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I have a weird issue
I moved into a new house recently and I have some old oven in here I bought a thermometer which is hanged inside and it seems like the temperature is correct however, anything I put inside is not baking in the time it should.

For example I have cookies recipe that requires 160 degrees Celsius [=325f] for 10 min, but they are still not fully baked after 17min at 350f or ~22min on 325 [almost done though]
Same for a simple frozen pizza. Instructions are 400 degrees for 18-21mins, but it is close to be done after 25+ mins. The cheese at the top is still not fully melted after that period.

It may sound weird but the only thing I can think of is the baking sheet.
I have: Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet, 2 pack, 2-Pack, Silver

Maybe this is not the right sheet for baking and I should have ones from a different material and a different color [in my home country the sheets are black]
For the cookies I also put them after they were in the freezer. They should be cold while going into the oven, but maybe this is too cold and it contributed to the slow process

UPDATE:
Hey! So I checked and only the lower element is working. Here is the catch - The company is claiming that this is the baking element and the top element is the broiling, so only one of them will work at the time. Does this make sense to you all?

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  • @moscafj they do mention that they bought a thermometer and hung it inside the oven, where it reads the expected temperature. – fyrepenguin Jun 6 at 11:26
  • @fyrepenguin....hmmm....missed that. Calibrate the hanging thermometer? – moscafj Jun 6 at 11:29
  • Dial oven thermometers will fail to show severe fluctuations in temperature, which can mess up cooking time. See User14's answer below. – FuzzyChef Jun 6 at 19:00
  • With the update, your question is now a different question. If you're looking for how to get your wonky-by-design oven to perform well, then maybe start that as a new question? BTW, I take it that your oven has no dual-element-bake-and-broil option? If so, your main problem is that you have a terrible oven. – FuzzyChef Jun 8 at 23:50
  • @FuzzyChef LOL ahh no it doesn't seem like it..i think it is an oven from 2014 which i don't think is that old and should support such basic functionality, but it seem like this is my problem and i need a new oven....am i wrong? – Oron Jun 9 at 3:03
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The colour of the baking sheets does have some effect, but not as great an effect as what you're describing. My guess would be that one of the heating elements is broken (probably the top one since you mention cheese not melting). The bottom element can get the oven to the correct temperature, but if heat is only radiating from the bottom that will affect how things bake.

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    Gonna support this answer because we had exactly this problem with my in-laws' oven, and it turned out that one of the elements was damaged. – FuzzyChef Jun 6 at 18:58
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    The other problem with one element being damaged is that the normal temp fluctuations of the oven, which are usually around +/- 10-15C, get much worse, like +/- 30C. This makes things cook poorly. – FuzzyChef Jun 6 at 19:01
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    Thx for the suggestions! I will check that out tomorrow when I make the pizza. Hopefully this is the problem. That may be the problem, because I didn't even notice the top ones. Expected some light from above but never seen any – Oron Jun 6 at 22:35
  • Hey! So I checked and only the lower element is working. Here is the catch - The company is claiming that this is the baking element and the top element is the broiling, so only one of them will work at the time. Does this make sense to you all? – Oron Jun 7 at 16:45
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    @Oron...yes, many ovens operate this way. This is true on my current gas oven, for example. – moscafj Jun 8 at 19:59
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Given your update about elements, there are a few things you can do, though neither will be as good as a better oven.

First, use the smallest baking sheet you can, to allow the hot air to circulate. Some frozen pizzas can cook directly on the shelf.

Second, switch elements to finish cooking. Preheat with the bottom element, cook for most of the time, then turn to the top element for a few minutes. Cookies should probably go fairly low down, but pizza can go quite near the top element as browning is good. Cooking your pizza on a preheated pizza stone will help with this method, but it really needs even preheating before using top heat. Some experimenting will be needed, as it's easy to burn things with top heat. For thicker items that cook for longer you might even want to give it a few short bursts of the top element.

Recipes that cook inside preheated heavy pans (cast iron) should be more successful.

Unfortunately this will never be very good for many baking tasks, as the temperature fluctuations will be too great. Adding thermal mass (that pizza stone again) can help.

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  • Thanks a lot @Chris H. Cookies and caked are my main thing and the reason i brought the pizza is that i didn't have to come with any recipe for people to analyze, since this is a very straight forward task – Oron Jun 9 at 13:56
  • I reckon cookies will be easier than cakes, but will need a little experimenting. I've heard of add-on fans in the past, but can't find a current source. – Chris H Jun 9 at 14:44
  • I've often set the top rack closest to the top of the oven, and cooked pizzas there, but this is more something I do when I'm using a pre-heated pizza stone or tiles. The idea is that some of the heat from that surface gets more directly reflected to the pizza from that direction, and the heat cooking the pizza from below is contained in the stone or tiles, so there's no need to have it closer to the lower heating element. – PoloHoleSet Jun 9 at 16:41
  • @PoloHoleSet not for pizza, but for things that don't want as much browning and are taller, like cake, it's easy to overdo the top if switching between elements – Chris H 2 days ago
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My guess is that your old oven was a convection oven, and your current oven is not. A convection oven has an integrated fan to spread the heat around evenly. I checked a few of my recipes, and 17 minutes at 350 F is actually a reasonable baking time for cookies in a non-convection oven.

The rule of thumb here is that when converting a recipe from convection to standard, you increase the temperature by 25 F, and leave the time constant. This doesn't cover the whole difference, though. If there were a couple other factors (if you moved from a high altitude location to a low altitude location, or had a different sheet style) that would cover the remaining differences. In the end, every oven is different, and you'll need to take some time to figure out those differences.

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  • Thanks for the response. In my home country [and in the rest of the world as well I think] there is no such distinction between convection vs non-convection oven. Baking mode means both heating elements are working [apparently this is called "conventional heating"] which is why i was surprised with my results. The 17min you are talking about cause the bottom of the cookie\pizza to be almost burned, but the the center of cookie or top of pizza not to be fully baked – Oron 2 days ago

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