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What's your oven like?

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  • View Poll Results: Where are the heating elements placed in your oven?
    Top only
    5
    50.00%
    Bottom only
    0
    0%
    Sides only
    1
    10.00%
    All three
    4
    40.00%

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    I live in a student accommodation with a fairly old oven that only has a heating element at the top and non at the sides/bottom. It's OK for warming up pizzas and stuff but when it comes to baking it's so much more troublesome to use than, say, a 'normal' oven with heating element at the bottom as the top tends to brown too much or burn before the middle is cooked through. Only the temperature is adjustable and there's nothing I can do to opt for an alternative heat source(as someone told me there might be a 'hidden' one at the bottom). T

    I've since improvised and always cover the top rack with foil and bought a pizza stone to act as a surrogate heat source. I'm not sure if it's normal for an oven to have such a design (silly if you ask me, what's the point of that when it comes with a separate grill anyway).

    I am interested to know how others' ovens are like and if I just happened to be blessed with an oddly designed oven. (basic physics in school taught us that hot air rises, not the other way round as far as I can remember).
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    Mine is top only.
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    Looks like it's not that uncommon then.. I do miss the oven back home lol. I couldn't resist clicking on your sig and I'm impressed with you and your husband's achievements and what determination you've got! Keep it up!
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    This is the oven I have at home.

    It has elements both at the top and bottom, on the side is a fan. Admittedly I've only used the bottom drawer to make toasted cheese sandwiches
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    My oven is the biggest piece of **** I've come across in my life. :mad: I live in halls and am actually planning on putting in a complaint about it - to be charged for self-catered accommodation and not to be able to cook anything but the most basic of foods (even pizza is a challenge not to burn the sides before the middle's cooked) with it is frankly just taking the piss. I've only baked once in it and then never bothered again. I think it's side-heating but I'm not certain - I just know that it's bloody ancient and an unreliable piece of crap.

    /rant.
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    (Original post by superwolf)
    My oven is the biggest piece of **** I've come across in my life. :mad: I live in halls and am actually planning on putting in a complaint about it - to be charged for self-catered accommodation and not to be able to cook anything but the most basic of foods (even pizza is a challenge not to burn the sides before the middle's cooked) with it is frankly just taking the piss. I've only baked once in it and then never bothered again. I think it's side-heating but I'm not certain - I just know that it's bloody ancient and an unreliable piece of crap.

    /rant.
    Rant accepted mate. I started of this thread partly just to rant about my oven too. Perhaps you could try wrapping foil around your baking tray(make sure it extends above the tray) next time to protect it from direct heat?
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    (Original post by Da CorrupteD KiD)
    Rant accepted mate. I started of this thread partly just to rant about my oven too. Perhaps you could try wrapping foil around your baking tray(make sure it extends above the tray) next time to protect it from direct heat?
    Good idea about the foil, yeah. I've already switched most of my bakeware to silicone which I think spreads the heat out more evenly (dread to think what the results would be if I was still using my old cake tins) so I think that's doing at least a little, but yeah foil might work too as an extra layer of protection.

    I miss doing proper baking.


    You might find that frequent turning and switching between shelves helps a bit with some cooking, but obviously there'll be some recipes where that'd have a bad impact on the food. And of course it's annoying to have to experiment like this if it means that you'll have to waste what could otherwise be really nice food.
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    (Original post by superwolf)
    Good idea about the foil, yeah. I've already switched most of my bakeware to silicone which I think spreads the heat out more evenly (dread to think what the results would be if I was still using my old cake tins) so I think that's doing at least a little, but yeah foil might work too as an extra layer of protection.

    I miss doing proper baking.


    You might find that frequent turning and switching between shelves helps a bit with some cooking, but obviously there'll be some recipes where that'd have a bad impact on the food. And of course it's annoying to have to experiment like this if it means that you'll have to waste what could otherwise be really nice food.
    Silicone bakewares? I've been eyeing those for ages but they're so expensive! (nothing less than 20quid last time I checked) I really want to bake some financiers but I'm not sure if they'd work in normal muffin tins since that's all I have. Baking can be a very expensive hobby actually, all those tart tins and dessert rings cost a bomb! All ovens are different so I think some degree of experimentation is inevitable really. But I still don't understand why would anyone fix the heating element at the top instead of the bottom. *I clearly still haven't got over that* :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Da CorrupteD KiD)
    Silicone bakewares? I've been eyeing those for ages but they're so expensive! (nothing less than 20quid last time I checked) I really want to bake some financiers but I'm not sure if they'd work in normal muffin tins since that's all I have. Baking can be a very expensive hobby actually, all those tart tins and dessert rings cost a bomb! All ovens are different so I think some degree of experimentation is inevitable really. But I still don't understand why would anyone fix the heating element at the top instead of the bottom. *I clearly still haven't got over that* :rolleyes:
    This is what birthday presents are for. I don't actually have that much of it - just a few essentials like cake tins and muffin cases, but you can definitely get better results than with the metal stuff - even if you're not that accomplished a baker like myself I can still notice a difference and find them easier to use.

    I don't much go in for buying fancy shaped tins and stuff - I don't have the room really, and yeah I know how expensive it is. I've got the odd gadget and stuff that was a present like I said, but I mostly just stick with the more traditional shapes and then experiment more with flavours or decorations (although actually I'm not even that good at decorating - I just find it fun anyway ).

    I agree about needing a bit of experimentation with a new oven - you'll always find that your new one is a bit fast/slow/whatever compared to the last one, but the ones in my halls just take the piss - no matter what you do with them you still can't avoid the odd burnt sacrifice. :sad:


    All this talk of baking is making me pine for it - what I wouldn't give for endless ingredients and a genuinely functional oven... :moon:
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    (Original post by superwolf)
    This is what birthday presents are for. I don't actually have that much of it - just a few essentials like cake tins and muffin cases, but you can definitely get better results than with the metal stuff - even if you're not that accomplished a baker like myself I can still notice a difference and find them easier to use.

    I don't much go in for buying fancy shaped tins and stuff - I don't have the room really, and yeah I know how expensive it is. I've got the odd gadget and stuff that was a present like I said, but I mostly just stick with the more traditional shapes and then experiment more with flavours or decorations (although actually I'm not even that good at decorating - I just find it fun anyway ).

    I agree about needing a bit of experimentation with a new oven - you'll always find that your new one is a bit fast/slow/whatever compared to the last one, but the ones in my halls just take the piss - no matter what you do with them you still can't avoid the odd burnt sacrifice. :sad:


    All this talk of baking is making me pine for it - what I wouldn't give for endless ingredients and a genuinely functional oven... :moon:
    I feel your pain mate. I, too, constantly yearn for a proper oven but we just have to make do with what we're given as students at this stage don't we? What annoys me is when someone who does not take food or baking seriously having a really good oven (think Come Dine With Me and you'll get the idea) . It makes me feel so sorry for that oven lol.

    Anyway, other than cooking faster and greater non-stick property what other advantages are there to silicon bakewares?
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    (Original post by Da CorrupteD KiD)
    I feel your pain mate. I, too, constantly yearn for a proper oven but we just have to make do with what we're given as students at this stage don't we? What annoys me is when someone who does not take food or baking seriously having a really good oven (think Come Dine With Me and you'll get the idea) . It makes me feel so sorry for that oven lol.

    Anyway, other than cooking faster and greater non-stick property what other advantages are there to silicon bakewares?
    Finally snapped today and wrote out a truly massive and detailed complaint to file with my halls (it's even more annoying since I switched from one flat to the other at the beginning of the semester and the old oven was perfectly serviceable). It won't result in any change for me of course, but maybe it'll at least make the ***** have a second thought about charging other poor students of the use of the damn things.

    Advantages: lighter and easier to store (good for if you don't have much space or move house a lot), flexibility which can make it easier to remove your food, they're freezable - if you liked you could freeze doughs and mixes which I believe you can sometimes then stick straight into the oven (would have to check on that one though with the recipes), or I've also used my smaller ones as moulds for freezing quantities of chopped/cooked fruit and veg into convenient portions (which you can easily remove still-frozen from the moulds so you can do more portions), you can buy say cupcake cases in a lot of different shapes - good for when you want a quick way to make your cakes look less plain, they're really easy to wash... Also, although I haven't had any of mines long enough to confirm this, I suspect that since they seem to generally be pretty high quality they'll last longer than a lot of my old metal tins, which eventually can start having bits scrape off of them and stuff, even if you look after them.

    And the only real disadvantages I can think of are the cost and that for some recipes you do want a more solid base (you might be able to get around this just by using a baking tray underneath though).
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    (Original post by superwolf)
    Finally snapped today and wrote out a truly massive and detailed complaint to file with my halls (it's even more annoying since I switched from one flat to the other at the beginning of the semester and the old oven was perfectly serviceable). It won't result in any change for me of course, but maybe it'll at least make the ***** have a second thought about charging other poor students of the use of the damn things.

    Advantages: lighter and easier to store (good for if you don't have much space or move house a lot), flexibility which can make it easier to remove your food, they're freezable - if you liked you could freeze doughs and mixes which I believe you can sometimes then stick straight into the oven (would have to check on that one though with the recipes), or I've also used my smaller ones as moulds for freezing quantities of chopped/cooked fruit and veg into convenient portions (which you can easily remove still-frozen from the moulds so you can do more portions), you can buy say cupcake cases in a lot of different shapes - good for when you want a quick way to make your cakes look less plain, they're really easy to wash... Also, although I haven't had any of mines long enough to confirm this, I suspect that since they seem to generally be pretty high quality they'll last longer than a lot of my old metal tins, which eventually can start having bits scrape off of them and stuff, even if you look after them.

    And the only real disadvantages I can think of are the cost and that for some recipes you do want a more solid base (you might be able to get around this just by using a baking tray underneath though).
    Well done on taking action against the provider of that crap oven! Thanks so much for sharing your experience of using those silicon moulds. One last question, having enjoyed the advantages of using them would you fork out your own money to purchase new ones in the future?
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    (Original post by Da CorrupteD KiD)
    Well done on taking action against the provider of that crap oven! Thanks so much for sharing your experience of using those silicon moulds. One last question, having enjoyed the advantages of using them would you fork out your own money to purchase new ones in the future?
    Hmm. :holmes: I reckon that one depends on what you want out of baking - what type of experimentation you're into and stuff. I'm more into trying out and tweaking different recipes that mostly more or less correspond to the same shapes, so in my case I think no - I'm happy with having the standard essentials plus a few random fancier ones, but I don't see a personal need for buying any particular new ones (I do get tempted every now and again though... ). Whereas if you were really oriented towards trying out entirely different and specialist kinds of recipe or presentation then I can see that buying a lot of different kinds would be more worthwhile.

    I'm not gonna let you blame me if you run out and bankrupt yourself on cake tins.
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    (Original post by superwolf)
    Hmm. :holmes: I reckon that one depends on what you want out of baking - what type of experimentation you're into and stuff. I'm more into trying out and tweaking different recipes that mostly more or less correspond to the same shapes, so in my case I think no - I'm happy with having the standard essentials plus a few random fancier ones, but I don't see a personal need for buying any particular new ones (I do get tempted every now and again though... ). Whereas if you were really oriented towards trying out entirely different and specialist kinds of recipe or presentation then I can see that buying a lot of different kinds would be more worthwhile.

    I'm not gonna let you blame me if you run out and bankrupt yourself on cake tins.
    Funny you mention that because I literally just placed an order for a fancy rectangular tart tin amongst others on lakeland in preparation for the baking that I will be doing after my exam next Friday. Cost me a whopping 60quid in total. *EXCITING!* But ouch.

    Thing is, I can easily buy two to three good quality baking tins with the amount of money I need to pay for just one silicon bakeware. I don't usually have problem turning out cakes and stuff since there's a thing called parchment paper. I guess before I start receiving my own pay cheques I'd just have to spread the word and hopefully someone gets me one of those for my birthday. :rolleyes:
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    at uni had 2 fan ovens halls - 1st house, then a RUBBISH oven... housemate put it on she forgot about it i dont remember how but she did somehow...lol ... anyway it had been on for at least 2 hours :| so i thought oh i can just pop my pizza in then...my pizza was in for 3 hours being checked ever half hour... i then gave up and microwaved it oven pizza microwaved isnt good by the way... our houseing management people tried to tell us that we needed to leave it to heat up longer... seriously? a oven as to be on longer than 2 hour to heat up? it took a lot of persuasion to get it replaced.....but then we had a beautiful oven! It lit when your pressed the button ... it warmed up quick... it got to the right temperature and when the time was up things would be cooked as they should have been i love that oven......

    i HATE our oven at home (which is where i now live again ) we have an Aga... all those stupid people who say how they would love an aga have never had to live with one! they are brilliant bottom/clothes/shoe warmers, the cat loves to cuddle up to it... But to cook with it... GGGRRRR! one day a cake which the recipe says 20mins will be burnt in 10... other days a hour later and its still gooey..
    my general rule now is that i will only prepare things the moment it comes to oven time im off mum can deal with it...
    and it has stupid little holes compared to a normal oven... and hugggeee doors to catch yourself on as you try and reach into the ridiculously narrow but long ovens...we actually have proper aga oven gloves they come up to your elbow yet nothing stops you from catching your elbow on it...or your leg! iv burnt my leg on the stupid thing before
    having said that ... i am uber excited for our kitchen extension to be finished were going to have a proper oven as well as! i have a feeling i will then forgive the aga.....
    x
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    (Original post by x-pixie-lottie-x)
    at uni had 2 fan ovens halls - 1st house, then a RUBBISH oven... housemate put it on she forgot about it i dont remember how but she did somehow...lol ... anyway it had been on for at least 2 hours :| so i thought oh i can just pop my pizza in then...my pizza was in for 3 hours being checked ever half hour... i then gave up and microwaved it oven pizza microwaved isnt good by the way... our houseing management people tried to tell us that we needed to leave it to heat up longer... seriously? a oven as to be on longer than 2 hour to heat up? it took a lot of persuasion to get it replaced.....but then we had a beautiful oven! It lit when your pressed the button ... it warmed up quick... it got to the right temperature and when the time was up things would be cooked as they should have been i love that oven......

    i HATE our oven at home (which is where i now live again ) we have an Aga... all those stupid people who say how they would love an aga have never had to live with one! they are brilliant bottom/clothes/shoe warmers, the cat loves to cuddle up to it... But to cook with it... GGGRRRR! one day a cake which the recipe says 20mins will be burnt in 10... other days a hour later and its still gooey..
    my general rule now is that i will only prepare things the moment it comes to oven time im off mum can deal with it...
    and it has stupid little holes compared to a normal oven... and hugggeee doors to catch yourself on as you try and reach into the ridiculously narrow but long ovens...we actually have proper aga oven gloves they come up to your elbow yet nothing stops you from catching your elbow on it...or your leg! iv burnt my leg on the stupid thing before
    having said that ... i am uber excited for our kitchen extension to be finished were going to have a proper oven as well as! i have a feeling i will then forgive the aga.....
    x
    I think it might be wise investing in getting an oven thermometer, most ovens tend to produce less heat than it should and not as commonly the other way round. I think the holes might be to ensure better convection/even heat distribution? Your oven sounds HUGE by the way.

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