This video from Sears PartsDirect shows which oven racks to use when baking to get the best results. Where you place food in the oven can affect how well cookies and cakes bake or how toasty brown your pizza crusts come out. We’ll show you where to place pies, large cuts of meat and toast. Follow these tips and you’ll be a baking hero.
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When to use a lower rack
Use a lower center rack for bread, casserole, roasting vegetables or browning the bottom of pizza crust. If you’re roasting a turkey or a large cut of meat, use a lower rack that puts the top near the middle of the oven for even baking. To brown the bottom of a pie, start baking it on a preheated cookie sheet on the bottom rack. After 20 minutes, remove the cookie sheet and move the pie to the center rack for the rest of the bake time.
What to bake on center racks
Bake cookies, cakes, pies, muffins and biscuits on one of the center racks. For two cake layers on the same rack, leave 2-4 inches of space around the pans. The spacing helps the cake layers bake evenly.
When to use an upper rack
Use one of the top rack positions when broiling or toasting. The closer food gets to the broiling element, the faster it cooks.
What to bake on multiple racks
To bake 2 pans of cookies at once, position the racks directly above and below the center position to allow for air circulation. Also, offset the cookie sheet positions on the racks. Rotate the pans halfway through for even baking. You might need to add a few minutes to baking time when using two racks. To bake four cake layers, use the same rack positions as when baking 2 pans of cookies. For the best air circulation, make sure none of the individual cake pans is directly above another pan.
Additional tips for optimal baking results
Always arrange oven racks when the oven is cool.
Pre-heat the oven properly. Most ovens need at least 20 minutes to reach and maintain the temperature you set.
Reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees when using dark or nonstick pans.
Finally, don’t peek! Opening the oven door throws off the recipe time. Look through the oven window instead.
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