Sin-A-Mon Tales

A chronicle of my kitchen experiments, a little healthy a little indulgent

Baking Basics Part 1 | The Right Oven

Considering lot of my posts and recipe are about baking on this blog and baking is what really my love is its not surprising that I get a lot of questions about baking in emails and FB messages these days :) There are a lot of people out there who are waiting to try their hands at baking but don’t know where to start from. When I get those emails I remember the time I took that journey clueless about what to do and how I would spend hours googling and how I did spoil a lot of things before I really got it right.  A lot of people asked me to share the basics of baking, how to start etc etc, so with this post today I am starting a series called Baking Basics where I will take you through some basics that can give you a kick start to what I am sure will be a lifelong journey :)

One of the most common questions I get from readers and friends is what oven I use in my house for baking. What is the right oven for them? How do they get started what all they’ll need.  So in the first past of baking basics we would look at oven that has to be the first step to start anyways

The Oven

While chosing an oven one has many options that we can choose, let me take you through them

  • OTG  aka Oven Toaster Griller : This is the option that is most commonly used in homes. It basically a device which bakes, toasts and grills using the heating rod on top and bottom on the oven. Its pretty close to the age old baking done using heat.  Like I said there are rods on top and bottom of the oven and the mode of cooking is controlled by which rods are heating. In case of baking only the bottom rods gets heated, in the grill mode its the top rod which gets heated and both the rods work in the toast mode.

Note : Read this intersting bit on how OTG came into existence actually from a pop up toaster :)

  • Convection Microwave Oven : Microwaves traditionally cook food by using electro magnetic waves and not heat rods. Convection Microwave is a fusion product which uses a combination of the standard microwave and the convection oven which uses the circulation of hot gas for cooking/baking. Convection microwaves are not a very old product in the market but they are making quite a leap already. It can be used for heating food, cooking, baking and grilling too

  • Gas Tandoor : This is the oven my mom used to bake with, I have eating many soft cakes baked in it. One keeps it on top of the gas and puts the cake tin on the wire rack provided along with. It also works with the heat just as OTG. However this one is not so common anymore because safety is a major issue with it, also one can’t control the temperature we set in it accurately which is a big negative point for baking

  • Cooking Ranges –  They come with both electrical and gas options for the Oven, the oven in this works brilliantly well however the constraint usually is the space and the prize

So these are more or less the options you have for home baking. There might be some more but these are the most common ones. And there are pros and cons in all of them as I mentioned above.

So unless you are setting up a new kitchen and want to buy a cooking range your options more or less are to choose between the convection microwave or an OTG. I use an OTG have been using it for past 7 years now. I also have a convection based microwave and I have experimented my baking in both the options. Personally I think nothing beats the results of baking you get from the oven and microwave doesn’t really stand anywhere close to it. However I have several friends who say they bake in the convection microwave and are happy with it.

So in nutshell my suggestion is if you are going to be an occasional baker and space is a constraint convection microwave oven will do for u, buy one device and use it wisely but if you are thinking of taking up baking as a hobby invest in a good OTG, they are not very expensive anyways.  There are many sizes available and buy the one that suits you, for most home users anywhere between 18 ltrs to 25 ltrs should be a good enough size

I am using a morphy richards from 7 years and apart from one time recently it hasn’t given me any trouble so I strongly recomend that (and no they haven’t paid me for this post :P)

Coming up Baking basics 2 – Pans and more

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28 comments on “Baking Basics Part 1 | The Right Oven

  1. pinksocks
    July 5, 2011

    Fabulous log :) Shall be a regular now. Loved it.

  2. BlueMist
    July 5, 2011

    Thank you so much. I am definitely one who is clueless about where to start :-)
    and you also addressed my confusion about buying convection microwave oven and OTG. One quick question though; Do you need to consider watts when I am looking for OTG ?

  3. shamim chowdhury
    July 5, 2011

    Using a non-branded OTG which has convection for the last 5 yrs. Happy with what it bakes

  4. Swaram
    July 5, 2011

    Nice one Mons!:)

  5. Arundati rao
    July 5, 2011

    Its always confusing with all the gadgets available in the market. I use a m/w convection oven. I just want to share my experience, that having used both otg and the convection oven, I can vouch that there’s no difference in the end quality of the baked product. Many people get confused thinking they are using the mw to bake because it’s a combination product. But in the convection mode, the oven turns into a regular oven.

    • monikamanchanda
      July 16, 2011

      see my reply to sups arundati sorry for the late reply

      in convection mode it DOESNT turn into an otg there are no rods up and down remember per se yes it just tries and heat the oven like the OTG

      I have actually did an experiment once at home let me see if I can fetch the pics and post, same batter same temp same times etc and the texture difference in the end products was so evident and the texture difference becomes higher in the following order

      brownies->cookies>muffins->dense cakes->sponge cakes

      sponge cakes never ever come as good as they in OTG and I am very sure they come even better in the big wood fired or proffesional ovens

  6. Rose
    July 6, 2011

    Good one Mona….thnx

  7. chandni
    July 6, 2011

    thank you from the bottom of my heart. I really want to begin, and have an OTG, hoping to learn it from here now! I haven’t baked ever in my life!!!

    • monikamanchanda
      July 16, 2011

      chandu so glad to be helping u, u start from the next post

      pots, pans and more :)

  8. chroniclesofdee
    July 7, 2011

    Mon, thanks!!

    I think even I bugged you with this Microwave & oven connudrum :)

  9. SupMM
    July 16, 2011

    I use a convection microwave and it bakes just fine. Its like a regular OTG in the convection mode like Arundati said

    • monikamanchanda
      July 16, 2011

      oh I dont know how I missed replying to arundati but I have baked in both OTG and covenction oven and I swear there is a clear quality difference. I am not saying convenction is bad its just not as good as OTG and it cant be,there is a difference in the way of heating and it makes whole lot of difference, just as a bread baked in OTG can never match upto one baked in woodfired oven a cake baked in microwave can never match up to cake baked it OTG

  10. chandni
    August 2, 2011

    Even public shaming is not working, I want the part 2 already :/

  11. naseer
    December 13, 2011

    Hi I’m want 2 buy a OTG 9ltr . But I’m confuse some says its very small, plz suggest me I want 2 buy Morphy Richards 9lts OTG .@ 2595

  12. pratibha
    January 25, 2012

    Thanks a lot for a lovely article. from a long time i was in dilema whether shuid i buy an otg or a microwave with connection mode

  13. piyush
    February 1, 2012

    my cake is not properly baked….please give me the temperature and time for baking a sponge cake…I have a morphy richards OTG…

  14. piyush
    February 7, 2012

    hey mam pls reply….its an eggless sponge cake

  15. Niks
    December 12, 2012

    Thanks, helped me in confirming my thought on OTG :)

  16. kavya
    February 19, 2013

    hi, I cannot thank you enough for this post. I have a microwave oven and been wanting to upgrade to either convection or otg. I have searched the ocean of google a grain of sand at a time to compare them to make my decision. Most reviewers had either , therefore were biased, and hence not of any help. since u won both your review and comparison is invaluable. thanks again.

  17. Shaphalie
    July 25, 2013

    Hi, I have just decided to start try my baking skills and looking to invest in an OTG. I wasnt sure which one to buy. I looked up online and its starts from 7litres onwards. Could you suggest how much capacity should I look for?
    Thanks

  18. Bhumika
    September 30, 2013

    Hi I am planning to buy An OTG but someone told me that electric tandoor is the better option . What will you suggest? Becuase I am still convinced with OTG But still cant decide please help me

  19. Khushboo
    November 28, 2013

    Please tell me which is beter option to buy Electric Tandoor or OTG??

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This entry was posted on July 5, 2011 by in Baking Basics and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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