Baking is such a wonderful hobby. The process of creating delectable treats can reduce stress and calm the nerves. Moreover, you get delicious food that you can share with your loved ones, sell to customers, or eat on your own.
However, baking can also cause stress if you’re not getting the desired result. There are many possible reasons why your baked goods are not turning out as they should. You may be using the wrong ingredients, or you haven’t strictly been following the recipe down to a T. Sometimes, your oven is the culprit behind your unsuccessful baking projects.
Here are some oven trouble symptoms and solutions to help you get the oven conditions you need to bake better treats!
Not Preheating Oven
One of the most common oven mistakes is not allowing your oven enough time to heat up. Many ovens have a countdown timer or light that indicates when the range is up to temperature. Make sure you watch for this sign, then put your treats in right away!
If you don’t preheat your oven, your baked goods will likely come out undercooked. You will have to cook it longer to get to the desired temperature. Moreover, you might not get the right consistency. Because you forgot to preheat the oven, the outside of your baked goods will come out well done while the inside is still doughy or liquid.
Oven Not Heating Evenly
Even ovens can sometimes lead to unappetizing results. Instead of baking all your cookies evenly, some may come out burnt while others are undercooked or pale in appearance.
However, it’s still better to ask a professional to check the oven and figure out why it’s heating up unevenly. This way, in case of a problem, they can repair the stove to make sure that your appliance is working as it should and prevent further baking disasters down the line.
Don’t Preheat to Non-Standard Temperatures.
Some recipes specify that certain ingredients should not be added until after preheating. This often applies to egg-based recipes like flan and quiche. These dishes need a minimum temperature to cook correctly, so make sure you check your recipe carefully.
Oven Thermostat Problem
There’s nothing like taking something out of the oven too early, only to be let down by a less than perfect result. It can be frustrating when you’ve followed the recipe carefully, but the temperature is too low or too high for baking.
If your oven bakes unevenly, another tip is to keep an oven thermometer in there, so you’ll know if it needs adjusting. If your oven bakes consistently, but your baked goods are coming out underdone or overcooked, you’ll have to lower or raise the temperature accordingly.
Your oven may have a faulty thermostat. Instead of an adjustable temperature dial, there may be numbers indicating specific temperatures. If that’s the case, test your oven using an oven thermometer. If the temperature is higher than specified in recipes, adjust accordingly.
You can do this on your own. There are typically instructions on properly calibrating the oven in the user manual or online.
How to Maintain an Oven
Make sure the oven is clean before using it. Spills and baked-on food can damage the interior over time. Moreover, it can spoil and generate a funky smell that can affect your baked goods and waft throughout your home.
Avoid using excessive amounts of cooking spray or oils when baking. This can create a sticky residue that’s difficult to clean.
Regularly wipe the oven’s interior to get rid of any crumbs or dirt. This will help the stove remain clean, which is also great for avoiding spills and other accidents.
Use a damp cloth to wipe down the exterior of your oven. This will prevent dirt from getting stuck in tiny crevices between buttons or other parts that can be difficult to clean by hand.
Open the oven door carefully. Slamming it shut can cause the door to warp over time and affect how well the oven cooks your food.
Getting baking right can be tricky! But once you figure out what’s going wrong in your oven, you’ll have a sturdier understanding of how it works. From there, you’ll find that baking can be so much more enjoyable and less of a hassle.