Maybe you’re trying to bake a batch of delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies, but they just won’t brown. Or maybe they’ve burned, even though you had them in for what should have been the right amount of time.
Let’s look at some causes of oven temperature and baking performance issues.
Opening the oven door during preheat will cause the preheat to take longer. If that’s not the issue, here are some other causes.
- Unused racks have been left in the oven
- A hidden bake element in your oven
- The oven bottom is lined with aluminum foil
- Your range or wall oven is installed on 208V instead of 240V
Color and type of bakeware
If what you’re baking is coming out too brown, not brown enough, or unevenly brown, the issue could be with your bakeware. The material, shape, and color of bakeware impacts browning in different ways. Use the type of bakeware the recipe calls for.
Some general bakeware information:
- Dark pans absorb heat, resulting in darker browning.
- Light, shiny pans reflect heat, resulting in lighter browning.
Incorrect rack position
Make sure the rack placement is what’s recommended for the item being baked, and only keep a single rack in the oven if possible. The center is the best rack position for the majority of baked goods, cookies, layer cakes and casseroles. See more information on rack placement here.
Number of pans or size of pan
For food to cook evenly, hot air must be able to circulate. Make sure pans have at least two inches of space between each other and from the oven walls.
Door has been opened
It’s tempting to open the oven door to check on how your food is cooking, but doing this changes the temperature of the oven. Check using the oven light instead.
Oven bottom is lined with aluminum foil
This can block airflow, causing the oven to heat improperly. See a video on the effects of airflow here.
Oven needs calibrating
Run a Bake Performance Test to see if your oven needs to be calibrated. To do this, bake one can of refrigerated biscuits according to the directions on the package. If the biscuits are not done and evenly browned within the time stated on the package, your oven may need calibrating. Refer to the oven’s use and care guide for instructions on how to calibrate your oven.