You may well be expecting to feed more people than usual this weekend if you’ve got friends or relatives coming over for Easter. Cooking for a full house is a lot more challenging than rustling up your day to day dinners and it’s even more of a challenge if your oven isn’t working efficiently. So here are some simple steps to take to make cooking for your guests easier.
Clean Your Oven
A dirty oven is not only inefficient; it can actually make your food taste worse. So it’s a good idea to clean your oven when you have company coming. Give the shelves, door and oven walls a scrub with the cleaner of your choice and a scouring pad. (Though if you have a self-cleaning oven steer clear of the walls; scrubbing them could remove the self-cleaning coating. Follow the instructions in your appliance manual instead.) Avoid spraying cleaner onto the fan, element or (in gas ovens) the pilot light or burner as this could damage your oven.
While you’re cleaning it’s worth checking and if necessary cleaning or replacing your cooker hood filters. Entertaining often involves multitasking in the kitchen and if you’re cooking an elaborate Sunday roast you’re more likely to find your kitchen filling up with steam, frying smells or even some smoke if one of your pots boils over and the contents burn onto your hob. To remove these fumes and airborne grease you’ll need a cooker hood in good working order.
If your oven door is made up of multiple sheets of glass to achieve a perfect clean you may need to remove the glass panels. Watch our handy video to see how:
After you’ve cleaned your oven to your satisfaction, run it on a high heat for 20 minutes to burn off any excess cleaning products before cooking your food.
Make the Most of Your Oven Space
If you’ve got more people than usual around your dining table you’ll be cooking bigger quantities to feed all those hungry mouths. You may find you need extra shelves in your oven to take full advantage of the space. There are three choices when adding additional shelving:
- Buy a genuine shelf for your model, checking the product you’re buying is the right shelf compatible with your oven using your model number.
- Save money with a universal shelf which extends to the dimensions of most ovens (though double check the dimensions of your oven before buying one of these, to ensure the shelf will fit your model).
- Get a shelf with legs that stands on the base of your oven, which has the benefit of also doubling as a cooling rack.
If you’re wondering exactly how universal extendable shelves work, watch our video:
Replace Worn Out or Faulty Oven Parts
You may have ignored small niggles with your oven that don’t affect the actual cooking process for a while. But fixing them could improve the ease of using your oven and make it look better, so there’s no better time to sort these issues than before you’re expecting guests.
If a knob on your cooker is worn, the door handle is cracked or the oven bulb has blown, find a replacement part to fix it. Just make sure to always buy parts compatible with your oven model number so they fit correctly.
Once your oven is clean, efficient and looking like new you’re all set to rustle up a gastronomic feast. And if you’re lucky your guests may offer to help you with the washing up – after all, many hands make light work!