"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > General Cooking
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-10-2013, 05:20 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: London
Posts: 1
Smile Burnt outside - raw inside - what am I doing wrong?

So I was wondering whether anyone can help a desperate person attempt to cook! Every single time I cook any kind of cake, cupcake or muffin I follow recipe books by the letter but they always come out of the oven burnt/overlooked on the outside and either raw or undercooked on the inside.

I thought it was the oven as it was happening with every single recipe from any book and with any cake. So we now own a brand new expensive oven and the same thing is still very much happening!

I just don't understand, so I'm wondering whether there is anything obvious that I'm not doing.

Does anyone have any thoughts/tips at all?

Thank you!

Salengland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2013, 05:26 PM   #2
Head Chef
 
merstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,002
Even brand new ovens can be inaccurate, and need to be calibrated. Buy a good oven thermometer, and check the temperature. Place the thermometer in the oven, set it to a moderate temperature, (350 F/176C), and wait about 30 minutes before checking.

Also, if you're using dark, nonstick pans, they conduct more heat than shiny pans, so the oven temperature always needs to be 25 degrees lower than the recipe indicates. Otherwise, baked goods often will be darker/overbaked on the outside, and underbaked on the inside.
__________________
"Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces."
merstar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2013, 05:29 PM   #3
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 3,134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Salengland View Post
So I was wondering whether anyone can help a desperate person attempt to cook! Every single time I cook any kind of cake, cupcake or muffin I follow recipe books by the letter but they always come out of the oven burnt/overlooked on the outside and either raw or undercooked on the inside.

I thought it was the oven as it was happening with every single recipe from any book and with any cake. So we now own a brand new expensive oven and the same thing is still very much happening!

I just don't understand, so I'm wondering whether there is anything obvious that I'm not doing.

Does anyone have any thoughts/tips at all?

Thank you!
I have never had that happen. Are you making sure you preheat the oven to the correct temperature before putting the cake in? Also, I always bake my cakes with the rack in the middle of the oven. I set the timer for 5 minutes less than the recipe says and start checking the cake when the timer goes off. I watch it very closely from then on to be sure it doesn't burn. I check the center of the cake by inserting a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean, then the inside of the cake is done. If it is still moist, it needs to stay in for another minute or two.
CarolPa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2013, 06:00 PM   #4
Executive Chef
 
bakechef's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,127
If you are following the recipe exactly, then the recipe shouldn't be a problem.

Also, I second the preheating. If you aren't letting the oven properly preheat, that can cause issues. With many ovens the broiler element will be used to speed the process. So if the stuff is being put in before the oven is properly preheated, it will be exposed to the heating elements at the top and bottom constantly on until the oven is heated completely, causing premature browning.

I've used a variety of ovens and I can always seem to make them work for me.
__________________
I'm Bloggin'

https://bakingbetter.com
bakechef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2013, 07:04 PM   #5
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 3,134
Quote:
Originally Posted by bakechef View Post
If you are following the recipe exactly, then the recipe shouldn't be a problem.

Also, I second the preheating. If you aren't letting the oven properly preheat, that can cause issues. With many ovens the broiler element will be used to speed the process. So if the stuff is being put in before the oven is properly preheated, it will be exposed to the heating elements at the top and bottom constantly on until the oven is heated completely, causing premature browning.

I've used a variety of ovens and I can always seem to make them work for me.

I bake a lot and I had a cheap oven years ago that baked wonderfully! One of the burners broke on the stovetop and it wasn't worth fixing so I got a new gas range. It was never as good. Now I've gone with stainless steel and bought a very pricy range. It's the worst. I miss my old, cheap gas range.
CarolPa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2013, 07:16 PM   #6
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 46,770
It seems likely the oven temperature is off. Do as suggested and buy an oven thermometer to check the temp.

With that done, try a recipe from a different source. Buy a cake mix and try that. Make the temp adjustment for dark and glass pans.

You have to test for each of the variables individually to ascertain the root of the problem.

All of the above assumes you are following the recipes exactly in all aspects.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2013, 08:17 PM   #7
Head Chef
 
Zereh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Bellevue, WA
Posts: 1,503
After you've made sure the tempature of your oven is accurate --

Don't open the oven door! That causes the temperature to fluctuate.

Cooking times are a guideline only. Your nose should be your guide, along with touch and visuals (e.g. springs back when lightly pressed? golden brown? pulled away slightly from the side of the pan? a tad jiggly in the middle with the edges more solid? a tester poked into the center comes out clean?)

Baking is an exact science so measure perfectly! Mix no more than called for. Use the recommended equipment.
__________________
~~
Zereh

We are fed by a food industry which pays no attention to health, and healed by a health industry that pays no attention to food - Wendell Berry
Zereh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2013, 08:35 PM   #8
Executive Chef
 
bakechef's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,127
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPa View Post
I bake a lot and I had a cheap oven years ago that baked wonderfully! One of the burners broke on the stovetop and it wasn't worth fixing so I got a new gas range. It was never as good. Now I've gone with stainless steel and bought a very pricy range. It's the worst. I miss my old, cheap gas range.
The last place that we lived was an apartment, and it had a cheap GE electric stove and the oven baked really nicely, I was surprised.

When we bought our house I immediately replaced the stove (quite beat up) with a Samsung electric convection range and it's awesome, and fairly reasonably priced.
__________________
I'm Bloggin'

https://bakingbetter.com
bakechef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2013, 08:39 PM   #9
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Addie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: East Boston, MA
Posts: 22,365
Do you have a 'preheat' setting on your stove for the oven? Are you forgetting to set it back to 'bake' when the proper temperature is reached

Do you have your top shelf too high in the oven? Hot air will rise and make the top of the oven hotter than the rest of the oven.

Are you using dark pans? They require a lower temperature by 25 degrees.
__________________
Illegitimi non carborundum!
I don't want my last words to be, "I wish I had spent more time doing housework"
Addie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2013, 10:40 PM   #10
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: California's Big Valley
Posts: 859
The same thing happened to me when the thermostat went out of my oven. While it's odd that two might have gone out on you, I would check the temp with another thermometer. Check several levels of the oven.

P.S. One more thought. If the temp. of the recipe is for shiny metal baking utensils and you are using glass or they are dark, you will need to lower the temperature.
Oldvine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2013, 01:54 PM   #11
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 3,096
Yep .. agreeing with all here.

You have an oven issue.

Preheat, check temp, adjust accordingly.

Good luck !
MrsLMB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2013, 02:22 PM   #12
Certified/Certifiable
 
Chief Longwind Of The North's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 10,427
One more thing to add; if your oven is a convection oven, the outside will heat faster, and often overcook before the middle can get done. With convection ovens, you need to reduce the temperature by 15 to 20 degrees.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
__________________
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- https://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
Chief Longwind Of The North is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2013, 02:33 PM   #13
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 3,134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
One more thing to add; if your oven is a convection oven, the outside will heat faster, and often overcook before the middle can get done. With convection ovens, you need to reduce the temperature by 15 to 20 degrees.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North

This is what happens with my convection oven when I bake with it in the regular baking mode. When I bake in the convection setting, it cooks more evenly. I think my oven automatically adjusts the settings when you select convection and use the temp and time referred to in the recipe. No matter which setting I'm using, I always set my timer for at least 5 minutes less and check. Gotta watch my husband though, he will hear the timer ring and run out and take the food out of the oven!! Done or not!
CarolPa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2013, 06:05 PM   #14
Master Chef
 
Mad Cook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: North West England
Posts: 5,134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Salengland View Post
So I was wondering whether anyone can help a desperate person attempt to cook! Every single time I cook any kind of cake, cupcake or muffin I follow recipe books by the letter but they always come out of the oven burnt/overlooked on the outside and either raw or undercooked on the inside.

I thought it was the oven as it was happening with every single recipe from any book and with any cake. So we now own a brand new expensive oven and the same thing is still very much happening!

I just don't understand, so I'm wondering whether there is anything obvious that I'm not doing.

Does anyone have any thoughts/tips at all?

Thank you!
Get an oven thermometer from a kitchen supplies shop/store or even from a supermarket. They are relatively cheap and sit on or hang from the oven shelf and enable you to know whether your oven thermostat is accurate. It probably isn't as I've never known an oven that was. You can then adjust the temperature for the dish you as cooking.

Oh, yes, and are you allowing the oven to come up to temp before putting the cake in? Not sure about modern electric cookers but with gas cookers it can take 15-20 minutes.
Mad Cook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2013, 06:11 PM   #15
Master Chef
 
Mad Cook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: North West England
Posts: 5,134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Addie View Post
Do you have a 'preheat' setting on your stove for the oven? Are you forgetting to set it back to 'bake' when the proper temperature is reached

Do you have your top shelf too high in the oven? Hot air will rise and make the top of the oven hotter than the rest of the oven.

Are you using dark pans? They require a lower temperature by 25 degrees.
Now that IS interesting, Addie. I've never heard that about dark pans before.
Mad Cook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2013, 04:18 AM   #16
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Kylie1969's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 13,114
I was unaware that dark pans needed a lower temp too
__________________
All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt
Kylie1969 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2013, 06:07 AM   #17
Certified/Certifiable
 
Chief Longwind Of The North's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 10,427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kylie1969 View Post
I was unaware that dark pans needed a lower temp too
Dark colors both absorb, and radiate heat better. Therefore, the dark pan will absorb, and transfer heat more quickly into the food that's in it. This is why solar heat panels are always painted solar black.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
__________________
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- https://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
Chief Longwind Of The North is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2013, 06:39 AM   #18
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 24,485
Quote:
Originally Posted by Addie View Post
Do you have your top shelf too high in the oven? Hot air will rise and make the top of the oven hotter than the rest of the oven.
I'm not sure this is true. In a small, enclosed space like an oven, I don't think the temperature difference from top to bottom would be enough to matter.
__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2013, 08:28 AM   #19
Head Chef
 
Zereh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Bellevue, WA
Posts: 1,503
They say use the middle rack to ensure even exposure to the heat - i.e. proximity to the heat source rather than "heat rises".
__________________
~~
Zereh

We are fed by a food industry which pays no attention to health, and healed by a health industry that pays no attention to food - Wendell Berry
Zereh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2013, 08:48 AM   #20
Wine Guy
 
Steve Kroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 6,345
Sounds like the oven is too hot, or you are unintentionally using some sort of convection setting.
Steve Kroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:01 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.