Plus, guests love the freedom to choose what they want to eat. Go buffet-style with drinks and desserts too. No-slicing-required grabs, like cookies and brownies, are easiest. Warning: You may need to tap into your Type-A side to reduce stress overall. The day before the event, arrange empty platters and chafing dishes along your buffet with Post-its indicating what each will hold. In fact, the more you jam into the oven, the higher the cooking temp needs to be, though it takes expert instincts to know by how much.
So limit the number of noshes you bake at once, and consider mixing in a few stove-top or off-the-grill eats with your oven recipes. Trash eats sitting at room temperature for longer than two hours.
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To keep track, avoid filling half-empty platters with fresh food. Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories. The 10 Smartest Cat Breeds. Getty Images.
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Stick to tried-and-true fare. Pick traditional crowd-pleasers. Include make-ahead dishes.
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All email addresses you provide will be used just for sending this story. Convection can cut cooking time and improve browning and crisping—all winning qualities when it comes to creating bountiful holiday meals. Convection is an oven feature well worth mastering, so we asked Susan Reid, a chef and food editor at "Sift" magazine, for advice.
Convection Oven Cooking Tips
Convection varies by brand and model, but basically the oven uses one or more fans to circulate the hot air. Some ovens have two fan speeds: A convection baking setting lowers the fan speed, and convection roasting relies on a higher fan speed to brown and crisp the exterior of meat and poultry. Know your oven, then give Reid's recommendations a try.
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Use a pan with low sides. This allows the hot circulating air to work its magic. Light-colored aluminum is ideal for baking and for roasting vegetables with or without convection because it helps prevent the bottoms of cookies and breads from overbrowning and the natural sugars in vegetables from burning. Lower the baking temperature. Some ovens automatically lower the temperature when you hit the convection setting, so you'll want to know that first. For roasting, rely on the manual's guidance. What to bake.
Biscuits, scones, and pizza crusts need quick heat for best results, so convection works well with these foods. Add water. Place a pan filled with 1 inch of simmering water on the oven floor before baking artisan breads, which are usually baked at a very high heat. The steam helps create a crispy, crackly crust.
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What not to bake. It's better to use the oven without the convection option on when baking quick breads, wet muffin batters, cakes, cupcakes, sandwich breads, and sweet yeast baking. How to roast. Try dry-brining and refrigerating meat and chicken for at least an hour before roasting with convection. This dries the poultry skin or the outside of the meat and helps form a seal in the oven more quickly, keeping the inside moist.
Check for doneness at half the time of a conventional recipe. Shop Cookware on Amazon. For years I've covered the increasing water and energy efficiency of washers and what it means to consumers, along with innovations in a variety of products, and whether manufacturers deliver on their promises.
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