The Oven Mistake That's Ruining Your Bakes, According To Paul Hollywood

Paul Hollywood smiling
Paul Hollywood smiling - Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

As a judge on the beloved English reality show, "The Great British Bake Off," it should come as no surprise that celebrity chef Paul Hollywood knows a thing or two about perfecting his bakes. Prior to his tenure as a media personality, Hollywood worked as the head baker at numerous prestigious hotels, including The Dorchester and The Chester Grosvenor. He's gone on to not only become a recognizable personality in the food world, but also pen numerous cookbooks and train other bakers.

His most important piece of advice, which he explained in detail to Rolling Stone, is to make sure you're working with a clean oven. "A lot of people don't service their ovens or deep-clean them," he explained. In order to execute a drool-worthy bake, "You have to have a good oven that's service-regulated," Hollywood claimed. "One of my favorite things is deep-cleaning my oven. I know it's weird," he continued.

Read more: The Best Way To Clean That Nasty Grease Off Of Your Kitchen Cabinets

Dirty Ovens Can Cause Unpleasant Flavors

A person cleaning an oven
A person cleaning an oven - AvokadoStudio/Shutterstock

There are numerous reasons why it's important to regularly clean your oven, but the effect a dirty oven can have on the overall flavor and quality of baked goods often goes overlooked. All of that caked-on grease and gunk in your oven ends up producing carbon fumes, which, in turn, causes your food to taste a little funky. Not only that, but the added grease building up in your oven will also hinder its cooking efficiency, often causing your food to cook unevenly or even slowing down the process altogether.

This can make baking not only frustrating but pricey, as well -- your inefficient oven will waste energy and increase your cooking time. The carbon fumes that result from a dirty oven can also cause unpleasant smells and sights in your kitchen. The added smokiness from the burning of grease and gunk can darken your baked goods, and will also waft throughout the room. These issues can all be easily nipped in the bud by making sure your oven is clean from the get-go.

How Often Should You Clean Your Oven?

A dirty versus clean oven door
A dirty versus clean oven door - Zhuravlev Andrey/Shutterstock

To avoid running into problems while baking, it's recommended that you clean your oven roughly every three months, at least for the average baker. If you find yourself using your oven a lot, you might have to decrease that window and clean your oven a bit more frequently -- just be sure to avoid using oven cleaners and instead stick to natural ingredients to help you nix the grime.

If you notice any build-up occurring in your oven or additional smoking, those are some of the signs that your oven is due for a good cleaning. Or, simply look to how your bakes are turning out and if you notice any odd tastes or uneven baking, you'll know that it's time to whip out the cleaning gloves. As a rule of thumb, it's important not to rely on your oven's self-cleaning function and instead put some elbow grease into getting the job done yourself. After all, you can't go wrong following in Paul Hollywood's footsteps.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.