Brownies are delicious, even when slightly underbaked. But it can be frustrating when this chocolatey treat comes out of the pan completely unevenly baked. Certain spots might be over-baked and hard, while others have barely set and are still liquidy. To combat these issues, rotate your brownie pan to ensure that every area of the batter gets equal heat — even in an oven with hot and cold spots.
It's simple: Halfway through your brownies' bake time, just turn the pan 180 degrees. Be sure to quickly close the oven door after to ensure as little heat as possible escapes. Rotating the pan will give all areas of the batter the same amount of heat in the same amount of spots, negating the problems of inefficient heat circulation. This will help the entire tray of brownies turn out as evenly baked as possible, making them more consistent as well as easier to eat and serve.
There are a number of reasons why an oven might cook things unevenly, but one of the most common reasons is . An oven is a metal box, and certain parts of that box heat faster and retain heat better than others — for example, the sides and top of the oven versus the open spaces between these touch points. In traditional ovens, the air around the oven's sides may run hotter than the air in the center of the oven, causing food near those areas to cook faster.
This unevenness can be combated with a convection oven, which continuously circulates hot air inside the oven and keeps the interior heated more evenly. But not everyone has access to this type of oven, so brownies and other dishes often come out a little singed around the edges.
This is why rotating the pan helps combat uneven baking. If some batter is sitting in a particularly hot area of the oven, moving it halfway through the bake time will give it a rest from the heat and a different spot in the pan a little time to catch up and bake faster.
Rotating the pan is an easy way to set yourself up for brownie success, but there are a few additional precautions you can take for a more consistent tray of brownies, especially if your oven tends to bake them unevenly. One issue to look out for is the . Darker baking pans can run hotter than light-colored pans, as dark colors hold heat better and get hot faster. This can cause burning on the bottom and around the edges of your brownies. If you want to counteract this, you can either switch to baking in a lighter pan or lower the temperature of your oven by a few degrees.
Also, make sure you're using the right size and shape pan for your baking recipe. Just a tiny difference in size can change the amount of time your brownies will need to bake; a wider, shallower pan will spread your batter out thinner and can cause overbaking, while a smaller, deeper pan can make the interior of the brownies thicker and lead to underbaked spots. Read your thoroughly and use as close to the correct size pan as possible.