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Dependable Maytag Home Appliance Center—The Appliance Dealer of Choice

Tips for Positioning the Shelves in the Oven for Baking

by Product Specialist

If you want to improve the outcome of your recipes or baked goods, it may come down to rearranging the racks inside your oven. Most electric ovens generate heat from a heating coil located in the bottom of your oven's cavity, but this doesn't necessarily mean that you should place your racks too close to this energy source.

Some things to keep in mind about positioning the racks and shelves in your oven include:

Test your oven for hotspots.

You may notice a difference in your baked goods when you know where the hotspots are in your oven. Test the heat by placing slices of bread on a cookie sheet and bake until the bread begins to brown. Examine the browning pattern to determine where the hotspots are in your oven.

Heat tends to rise.

Since heat tends to rise, the top rack positions in your oven are likely the hottest. Since the lower racks are closer to the heating coil and energy source, baked goods may tend to burn when placed in these rack positions.

The best spot for your oven racks.

When you are simply baking a single pan or dish, it makes the most sense to position the racks directly in the middle of your oven. As a rule, position your racks in the top third and bottom third inside the oven, which will provide the best option when you need two racks or are baking multiple pans.

Potentially improve the quality of your baked goods by repositioning the racks inside your oven, for a more even browning and to avoid hotspots that could scorch your pan. Talk with any of our appliance specialists about the best features, such as convection cooking and exhaust-hoods, that may make meal preparation a bit easier, too.