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Old 03-04-2012, 06:40 AM   #1
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Using our oven?

My DW has asked me to make an inquiry to our fellow on line cooks. She was saying the other day that we should use our oven more often, but has heard that it is difficult to get an even heat. All we have used our oven for is frozen meat pies, pizza, etc. We understand that a lot of people have placed a tile on the base of the oven, and this aids in getting a more even heat. Has anybody heard of this, and if so can you provide some details as to what to use and where to place it. Does it really work?
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:59 AM   #2
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Yes, it works. What you are doing is heating up a large thermal mass that will help keep the oven hot everywhere, even if you open the door often.
You can go to Home Despot and buy heavy floor tiles for this purpose. I would just use one large one that would fit on one of the racks in the oven.
I've heard unglazed floor tiles work best, but don't know this for sure. All tiles are made at very high temperatures, so I doubt a measly 400 degree oven would cause them to disintegrate. The price you pay for this is you have to expend enough propane to heat up the tile and it will likely take a little longer to heat up the oven than it did before.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:42 AM   #3
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I bake and cook using the oven a few times a week. At first I was burning the bottom of breads and rolls etc. but then bought a "Pizza Stone" from Target for about $13. It is essentially a round unglazed ceramic tile. It does not crack like using floor tiles. You will be amazed at how even the oven will now bake.

The other issue using the oven is that the temperature control calibration is no where near reality. Buy an oven thermometer and set your oven by using it over the markings on the dial. I also used an infrared thermometer to come up with a table of dial setting to real temperature. On mine, a dial setting some where between 300 and 325 produces 350. It does not become linear after that either, so you can just pick out some of the common temperatures used in most all recipies like 350 375 400 425 and know where to initially set the dial.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:51 AM   #4
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The pizza stone or tile reportedly help significantly to even out the heat.

As far as calibration is concerned, you can adjust many of the oven thermostats if you have an oven thermometer. Set the oven to, say, 350 degrees F and place the oven thermometer in the oven so that you can read the face. Once the oven temperature stabilizes, pull the oven knob straight toward you to remove it. In the center of the shaft upon which the knob rides will be a small screw which can be turned to adjust the thermostat up or down - adjust the screw until the oven temperature matches the dial setpoint of 350 degrees F as indicated on the oven thermometer. Slide the knob back on, ensuring that the shaft hasn't turned from its initial 350 degrees F setpoint and you're done.

This adjustment location may or may not hold true for your particular oven, but it's worth a shot.

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Old 03-04-2012, 03:38 PM   #5
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I happened to drop into a "Kitchen Outlet" type place (In one of the outlet malls) just as they were having a clearance on Pizza Stones.
Got a great price.

Some use an un-glazed clay tile from the flooring dept at the local big-box home improvement store.. Basically same thing.

Either method works.. I've done quite a bit of baking both in the gas oven and a large size Toaster oven we have (Larger than the regular size).

Works great.
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:43 PM   #6
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DW complained about our oven also. We found four small unglazed tiles fit perfectly in the oven base. Made me very happy with the resultant baked goods.

Have a nice day - Darrel
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:44 PM   #7
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I use the oven in our TT for storage. For the TT I use a toaster /convection oven that sits on the top of the oven, it works great. Our MH doesn't have an oven, just stove top burners, it came with microwave/convection oven. I never had much luck baking in the camper ovens,I like the toaster/convection oven best. Just my opinion.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:33 AM   #8
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Thanks for the instruction on calibration Rusty. I will look into that for sure. We use our oven a lot and have a pizza stone that works great. The pizza stone is made for the purpose of cooking and I assume that they are safe. Reading here that some people use clay tile glazed or not and a thought came to mind. Don't mean to scare anyone but just wondering if some tile or the glazing on them may contain lead depending on where they come from? Again just a thought but would like everyone to be as safe as possible.

bone appetite,
Larry
PS: The french might be a little off!!!
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hometwn2 View Post
Thanks for the instruction on calibration Rusty. I will look into that for sure. We use our oven a lot and have a pizza stone that works great. The pizza stone is made for the purpose of cooking and I assume that they are safe. Reading here that some people use clay tile glazed or not and a thought came to mind. Don't mean to scare anyone but just wondering if some tile or the glazing on them may contain lead depending on where they come from? Again just a thought but would like everyone to be as safe as possible.

bone appetite,
Larry
PS: The french might be a little off!!!
Some glazing does contain Pb (lead). "off gassing" shouldn't be a concern at the temperatures that we cook with (200 - 450). The glazing is fired at temperatures exceeding 1100 degrees. "Pizza stones" should be safe for direct contact with foods. Most porcelain tiles should also be safe.

Just an old safety engineer.
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