Never Burn Stuff in the Oven Ever Again


Yes, everybody makes basic cooking mistakes. Like, say, something as simple as overcooking mushrooms or toasting grains and spices. Below, reader Kerry Marie Evans confesses to burning pre-baked pizza to a crisp to associate food editor Rick Martinez. Here’s Martinez’s advice for making sure it never happens again. Welcome to Effed it Up.

Dear Rick, protector of pre-baked pizza,

I purchased two pre-made—but bake-it-yourself—pizzas and baked them in the oven on two racks. We kept smelling something burning, but when I looked in the oven, the pizza still wasn’t finished. When I took out what I thought was the finished product, the pizza that was baking on the lower rack was black on the bottom, burned to a crisp. The worst part? While that bottom one was burning to a crisp, the top one was cooking just right. What happened here?


Dear Kerry,

Baking crisis! Good news is: I know exactly what happened and I am going to help you make sure it never happens again.

Taking Some Heat
The primary heat source in most consumer ovens is located at the bottom, and it’s either an electric coil or a gas burner. The heat radiates out from the element via thermal radiation and heats the walls of the oven and the surrounding air. The hot air rises and circulates throughout the oven and the heat radiates from the heated walls toward the center.

When you put a baking sheet or pan in the oven, you are breaking the circulation flow of the hot air and radiant heat from its element, deflecting and forcing it up and around the sides of the pan. Like the walls of the oven, the pan is bombarded with heat radiating from the element, which heats it up, like a pan on a …read more

Source:: Bon Appetit