Why is baking with a range cooker different from a normal oven?
Unlike a regular oven, range cookers can be seen as heat-storage units. The oven itself is basically always on, ready for when you need it. This offers a range of advantages as you’re not cooking with direct heat, as you’ll be using the radiant heat which can transform the way you cook certain items.
Whilst this is great for savoury dishes like a delicious Sunday roast, it can be troublesome when you’re first starting to bake using your range cooker. The heat generated by the heating element can vary greatly so it can be difficult when your baked goods need consistent heat. In this post we talk about a few things you can try with your range cooker to help you the next time you bake.
Getting the perfect results:
If you’re lucky enough to have a range cooker, it can be quite tricky to understand the principles of baking with an appliance that has so many features. Baking in a range cooker is straightforward enough as long as you stick to the core principles of cooking with convection.
Like with any oven, finding the best position to bake your cake (depending on the type) is crucial. From cakes to pies, the way you bake will be dictated by what you’re trying to do. A rule of thumb for you to follow is that denser items will always need longer cooking at a lower temperature. Dishes like a cheesecake will cook best at a much lower heat, whereas smaller denser items like scones will benefit from the hottest part of the oven which is at the top.
If your range cooker features a specific baking oven, you’re in luck if you’re wanting to cook something larger but less dense like a sponge cake as baking ovens will provide a consistent heat in order to give the bake time to rise. Knowing which compartments and how hot they get is a vital step in perfecting your results when you’re using your range cooker.
Moving your bake around:
Whilst there are “hotspots” in any oven, there is a larger range of temperatures you have to work with when it comes to a range cooker. The roasting oven will always be the hottest, with the baking oven and the simmering oven averaging a lower heat.
Because of this variation in temperature, you shouldn’t be afraid to move your dishes around if you need to, in order to maintain or lower the heat. For example, if you need a hotter oven to get a bake going, you may want to start using the roasting oven and then using the simmering oven to maintain a consistent temperature to finish baking. This is ideal for things like crumbles and fruit pies where you want to finish with the perfect glaze.
Patience and practice:
Mastering the skill of baking with a range cooker is something that you’ll have to perfect over time. Practice, in this case, does make perfect so giving it a try and experimenting with the different ovens to understand the temperature effect will allow you to learn how to best bake with your new range cooker. No matter whether you have Dual Fuel Range Cookers, or another fuel type, over time you’ll perfect your technique and before you know it you’ll be cooking up a storm.
A quick summary of the points above are:
- The best oven for baking isn’t always the baking oven
- Remember that different ovens will offer different temperatures, don’t be scared to mix and match!
- Think about how dense your bakes are and use the apt oven for the dish.
- Persevere and practice! Understand your range cooker and you’ll get a knack for which ovens to use.