delicious pizza too. These stones are more readily available than others and ensure perfect heat distribution, especially at hot temperatures. They can, however, be difficult to move when hot and require more time to heat up than alternatives.
Cleaning your pizza stone
Cleaning your pizza stone is a simple and easy process. Simply wait for the stone to cool down after cooking your delicious meal then wipe thoroughly with a wet cloth. Be careful to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines as harsh cleaning brushes or chemicals could damage the stone.
Who knew that pizza stones could be so versatile? Well, now you do and you can start using one today to improve the heat distribution in your home oven.