Have you encountered some issues with your oven? It can be very frustrating to bake something and then get undesirable results.
Hot spots are those frustrating little areas that make your dish bake unevenly and generally make you want to scream.
Some may notice that quite a few portions of their cake have burnings while some are perfectly fine. If this happens to you, then try to rotate the thing you are baking, and you will not be happy with what you will see.
I know how it feels. But you don’t have to worry and rush to get a new oven. It will be going to be best if you try to identify what’s going on so that you can take measures to protect your dishes from those oven hot spots.
Some ovens have hot spots that cause things to burn if you place dishes near to that spot. Now the question is how can one identify where those hot spots are so that he/she can prepare things safely?
How Oven Works
What makes oven so tricky is that they aren’t precision appliances. It operates using the level of heat you will set.
When the temperature inside hits the lower part, the heat will rise until it reaches the upper part, causing the heating element to switch off.
It forces the temperature to oscillate back and forth. It should have an average temperature of approximately what you initially set.
Before moving ahead, learn these practical pieces of information to help yourself out. First, the oven heats a lot in specific places.
The hottest section of your oven is on the top, bottom, and the two sides. It is because the closer spaces to the metal wall heat a lot.
All of these might solve your problem without doing much of the job. Put the thing in the center of the oven if you want moderate temperature.
To get the results you are looking for, make some adjustments on the way of baking.
Placement of Oven Racks Matters
Placement of the rack can ruin a recipe if you are not aware of what you are doing.
Even browning comes from the top portion of the oven for most, but the bottom of a pizza crust comes from the lower section. When you have your rack in the correct place, your recipe will come out the way you want.
Most of the oven is hotter at the top than at the bottom, so it makes a difference if you rotate the pans not only from front to back but also from top to bottom halfway if you are using multiple racks at a time.
Here are different portions of an oven for you to know.
When you want the browning to be on the top, make sure to bake in the upper portion of your oven.
It’s hotter up there, so it’s great for browning the top of bread pudding.
The middle part of the oven is the safest place when you are not sure where to bake. It is where you want to make a single sheet of cookies, rotating from front to back halfway through cooking.
It’s best when you are baking one thing at a time.
Upper and Lower Thirds
When it comes to baking more than one dish at once, you need to employ the rule of thirds.
It means that when you are baking two sheets at once, you arrange the oven racks in the top and bottom of the oven, rotating halfway through from front to back.
This rule applies to cookies, cakes, and so much more.
The most important thing to keep in mind while you bake is to rotate from top to bottom, as well as front and back.
To get the golden-brown crust on the bottom of your pizza or bread, employ the lower portion of your oven. It is closest to the heating source in gas and electric appliances.
Figure Out Hot Spots
The most practical way to find oven hot spots is to use plain white bread to see what’s going on. You can place the slices of bread on cookie sheets or in the oven rack.
Put them separately so that you can monitor the part of the bread that is burning. Using enough white bread in this experiment will have a clear picture of the hot spots.
You can use it as a visual guide to understanding what parts of the oven you need to avoid.
To do this experiment right, you need to preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Let the oven finish its preheating cycle so that the temperature will be proper when you place the bread.
Check the temperature of the oven using your thermometer. If you don’t have it, you can use the heat indicator. Try to bake the slices of bread until they’re golden brown.
It will take a certain amount of time to accomplish, depending on your oven. Likely, it will be finished in somewhere between 15 to 20 minutes, so check on it momentarily.
Once the bread is golden brown, get it out of the oven. You will notice a few differences in the browning of the bread.
Take note of what you have observed, and you will have the answer to your problem.
Now all you need is common sense and familiarization.
A pan of granulated sugar is the best cheap and readily available tool to identify hot spots.
Much like grilling a loaf of white bread slices, it will get you accustomed with a new or unfamiliar oven.
When the oven is 400 degrees Fahrenheit, the sugar should be melted without being burnt. It will be easy for you to trace hot spots because it turns dark when charred. The areas that do not melt are the cold spots.
You will not have to worry about what to do with the sugar afterwards because you can still use it in a cup of coffee.
Other Possible Solutions
If you ever want to bake two cakes or two pizzas in your oven at once, what will you do to prevent oven hot spots? Well, the most practical thing to do is to rotate the pans halfway through.
You can try to switch things out to get the evenest temperature.
There are times when it is difficult to do so because you need to check the dish side by side, but it’s worth a try.
When baking a single dish, it’s generally best to put it in the dead center of the oven.
If you want the crust to be a bit crispier, place the pan to the bottom of the oven. A little bit of practical thinking goes a long way.
You need to identify your oven hot spots for a better way of baking. Doing this will also help you become a more productive person in terms of perfection.
Being familiar with your appliance is more like knowing its components and its purpose in baking.
An oven may not be available to everyone, but that does not deprive us of knowing everything about it.