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Alison Baker

The Rangemaster tall oven

Posted by Alison Baker Monday, 22nd February 2016

When I first started working for Rangemaster as the Home Economist, the tall oven, on the 90cm range cookers, was a warming or slow cook oven.  Seeing the potential for this oven we decided to put a fan into the rear to make it a full working fan oven.  We were certain the oven would perform well but we had to prove it for you, the end user, so a lot of development work and testing was needed!

Firstly, we had to check that there was an even heat throughout the oven spread by the fan which would produce perfect results from every shelf.  This involved a lot of cooking, assessing the result and then more cooking. We (the development team and I) undertook a lot of testing to get the oven just right.  My part in this meant cooking small cakes, scones and fruit cakes for just a start!  This initial testing showed us if the oven was cooking evenly at high, medium and low temperatures.  If the tests showed any unevenness one of the engineers would either cover a hole in the rear of the oven or make a new slot to change the airflow and I would cook again; of course making these changes could improve one result but spoil another! It took a lot of cooking, but it was so worthwhile!

 

Fairy Cake

 

These small cakes, scones and fruit cakes were not just any old bakes. Each small cake had 28g of raw mixture in each paper case; the scones were rolled to a specific thickness and the number cooked on the trays was calculated by the size of the baking tray used; the fruit cakes had a weighed amount of mixture in each cake tin.  Being as specific as this may seem tedious but, it enabled us to assess more accurately the evenness of the heat in the oven.  For instance, if the small cakes were all slightly different in weight (like we make at home!) they would cook and brown at different rates, whereas when they are all identical it provides a much more accurate picture of how the oven is performing, highlighting hot and cold spots.

Deciding the position for each of the eight possible shelf levels was also important, we needed to be sure that wherever you place the shelves, good results are achieved.  So, all of the shelf levels were also checked out.  I cooked and cooked in the tall oven during development trying everything from Yorkshire puddings to meringues.  The development department enjoyed eating the results from this testing too!

I can remember us thinking ‘how can we communicate to the consumer the amount of food that can be cooked in the tall oven’, which is where roasting 4 chickens came in!  I know it is highly unlikely that you will ever wish to roast 4 chickens at the same time, but this so called ‘small oven’ could do it!  We used a photograph of this in our brochure for a long time!

Lunch

Now oven cleaning, we all hate it but cleaning the tall oven is easy.  Remove the shelves and then unclip the racking and it can all go into the dishwasher, if you do this regularly the chrome work in your oven will stay looking pristine.  The enamel interior of the tall oven can be cleaned with an oven enamel cleaner such as the Rangemaster one.  I can recommend Bake-O-Glide for the base of the oven.  This is a re-useable sheet coated in PTFE that collects any spills and splashes, it comes clean with a wipe and can go in the dishwasher too!  You need to use the heavier Bake-O-Glide for this, the thinner sort that is for lining baking trays will move around when the fan is on. 

Well, you know how the tall oven was developed, how to clean it, but what about cooking in it?  Before you start cooking just check the shelves are in the right position for your needs, it is so much easier to do this when the oven is cold!  Remember, this is a fan oven; you need to use the correct size trays and dishes so that they don’t restrict the airflow when you are cooking.  Just as long as the trays do not fit like a glove, leaving space to the sides, front and rear you will be fine.

The brilliant thing about the tall oven is the speed at which it heats up for you ready to roast, bake, slow cook, casserole, braise………   The possibilities are endless!

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