Cook Food in a Bad Oven
From My wiki
Do you have one of those ovens that only seems to cook on one side? The ideal solution is to repair or replace the oven, but that's not always an option. If you have to make do, here are some things that can help.
- Preheat the oven every time you bake. Preheating gives the oven a head start, and it's necessary for most pastries to go into an oven that's already warm. If your oven seems to take longer to get started, give it more time. Turn the oven on before starting to mix things like quick breads and muffins. Ten or fifteen minutes will let even a tired oven get up to speed.
- Keep the door closed while baking, as much as possible. Make sure that your oven has a chance to do its job. Opening the door of any oven, working or not, drops the temperature dramatically.
- souffles, popovers, and other such pastries will almost certainly fail from having the door opened at all.
- Adjust cooking times. If things are coming out consistently over- or underdone, try baking them for more or less time. Use a timer and learn how long things take in your oven as compared to what's given in the recipe. You may have to adjust the cooking times and the temperatures concurrently to get things to come out right.
- Rotate the food. If you notice that the top or bottom, front or back of the food is scorched, move it around so as to distribute the heat more evenly. Partway through the baking, switch things from a high shelf to a low shelf and rotate it front to back if it helps.
- Move your shelves around. Most oven shelves will pull out if you lift them past their stops. Ovens generally heat only from the bottom unless they are set to broil, so try to center the food in the oven and keep it up and away from the heating elements.
- Bake only one tray or pan at a time. Having one large tray of cookies on the lower shelf may very well mean that no heat reaches the thing on the top shelf. If you can place two smaller pans side-by-side on one shelf, go ahead, perhaps swapping their locations and turning them mid-way.
- Use an air-filled baking sheet or try glass or silicone bakeware. Different materials conduct heat differently than straight metal, so they may help the bottom not to scorch. For things like roasts, put the roast up on a rack, and wrap it or cover it in foil.
- Use a Heating Stone Place an unglazed ceramic tile or clay bricks into the bottom of your oven. Earthenware, once heated, more evenly disperses heat throughout the oven. This will cause the oven to cook more evenly.
- Clean your oven. A clean oven will work much better than a dirty one.
- Observe the ways that your oven goes wrong. Is one side always a bit hotter than the other? Do things seem generally over- or under-done? Choose your corrective actions accordingly.
- Try different approaches to see what works best for your oven.
- Choose baking projects that are less sensitive to variation.
- Turning the oven knob higher will make the final temperature higher, but it won't make it heat up any faster. Thermostats work by turning something off or on depending on the temperature.
- If you rent, let your landlord or manager know that the oven isn't working properly. It might get replaced or repaired, but only if the management knows there's a problem.
- If you own the oven and can't afford to replace it, see about getting the oven repaired. You may be able to get just the thermostats, heating elements, or ignition system repaired and end up with a working oven.
- Do a bit of troubleshooting of the oven on your own, before you make an expensive service call. You may be able to mail-order a replacement part inexpensively and replace it on your own. 
- Reduce the temperature by about 15 degrees F when baking in glass dishes.
- If yours is a gas oven and you smell gas or suspect that it is flowing gas without igniting, do not use it. Make sure the pilot light is correctly lit if there is one; otherwise, get the ignition system serviced.
- food poisoning.
Related Tips and Steps
- How to Cook Breakfast over an Open Fire
- How to Cook Without a Recipe
- How to Cook Food in a Hotel Room
- How to Cook in a College Dorm