An Oven Toaster Griller is a popular choice in India for baking. Here is in brief, how to use an OTG, how to pre-heat, the bakeware you could use and a few more tidbits.
Most OTG have similar features, but each oven works differently. So please take this as a general guide. Do read your manual for instructions, keep baking. With usage, you will figure out what works best for you in your oven. I use a Morphy Richards 40 L OTG. You could also check Bajaj and Sunflame.
Wire rack: The wire rack is for baking, toasting. You could also place your baking tray on the wire rack.
A non-stick baking tray for baking bread, pizza. Cookies too if it works for you.
A crumb tray, which always remains in the oven. It will keep the floor of the oven clean, anything falls on this and you could just remove, clean and put it back.
A rotisserie rod used mostly for cooking meat.
Tongs to help you pull out the baking tray. But again I would prefer to use two kitchen towels for a better grip.
You get separate rotisserie tongs too.
The oven has grooves along the side walls In some ovens the groove doesn’t run along the entire wall, so your tray may tilt when you try to slide it in. You can place the baking tray or wire rack in one of these, adjust the level to your need and what works best for you.
If your oven has a convection setting, it will have a fan as well, to circulate the hot air and help in even baking.
A light for the chamber.
The indicator light on the outside goes on and off as the oven heats, much like our iron box.
Ovens with less capacity normally do not come with fans, have fewer groves, no light, and no rotisserie.
OTGs have these heating elements at the top and the bottom, you can turn on either one of these or both simultaneously. More detail on that later.
The oven has 3 knobs, manual in most OTG
The temperature knob – The lowest is 100 C and the highest is 250 in most ovens. The temperature in my oven is marked as. So if you would have to set the oven at a temperature not marked here, you would need to set it roughly. A good oven thermometer can help you check and verify the temperature, set it accordingly.
Infrared or point and shoot thermometers are considered far more accurate and reliable. But they can be very expensive too! Rose Beranbaum recommends a laboratory cable thermometer
The function knob: This helps you set your oven to different modes according to your needs and what works best for you.
When you turn the knob to the bake function, only the bottom heating element heats up.
When you turn the knob to the grill, the top element heats up.
On convection mode, the fan, the top, and bottom elements heat up. I wish I could use the fan with just the bottom element, but that is not possible.
Toast with both elements on without fan
When you turn the rotisseries function, the top coil heats up with this rod rotating
I prefer to bake with just the bottom element on with the rack in the second grove. You can also try the convection mode, but it can be tricky.
(Especially If you are baking with two trays at 2 levels, the cookies at the top may end up burning)
If you bake with just the bottom element and want your bake to look a darker color, turn on the top element for a couple of minutes.
Baking simultaneously on two levels may not always work, but if the oven is large enough you can place two tins side by side.
The Timer: Sets for a max of 90 minutes. Using the timer bypass function, you can keep the oven on for longer than 90 minutes, it will get switched off only when you turn it off manually. Just turn the knob anti-clockwise for this.
The bakeware could be silicon, aluminum, ceramic or oven-safe glass bakeware like Borosil. I like the aluminum best.
Be sure the baking tin is not too big for your oven. Once you place the tin inside, there should be enough space around the tin. You should also be able to close the door properly. If it is even slightly open, the heat will keep escaping and your cake or cookies may not bake properly.
Preheating: Preheating is a very important step in baking. Let us see how to preheat an OTG oven or an Oven Toaster Griller.
Whenever you bake anything, you will first need to make sure the oven is heated to the temperature specified in the recipe. This is called as pre-heating. Preheating in an OTG normally takes about 10-15 minutes, it may vary from oven to oven. So you will need to start with first pre-heating the otg oven to make sure the oven is ready by the time the cake or brownie batter is ready. Once the batter is mixed, you do not want to keep it waiting, it has to go into the oven immediately. But do follow recipe instructions always.
To preheat, we need to first place the rack in the oven. If possible in your oven, follow recipe instructions for placing the rack.
Place the oven thermometer on the rack at the level and the spot where you will keep your baking tray.
Bakeware: You can use aluminum, silicon, and oven safe glassware.
Rotating trays halfway
In some recipes like cookies, the recipe may instruct you to rotate the tray halfway through baking. If the total baking time for the cookies is said 16 minutes, you will need to remove the tray after 8 minutes, turn the tray around and put it back in again for the remaining baking time. This helps ensure the baking is evener.
If you would be baking cookies on two levels, you would need to reverse the position of the trays from upper to lower and lower to upper as well. Fussy? You bet!
Change the positions of the baking pans as recommended in the recipe for pies layer cakes and bread. Do not rotate sponge cakes or they will collapse!
Your oven may sometimes have hot spots, area or areas in the oven which heat up more than the other areas.