An oven is a closed compartment like a small box that produces heat to warm up food items for immediate consumption. Ovens are multipurpose; an oven can be used to heat food, bake snacks, grill proteins, and even dry up food items.
To get the food items warm, ovens have to operate at high temperatures, which if unattended to, could cause mayhem.
If bad things can happen when one is in the house but does not pay attention to the oven, it would not be hard to imagine what will happen if one leaves home while the oven is switched on.
However, there is a way around this, that is by setting timers, knowing the exact amount of heat and time food items need in the oven, etc.
Types of Ovens
There are different types of ovens that people use, and they are:
1. Gas Oven
This kind of oven is the most popular and it is mostly used for baking.
This oven produces moist heat that prevents food from going dry. It is easy to maintain and it works fast.
2. Electric Oven
This kind of oven produces dry heat and it is perfect for roasting.
In terms of cost, it is cheap and it is also quite easy to maintain and operate. Most households make use of this kind of oven.
3. Steam Oven
This oven is mostly used to cook food items that require slow cooking.
It has a water container and a boiler space that produces the steam used for cooking.
4. Conventional Oven
This kind of oven has a built-in heat source at the bottom like a stove.
In using this kind of oven, you have to place it on an actual stove to produce heat. The heat flow here is usually uneven.
5. Convectional Oven
This oven has a built-in fan that distributes heat and is powerful enough to cook, bake, or roast food items from all directions.
Unlike the conventional oven, the heat distribution here is even and this produces uniformly cooked grilled or roasted food.
Ovens can also be classified according to their sizes; there are single ovens, double ovens, and even triple ovens.
Some ovens are free-standing and can be placed anywhere in the kitchen, there are also wall-mounted ovens that are fitted into wall spaces. There are slide-in or drop-in ovens which are mostly fitted into cabinets.
However, these ovens all have the same function while some come with extra features like self-cleaning ovens, ovens with the delay feature which has an automatic timer, ovens with Wi-Fi which can be controlled from anywhere you are without having to be physically present in the kitchen and the multifunction oven which can grill, carry out fast or slow cooking, bake and defrost food.
Can I Leave My Oven Unattended?
Yes, you can leave your oven unattended. Leaving an oven unattended especially when it is on low heat should not pose a problem when you have tons of food to bake, heat up, or even grill.
You probably need lots of hours to grill a large chunk of turkey, bake many cups of cake and pieces of cookies. If you are using an oven with the delay function or a WIFI-enabled one, you can leave it unattended.
All you need to do is regulate the amount of time your food will spend in the oven by setting a timer.
Is It Safe to Leave My Oven Unattended?
Knowing you can leave your oven unattended while you leave the house is one thing but factoring in safety is another. It is not safe to leave your oven unattended.
Though the risks are low with certain types of oven and their features, that does not guarantee their safety.
The dangers are very real especially in electric and gas ovens because their heat sources are quite extreme and they pose a greater threat if unsupervised. They need to be watched closely.
Generally speaking, it is not safe to go out and leave an oven unattended to whether the situation is high or low risk. There is always a risk involved and anything can go wrong.
Will My Oven Set on Fire If I Leave It on Unattended?
There is a high chance your oven can catch fire if left unattended to and that can happen for various reasons.
- If you are cooking, baking, or grilling a food item that has a lot of fat and grease in it.
While in the oven, these liquids from these food items can splatter and cause a fire.
Also, while baking, your food items can overflow, drip to the bottom, and start a fire because it is coming in contact with a really hot surface, and without proper attention, this fire can easily spread.
- Food scraps and remnants can also start a fire.
After using your oven, it is best you carefully clean up after yourself as food scraps can cause a fire when you preheat your oven. Even if your oven has a self-cleaning feature, there is still a possibility of it catching fire if you do not carefully inspect it after cleaning.
- Oversetting the timer can lead to burnt food, lots of smoke and in some instances, fire can break out.
- If the oven door pops open while it is in use, if no one is around to monitor it, it will remain like that for a long time.
Will My Oven Turn Off Automatically?
Yes, your oven can turn off automatically if it has a built-in automatic turn-off feature that powers it down after a particular number of hours.
If your oven has an automatic cooking timer, you can set a timer for the cooking duration. Your oven goes off immediately once the timer hits zero.
Another reason that can make an oven turn off by itself is its ventilation system. If your oven is not properly ventilated and all air sources are blocked or restricted, it can overheat and consequently turn off by itself. Sometimes, if an oven is overheating while left unattended, a fire can start.
How Long can I Leave My Oven Unattended?
There is no exact or stated time to leave your oven unattended. It is very possible to not be with it and nothing bad will happen. However, it is also possible for you to leave it and have a lot of issues to deal with when you get back.
For safety reasons, you should not leave an oven unattended, even when you leave your food items on low heat throughout the cooking process. If you must do so, only consider it if your oven has a working timer. The timer would turn the oven off for you automatically when the time you set is up.
To avoid mishaps, the ideal amount of time you can leave your oven unattended has to be the duration of time needed to finish your cooking process given that all cooking safety procedures are strictly adhered to and your oven has certain features that can cause you to leave it unattended to.