Knowing which shelf level of the oven to cook your food on is almost as important as choosing the correct temperature, but it’s a detail that we rarely think about before cooking.
In general, the middle of the oven is the best and the most used. Whenever you have doubts, or when the recipe you want to follow does not specify the exact height, you can use the second or third level. The top and bottom levels of the oven can help to give a different touch to your recipes too.
The first level
If you want to give the top part of your dishes a golden tone, it is best to move them to the first level of the oven in the last minutes of cooking. This way you will get all the heat concentrated in the upper part. You can take advantage of this level to brown cookies, biscuits, gratin your pasta dishes, or to toast bread.
The second level
This is mostly used for baking. It is located in the middle part of the oven and in this position, the air and heat circulate without any problems around our desserts, thus achieving spongy results in homemade muffins, cakes, bread or cookies.
If you want to prepare a tasty fish, roast meat, or bake your favourite vegetables, it is best to use the third level by placing the food in a tray or a grilling dish deep in the oven.
This is the lowest level of our oven and it’s ideal to prepare pizzas or flatbreads that require a short baking time at high temperatures. By having a closer proximity to the source of heat, you will get a crispy touch to the bottom of your dishes.
Keep in mind that some recipes require more attention than others, so when you use your oven, check your food every now and then to prevent it from burning or not being cooked correctly, changing the temperature or the position of the dish inside the oven when necessary. If you place several trays at the same time, you can use the middle zone of the oven, but you must rotate them from time to time so that the heat is distributed well between them.
Now that you know where to place the trays in the oven to prepare your recipes, you just have to put it into practice and enjoy your kitchen.