a popover question
So, I subscribe to the philosophy of preheating the pan until the oil is just at the smoking point. I grew up with my Mom using a cupcake pan, but I recently bought a nordicware (sp?) popover pan. The pan is very heavy aluminum (I think) and coated with non-stick coating.
I want to heat it properly, but don't know how long to preheat it with the oil in it. It's heavy so it will take a while, but it's non-stick so I don't want to overheat it for too long causing premature failure of the coating.
I've only used it once, but starting with a warm pan (from on top of my oven) and then placing in the oven while it preheated to 450 degrees (about 5 minutes) did not yield a sufficiently heated pan.
How long do you think? would 15 minutes be ok? 30?
To many variable. How fast your pan will heat up depends on the thickness of your pan and the color (heat adsorption) of your pan. As such, it is tough to say. I say give it a 15 min. The good thing about your nonstick coating is that Teflon based nonstick surface can withstand 450oF. Assuming your oven temperature does not cycle/fluctuate too much, you should be ok.
Aluminum should pick up the heat of the oven very quickly, it is an outstanding conductor of heat. I would guess that it will keep up with the oven preheat. If in doubt, a splash of water will tell the tale...drops of water will sizzle and dance when the pan is hot enough.
I have a Chicago Metallic 6-Cup Nonstick Popover Pan http://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Metalli... My pan might be lighter weight than yours, but here's what I do: I preheat the oven to 425 using the "True Convection" setting. If I didn't have convection, I might increase it to 450, although that's getting really hot. Even though my pan is nonstick, I use PAM cooking spray to coat the inside surfaces. When the oven is preheated(and that could easily take 15 minutes or more), I put the popover pan in and let it heat for about 5 minutes. Really, that's all it takes for that pan. Then I pour the batter into the cups, close the oven door and bake at 425 for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes I open the oven, quickly poke a sharp knife into the tops of each popover to let the steam out, close the oven door, lower the temp to 375 and bake for about 5-10 minutes more, or until the tops are nicely browned.
It's taken me years and years of experimenting to perfect my recipe and technique. I'm thrilled with the results and I truly believe there's nothing I can do to improve upon it.