Convection OvenA convection oven offers faster and even cooking, it’s a great cooking appliance to produce juicier results with more nutritional value. This type of oven is almost the same as your regular oven, the only difference is that it comes with one specific feature, i.e. the built-in fan.

That fan can help circulate the hot air within the unit to achieve even cooking, and because of that it needs major adjustment to your cooking style. This is especially true with times and temperatures.
Thus, if you have recipes designed for conventional ovens, you must adjust some of its items so they can adapt to convection cooking.

How to adjust cooking style?

There are ways to turn your recipe for conventional ovens into something that can be prepared using a convection oven. Generally, you need to reduce its cooking temperature by 15 degrees Celsius or 25 degrees Fahrenheit, and you also need to reduce the recipe’s cooking time by 25%.

This means that if you want to bake, say cookies, and it calls for 375 degrees Fahrenheit temperature for 12 minutes, then you need to cook it under temperature of 375 degrees Fahrenheit in 9 to 10 minutes. Or you may reduce its temperature to 330 for 12 minutes.

To be sure, you need to refer to the conversions found in the owner’s manual of your convection oven.

Tips

It’s a good idea to check your meal 10 minutes before the cooking time is up. In this way, you can avoid having overcooked meal. You also need to read your owner’s manual that comes with the appliance to better understand how to cook food with this unit.

It takes time to get used to cooking your meals with this appliance. You will need to experiment a lot before you can discover the right temperature and time for a certain recipe.

How to cook or bake ham in a convection oven?

This will depend on the type of ham you’re cooking. Generally, baked ham that weighs 6 pounds can be cooked in 70 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Or you can lower the temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and cook the ham for 1 ½ hours.

Cooking meatloaf weighing 1.5 pounds with convection oven is the same as baking ham (refer above). The same temperature but the cooking time is different. You’ll need to reduce it to 45 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit temperature.

Installing a garbage disposal is one of the easiest ways to eliminate or reduce food waste in your kitchen, it can get rid of leftover potato peels and other types of food waste quickly and efficiently. This appliance will grind the food waste that you put in and the fine particles produced will be flushed out of the unit and go through your house's septic system.

Tips when installing garbage disposal

When you opt to install it on your own, you must have plumbing and mechanical skills. The time it takes for you to complete it could go from 1 hour to 2 hours. However, if you only need to replace your old unit, it’ll only take about 30 minutes to an hour.

The installation time may also depend on your drain line, so before you purchase a garbage disposal, make sure that the unit fits in your drainage system.

Since this appliance needs electricity, you need to have a power outlet under the sink. If you don’t have one, you must install one. But check with the local authority first. Some places don’t allow this unit to be installed because of a very limited sewer capacity.

Before installing it, make sure that you have read and understood the manufacturer’s instructions. If you’re not confident about installing it by yourself, you should consider hiring a professional to the job for you. That way, problems can be prevented. If you decide to do the job, check this page at Down the Sink for a more elaborate explanation.

Taking care of your unit

Avoid running hot water into the unit when it’s in use. Before you switch it on, you have to run cold water into it. Running cold water into this appliance during and after operation is necessary.

Don’t put fibrous materials into your standard disposer as these materials require a premium unit to grind them. Keep in mind that standard garbage disposals can only handle regular amount of food waste, like peels of fruit and vegetables.

Freshen up your disposal using a cleaner or deodorizer, but you must only use the product recommended by your unit’s manufacturer.
Also avoid reaching into the unit when it’s in use. That is, if you don’t want your hands to get injured.

Anti-jamming

A garbage disposal is prone to jamming. If you don’t like that, you must choose a model that comes with an anti-jamming feature that creates a trouble-free operation. Some models have senses that can automatically reverse motor direction if there are pending food jams.

Water SoftenerA water softener system allows you and your family to obtain clean and soft water, but make sure that you choose a manufacturer that can assign you a professional who can work with you to identify the right unit for your house.

How this system works?

The water that comes from your faucet is usually hard water, it contains calcium and magnesium. When you install this system, the hard water will pass through the system’s softening resin bed. As it passes through, the hard ions will be replaced with soft ones. As a result, the water that goes through your faucet will only be softened water.

The resin bed of this system can be filled with hardness ions, so it must be cleaned on a regular basis. Cleaning it up is easy as you only need to apply some salt to restore the resin’s clean state.

Do you really need it?

A softer water prolongs the life of your water heater. Keep in mind that water heater can accumulate scales over time when there are hard ions that pass through, however, when you have water softener at home, scale build-up can be prevented.

Not only that, it also protects your plumbing system in your house as it can get rid of sediments. Because the scale buildup is significantly reduced, tubs and showers become easier to clean. Then, the clothes that you wash using softened water will also become softer and cleaner. Your dishes will also have less spotting.

What water softener to purchase?

There are several brands that offer this type of system, so make sure that you make a comparison shopping before making an actual purchase. It’s a great idea to obtain a unit that can be customized according to your needs. In this way, you’ll have softer water as you desired.

You can also get a water softener that comes with a smart technology. With it, it can learn how your family water usage patterns are so you don’t need to adjust it every now and then to fulfil your needs. Then, opt for a unit that can monitor each time you need a salt refill.

ThermostatYour thermostat can help you slash your utility bills significantly. But make sure that you obtain an energy-saving unit. In this way, you can control the cost and the amount of energy your household use as this unit is useful in controlling temperature. Here are some tips on how to make use of your thermostat to help you save on your power consumption.

  1. Program the unit to automatically shut down the heater or air-conditioning when you’re going out. Then, it must turn it back 30 minutes before you’re expected to return from work or school.
  2. Reduce the temperature when you need to heat the house. Or turn it down when you need the house to cool down. To do this, program your thermostat unit to go back to its awake mode just half an hour before you wake up in the morning.
  3. Set the settings for weekends. If you’re home the whole day during the weekend, you don’t need to cool or heat up your house.
  4. Override the normal programming if you’re planning to be far away from your house for a few days. But don’t let the temperature fall below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, especially if you’re living in a cold climate (read this tip at Thermostat center).

By making a small adjustment to your home temperature, you can surely maximize the efficiency of your thermostat.