This section explains how to get the best out of your Hotpoint cooker. It includes information about the different types of Hotpoint cookers such as fan, fan-assisted, multi-functional and convection. It also includes some common questions and answers about using your Hotpoint cooker together with an explanation of what might be causing some common problems such as cakes not rising.

 

Some Useful Tips

  1. If cooking on several shelves try to use shelf 1 and 3 or 2 and 4. For just one dish use the centre shelf.
  2. Remember that the temperatures in a fan oven are more or less uniform throughout. A traditional oven will be hotter at the top and cooler at the bottom.
  3. Do not cluster several dishes on one shelf.
  4. Don’t overload the oven, as air needs to be able to circulate freely.

 

Types of Hotpoint Cookers and Ovens

Hotpoint Fan Oven
An oven that has a heating element around the fan behind the rear panel. The electric element heats the air being circulated by the fan and evenly distributes it throughout the oven.

Advantages of a fan oven
The fan oven’s all-over, even temperature allows you to use all the shelves at once for batch baking or for preparing a complete meal without the flavours intermingling. You’ll save time and energy too because there is no need to pre-heat the Circulaire fan oven for most recipes and it will cook perfectly at lower temperatures for shorter cooking periods.

  • Lower cooking temperatures up to 25°c.
  • Shorter cooking times by as much as 10 minutes every hour.
  • Oven pre-heating not necessary for most recipes.
  • Significant energy savings.
  • Even temperatures throughout the oven.
  • Enables batch baking.
  • Less meat shrinkage.
  • No intermingling flavours.

 

Hotpoint Fan Assisted Oven
An oven that has two heating elements, one in the roof and one in the base of the oven with the addition of a fan in the rear of the oven. The electric elements heat the air being circulated by the fan.

 

Hotpoint Convection Oven
An oven where food is cooked by naturally convected heat. The heating elements will usually be positioned at each side, producing heat zones within the oven, hotter at the top than the bottom or positioned at the top and bottom, where one shelf is used in the centre of the oven.

 

Hotpoint Multifunction Oven
Can have any combination of the above plus:

  1. Extra bottom heating element – for crisping pastry, pizza bases etc.
  2. Fan grilling (thermo grilling) to produce roast meat by heat being circulated around the food, plus grill element cooks the food, similar to rotisserie cooking.
  3. Grill. Radiant heating of food using various grill elements including traditional sheathed and solar plus grill element
  4. Defrost. Fan only operates to defrost food slowly.
  5. Microwave Combination using fan oven and microwave heating together to reduce cooking times, and produce more attractive results than microwave only Indesit Cookers.

 

Common Questions and Answers

Why does a recipe produce different results cooked at the same temperature but in a different oven?
Hotpoint cookers are individual and with experience you’ll get to know your own model. There are dozens of variables between any two ovens: size, fuel, positioning of the heating elements and the presence of a fan will affect the temperature and your cooking results. Thermostats also have a degree of tolerance of up to 15°C either side of a set temperature and cycle on and off during cooking which is why you’ll often see the neon indicator light go on and off.  Rotating knobs can sometimes be slightly inaccurate as well, a mere nudge can make a 5°C difference.

 

If oven temperatures vary, how do I judge mine?
Use the manufacturers temperature recommendations as a guide. When you’re familiar with your oven you’ll know whether it tends to be a little hot or slow and you’ll be able to adjust temperatures and timings accordingly.

 

How should temperatures be adjusted for a fan oven?
Fan ovens quickly reach temperature and transfer heat more efficiently so they can generally be set lower by 20°C. Long cooking times can be shortened by up to 10 minutes per hour but you must make sure that the food is cooked!

 

How do I find out which temperature to reduce to?
Follow the conversion chart below

Conventional Oven Gas Oven (Mark) Fan Oven
250°F / 120°C 1/2 100°C
275°F / 140°C 1 120°C
300°F / 150°C 2 130°C
325°F / 160°C 3 140°C
350°F / 180°C 4 160°C
375°F / 190°C 5 170°C
400°F / 200°C 6 180°C
425°F / 220°C 7 200°C
450°F / 230°C 8 210°C
475°F / 240°C 9 220°C

 

 

One of the advantages of fan ovens is that they don’t need preheating but is this sometimes necessary?
Fan ovens should be preheated for recipes that need a high temperature immediately such as puff and choux pastries, yeast mixtures, scones, whisked sponges, Yorkshire puddings and soufflés. Also, recipes needing a short cooking time(less than 10 minutes) such as biscuits, frozen and cooked chilled products may need preheating. Otherwise a cold start is recommended.

 

Does it matter if I preheat my fan oven when it isn’t necessary?
No but the recipes will cook in slightly less time and may over brown so keep an eye on them.

 

Can any dishes be cooked starting from cold in a conventional oven?
Surprisingly yes. This includes casseroles, milk puddings, baked fruit, rich fruit cakes and even roast meat. If you have an oven manual you can use any recipes that are suitable for pre-set automatic cooking.

 

If my oven has a fan does it mean it’s a fan oven?
Not necessarily. It is only a fan oven if it has a heating element around the fan behind the rear panel. If it has heating elements in the roof and floor with a fan at the back then it is a fan-assisted oven.

 

What’s the difference between a fan oven and a fan-assisted oven?
A fan oven heats up by blowing hot air to all parts of the oven. The heat source is the element that surrounds the fan. Hot air is produced as soon as the fan oven is switched on so the food starts cooking at once which reduces overall cooking times. Also, because the fan transfers heat more efficiently to the food, cooking temperatures can be lower than those used in conventional ovens.
In a fan-assisted oven, the fan at the back circulates the air heated by the top and bottom elements. The time it takes to reach full temperature is the same as for a conventional oven so cooking times are not reduced. However, cooking temperatures are usually lower as with fan ovens.

 

I didn’t think the top oven was a fan oven!
Well it isn’t, a gentle flow of air will be blown from beneath the control panel when the appliance is used. If the appliance is still warm, this cooling fan may run on, or restart itself when all the controls have been turned off. The fan will stop once the appliance has cooled. This is normal and not a fault.

 

Can you cook chips in a chip pan on a Ceramic hob? 
Yes, providing you used a good quality flat bottom pan. Always use the larger 1800w element. Ensure that the chipped potatoes are dried before adding them to the hot oil. It is important to blanch the chips in hot oil for 3 minutes, then remove the chips and allow the oil to get back up to temperature (190°c), replace the chips and cook until golden.

 

Can the pan supports of gas hobs go in the dishwasher?
Yes, providing they are vitreous enamel, otherwise they can be cleaned using a cloth wrung out in hot soapy water. Stubborn stains can also be removed with a cream paste, liquid cleaner or by rubbing with fine steel wool soap pads. (Check that the cleaning agent is approved by the Vitreous Enamel Development Council).

 

The oven/Hotpoint Cooker elements are smoking when first switched on, should this happen and why?
Yes, this can occur, due to manufacturing residue burning off. The smoke and smell should subside after a short period of time.

 

The oven is smoking during use
This maybe caused if customers are using too high a temperature and/or grease splashing onto the element. Reduce cooking temperatures, cook on a lower shelf or use covered containers.

 

Using Foil?
If using foil in the main oven the cooking times given in the instruction manual cook charts will need to be extended by up to one third.
We do not recommend lining the base of the grill pan with foil because it can cause the fat to overheat and this can then catch fire.

 

Maximum size of baking tins?
See below for correct sizing of baking tins:-

  • 50/60cm Electric Main Oven 390 x 300 mm (15 x 12″) for meat pans. 330 x 255 mm (13 x 10″) for baking trays
  • 50/60cm Electric Top Ovens 300 x 225 mm (12 x 9″) for meat pans/baking trays
  • 50cm Gas Main/Top Ovens 300 x 330 mm (12 x 13″) for meat pans/baking trays
  • 60cm Gas Main/Top Ovens 300 x 350 mm (12 x 14″) for meat pans/baking trays

 

Can I use a pressure cooker or a preserving pan on a ceramic hob?
Yes, but the maximum base diameter should be 10″, otherwise the pan will overhang at the edge of the Hotpoint cooker causing the sides to get hot and maybe damage will occur. Always use good quality flat bottomed pans that ensure good contact with the ceramic hob, this will ensure efficient cooking times.

 

Can I use copper-bottomed pans on my ceramic hob?
Stainless steel pans with a sandwich base of aluminium and copper are excellent conductors of heat. If using stainless steel saucepans with aluminium and copper sandwich bases on ceramic hobs, the use of these pans must be in accordance with the saucepan manufacturer’s recommendations. Extra care must be taken to ensure that the base of the pan and the hob is cleaned, and the hob conditioned, after each and every use, when using this type of saucepan. If these recommendations are not followed, the result will be a build-up of small copper deposits on the surface of your hob which, if not cleaned after each use, will result in permanent marking of your hob.

 

Uneven cooking (Front to Back) in top ovens?
It is important that food is centrally positioned under the grill element both when using the top oven and grilling. This is because the grill operates at a reduced power level in conjunction with an element under the floor of the oven to give top and bottom heat. Food and baking trays need to be approximately 3″ from the front of the shelf.

 

Cleaning sealed hotplates?
Cleaning sealed hotplates is quick and easy.  Allow the plate to cool then clean using a soap filled steel wool pad following the grain of the hotplate. Wipe over using a clean cloth to remove any remaining cleaner, then warm the hotplate for a few seconds to ensure that it is dried off. This will prevent deterioration and rusting of the hotplate.

 

Condensation in ovens
Steam/condensation is a by product of cooking any food with a high water content, e.g. frozen chips, chicken etc. Do not leave food in the oven to cool after it has been cooked and the oven has switched off. Use a covered container, wherever possible.

 

Some Common Problems

My Cakes Keep Sinking
The following may cause cakes to sink:
- Preheating of a fan oven which is not necessary.
- Too high a temperature – reduce as recommended in the instruction book.

 

My Cakes Are Not Rising 
- Ensure the Hotpoint cooker is level, using a spirit level on the rod shelf.
- Refer to the instruction or cook book to ensure that correct time and temperatures are being used.
- Preheating of a fan oven which is not necessary.

 

My Cooking Results Are Uneven
- The Hotpoint cooker is not level – ensure the Hotpoint Cooker is level using a spirit level on the rod shelf .
- The Hotpoint cooker is not installed correctly. Refer to user instructions.
- The oven could be overloaded, e.g. cooking on four shelves.

 

My Meat Dishes Are Overcooked
The temperature is too high and cooking time has not been reduced – refer to cook book for details.

 

Dishes Are Very Dry
The temperature is too high, it is recommended to reduce by 25°C for standard recipes. This could be due to preheating in a fan oven which is often not necessary.