How to maximize your oven for successful holiday entertaining

The holiday season is just around the corner and with that means an uptick in entertaining and big family meals. But what happens when you have a large dinner to prepare, with multiple courses, and only one oven to cook with? Aside from daydreaming about having one of these beauties, there are ways to successfully cook several dishes in your single oven without it being a recipe for disaster. With more than one item, keep in mind your oven will have to work a little harder to keep the desired internal temperature and the dishes will take about 15% longer to cook. But if you make sure to fully preheat your oven, and pay attention to rotate the dishes throughout, rest assured your oven will not let you down. In addition, keep these following tips in mind for cooking multiple things in your oven simultaneously:

  • Meat is the most flexible in terms of cooking. Technically meat can cook at any temperature until it’s done. And in fact, the lower the temperature, the longer it will take, and the juicier it will be. If cooking multiple dishes, set the temperature to what the nonmeat dish requires.
  • Additionally, meat stays hot for longer too. Large roasts, such as a ham or turkey, will stay hot for an hour after coming out of the oven, especially if they’re kept covered. Plan on cooking smaller side dishes during this time.
  • Most ovens are set in 25-degree increments. If one dish needs to be cooked at 350°F and another at 400°F, set the oven for 375°F. Just remember to watch the dishes as they cook (particularly when baking) and test for doneness.
  • Arrange the dishes so there is enough space between them. Air should be able to circulate between all the dishes, so space them out accordingly.
  • While most dishes cooked together will turn out fine, one thing to keep in mind is that the flavors of the two foods may affect each other. Dishes using similar seasonings generally won’t be an issue however, it may not be the best ideas to roast garlic and bake an apple crisp at the same time!

Better Housekeeping Shop has a wide range of ovens to suit your needs and we’d love to help you find the one that’s right for your kitchen. Give us a call at 732-741-4310 and speak to one of our knowledgeable sales members.

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