One of the most appetising smells in the world has to be that of a roast dinner cooking in the oven. Gently bubbling casseroles, bread baking, or cakes rising in their tins are more oven-cooked delights that fill the home with comforting smells.
It’s not difficult to create amazing food using your oven; all you need are a few simple ingredients, a recipe, and some basic cooking equipment.
Here are some of the key utensils and equipment that will help you to produce some mouth-watering dishes and delicious cakes in your oven.
Roasts don’t have to mean meat, as fish or vegetables can be every bit as delicious cooked this way in the oven. Open, stainless steel roasting pans are widely available and are perfect for cooking a Sunday roast, as well as making gravy in once everything else is cooked. A rectangular shaped pan, with handles, is a great all-rounder, ideal for every kind of roast too.
Oven dishes, often made from stoneware or enamelled cast-iron can be used for all kinds of roasting but are more commonly used for casseroles. Ideal for long, slow cooking, oven dishes usually come with a lid and retain the heat very well. These dishes can also be taken straight from the oven to the table – with care – and can be used on top of the hob as well.
Every home cook needs a cake tin. Cake tins come in all shapes and sizes, and in a variety of materials. Tins with a loose base make it easy to remove the cake, as does a Springform pan, which is ideal for softer textured cakes, such as cheesecake. Sandwich pans are round and shallow and used for layer cakes, such as Victoria sponge, and tube pans are those with a tube in the middle to leave a hole in the centre of the cake. Most modern cake tins and bakeware come with a non-stick coating, so there’s no need for greasing or lining.
A loaf tin is great for homemade bread, but also meatloaf or vegetarian bakes. Deep and rectangular, loaf tins usually come in 1lb or 2lb sizes. Flan, tart or quiche pans are shallow and come in various shapes, often with a removable base and sometimes fluted sides.
Baking sheets, oven trays and Yorkshire pudding trays are also essential for making biscuits, muffins and cakes – and of course Yorkshire pudding to go with that Sunday roast! Usually made from steel or flat aluminium, some oven trays need greasing or lining, although non-stick trays are widely available.
An oven thermometer is an inexpensive bit of kit that will tell you the exact temperature of your oven, and a probe thermometer is good for telling when large roasts are properly cooked through –ideal for judging the Christmas turkey.
A cooling tray or rack is handy for resting food straight from the oven, and a pair of oven gloves will prevent you getting burned. Add a measuring jug, scales, a pair of tongs and a large slotted spoon for removing the joint, and you’re ready to get baking or roasting!
For more cooking tips and advice, head over to the Ovenu Facebook page.
Pan of vegetables image from BigStock.