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Why You Should Always Place A Baking Sheet Under Food In The Oven

person putting sheet pan pizza in oven
person putting sheet pan pizza in oven - Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Sometimes it's the kitchen appliance that determines what you'd like to have for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Maybe you'd like a toasted meal to start your day, so you pop some waffles in your toaster. All you have to do is monitor those waffles as they toast so they don't overcook. Perhaps you'd like to quickly warm up some delicious leftover meatloaf for your midday meal, so you heat it up in the microwave. Cover your food safely in the microwave and set the cooking time appropriately, then you're all set. For your last meal of the day, let's say you want to oven-bake a beef supper or a customized pizza, along with a cherry pie dessert. If so, it's best to place a baking sheet beneath that food to protect your oven or you may regret it.

When food that is high in animal fat bakes in the oven, such as red meat dishes and dishes with lots of cheese or butter, all of that fat turns into excess greasy moisture that can spill onto the bottom of your oven. To prevent this while cooking any oven-roasted dish or baked desserts, simply cook those foods on a baking sheet or place a baking sheet on the rack below your food. This prevents messy liquids from building up at the bottom of your oven and creating a serious problem.

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

Not Using A Baking Sheet In Your Oven Is Dangerous

dirty oven filled with grease and grime
dirty oven filled with grease and grime - Nathan4847/Getty Images

If you do not regularly place a baking sheet under your food in the oven, the resulting condition of your oven could create a fire hazard. Once enough grease and grime has splashed and accumulated at the bottom of your oven, all of that food matter can burst into flames if you set your oven temperature high enough. This is especially true for gas ovens.

Additionally, when those food liquids dry at the bottom of your oven, you'll be setting yourself up for a smelly kitchen every time you use your oven. When you heat up your oven, that grease and grime can start to burn, creating smoky releases that will fill your kitchen every time you open your oven. You may even unintentionally give your oven-baked food a charred scent from that burning food debris on your oven floor. Though there are baking sheet mistakes that you can make in the kitchen, using one under your food is not one of them. Utilizing a baking sheet every time you turn on the oven will protect your appliance and your household. There are also many great recipes to get even more use out of your baking sheet.

Try These Baking Sheet Meals

Cinnamon rolls in a baking tray
Cinnamon rolls in a baking tray - K_E_N/Shutterstock

When it comes to selecting recipes that are tailor-made for oven-baking on a baking sheet, you've got lots of options that are suitable for all meals of the day. For breakfast, whip up some sheet pan chicken and waffles. You can easily arrange your crunchy chicken strips and soft waffles on a baking tray to contain those crumbs. When it's time for lunch, line up some chicken shawarma on a baking tray. The pita will naturally absorb the juices and contain the crumbs from your ingredients and the baking sheet will protect your oven floor.

When it's time for an afternoon snack, warm up some sheet pan cinnamon rolls. Fill an entire baking tray with them so they'll be compact, and the tray won't allow any of them to flake off onto the bottom of your oven. For dinner, make the classic sheet-pan lasagna. All of the moisture that forms from the lasagna's cheese as it bakes will be contained by the baking sheet. After making sheet pan dishes, remember to clean your baking sheet so it's ready the next time you heat up your oven.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.