Ovenable

Oven

I thought “ovenable” was a relatively new word, about ten years old at the most. It appeared on food labels as a way of indicating that a container could be heated in an oven. It turns out that it dates back to 1977. I should pay more attention. (There’s also “dual ovenable” and even “triovenable” now—suitable for use in a conventional oven, microwave or toaster oven.)

I have been thinking about ovens lately because the control panel on our three-year-old electric wall oven started peeling off in a rather large flap, taking with it the labels for the various functions of the appliance. The panel is one of those push pad designs usually found on microwaves. The pad sits above the oven cavity and apparently the heat got to be too much for it. I thought about gluing it back since I would rather repair than replace but I couldn’t think of a glue that would work. I won’t reveal the name of the manufacturer of the oven except to say that it involves two letters of the alphabet and it is a very large company. I thought of checking with the manufacturer to see if they would fix the panel for free since it really shouldn’t have delaminated so soon. I was prepared to argue with, reason with and beg them to fix our oven, being all too familiar with out-of-warranty appliances. I sent an email to their consumer site and they wrote back saying, essentially, sure, we’ll replace the control panel for free, sorry you have a problem, and when would you like to schedule the repair? It was too easy. I have gotten used to be ignored at worse and denied at best when I ask for something to be rectified. I’m in a bit of a state of shock about, but it bodes well for other situations when something is not right. Maybe it’s the beginning of a new day in America. (Or maybe not.)

So I don’t have to resort to cooking our food in the dishwasher. I recalled seeing some articles about cooking food in the dishwasher, and when I checked, sure enough, there were several recipes. Fish seems to be the favorite for dishwasher cooking, although there were a couple of recipes for beef. If you’re interested in trying this (and I don’t know why you would be if you have an oven), wrap the fish or meat in a foil pouch and then put it in the dishwasher for a couple of cycles. It seems to me that this is a lot of sound and fury (to say nothing of water and energy) to cook some food. I suppose you could do it to say you’ve done it. I used to work with a guy who put a can of soup on the engine of the truck we used. By lunchtime the soup was just about boiling. I could see doing this since we didn’t have an oven in the truck and it was winter. It’s also possible to wrap food in foil, put it on the engine of your car, drive some and have cooked food. I’m not recommending you try any of these methods: I’m just saying it’s possible.

Our present oven is a sight better than the one we replaced. I don’t remember the manufacturer so I can’t give you a veiled allusion so you can be an informed consumer. The single virtue of this oven was that it had two main controls. One dial (it had dials) had four positions: bake, timed bake, broil and off. The other dial controlled the temperature. To run the oven, you set the first dial to bake (or whatever) and the second to the temperature to what you wanted. The oven ran both too hot and too cold (or too fast or too slow as we cooking types like to say), and the controls for the timed cook feature had broken off long ago so we had to use a pair of pliers to set them. The oven was also an apartment model which meant it was too small to take a standard baking sheet. (We think the builders put in an apartment oven to make the kitchen look bigger since the house was a model for the neighborhood.) Something was always falling off the appliance such as the handle or the door. We used it for about 19 years until we couldn’t stand it any longer.

So, the control panel has arrived and the service technician has come out and put it in. Sometimes things just work out well, and that’s always gratifying.

 

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