Ovens and oven equipment


Types of ovens

Conventional ovens


This is my preferred choice, and here it is necessary to pre-heat the oven for about 10-20 minutes before your dish goes in.  The temperature for all the recipes on Delia Online are for conventional ovens

Fan ovens

Here you must follow the manufacturer's instructions. Because fan ovens vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, it's impossible for me to give correct timings for all of them. So the answer here is to calculate the cooking time according to your oven instruction manual – in a fan oven you'll have to set the temperature a bit lower than stated in recipes, the cooking time will be slightly reduced and no pre-heating is needed.

Microwave ovens

This is a tricky subject, and one that causes a great dilemma for the cookery writer. As microwave ovens are not standard and the power levels vary, it's difficult to give standard guidelines. The best course if you want to cook in the microwave is to follow the instructions in the manufacturer's handbook.

Unreliable ovens

A cake is a very good test of an oven: if it browns too much on one side and not on the other, it's not your fault – you need to have your oven checked. If cakes are overcooked or undercooked, the thermostat may be faulty.

Heat diffusers



 A small gadget that is useful if you have got one of those infuriating hobs that won't give a really gentle simmer, so the food catches and scorches. All you do is place it directly on the gas or the electric plate and it cuts down the heat reaching the pan.


Oven thermometers

Remember, it's very simple to have an oven tested professionally, and it only takes about five minutes. Alternatively, what I find really useful is having my own thermometer. You can pop this in the oven when you pre-heat it and it will tell you simply and clearly if your oven temperature is true. If it isn't, then you really must have the oven checked.

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