Cooking delicious meals in the oven is a delightful experience, but did you know that your oven rack can do more than just hold baking sheets and pans? Prepare to be surprised by the hidden potential of this versatile kitchen tool. In this article, we will explore unexpected uses for your oven rack that will transform the way you perceive this essential appliance. Let’s dive in!
1. Replace the Toaster:
Believe it or not, your oven rack can serve as a substitute for a toaster. Grab some sandwich bread, place a baking sheet slightly lower than the rack, and cover it with parchment paper. Now, insert your bread slices vertically between the spaces of the rack. Turn on the oven, and after 20 minutes, you’ll have perfectly toasted bread to enjoy!
2. Fry Chicken Thighs:
Looking to cook flavorful chicken without deep frying? Try this simple technique. Marinate your chicken thighs with your favorite spices and then hang them between the spaces of the oven rack. Remember to place a baking sheet underneath to catch any drippings. Consider adding side potatoes or vegetables that can absorb the flavorful juices from the thighs for a delicious twist.
3. Homemade Shish Kebab:
Rainy days no longer have to ruin your Sunday barbecue plans. Your oven can grill anything you desire, from potatoes and peppers to tomatoes, eggplant, and meat skewers. Simply place your vegetables and skewers directly on the oven rack, with a baking sheet underneath to catch the drippings. Turn on your oven, and soon you’ll be proudly serving delicious kebabs to your guests.
4. Prepare Mexican Tacos:
Expand your culinary repertoire with homemade tacos. Use your oven to grill pancake or corn tortillas for a solid base. Cut fajita patties into small circles using a bowl, and hang the tortillas vertically between two spaces of the oven rack. Let them cook for about 15 minutes. Once done, fill them with tasty Mexican garnishes such as fried ground meat, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, corn, and cheese. Get creative with your fillings to suit your preferences!
Bonus Tip: Perfectly Cooking Meat on the Oven Rack:
If you don’t have a barbecue but want to roast meat to perfection, the oven rack can come to the rescue. Follow this method suggested by Meathead Goldwyn, author of The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling:
– Place two oven racks about 5 cm apart in the upper part of the oven.
– Line the lower rack with aluminum foil and place a skillet on it to catch the meat drippings.
– Place your well-oiled meat on the top rack.
– Start cooking!
The circulation of heat around the meat, aided by the steam from the pan, ensures even cooking. The juices collected in the pan can be used to make a delicious sauce to accompany your juicy meat.
Now you know that your oven rack has numerous uses beyond its conventional role. From toasting bread and frying chicken to grilling kebabs and preparing tacos, it’s a versatile tool that expands your cooking possibilities. Experiment with these techniques and enjoy the delicious results. Bon appétit!