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Need Oven Help
Old 04-15-2008, 09:14 PM   #1
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Need Oven Help

It is fish time again and I like to bake my halibut and salmon really hot-like 450-500.

My oven (in a rented apartment) might get that hot, but it smokes like crazy and I always chicken out. It is the old fashioned clean it with Off kind. I am afraid of those chemical cleaners.

I don't have a range hood, so I open a window with a fan blowing out, but I still sometimes set off my smoke alarm. So far I have not set off the building alarm which would bring the fire department and likely trouble for me.

I don't mind spending some money if need be- are there any countertop units that can be cleaned well and are capable of getting good and hot? I don't have a balcony to cook on either.

Maybe some cooking experts could suggest other cooking methods, but I really like the moist baked fish with a crusty outside.

I have a nice fresh halibut steak for tonight, but I am afraid of the smoke so I will likely pan broil it.

Ha
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Old 04-15-2008, 09:24 PM   #2
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Is it smoking because your oven is dirty? Maybe hire someone to come clean your oven?
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Old 04-15-2008, 09:29 PM   #3
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My preferred salmon cooking implement is the grill in the back yard. Some fish dishes I cook in the oven because they're a little too delicate to be flipping around on the grill. So, I think You really need to clean the oven - it sounds like there is some serious caked on stuff in there that is a fire hazard. I don't have an issue with oven cleaners, but a quick Google search for "non-toxic oven cleaner" came up with this:

Quote:
To clean my oven, I sprinkle baking soda all over the bottom until it is covered completely with about 1/4 of an inch of baking soda. Then, using a clean spray bottle, I spray the baking soda with water until the baking soda is thoroughly damp but not
flooded. After that, this lazy cleaner goes off and does other things. When I think of it, I dampen the baking soda again if it is drying out. Before I go to bed, I do that again. When I wake up in the morning, the baking soda can effortlessly be scooped out of the oven with a sponge, bringing all the grime with it. That’s it! The only downside is that you need to rinse out the white residue left by the baking soda, but it sure beats Turkey La Oven Cleaner because there are no fumes!
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Old 04-15-2008, 09:33 PM   #4
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We do our fish on the grill but maybe a george Forman grill would work or use a steamer and just broil it for a minute in the oven to crisp it up .
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Old 04-15-2008, 09:45 PM   #5
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We do our fish on the grill but maybe a george Forman grill would work or use a steamer and just broil it for a minute in the oven to crisp it up .
I concur with Moemg....... If you can't solve the problem of safely/smokelessly getting the over to the desired high temp, either pan sear or sear under the broiler to get that crispy crust. Then, bake at a lower temp until just done inside.

500 is a mighty hot oven!
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Old 04-15-2008, 09:54 PM   #6
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Try cooking on the stove top with a cast iron grill pan and a little non stick spray. I'd recommended Pam High temp for what you are trying to do. Thats key. You can get an iron pan really hot and the fish will develop a nice crust.
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Old 04-15-2008, 10:30 PM   #7
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Have you tried searing it first, then finishing it in the oven?
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:22 AM   #8
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I did the cast iron skillet on high heat method, turning it every 2 minutes for maybe 6 minutes or so. It was a pretty thick halibut steak so it took a while to get right.

It tasted wonderful, but something smoked up the apartment. Not enough to set off the smoke alarm though. It might have been the olive oil.

Maybe it is the protein at high heat; I never smoke up the room when I stir fry veggies really hot.

For beefsteaks I have worked out a way that gives me what I like, but smokes very little. I take a T-Bone or rib steak and bone it. Then I re-cut it so it is full size but half thickness. Westerners will recognize it as Mexican style. I turn the fire on all the way and pre-heat the heavy iron skillet, toss in a pat of butter, then put in the salted and peppered steak and press it down for no longer than 1 minute, then flip it for another 25 to 30 seconds. Get it out and get the skillet over to the window so the smoke goes outside. (The smoke takes a few minutes to really get going.) Sometimes I will put in a little wine after skillet has cooled slightly and get the drippings for a simple sauce.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Ha
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:00 AM   #9
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Olive oil smokes at hight heat. Use peanut oil instead.
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:55 AM   #10
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I'm wondering if you used the broiler only (instead of bake) if you would still get the smoking from the oven?

We broil our salmon for 10-12 minutes and it comes out perfect. I use an aluminum pan lined with foil and spray with PAM initially, then spray again at around 9 minutes. During the last minute or so I add a marinade of honey & soy.

I tried cooking it in a glass/ceramic pan once, and it did not cook evenly.
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Old 04-16-2008, 08:39 AM   #11
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Ha, aside from cleaning the oven, the only other additional advice I have is to buy a HEPA filter. When I have accidentally smoked up the house in the past from my efforts in the kitchen, sticking the filter in the kitchen on full blast rapidly removed the smoke.
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Old 04-16-2008, 08:59 AM   #12
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Here's my best frying tip: If you coat the fish with bread crumbs or cracker crumbs or panko, do it an hour before you fry, and put the coated fish back in the fridge during that hour. If you do that the coating will stay on the fish instead of come off in the pan.

I've found that I can fry it in a cast iron skillet with very little oil (1/2 teaspoon).
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Old 04-16-2008, 09:11 AM   #13
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That's really odd to have a stove without a vent hood...I second that a hepa unit will filter the smoke...
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Old 04-16-2008, 09:18 AM   #14
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My range hood just blows the smoke through a mesh filter, then back out into the room. Pretty useless...
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Old 04-16-2008, 01:46 PM   #15
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That's really odd to have a stove without a vent hood...I second that a hepa unit will filter the smoke...
Old building- no eay way to vent the hood, and no real reason for the LL to do it anyway, as it is always 100% rented mostly due to location.

Brewer- I have a Hepa filter- never thought of using it for this purpose.

Also will go to peanut oil for hot frying.

Again, thanks to all for the great suggestions.

Last night I went dancing- my partner said- "So you fried your fish tonight? Yikes! Women and their extra sensitive noses!

Ha
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Old 04-16-2008, 01:55 PM   #16
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Last night I went dancing- my partner said- "So you fried your fish tonight? Yikes! Women and their extra sensitive noses!

Ha
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:11 PM   #17
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Last night I went dancing- my partner said- "So you fried your fish tonight? Yikes! Women and their extra sensitive noses!

Ha
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
Old building- no eay way to vent the hood, and no real reason for the LL to do it anyway, as it is always 100% rented mostly due to location.

Brewer- I have a Hepa filter- never thought of using it for this purpose.

Also will go to peanut oil for hot frying.
If you don't like the peanut taste, try grape seed oil; it can take the very high temperatures, but doesn't compete with fish (or other) flavors.
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:59 PM   #19
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clean the oven
use canola oil spray to coat a cast iron pan
heat the pan on the stove
turn broiler on and heat to max
when oven light goes off put pan in oven and fish in pan
cook half way and flip fish once
finish cooking

hope this helps

oh we do salmon, halibut, pompano in the oven in the winter ...
on the grill outside other times
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Old 04-17-2008, 11:11 PM   #20
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It is fish time again and I like to bake my halibut and salmon really hot-like 450-500.

My oven (in a rented apartment) might get that hot, but it smokes like crazy
smoked salmon. problem solved.
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