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Old 12-18-2006, 12:46 AM   #1
Senior Cook
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA, Nevada and California
Posts: 320
Oven Racks

I would like to start a thread on the "in's and out's" of using a oven for baking.
Most ovens now days are very large.

Three racks that can be places in 4 locations.
Do things cook faster and brown better on the bottom if the rack is in the lower position?

Conversly do things cook faster and brown better on the top id the rack is in the top position?

How do you us more than one rack at a time?
Items on the top rack won't brown on the bottom if there ia a item on the rack below.
The item on the bottom won't brown on the top is there is a item on the rack above it.

Then, to use two pans on a rack, they will have to be small enough to allow heat to circulate. My smallest cookie sheets are "wall to wall" if I put two on one rack. Here, I have tried to put a sheet of cookies on each of two racks and switch half was through baking. Not an easy task and results are not that great either.

Then we have the regular cookie sheet vs the air cushion cookie sheet.

Just to be more confusing we have the Silver, Gray, or Brown in both the regular and the Air Cushion sheet's.

How about the glass vs the metal utinsels. Again, there are clear or brown glass utinsels.

Just a few things I would like to see kicked around.


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Old 12-18-2006, 03:55 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 665
Well. THIS is a post one can really sink one's teeth into!

From the top, then:

-- "in's and out's of using an oven for baking" ... as opposed to ...?!

-- Things do not cook overall faster and better on the bottom of the oven / bottom rack, however, they definitely brown better on the bottom (their bottom, not the oven's bottom).

-- Regarding the upper part of the oven / upper rack: ditto, but the inverse (the tops of things brown better)

-- How do you use more than one rack at a time? If you have a convection / fan-assisted oven, the fan will circulate the heat adequately so that the cooking is even. And/or: you can rotate your pans partway through the cooking time.

-- Wall-to-wall should be fine with a fan-assisted oven although, as in all things, there are ovens and there are ovens. Mine (a fan-assisted Smeg) can handle what you're describing just fine, although one side of the oven does have a hot spot so I have to rotate things in an odd fashion to compensate.

-- No comments regarding cookies sheets because I don't have experience with Air Cushion sheets. I use plain aluminum or non-stick and both are fine. Oven placement is the most crucial element in my experience.

-- Glass versus metal utensils: do you mean baking pans? They all have their pro's and con's. I'm sure someone will come along in awhile who'd like to expound on that one!
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