Q. My oven isn’t baking properly, how can I tell whether I am doing something wrong or if it is my oven that is faulty?
There are many factors that can affect your baking results:
- Pan Finish
- Dark pans absorb heat, which results in a browner, crispier crust. Use these types of pans for pies and breads.
- Shiny pans reflect heat, which results in lighter, more delicate browning. Cakes and cookies require this type of pan.
- Glass pans absorb heat slowly but hold it well. When using a glass pan for baking most items, decrease the recommended baking temperature by 25 degrees (not necessary for pies and casseroles).
- Preheat! Preheat! Preheat!
- Preheat the oven thoroughly for baked goods such as bread, cookies and cakes. To preheat, set the oven to the recommended baking temperature, not higher. Allow 15 minutes for the oven to preheat, even if your preheat indicator signals that preheat is finished.
- It is not necessary to preheat for meats and casseroles.
- Oven Rack Position
- For single rack baking, center the rack so the food is in the middle of the oven. If food is placed on a rack toward the top of the oven, top browning may be too dark. If food is placed on a rack located near the bottom of the oven, the food may be too dark on the bottom.
- For multiple rack baking, check your owner’s manual for your model guidelines.
- Pan Placement
- At least 1 – 2 inches of air space around each pan and between pans and the oven walls is needed to allow adequate airflow for more even baking.
- If baking on more than one rack, place the pans in a staggered fashion, so that one is not directly over another (except when convection baking cookies).
- When convection-baking cookies on multiple racks, use flat cookie sheets. Place cookie sheets on racks directly above one another in front of the convection fan.
- Many recipes provide minimum and maximum baking times such as “bake 35 – 45 minutes.” Do not open the oven door to check the product until the minimum time has elapsed. Oven “peeking” drops the temperature approximately 25 – 30 degrees each time. This wastes energy and can increase baking times.
- Aluminum foil should NOT be placed on the bottom of the oven or completely cover an oven rack. It will block valuable airflow and transfer of heat.
- Use tested recipes from dependable cookbooks. Be sure to use fresh ingredients, measure accurately, mix as instructed, and use the recommended pan size.
There is a test you can do to be sure your new range is functioning properly. Purchase a good quality, name brand, standard white cake mix. Mix and bake the cake exactly according to the package directions (use a shiny pan, no early peeking). The result should be a cake that is done and evenly browned.
If you still experience poor results, then there most likely is a problem and service will be needed to evaluate your oven. Yes, we can help you!