Tuesday, January 22, 2008

DIY oven

Ok, I love to cook, whether it be on the stove or in an oven. However, most Chinese kitchens do not have ovens, and that wipes out half the recipes I love. A few months after moving here I bought a good quality, large toaster oven, which works a treat (I recently baked a three-tiered wedding cake in it), however prior to that, and also during the year I lived in Nepal, I used an oven made of cooking pots on the gas stove.

Anyone who is lucky enough to have their own oven can stop reading here- but readers from Asia might be interested in the method.

First you take a large cooking pot with a lid- the largest pot you can find.

Place it on the gas stove and put a small metal bowl (like a small rice bowl), upturned in the bottom of it. Then on top of that sits your item for baking (on a baking tray or in a baking dish, as directed by the recipe).

Put the lid on and cook on a low heat.

A cross-section of the stove

I've used this oven to cook bread, lasagna, quiche, cakes, cookies, and baked pastas.

You don't need to add water to the pot- this is the most common question people ask me.
Cooking times will vary from the recipe- try to check it often.
If it cooks too fast the bottom will burn before the middle is done- try turning the heat down.
It's better of course to find a heavy pot to be the oven, but I've used cheap, thin saucepans with no problem.
Remember to use a baking dish small enough to get back out of the pot- I've used some that were too snug a fit inside the 'oven' for me to get my fingers around it to lift it out- try picking up a quiche in it's pan with chopsticks!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Aaah, the memories!!

Had the odd attempt at that one too.

Keep warm mate.