1. Cooking frozen foods that need to be thawed
If you think cooking frozen chicken breasts without thawing them is a good idea, you may be putting your family at risk of food poisoning. According to Frank Proto, chef and instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education, "if you put food that is frozen or partially frozen in the oven, the timing will be off because it will need to defrost before it cooks.”
2. Assume the temperature reading is accurate
Since your oven only measures temperature in a single spot, the reading it shows can often be far from accurate, often missing the mark by as much as 50°F. Thankfully, there's an easy solution which you can get your hands on for under $10 - an oven thermometer. Chef Veronica Dailey, founder of daileyfoods.com says that this is " the best kitchen investment you’ll ever make,” since "an oven thermometer will help you ensure your oven is properly heated and cooking your food at the temperature you need it to be set at.”
3. Leave a mess for days at a time
When cleaning your kitchen, you probably pay a lot more attention to the dishes than on your oven, but a few touchups will actually go quite a long way. According to John Cohen, vice president of Molly Maid, "not cleaning spills after each oven use can quickly add up and can smoke during preheating the next time around." He also says that "if you use a drip tray, don’t forget to remove it and dispose of the grease and drippings after each use.”
4. Let food spill onto the oven floor
To make those annoying everyday spills easier to clean, Cohen recommends that you endeavor to catch splatters and crumbs before they reach the bottom of your oven. An empty cookie sheet or a drip tray at the bottom of your oven will make cleaning it a breeze! You could also use disposable oven liners, too.
5. Leave racks in when self-cleaning
When making use of your oven's self-cleaning feature, make sure that you don't leave any racks in. While you think it might be saving you time and effort, self-cleaning can actually cause damage by discoloring them and eroding their protective coating. We'd recommend scrubbing them by hand instead.
6. Use the convection setting on the wrong types of food
If your oven has a convection (fan) setting, you shouldn't just automatically assume that you can use it for everything you put into the oven. This is because circulated air makes food cook much faster, which could result in your food getting burned if you're following a recipe that doesn't call for its use.
7. Cook with wax paper
While wax paper and parchment paper look almost identical, wax actually makes a massive difference. Even though wax is good at wicking away moisture, it isn’t very strong when it comes up against heat. Putting it inside a hot oven may cause it to melt or even catch on fire if you're unlucky enough.
8. Leave the knobs dirty
If you've been touching your oven's knobs after handling food, there's a pretty good chance that you've left a lot of nasty germs behind. This is why it's essential to clean your oven's knobs as often as possible. To ensure you hit every part of the knobs when cleaning them, we'd recommend popping them off the stove before scrubbing. You might want to try soaking them in a bucket of warm water mixed a quarter of a cup of all-purpose cleaner in it to properly disinfect them.