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Baking lasagna in the oven can seem daunting because of the many possible racks to use. There is a correct rack to use, however, if you want the best results
It is ideal to bake lasagna on the middle rack. This will result in the lasagna being cooked evenly on the top and bottom and prevent the bottom from becoming burnt and crunchy. If baking more than just one lasagna at a time, use the top rack and the bottom rack and switch halfway through.
In the case in which two lasagnas can fit on one rack, you can discover why placing one on the bottom rack and one on the top rack is the best option.
Which Rack to Place a Lasagna on
The ideal place to bake most things in the oven is on the middle rack. This applies to lasagna as well. Placing your dish on the middle rack can result in whatever is being baked cooking all the way through, usually without burning the outside.
Placing the lasagna on the bottom rack can result in the bottom of the lasagna burning and becoming more crunchy in texture. The top and inside of the lasagna will be unable to heat the way it/they need(s) to cook entirely and may seem undercooked compared to the crunchy bottom.
Cooking the lasagna on the top rack can result in the bottom of the lasagna not being cooked all the way. In this case, it will burn from the top because the hottest part of the oven is at the top. This will, again, result in a weird texture for the lasagna, making it less desirable.
Why Middle is the Best
In an oven, the way heat is distributed is done so through the use of a fan. The fan is located on the bottom of the oven. Because heat rises, the top rack will be the hottest part of the oven.
The general rule of thumb is to use the top rack of the oven for browning the top of something you are baking. Baking a lasagna on the top of the oven can make the top of the dish crunchy. You may enjoy burnt cheese, but it may change the whole texture of the lasagna.
The bottom rack of the oven is generally used to brown something on the bottom. You could use the bottom rack for baking cookies or a thick cake. The bottom rack, much like the top rack, will retain more heat than the middle rack will.
Due to the middle rack being in the middle, food can cook more evenly and become heated thoroughly. The middle rack does not have constant heat directed at it, so food can be heated more evenly.
In an oven, the temperature is very rarely, if ever, the same degree that you preheated the oven to. You may be thinking that this does not make much sense, however, the oven will average out to the preheated temperature.
This occurs because the fan used to produce heat in the oven is not constantly running. If the fan was constantly running, ovens would wear out much faster than they do. This helps things become heated without taking in too much heat at once.
Which Racks for Cooking 2 Lasagnas at Once
In the case scenario that you want to cook more than one lasagna, you can bake them on the same rack if they both fit. If both lasagnas will not fit comfortably on the middle rack, you do not need to worry. It is possible to cook them at the same time still, but it is imperative to use the racks that are the most distanced: the bottom and top racks.
Why the Bottom and the Top Racks?
This may sound odd since it has been addressed that the best rack to use is the middle rack, however, this only applies to when a person is baking one lasagna at a time.
It has been previously addressed that the top and bottom racks are where the most heat resides, so there might be a possible fear of burning something, but nothing will burn.
When you are baking two things at the same time, you want to make sure everything is cooked at the same rate. Putting one lasagna on the top rack and one lasagna on the bottom rack will result in both being cooked the same.
Since heat comes from the bottom, the lasagna on the bottom will be able to cook the way it needs to. The bottom will not be burned, though, because there is an additional lasagna that is receiving heat as well.
Since there are two dishes in the oven, rather than just one, the heat is being transferred into both dishes. The heat is not being focused directly on the bottom rack or the top rack. The heat will react differently to having two things to heat as opposed to one.
If you worry about both lasagnas being cooked fully, you can always rotate their positioning in the oven about halfway through the time allotted to bake the lasagnas.
Can I Just Put Both Lasagnas on the Middle Rack?
One may ask why not just put both lasagnas on the middle rack? The answer to this is a simple one. You may not have the necessary room to easily move both of the pans while they are on the same rack. Since the majority of people use 9×13 pans, it may be too tight of a fit if both pans are on the middle rack of the oven. If the oven you are using is wide enough, by all means, cook both lasagnas on the middle rack.
When cooking lasagna in the oven, it is best to use the middle rack if there is only one lasagna because it centralizes where the heat will go. With multiple lasagnas, it is best to use multiple racks, such as the top and bottom rack. It is alright to cook multiple things at once, especially if they are the same food.
As you use these rack tips, you will make sure your hard work isn’t wasted by burning your dish.