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My new oven doesn't cook evenly!

Although all brands are different in design, the basic concept is the same.
When a new oven doesn't cook evenly, there are several things to consider:


Temperature shift in oven-
As a cooking appliance gets older, often the oven temperature gets hotter. Usually people adjust to this, and when a new oven arrives with proper calibration, baking times may vary from the old one. THIS IS NORMAL!
  • An easy way to confirm if the oven is calibrated correctly is to bake a white box cake or a tube of refrigerated biscuits. Following the package directions should result in a product that is done and evenly browned. (Pre-heat the oven, and use the center rack)
  • Temperature settings on many cooking appliances with electronic controls may be easily adjusted by the customer to fit their expectations. (See User's Guide)

Pan finish-
Dark, dull pans absorb heat which results in darker browning. Shiny pans reflect heat which results in lighter browning. (note: Insulated cookie sheets, shiny or dull, follow these guidelines as well)
  • Shiny pans are recommended for cakes and cookies.
  • Dark pans are recommended for pies and breads.If used for cakes and cookies, the oven temp should be reduced by 25 degrees.
  • Glass pans require a 25 degree decrease.
Incorrect rack position in oven-
  • For single rack baking, center the rack so that the food is in the middle of the oven. For multiple rack baking, check the User's Guide for recommendations.
  • If food is placed on a rack towards the top of the oven, top browning may be too dark.
  • If food is placed too close to the bottom of the oven, the food may be too dark on the bottom.
Incorrect pan placement on rack-
  • Allow 1-2 inches of space around each pan and between pans and the oven walls.
  • If baking on more than one rack, place the pans so that one is not directly over another except when baking cookies using convection bake
Oven not preheated-
Preheating is necessary for good results when baking breads, cookies, cakes, etc. (Preheating is not necessary for casseroles and roasting.)
  • To preheat, set the oven to the recommended temperature in the recipe or on the prepared mix directions. Wait 10-15 minutes before placing food in oven. Even though the oven may preheat before 10 minutes, wait at least that long to load. The trick is to get the entire oven cavity well-heated, since todays ovens are better insulated to reduce heat loss.
  • Let the recipe cook the entire recommended time without peeking inside, since opening the door will result in a 25-75 degree loss of heat. This translates into extended cooking times and poor baking results.
Poor air circulation in oven-
  • Do not put too many pans on rack
  • Do not cover an entire oven rack or oven bottom with aluminum foil. This afects not only air circulation, but general baking results, as thermostat will be tricked into a false reflective heat radiation from the element.
  • A small piece of foil may be used to catch spillovers. Place it on a lower rack, several inches below the baking pan.


          As you can see, there are many things that can cause poor results in a new oven. Don't call the manufacturer until you are sure you have read the User's Guide. New ovens are not built like their old, energy-wasting counterparts. With the advent of electronic controls, things have taken a dramatic change in both performance and technology. Give your new product a chance before pulling your hair out.

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