Posted on 27 Aug 2015 16:47
There are many multi-level oven rack products on the market. They are metal racks with 3 levels that you are supposed to place in your oven in order to create more space. Some of them seem to concentrate on baking cookies, and others claim to allow casseroles, whole birds, and pies, etc. to be baked all at once in one oven.
There are problems with these claims. Even if they fit in your oven, cookies are almost always meant to be baked on the middle oven rack. Why? Because this the bottom will be hotter, burning your cookies, and the top will be too cool. The middle is the goldi-locks zone.
So, what do you think will happen to three levels of cookies baking in your oven? They will take much longer to cook, will bake unevenly, the ones on the bottom may over-brown or burn, and the ones on top may be under-done. For all we know, the ones in the middle will not even come out right. Your home oven is not a commercial oven. You can't shove multiple racks in it like a professional baker and expect it to come out right.
There are a couple of products by Nifty Home Products that fit the bill, and are being advertised by food bloggers currently. The Nifty Home Products Oven Companion 3-Tier Oven Rack is one of them. They use a very misleading image of a rack in an oven with 2 casseroles in it, a pie UP TOP, and a roasting turkey sitting beside the rack. This is fantasy. It is highly doubtful that most home ovens will accommodate one of these racks and a roasting bird! And, of course, even if they could, you'd have a very tough time cooking your bird alongside 2 full casseroles and an apple pie.
The rack is collapsible, and according to the one-star and two-star reviews, this collapsibility extends to the inside of the oven. It needs something to "prop it up" or it will collapse, which is the most frequent complaint. Even if it fits, the top shelf will probably be unusable and the available racks will likely be a lot smaller than you expect.
Don't get these oven-rack extenders confused with 3-tier cooling racks, which avid bakers probably will find quite handy.
What to buy instead? Alas, there is no product that will really allow you to stuff your oven full of multiple items at once. It is possible to cook more than one item in an oven, but there is a limit to how this can be accomplished. When things get really busy, you either need two ovens or good timing.
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