What is a cold shelf?
A cold shelf is a flat sheet of metal that is designed to fit directly onto the runners in your oven (no need for a shelf beneath) and doubles as a baking sheet when used in combination with a sheet of Bake-O-Glide™.
A few myths about cold shelves:
Cold shelves are used to shield certain foods from the fierce heat of the roasting oven; it is this which allows the cold shelf to turn part of the roasting oven in 2-oven Aga range cookers into a pseudo baking oven.
The reason for the steep heat gradient between the ovens (and therefore the need in some instances to ‘shield’) is the use of radiant heat. Conventional fan-ovens create heat at the back of the unit and use a fan mechanism to keep the hot air circulating to heat the food; the Aga range cooker works by using a top-down approach to heat by distributing the stored energy held within the unit from the top of the roasting oven - which is why food placed high up in the roasting oven is browned very quickly!
To create a cooler environment this heat needs to be physically deflected by placing the cold shelf above the item thus shielding it from excessive heat; this technique can be used for up to 40 minutes.
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