Do you have a gas oven? Or do you have electric? I have had an electric range at every single house I’ve lived in since I moved out of my parents house, with the exception of 2! And, I’ve lived in 10 houses alone just with my husband, and I think about 6 houses before we met. So, that’s a lot of houses! So, when we were building our house I was so excited to go back to a gas range for cooking as gas cooktops are the best! But, in the midst of my excitement I just ordered a gas range, not even thinking that there was another option.
And since moving into my new house, with a brand new gas range from Cafe Appliances that I was super excited about – my baked goods have actually been suffering while my cooking has been thriving. Why is this? I realized after the fact that I should have bought a dual fuel range. What is a dual fuel range? A dual fuel range is a gas cooktop with an electric convection oven – the best of both worlds. Electric is favored for baking, while gas is favored for cooking. This allows you to have the best of bow worlds without having to have a separate cooktop and separate oven.
If you have the option to choose what type of range you buy, then definitely go with dual fuel. But, not everyone has that option. You may be renting, or you may have an older house that only has one option – be it gas or electric. But, if you’re lucky and you have the option for dual fuel then you are styling!
So, if you have a gas oven and you’ve been scratching your head on why cookies and other bakes are turning out not so great, then you’re not alone. I was dealing with this with a brand new oven, so you can imagine my frustration. I did a bunch of research, and then actually ordered a dual fuel oven, but it was backordered for over 13 months! So, I bought a simple basic electric range and I plugged it into the car charging port in my garage, and was running cookie sheets down the stairs the entire time while testing recipes for my new book! Haha, yes – that is completely true.
While my new Cafe Appliance Dual Fuel Range finally arrived last week, and I said good bye to my gas oven once and for all, I was thinking I wanted to share all of my knowledge with those who may be baking with gas. So, I have some tricks for you to bake with confidence in your gas oven. Since I have been baking with both a gas and electric oven for the last year and a half, I have mastered the gas oven baking – just in time to replace my oven, haha! My husband loves me right now.
So, if you’re stuck with a gas oven and you think you’re destined for flat or burnt cookies every time, then keep reading. Cookies ended up being the most challenging bake in my gas oven, go figure – my absolute favorite dessert to make! And one that is so simple, so when I was struggling you can imagine my surprise and frustration. So while your cookies may be burning or may be coming out flat, there are small things you can do to bake better with gas! Read on to get my tips for baking with a gas oven.
USE AN OVEN THERMOMETER
This was one of the fist things I bought when I felt that my brand new oven was lackluster. An oven thermometer is crucial for any oven, but especially any oven that’s having issues. Oven thermometers are very inexpensive tools, and they cost around $10. You can pop it in every month to check your oven is heating properly, and adjust if need be, or you can leave it in at all times. I have this Taylor Oven Thermometer and it lives inside my oven at all times! So, what do you do if your oven thermometer is reading a different temperature than your oven says? First thing, if you have a newer oven you can sometimes adjust the oven up or down within 30 degrees, my Cafe Appliance Gas Range had this option. And I would mess with that, but I also found that if I heated my Cafe Appliance Gas Range to 365°F, the oven thermometer would read 350°F every single time. For me, that was better than messing with the temperature adjustment, as 375°F was always accurate and so was 400°F. For some reason, it was just difficult to hit 350°F and that’s a very popular baking temperature! So, mess with small things like this and you may find your oven just has it’s own special quirks that you need to learn about and work with. And an oven thermometer can help you figure this out. But, if your oven is drastically off, then call a repair guy!
CHILL ALL COOKIE DOUGH
Yes, I know you don’t want to hear this. Because, when you want cookies you want them now. And not all recipes require chill time. But, I have found that chilling every single cookie dough (no matter what the recipe says) helped them bake better and more evenly in my gas oven. I got into the habit of making all my cookie dough at night, chilling it, and then just baking it off the next morning. It just became routine; and when you get into the habit it’s not that bad, especially if it means amazing homemade cookies!
Why does chilling cookie dough help when baking in a gas oven? Gas ovens tend to cook a little slower than electric. Therefore, things with shorter baking times like cookies, can actually suffer and turn out flat. They turn out flat because gas bakes slower, so they’re baking longer in order to be done and they’re spreading more because of those few extra minutes in the oven. So, that’s why chilling your cookie dough can help prevent flat cookies. Chilling cookie dough helps the cookie spread stay contained as the dough is cold upon going into the oven, so they don’t spread as quickly and can therefore bake those couple extra minutes they need and not turn out flat. I know it can be challenging to chill all your cookie dough before baking, but this will really help your cookies! And, one of the benefits of chilling cookie dough is a more flavorful and chewy cookie, so just think about that!
On the contrary, baking cakes in gas ovens is actually beneficial because they tend to not dome up as much in an electric oven because the heat is a little slower so you don’t get that big rise initially, and then end up with a domed cake. So, that’s a benefit of a gas oven!
BUY NEW COOKIE SHEETS
USE ALUMINUM PIE PANS
I know that everyone probably has glass or ceramic pie dishes. And most of the time, baking with electric those are okay. But, when you’re baking with gas, this can cause your pie crust to have soggy bottoms. Ceramic doesn’t conduct heat as well as aluminum, so that can result in the bottom of your pie crust not being done. So, get a an aluminum pie pan! I know they are not as pretty as ceramic, but the USA Pan Pie Pan literally bakes the best pies. The little ridges also help air circulate and bake properly. And, if you grease the USA Pan Pie Pan well with butter, your pie will come right out and you can drop it into and serve in a pretty ceramic dish. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve baked my pie in my USA Pan Pie Pan and then transferred it to another one to photograph it. I’ve realized, if we want to eat that pie – then this is the way to go. Aluminum pie pans also drastically help when baking pies at high altitude for these same reasons, so if you’re above 5,000 feet then this is also a great investment!
USE A MIDDLE RACK
Desserts bake best in gas ovens on a middle rack. This could be said for all ovens as well. So, why use a middle rack for baking? The middle rack will always be the spot where you get the most even baking because heat is circulating and is most even in the middle. Gas ovens tend to have more uneven baking than electric because of their heat circulation, so the middle is the best place to avoid burning tops, bottoms or sides. All the times I successfully made cookies in my gas oven, I patiently waited while I baked one tray at a time on the middle rack. I know that can be difficult as you just want to bake them all at the same time, and also get them out of your fridge! But, being patient and baking on a middle rack is key.
ROTATE BAKED GOODS
Gas ovens tend to have hot spots, as mentioned above. So, if you notice your gas oven is burning the same cookie on the sheet every time, then try rotating your cookie sheets half way through baking in order to prevent hot spots from happening. You can also do this for pies and cakes, but you won’t notice those as much with these larger desserts.
BAKE A LITTLE LONGER
It’s crucial to believe that you will need to bake things a little bit longer in a gas oven, so just get used to that. Because the heating is not as even as electric, it can sometimes take things a little bit longer to bake. And because the heat can be more humid than an electric oven which is a dry heat, things will have a more difficult time browning or crisping with a gas oven. On the contrary to cookies and pies, this is actually a benefit of baking cakes, as your cakes will always be moist when baked in a gas oven as long as you have a good recipe! But, you may need to bake your baked goods a little bit longer for the desired results. I just got in the habit of adding a couple minutes onto any of my normal baking times when I was using my gas oven. So, if you are following a recipe don’t be discouraged that you’re baking time is taking longer!
If you’re baking cookies start with 1 to 2 minutes longer and go from there. If you’re baking cakes or pies you can do a little longer like 3 to 5 minutes depending on the size. Once you have an idea of how much longer certain things take in your oven, you can then just tack on those couple extra minutes to the baking time whenever making a new recipe. It’s important to get to know your oven, so you can learn little things like this as you can apply them to any recipe you make.
ALWAYS CHECK FOR DONENESS
I think this one goes without saying, given the above tip! But, always check to make sure your baked goods are done – no matter what kind of oven you have. But, especially if baking with gas, you just never know. So, check your baked goods and make sure they are completely done before removing them. Add on another minute or two depending on what you’re baking as looking for visual signs that your baked goods are done is always better than relying on a time, because all ovens are a little different.
So now that you know some of my tips for baking with a gas oven, I will share with you some of the best recipes for a gas oven. Yes, some recipes will fair better than others, so you might as well choose wisely for success and confidence in the kitchen while you get to know the little quirks your own oven has.
My Favorite Recipes for Baking in a Gas Oven
Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookies These are a great recipe to bake in your gas oven as they are a chilled cookie dough. Plus, they are eggless, so if you bake them a little underdone, you’re not going to hurt anyone! Plus, this recipe is always the #1 recipe on the blog for a reason, so go ahead and see why everyone loves them so much!
Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies I made these cookies in my gas oven, and those are the ones you see in the photos! This cookie recipe is vegan, so it doesn’t contain eggs, so for that same reason above it’s a great one to start getting back into cookie baking as you figure out your ovens own little quirks as if you under bake them it’s not a big deal. Plus, these are large and thick cookies, so they won’t spread out and become very flat since they are so giant!
Chocolate Pistachio French Macarons Yes, believe it or not, this more difficult cookie actually always baked up beautifully in my gas oven! So if you’re been intimidated by French macarons because of your oven, then give them a try! I actually had success every single time with French macarons versus a simple soft and chewy cookie.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Florentines Same here, Florentines were always no problem in my gas oven. So, again if you’ve avoided this cookie because it seemed fancier then give it a go in your gas oven! Plus, this one has no eggs, and the doneness relies solely on how brown you want them, so it’s a great cookie to bake in your gas oven.
Maple Brown Sugar Banana Bread This classic banana bread recipe has a sweet maple glaze, a glaze that can perfectly cover up a little over browning if that happens in your oven, and people would never notice since you cover it up with a sweet glaze.
Chocolate Pound Cake This amazing Chocolate Pound Cake is a super moist cake, and it’s one of my faves. This is a great recipe to start testing in your gas oven. And it’s an amazing snack or dessert recipe!
I also have many more recipes that I’m sure you can bake in your gas oven, if you follow my tips above. And if you need any help figuring out your gas oven, feel free to drop me an email at email@example.com and I’m happy to help! I have dealt with a gas oven for a while now, and I felt overwhelmed and annoyed at first, but the funny thing is now that I have my dream oven (finally) I felt like I didn’t even need it, haha!