Sometimes in life, there are little annoyances that you work around or learn to live with. When cooking, for example, you might find yourself balancing hot pans on your draining board so they don’t burn your worktop or scrubbing for hours at food burnt onto your hob. Frustrating? Yes. Fixable? Indeed!
We have here ten accessories to solve common oven niggles. Even better each of these handy items will give you change from a ten-pound note!*
Oven Shelf Guard
Are you the accident-prone type? If so reaching into your oven when it’s hot is a perilous endeavour; there’s a risk of brushing against the hot shelves and burning your arms. Silicone shelf guards are a handy little gadget to prevent such accidents. Silicone is perfect for the job, it can withstand high heats, is easy to clean and even easier to fit.
Josh demonstrates how in our video:
Reusable Baking Sheets
Scrubbing burnt food off the bottom of the oven is no one’s favourite pastime. So cut out the hard work with reusable baking sheets which can be cut to size and placed at the bottom of the oven for easy cleaning. These sheets are made of strong stuff; they’ll withstand heat of up to 260° and can be reused more than 1000 times. There’s no need to grease them either, the baking sheets can be cleaned just by wiping them with a kitchen towel or washing in warm soapy water.
Still wearing yourself out scrubbing baking trays or grills? Just pop a reusable baking sheet inside instead, in place of baking paper or tin foil.
If your food is taking longer than expected to cook or your baking isn’t rising, it sounds to us like your oven isn’t getting hot enough. And there’s only one way to confirm this – check the temperature. To do so you’ll need an oven thermometer, as per Josh’s demonstration:
If the temperature notches on your oven have worn away and finding the right temperature now involves an element of guesswork fear not! An oven thermometer is a great quick fix or temporary solution until you have the chance to replace your oven knobs.
eSpares Tip – An oven that’s not heating up as it should might indicate a fault with the door seal or heating element, both of which will need fixing for an efficiently working machine.
If you’ve got the family coming over for a Sunday roast or you’re hosting a dinner party, you may find your existing shelf setup limiting. Even with timings organised to military precision, you might still end up running around like a headless chicken, trying to get everything cooked. No more! An extendable shelf is what you need to give you more oven space; it expands to fit most ovens (though always double-check your oven measurements before buying). It can be used as an economical replacement for broken oven shelves too.
Here’s how it works:
When you’re multitasking in the kitchen it’s all too easy to leave food slowly getting browner in the oven or a pot boiling for a longer than intended on the hob. Avoid overcooked vegetables or charred cakes; invest in an egg timer (or even two) to achieve perfect cooking timings every time.
Oven Base Shelf
Another way to get extra oven space is with an oven base shelf. Simply put, it’s a shelf with legs that sits at the bottom of your oven.
So base shelves are easy to add and remove as necessary and will fit most ovens too (though again, please check your measurements). Even better, the shelf also doubles as a cooling tray – great for cooling bread, cakes or hot dishes you don’t want to put down on your kitchen surfaces.
Take a look at the shelf in action:
It’s inevitable that as soon as you turn your back on your cooking a pot will boil over. Spills on your hob are particularly annoying as food burnt onto the hob’s surface is usually a real pain to remove. So, if you have a ceramic hob, investing in a hob scraper may save you a whole bunch of time and elbow grease. A nice clean hob will cook your food more efficiently too – bonus!
Lots of people overcook meat to make sure it’s completely safe to eat.
Fair enough, overdone meat is safer than meat that hasn’t been cooked properly, but a better way to avoid both overcooking and undercooking is using a meat thermometer! Just pop the thermometer into the centre of the thickest part of your sausages or Sunday roast and check the temperature to make sure your meat is perfectly cooked, juicy and tender.
If you don’t find scouring pads do a good enough job when you’re cleaning your grill or oven you need a more heavy-duty scrubber.
Wire brushes make it much easier to remove burnt-on food and fat from your oven (or barbeque) and are great for removing rust too. Ensure you wipe down your oven surfaces after using a wire brush though, to avoid any stray wires that may have come loose finding their way into your food.
Micro Fibre Cloths
What should you use to wipe your oven down after cleaning? Funny you should ask; we have the ideal item for that too. Microfibre cloths will remove any remaining grease and grime from your oven and kill bacteria too so your cooker is left both clean and hygienic. You only need to add water to the cloths to use them – couldn’t be simpler!