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Convection settings are now being built into most new ovens. Originally limited to higher-end ranges or wall ovens, convection ovens offer faster and more evenly cooked dishes than regular ovens.
These ovens have a built in fan that helps heat the oven faster, eliminates hot spots within the oven, and enables cooking on all oven racks . No more rotating pans. Plus the oven has a vent that draws out excess steam. The drier oven ensures that food cooks and also caramelizes sooner. Pretty much what you are looking for when roasting birds.
Using the convention setting is also almost always a better choice because the oven is just more efficient. Probably the only time not to use this convenience is when baking something with a light batter, like cakes or soufflés that might become jostled by the fan.
Here is how to make this work: If you have more than one convection setting, choose the one indicated in your recipe — bake, roast, or broil — or the mode closest to your type of cooking. Because the ovens cook faster, common advice is to reduce the temperature by 25 degrees and to expect foods to be done cooking about 25 percent sooner.
Depending on the oven it may default to a lower temperature when using convection, but there is an override of that function. Some cooks do not reduce the temperature at all but check doneness about two-thirds of the way through the recommended cooking time.
So don’t be hesitant about using this cooking function. Experiment and gain some understanding of how your oven works because each one is a little different. The efficient and delicious results are worth your time.
(Source: Eating Well)
A GOOD IDEA — Before putting insecticide or pesticide in your sprayer for the first time this season, fill it up with water and pressurize it. Leaks and clogs are easier to deal with when it is only water running up your arm. Replacement parts such as hoses, O-rings and nozzles are available where sprayers are sold.
If your whole house needs organizing and you don’t know where to start, begin at the front door and work your way through each room of the house, starting at ground level. Work your way up, or tackle the most-used rooms first.
NO MESS PAINTBRUSH — There is no reason the ferrule, or the sleeve, of a paintbrush has to wear the colors of past projects.
Try this trick to keep brushes in top condition: Wrap the metal sleeve on the bristles with blue painter’s tape. The tape will catch paint spatters and droplets while you work, and will peel off when you are finished.
PAINTING POINTERS — If painting over a previously textured paint technique, use sand paper specifically made for sanding latex paint. It allows you to smooth it without going through a bunch of paper or having it gum up.
Susan Woody has been a home and garden writer for more than 20 years and is a master gardener.
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