Cooking in the oven: all the ways to use it

Cooking in the oven: all the ways to use it

Practical and versatile, the oven is perfect for both sweet and savory recipes. However, each preparation requires a certain type of cooking. Let’s see what they are.

Allied to moments of profound laziness in which even just washing a pan can cause discomfort, the oven is the solution to almost all ills thanks to its extreme versatility and ease of addition to the classic functions, static and ventilated, there are other ways to use the ovenJust choose between the numerous cooking modes , set the right temperature, put it in the oven, and you’re done. If it might already seem so beautifully smooth and linear, knowing the other potential of baking could open up a world for you. Let’s go around the usual two or three functions of the static and ventilated mode, underestimating the other types of cooking that can be obtained with the oven. From the first to the second, passing through cheeses, vegetables and desserts, the oven could completely replace the use of the stove. So let ‘s see all the ways to use it .


  1. Grill . That delicious crust that is tempting only to see it is not the result of simple cooking in the oven, but of the grill function: a mode that requires particular attention in timing and in the right temperature. For lasagna or flans covered with a thick layer of parmesan and bechamel, vegetables with breadcrumbs or crusted fish, the best result will depend on how you use the grill function. At the end of cooking, set the mode to a very high temperature (around 210-220 ° C) and brown for no more than 3 minutes by placing the dishes on the highest shelf of the oven.
  2. Ventilated . The high frequency with which it happens to use this feature is due to the numerous advantages that are obtained. First of all, the convection oven allows you to cook several dishes at the same time thanks to the uniform diffusion of the heat fed by the air flow of the fan. The latter, in fact, dehydrates the surface of the food making them crunchy to the right point and leaving them in any case soft and moist inside. The cooking of food by convention – as they say in this case – is particularly suitable for lasagna, pasta flans, roasts, stuffed or au gratin vegetables, but also for desserts such as biscuits, pies and cakes with a soft heart.
  3. Static . Using the static oven means to prefer cooking by radiation , as the heat is diffused through resistances located in the lower and upper part of the oven. Characteristic of this type of cooking is the greater slowness and the possibility of cooking only one dish at a time. It is especially suitable in the preparation of desserts – such as sponge cake or puff pastry – and leavened doughs – including bread, pizza and focaccia – which have chemical or brewer’s yeast as an ingredient: to grow they will need a heat boost which, coming from below, you stimulate leavening.
  4. Steamed . It might seem like a contradiction in terms, but baking can also be done with steam. In this case you can take advantage of the benefits of the forced air function by using a mode that you can set according to your needs. Depending on the type of food to be cooked, it is possible to achieve more or less powerful cooking levels. Generally, this function is suitable for moist foods, such as fish and meat, but also for leavened doughs for which humidity is a fundamental element. The steam, in fact, will spread evenly, guaranteeing a saving of time and energy compared to traditional cooking.
  5. In foil . If you want to preserve all the organoleptic and nutritional properties of food, the foil technique is ideal. You will not need to use any type of added fat, except a drizzle of water or juice or lemon or orange with which to moisten the base of the parchment paper. Arrange your ingredients inside the foil – preferring tender and soft textures, such as chicken, fish, zucchini and carrots – add your favorite aromas and spices and cook for 15 to 30 minutes maintaining a temperature not too high.
  6. With fairy card . Many mistake it for parchment paper, but in reality the fairy paper is a very different thing. It is a transparent film generally sold in the form of rolls or single sheets, extremely resistant to high temperatures and sudden changes from hot to cold and vice versa. This makes it perfect for many types of cooking, including baked, ensuring an optimal result and the maintenance of all the nutritional properties. Try it for cooking vegetables, meats, fish and cheese.
  7. In a water bath . To cook in a bain-marie inside the oven, you must first equip yourself with two containers of different sizes. Fill the larger one up to 2/3 of the way with hot water and insert the smaller container with the ingredients to be cooked. In case of splashes, you can place some sheets of kitchen paper on the bottom of the pan: remember to keep the water level constant and add more if it evaporates slightly due to the heat.
    Set the oven in static mode and keep a temperature below 100 °: remember that the water must not boil. In this way you will obtain a slower and sweeter cooking which will greatly reduce the risk of burning the bottom of the dishes. Therefore, use the bain-marie to cook puddings, soufflé, vegetable flans, flan and eggs in cocotte.
  8. Pilaf . This type of cooking takes its name from the ingredient for which it is used, namely rice. Cooking it in the oven will make it particularly crunchy and tasty. First, toast it in the pan, sprinkle it with broth and start cooking it at a temperature of about 200 ° C in a rather large container. For a perfect result, the proportion that you must follow is that of 200 ml of water for every 100 g of rice. Continue cooking for about 20 minutes and once the rice has absorbed all the liquid you can complete with flakes of butter and leave to brown for a few minutes.
  9. Biscuit stone . An excellent substitute for refractory stone, that biscuit is the main support for cooking a wood-fired pizza. It is known that domestic ovens struggle to reach the high temperatures of professional ones, but by using the biscuit stone you can take advantage of a well-uniform cooking. The secret is to set the oven at maximum temperature and to cook the dough for a very few minutes. Complete with the sauce of your choice and, if necessary, bake again to cook the surface.
  10. Soapstone . If you are a lover of meat, and in particular of cuts of a certain size and texture, soapstone is right for you. Resistant to high temperatures, the material allows heat to be transmitted slowly without the need to add any type of seasoning, such as oil and butter. But soapstone can also be used for other types of food: from shellfish to cheeses, passing through pizzas and wraps.
  11. Vasocooking. For some years it has become an avant-garde cooking not only for cooking savory recipes, but also for making leavened products, creams and desserts. The pot cooking exploits the principles of the steam technique, creating a particularly humid and warm environment inside the jar that cooks food slowly and delicately within their own liquids. This is why pot cooking is an ally of health, preserving the nutritional properties and the genuine flavor that often tends to deteriorate due to high temperatures. Try to use the convection oven keeping between 60 and 150 ° C and fill your jars with the most diverse ingredients: meat, fish, potatoes, cheeses, creams, small leavened products. As for the timing, it ranges from 5 minutes for an ingredient with a soft consistency, such as chicken or fish, to 20 minutes for leavened products.

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