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THIS MONTH IN THE delicious. KITCHEN…

As the delicious. food team cook and test recipes, there’s constant tinkering and fervent discussion: timesaving ideas; new tricks we’ve heard of; some technique we’ve dreamed up and want to try… Then there are the questions and input we get from colleagues as they come to see what’s cooking. On these pages, our aim (with help from our regular experts) is to reproduce that test kitchen atmosphere, sharing the most useful ideas and tips we’ve discovered. It’s cookery gold!

DOES IT MATTER…

WHICH OVEN RACK?

In fan-assisted ovens the temperature, in theory, on all shelves should be about the same. With standard gas and electric ovens (without a fan), which rack you choose can make a difference…

THE TOP The main heating element (or gas burner) is usually at the bottom but because heat rises, the hottest air accumulates at the top.

Best for Browning and crisping the pastry bases of tarts and flans.

THE MIDDLE This is the ‘goldilocks zone’, where the temperature is neither too hot nor too cool and the hot air circulates well, cooking at an even heat.

Best for Most things cook well here but it’s particularly suitable for cakes and bakes, because of the steady temperature. If you need to bake two things at once – a couple of trays of biscuits, for instance – put them on separate shelves as close to the middle of the oven as possible, then swap them over halfway through.

THE BOTTOM This shelf can be cooler, although the base of the pan/dish will be closer to the heat source, so the underside of the food can burn if the shelf is too low.

Best for Roast veg and roast potatoes.

READ MORE
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About Delicious Magazine

Banish the January blues with delicious. magazine’s new issue. It’s packed with cheer-up food for wintry days, whether you crave dishes oozing melted cheese, the fresh zing and zest of clementines, Nina Olsson’s healthy bowlfuls or a traditional roast lamb from Mary Berry. Looking for more exotic delights? Try the quick Peking duck, sattu parathas or step-by-step sticky babka. plus we have hearty food Le Gavroche-style.
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