Where to place rack in oven for baking?

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Chef J

Assistant Cook
Nov 15, 2003
If I'm baking things like cake, cookies, bread, etc..., where do I place the rack in my oven? I have 5 choices -- one slot that's dead center, 2 above and 2 below.

I just baked an apple coffee cake where the top got way too brown before the inside was done. I'm thinking the problem might be my rack placement.



Chef Extraordinaire
Feb 21, 2002
North Carolina
Hi Chef J,

I'm not sure why I didn't see your question. Once again I have to confess I don't bake! With pies I place in upper third of oven - with a cake I might place it in the middle to lower third as you don't want the top to get too brown. A hotter heat will be at the top I think.

Hopefully someone will come along with the "real" answer. :oops:


Assistant Cook
Jan 12, 2004
Ahh..the wonderful world of baking...my 2nd favorite subject following Chocolate. :)

Ok..here's the 411 on baking racks...

For pies, the best position is 'how low can you go'...why? because putting the pie so close to the heat allows the pie crust to set faster, preventing the mushies...

For everything else (except broiling..different subject all together), middle of the road works best.

And whatever you do...use an oven thermometer every time!!!! Ovens can be off as much as 50 degrees! BTW...for anyone using a convection oven, turn it down 25 degrees...you'll get better results :)

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