With everyone spending more time at home, cooking is becoming a major hub for daily activities. Whether it is dusting off an old cookbook, perfecting a family recipe, mastering the latest recipe to take over social media, or baking cookies with the kids, people are creating new memories in the kitchen.
That’s why we asked the cooking and baking experts in LG’s home appliance consumer insights lab in Chicago to compile a list of the best tips, tricks, and hacks to help get the most out of your time in the kitchen right now.
1. Create recipes that need less cleanup time
With more cooking comes more cleaning. Try to ease the cleanup burden by creating one-pot meals. Casseroles are great dishes that require less cleanup. Pro-tip: Most casserole dishes should be covered for most of their cooking time, but you can remove the cover and continue to cook the casserole for 5 to 10 minutes until the top is browned.
2. If things do get messy
First, see if you can do a simple cleanup. Functions like “Easy Clean,” for instance, allow you to simply spray water inside your LG oven and then in 10 minutes wipe away any leftover grime without chemicals or high heat. And since you may have more time at home right now, it might be a good time to use the full “self-clean” cycle on your oven. Be sure to ventilate the area and take your next activity outside if you can! Before you start, make sure to remove all racks in the oven, and don’t forget to check the lower oven drawer for anything you may have stored down there like sheet pans.
3. Get to know your oven’s settings
For example, convection mode is best for baking. Some ovens have specific settings to make baking better. The “ProBake” convection range from LG circulates the air inside the oven for even heat distribution on every rack. When baking, make sure to allow enough space around each pan and rack to let heat circulate properly.
4. A dish’s placement in your oven is important
Most smaller items benefit from being placed in the middle of the oven while larger items should be placed on the lower third. Tent your larger dishes with foil to avoid browning of the food before it is properly cooked.
5. Avoid cramming contents into a pan
It may be tempting to avoid using two different pans, but overcrowding your pan prevents even cooking. If you make this mistake, you might steam your food instead of browning it.
6. Try cooking a recipe you haven’t been able to before
With more time on your hands to prepare food, you can try recipes that take longer like baking bread. While it can be a laborious process, the results are always worth the trouble. Create a moist environment for yeast doughs to thrive in when using the Proof function on the oven; this is achieved by placing a bowl of water in the oven with the dough while proofing.
Now more than ever, families across the country are spending more time in their kitchens — from trying new cooking techniques and recipes to maximizing baking and cleaning.