Oven liner? A good idea? Or not?
I spent much of the morning cleaning my oven & wonder if anyone has used an oven liner. Do they really help? Do they affect heat distribution? Is any one brand superior to the others?
Thanks for your ideas/input!
Oven liners are great, particularly if you are renting and/or don't have a self-cleaning oven. The ability to either remove the liner to clean (instead of losing the oven for hours for the self cleaner) or recycle is a great help, particularly when making a lot of food, ie during the holidays. If you're roasting a bird or baking a pie which spills, it's much easier to clean the liner than scrub the bottom of the oven.
I've never had a problem with heat distribution being affected, and haven't found brand to matter (the ones at the dollar store work well enough).
I am fairly certain that I remember an article about them in Cooks Illustrated some years ago, and that it didn;t approve of them. I don't recall why. I have also read that you are not supposed to use aluminum foil to line the bottom of the oven and also don't remember the reasoning, but at the time I read that I had been doing so, without ill effect, for several years.
It depends on the oven, but some are A-OK for liners, and on others, liners or especially foil can fuse to the oven bottom. My poor mother learned that one the hard way on a brand-new oven she laid foil over the bottom of, as she'd always done with her previous one when she was baking something prone to bubbling over. Today, she has a large silver/black blotch where it melted.
That's why the manuals on some ranges warn you not to use foil when you're convection baking -- the fan can blow the foil off and onto the floor of the oven.
dmd's right; you have to check either your manual, or if the point is not discussed, call the manufacturer.
One thing you can't do is use them in ovens with glass enclosed bottom elements. At least not mine (Dacor). And just for the reason dmd mentioned; they can fuse to the oven bottom.
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CAUTION: used store bought oven liners for years but bought new convection oven with bottom element hidden under bottom. I did read the owners manual and saw it said avoid using alum liners but it didn't say why so I thought I knew better..NOT. I was downstairs with a pizza in the oven for about 20min and when going up the stairs I smelled the smoke, to my dismay there was smoke and I turned off the oven and let my pizza stay in to cook more not knowing that the foil was being burned on the bottom of oven...well was able to remove most of the liner without a stain on bottom but there is some still there baked on and I came to this blog looking for how to remove that. Hope this answers your question..and to think DiGiorno Pizza recommends putting the pizza directly on the rack which makes most of us want to use a liner somewhere. Some good to say about the older ovens I suppose. I am glad to read another's story here as she mentions that the oven has a silver mark in the oven still so perhaps I can still use the oven without it smoking.