Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 50 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody - I'm new to this forum, but I hope somebody can help! I moved to France about 6 months ago and something I have noticed that is driving me crazy is that my french oven doesn't release the steam like an American oven does. So when I am trying to roast some chicken thighs, the final flavor is super watered down as they are half roasted and half steamed. I really hope I'm not the only person that is having this problem! I've cooked the same recipe in 3 different ovens here and the result is always the same, bland. It was super easy in my American oven. Is this a thing or am I just losing it? Thanks for the help!!!

Daniel
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Hi Daniel, you are not losing it, this is totally a thing! I’ve been having similar issues and similarly driving myself up a wall with it. Unfortunately I haven’t found much of a solution yet. One thing I’m trying however is to test all the difference settings. Contrarily to most American ovens where you just set the temperature and then either convection/bake, I find most ovens here in France have anywhere from 6 to 12 different settings, apart from the temperature. In the case of mine right now, the icons for each setting are entirely non self explanatory, so I’m testing each slowly but surely to try to find differences… if I come up with anything meaningful out of it over the next few weeks, I’ll let you know. Good luck with your chicken!
M
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,179 Posts
Hi Daniel, you are not losing it, this is totally a thing! I’ve been having similar issues and similarly driving myself up a wall with it. Unfortunately I haven’t found much of a solution yet. One thing I’m trying however is to test all the difference settings. Contrarily to most American ovens where you just set the temperature and then either convection/bake, I find most ovens here in France have anywhere from 6 to 12 different settings, apart from the temperature. In the case of mine right now, the icons for each setting are entirely non self explanatory, so I’m testing each slowly but surely to try to find differences… if I come up with anything meaningful out of it over the next few weeks, I’ll let you know. Good luck with your chicken!
M
It is indeed the settings, if you search the internet for the particular oven you have, you should find the meaning of each icon in the online manual, plus an explanation of how best to use the settings. I guess you are both renting in France, in which case it's a shame the owners have not left the hard copy manual in the apartment.

I had no idea American ovens didn't have all those settings.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
51,625 Posts
I find most ovens here in France have anywhere from 6 to 12 different settings, apart from the temperature.
Huh??? We've run through two ovens here in the house since I arrived and they have two control knobs - one for temperature and one for basically the "settings" which consist of "heat from the bottom" (with or without fan to circulate the heat), "heat from the top" (basically, for broiling) and a couple of settings for cleaning the oven (which you don't want to use with food inside the thing).

Don't forget that chickens here in France (actually in much of Europe) are different varieties, raised differently, fed differently and probably a couple other key differences. Julia Child used to claim that chickens here in France taste more "chickeny" than those you could get at the supermarket in the US. But you may want to try chicken from the local butcher before you decide that it's a function of the oven. (And you could try asking the local butcher how best to prepare the cuts you buy from him. The butchers really know their product and may have some useful suggestions.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,899 Posts
But letting out the "steam" would also let out the heat making the oven efficiency lower.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BackinFrance

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,179 Posts
My oven has quite a flew more settings than Bev's, eg 3D fan forced, which I use a lot, plus it allows me to program different settings during the cooking time,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
Our apartment seems to be an Ikea showroom (I actually like it). Luckily the owners left manuals for the appliances. Unluckily they're in French and Italian. But, Ikea is good for putting their manuals online, so it just took a little sleuthing to figure out the hieroglyphics on the oven. I posted a rosetta stone on a sticky note in the kitchen. The dryer was a mystery. We couldn't figure out why it was turning itself off every 30 seconds. What, there's a water container to empty? Makes sense as it isn't vented outside. Today we're going to figure out what to do with the box of "dishwasher salt" we found under the kitchen sink. That doesn't seem to be a thing in the US, but again makes sense if you download the manual. Every day is an adventure in small victories over normally mundane activities. Exactly what we signed up for!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Hi everybody - I'm new to this forum, but I hope somebody can help! I moved to France about 6 months ago and something I have noticed that is driving me crazy is that my french oven doesn't release the steam like an American oven does. So when I am trying to roast some chicken thighs, the final flavor is super watered down as they are half roasted and half steamed. I really hope I'm not the only person that is having this problem! I've cooked the same recipe in 3 different ovens here and the result is always the same, bland. It was super easy in my American oven. Is this a thing or am I just losing it? Thanks for the help!!!

Daniel
Our Samsung oven has a switch that is magnetic that turns the oven off and the light on when the door is open. If yours is similar you can put a small magnet over the switch to keep it from being activated and then prop the door open with the handle of a wooden spoon to let the steam out. This is the problem when you are trying to roast vegetables and they come out steamed and not crispy at all. Hope this is helpful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
I have never even seen an oven with more than one control, and that is for the temperature.
I need to get out more........................
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,179 Posts
Our Samsung oven has a switch that is magnetic that turns the oven off and the light on when the door is open. If yours is similar you can put a small magnet over the switch to keep it from being activated and then prop the door open with the handle of a wooden spoon to let the steam out. This is the problem when you are trying to roast vegetables and they come out steamed and not crispy at all. Hope this is helpful.
You would do far better to look for the English version of the manual. There would also be an English version for JWheil's oven online. What you suggest risks damaging the oven and distributing grease around the kitchen.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,911 Posts
Our apartment seems to be an Ikea showroom (I actually like it). Luckily the owners left manuals for the appliances. Unluckily they're in French and Italian. But, Ikea is good for putting their manuals online, so it just took a little sleuthing to figure out the hieroglyphics on the oven. I posted a rosetta stone on a sticky note in the kitchen. The dryer was a mystery. We couldn't figure out why it was turning itself off every 30 seconds. What, there's a water container to empty? Makes sense as it isn't vented outside. Today we're going to figure out what to do with the box of "dishwasher salt" we found under the kitchen sink. That doesn't seem to be a thing in the US, but again makes sense if you download the manual. Every day is an adventure in small victories over normally mundane activities. Exactly what we signed up for!
There should be a (probably) round, screw-on lid thing in the bottom of your dishwasher - unscrew and let the dishwasher salt fill the cavity below. When it's full, take a utensil with a long handle and stir around a bit, you can then fill in some more salt. Screw lid back on and repeat in a couple of weeks (I just checked mine, I have to get more salt next time I go shopping.)

There are dishwasher tabs that have the salt included but I find them expensive and not as effective as separate salt and classic, cheap-as-chips dishwasher tabs without any bells and whistles.

The salt helps soften the water, so the cleaning result is better and there is less build-up of lime in the machine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow...this info is amazing, thank you everybody for the feedback! My mother-in-law showed me how to use all my other appliances (dryer with no outdoor vent, dishwasher, washing machine), but she has only ever used French ovens, so she doesn't understand what my issue is. As for the different settings on my oven and what they do, I just looked up an Ikea manual as they have the exact same symbols. I think my fix will be to use the setting in the oven that utilizes the fan (meant to spread the heat evenly throughout the oven) and prop the door open slightly. If that fails, maybe I will just buy an outdoor gas grill and roast everything in that haha

I'm off to Corsica for the next couple of weeks, but once I am back, I will try my "fix" on my chicken schwarma recipe =)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,179 Posts
Wow...this info is amazing, thank you everybody for the feedback! My mother-in-law showed me how to use all my other appliances (dryer with no outdoor vent, dishwasher, washing machine), but she has only ever used French ovens, so she doesn't understand what my issue is. As for the different settings on my oven and what they do, I just looked up an Ikea manual as they have the exact same symbols. I think my fix will be to use the setting in the oven that utilizes the fan (meant to spread the heat evenly throughout the oven) and prop the door open slightly. If that fails, maybe I will just buy an outdoor gas grill and roast everything in that haha

I'm off to Corsica for the next couple of weeks, but once I am back, I will try my "fix" on my chicken schwarma recipe =)
You don't need to prop the door open and would be crazy to do so because it will stop the fan forced function working properly!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
679 Posts
it seems you are maybe "losing it" as steam ovens or steam convection ovens are the cheapest in price and quality that are on the market and tho available in the EU, many people have not caught on to them. It seems by your explanation you were using one of these back in the US of A which I do not think is widely used; maybe from cheapness in ( though what is cheap is up to you) rentals or remodels.

A real pro convection oven heats with 3 elements; top, bottom and fan. Here it might just be 2 (top n bottom) and the fan just blows hot air around.

Good luck with your trip and cooking your bird.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You don't need to prop the door open and would be crazy to do so because it will stop the fan forced function working properly!
Yea...I am confused at what you are saying. If my oven is retaining the steam, do you have a suggestion for how to avoid this without opening the oven door just enough to let the steam escape?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
679 Posts
Hi everybody - I'm new to this forum, but I hope somebody can help! I moved to France about 6 months ago and something I have noticed that is driving me crazy is that my french oven doesn't release the steam like an American oven does. So when I am trying to roast some chicken thighs, the final flavor is super watered down as they are half roasted and half steamed. I really hope I'm not the only person that is having this problem! I've cooked the same recipe in 3 different ovens here and the result is always the same, bland. It was super easy in my American oven. Is this a thing or am I just losing it? Thanks for the help!!!

Daniel
High cost professional ovens here in Europe have all the features; true convection 3 way, normal household convection 2 ways( up n down elements n fan blowing the air around), only top broiler, only bottom element, steam cooking but these are for restaurants.

Steam ovens have not really caught on here yet - give it 10-15 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
There is no steam on the fan forced setting.
Of course, my oven isn't a steam oven. It is a standard french oven. The steam is coming from the chicken I am cooking. My issue is that there is no venting at all of the steam. Never had this issue in any of the bigger American ovens I used in the different places I have lived. Not sure if it is due to the smaller size of the oven or just the overall design.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
51,625 Posts
Yea...I am confused at what you are saying. If my oven is retaining the steam, do you have a suggestion for how to avoid this without opening the oven door just enough to let the steam escape?
It might help if you could describe exactly what settings you are using when the oven "retains steam" - it might help someone here to figure out what type of oven exactly you are using and what is happening with it.
 
1 - 20 of 50 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top