Things You Can Cook in an Oven More Efficiently

Despite the fact that I make a living as a chef, I’m just like the rest of you. I don’t want to waste time in the kitchen after a long day at work…or on my days off. Besides,  I also don’t want to be bothered with sauces or stovetop recipes that require continual attention to avoid absolute disaster.

I found early on that using the oven for a lot more than pies, cakes, and roast chicken was one of the best kept secrets for quick and easy meal prep in the kitchen. It’s the ultimate multi-tasking kitchen appliance. While the soup I’m having for supper roasts quietly in the oven, I can write up a recipe and do laundry.

Why should you use the oven to cook?

Using the power of dry heat to extract flavour from simple components is a kinder, gentler method. Do you have any doubts? Next time you think of steaming green beans, try roasting them instead.

Once you’ve finished all of the preliminary work, it’s mostly a “hands-off” operation – the oven handles all of the heavy lifting. Perfect for those of us who work from home, or for a Sunday afternoon…when you’re probably already at home.

If you have time (but not attention), cooking in the oven is a great option. Just remember to set a timer — and, as that 1980s commercial used to say: Set it and forget it!

Despite the buzz surrounding low-cost fast food, cooking from scratch is less expensive – and healthier. Using the oven makes it simple to do so using simple, low-cost ingredients.

There is no need for any specific equipment. Consider your oven to be a large slow cooker. There’s no need for a new piece of equipment, and there’s no loss of valuable counter space with different settings. I’ve had the best luck using cookware I already own, such as sheet pans and parchment paper for many things and cast-iron frying pans and pyrex casserole dishes for more fluid recipes.

In your oven, what should you be preparing?


Any soup that will be blended and/or needs a flavour basis of browned aromatics (onions, carrots, celery, garlic) will be considerably easier to make in the oven. After a rough chop, season with salt and pepper, then toss to lightly coat with oil. Preheat oven to 375°F and bake until fork-tender. Adjust seasonings in a large mixing bowl with hot chicken stock. That concludes our discussion.

Dried chickpeas .

Dried chickpeas and other legumes Dried legumes are substantially less expensive than canned legumes, although they usually require soaking, washing, and simmering. Chickpeas can be cooked in the oven by simply placing them in a casserole with a heavy lid — no soaking necessary. Toss in a small onion, whole garlic clove, and bay leaf, then cover with 1″ of water and bake for 2-3 hours at 350°F. If you make a large batch, you may freeze the leftovers along with a little of the cooking liquid for later use.


The traditional method of making jam is heating fruit and sugar on the stove until it reaches the magical temperature of 220 degrees. This frequently necessitates stirring to prevent scorching on the bottom, as well as scorched fingertips when it bubbles up. The majority of jam recipes adhere to a fundamental fruit-to-sugar ratio. Simply follow this recipe, but make sure everything is spread out in a wide roasting pan. Cook for about 2 hours at 300 degrees, stirring every 30 minutes or so. As you get closer to the conclusion, it will thicken.


Do you get frustrated trying to figure out how to peel beets without injuring yourself? Roast them without peeling them! 350°F in a rectangular pyrex pan covered with foil; no oil is required; the moisture in the beets does the rest. They should cook soft all the way through after 60-70 minutes (for medium-sized beets). Remove the peels by slicing off the top and bottom. Chop it up and keep it in the fridge for salads or fast pickles throughout the week.


Salads with a savoury flavour. Savoury salads benefit from the addition of roasted root vegetables. Roast with a little olive oil, onions, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and spices if desired on a parchment-lined sheet pan (smoked paprika makes a great addition, or try some ground coriander with your carrots). Roasting everything with the balsamic adds a nuanced, fresh dimension that seasoning it afterward won’t provide.


made from tomatoes. Tomatoes are at their best when they’ve been reduce slowly and caramelised a little (for the geeks out there, look up the Maillard reaction). Using the oven, this is quite simple to accomplish. Fresh tomatoes are better when available, although tinned tomatoes are also delicious. Combine onions, rosemary, entire peeled garlic cloves, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil in a large mixing bowl. On a parchment-lined sheet pan, roast the vegetables.


Onions that have been caramelised. There’s no need to be concerned about them catching fire. As many onions as will fit on your sheet pan should be peeled and chopped. Toss them with a little olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and chop them pole-pole. Roast for 60 minutes at 375 degrees on a parchment-lined sheet pan.

Polenta. Stirring, monitoring, and more stirring are all required for traditional polenta. Baking polenta in the oven is simple and only necessitates one intermediate step – with equally excellent results! In a covered 3 quart casserole, bake 1 cup polenta, 4 cups water, and 1 teaspoon or so salt for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Check for wetness and, if desired, add cheese. Serve after another 15 minutes in the oven.


So now that you’ve learned how to use this strategy, have fun with it. Consider your oven to be a “mechanical prep-chef,” and consider how you may use a large amount of roasted beets, chickpeas, or tomato sauce throughout the week. A large quantity of polenta can be serve as a side dish, and leftovers can be chilled in a loaf pan and eaten the next night, sliced and fried until crispy.

Source: best oven for baking , kitchen oven

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