Reader's Questions: My Oven Isn't Baking Correctly!

Reader's Questions: My Oven Isn't Baking Correctly!

From Old Fashioned Tips

I was wondering if you could help me out with an oven problem I'm having. My husband is in the army and we recently moved into a new house-well new for us anyway. The house itself is very old and has a gas stove. Whenever I bake, things come out bad. For example, a cake will come out burnt on the bottom and sides-bread is the same. Even pizza you can see where the outer areas are starting to burn and the center of the pizza is not cooked yet. I've tried lowering the temperature when I cook and that helped some, but things are not coming out the way I want. ~Nicol

rented for a long time before we bought our first house and have used gas and electric stoves--they all seem to bake differently depending on the age and brand. Try switching where you have the racks and what one you use. Some stoves the middle is perfect, but others seem to work better a little lower, or higher. Experiment with something simple like a small pan of cornbread. You can also try taking the temperature inside the oven with a thermometer--ask at a kitchen or hardware store for the correct type to use. Always preheat the oven, and let it go another 20-30 minutes after that before testing it. Set it on 350 degrees and see what it registers when you test. The other option is to go to and search for the brand of the oven-- they may have some suggestions.

Regarding the "uneven oven," what about using something like a pizza stone? I would think that getting that kind of specialized cookware might be able to solve the problem. And it would also help to rotate the pizza or cake -- say, every 10 minutes? In our household, the main problem is just getting the "lead chef" to return the rack to its proper central position. That certainly helps create more even results. But there are probably many kinds of cookware (including stoneware) that could also improve outcomes. For the other kind of oven (microwave), I have recently been using Pyrex and find that it is a healthier and more effective alternative. ~Brent

Another option might be to put a pizza stone on the lowest shelf in order to 'insulate' the cake or other cooking items from the direct heat. Leave it in there... it will retain heat and increase the ovens efficiency (let the oven "preheat" 10 more minutes...) Maybe the bakeware is just too thin and transfers the heat too quickly? ~Patricia

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