So you have bought a new pan but every time you cook in it, you end up burning the dish. If this sounds familiar, the first thing you should notice is the color of the pan.
If your cooking pan is dark in color, that may be the problem!
It is important to understand that working in the kitchen to make delicious food has a lot more to it than chopping vegetables and mixing ingredients. There are many other factors that come into play when it comes to cooking.
For instance, maintaining the right temperature while cooking is essential to creating mouthwatering dishes. It may come as a surprise but for some dishes, especially in case of baking, achieving and maintaining the right temperature may be the key to creating the perfect dish.
Without correct knowledge of temperature control, it is almost next to impossible to get the right texture, softness, and consistency of food. Sometimes, if the temperature is not high enough, your food will remain uncooked despite staying on the stove for the right amount of time.
On the other hand, if the temperature is too high, you may end up with charred food within minutes of setting the pan on the stove. This makes it important to maintain the ideal temperature or adjust the cooking time accordingly to cook the perfect food.
However, there’s more to maintaining the right temperatures and setting the right cooking time than simply controlling the heat of the stove or oven.
Did you know that a lot of people believe that the color of your pan can affect the cooking time? Let’s find out if there’s any truth to that!
Dark Pans Cook Fast: Myth or Truth?
In the world of cooking, it is a common notion that dark pans cook faster. However, is it true or is it just another cooking myth?
This is one reason why most people end up with burnt or crispy cakes when baking in dark baking pans. Similarly, it is also more common to have burnt food sticking at the bottom of the dark cooking pans as compared to pans that are light in color.
You may not have noticed this because honestly who cares about the color of the pan when you have delicious food cooking in the kitchen. However, it cannot be denied that dark pans are known to cook food faster than light pans.
The next question that comes to mind is why do dark pans cook faster? How does the color of the pan affect the cooking time? Scroll down to find out.
Why Do Dark pans Cook Fast?
Cooking is the perfect blend of arts and science. From setting the right temperature to mixing the ingredients the right way and at the right time, there’s a lot that you need to do when it comes to creating a delicious meal in the kitchen.
Furthermore, the appearance of the dish adds to its aesthetic appeal, making it even more appetizing. In other words, culinary skills are the amalgamation of arts and knowledge of science. This is why when we encounter questions like “why do dark pans cook faster?” we turn to science for answers.
This means that the darker the color of your pan, the less time it will take to heat up as the rate of heat absorption will be high. And the quicker it heats up, the less time it will take to cook your food!
This is why it is essential to take into account the color of your pan while cooking or baking as it directly affects the cooking time. If you mess up the cooking time, your food is likely to burn.
Therefore, when you use a dark pan in the kitchen, make sure you adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure perfectly cooked foods.
When to Use Dark Pans
So, does this mean that you should avoid using dark pans while cooking or baking? Absolutely not! In fact, there are certain times when going for a dark-colored pan can produce better results.
For instance, if you want your food to be crispy or brown on the bottom, it is better to opt for a dark pan. A darker pan will absorb more heat and then radiate it to the bottom of the food that is being cooked in the pan.
These pans are perfect to be used for making cheesy pizzas, cornbread, and crispy-edged potato wedges. You can also use them to quickly prepare delicious roasted vegetables.
Apart from that, some people even prefer dark-colored baking pans or plates for baking pies over glass dishes. This gets a good brownish tan on the crust of the pie, which makes it look even more appetizing.
While dark pans can be used for cooking numerous dishes, in some cases, it is better to avoid using these pans. For instance, if you want to want to bake a moist cake with even consistency, it is better to opt for a light-colored baking pan rather than going for a dark pan.
The light-colored pan will help you achieve consistent texture, color, and softness throughout the cake. On the other hand, if you use a dark-colored pan, your cake is likely to have a brown tint at the bottom and on the sides.
Tips for Using Dark Pans
Cooking in dark pans is not always the same as cooking in light-colored pans. Since these pans absorb more heat, there are a few things that you should keep in mind while using them or use light-colored pans to make sure your food is cooked properly.
However, there’s no need to worry even if you have got only one kind of pans in your kitchen. By following some tips and making just a few adjustments, you can use your pans to cook anything!
Scroll down to read about some tried and tested tips that will make sure your food is never ruined again because of the wrong pan.
Lower Temperature When Using Dark Pans
One way to make sure that a dark pan doesn’t cook the outside of the food too quickly or even burn it is to drop the temperature. The rule of the hand is to lower the temperature by 25° F when you are using a dark baking pan in the oven.
This will make sure that your food is baked properly all the way to the center without burning at the bottom or the sides.
Use a Silicone Baking Mat
Another easy yet highly effective way of ensuring that the bottom of your food does not brown too quickly or burn is to use a silicone baking mat. Place the mat in the pan before putting it in the oven.
This will minimize the browning, giving your food adequate time to cook nicely from the inside as well as on the outside.
Avoid Dark-Colored Baking Sheets
Dark-colored baking sheets work on the same principle as dark-colored pans – they absorb and radiate more heat.
This is why if you are using a dark pan and want to increase the baking or cooking time, it is advisable to avoid using dark baking sheets.
Instead, opt for a white or light-colored sheet to make sure your food gets enough time in the oven to cook properly till the center without burning on the outside.
Increase the Temperature When Using Light-Colored Pans
If the recipe calls for a dark pan but only light-colored pans are available in the kitchen, all you need to do is set the temperature 25° F than mentioned in the recipe.
This will make sure that your baked goods are prepared in the same amount of time. They will also get a nice browning on the outside which will add to the aesthetic appeal of your food.
Avoid Hot Spots
Do you have dark splashes and burnt spots on your pans? Sometimes, when a pan is not scrubbed properly, spots and splashes can appear on it.
Over time, as the pan is heated and used for cooking or baking, these spots can darken. It is important to understand that these darkened spots – whether they are on a dark pan or a light-colored pan – can lead to hot spots.
This means that the next time you bake food in the pan, these spots will overheat, leaving unappealing marks on your food or burning it in some places.
The only way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to keep your pans squeaky clean. Every time you use it, take the time to wash and scrub it thoroughly.
Keep in mind that this problem is more evident in light-colored pans so make sure you pay extra attention to keep them squeaky clean at all times. This is essential to achieve even baking and cooking!
Don’t Rely on Parchment Paper
One common mistake that a lot of people make while baking in dark pans is that they believe using a light-colored parchment paper can fix the problem.
Keep in mind that this is cannot be any farther than truth. In other words, even if you use a light-colored parchment paper, your pan is still dark and it will still absorb and radiate more heat as compared to a light-colored pan.
This heat will be transmitted through the light-colored parchment paper and your food is still likely to get overcooked or even burnt, especially at the bottom.
So make sure you don’t make this common mistake. It is essential to understand that a light-colored parchment paper will not work the same way as a light-colored baking sheet or silicone baking mat.
Use Aluminum Pans
Aluminum pans are great for baking and even cooking as they transfer the heat evenly. This is one reason why they are extremely popular with bakers.
If you are using a gray or light-colored aluminum pan, there’s no need to adjust the temperature. However, if you are using a dark-colored, it is still advisable to drop the temperature in the oven.
This is because although aluminum pans distribute heat evenly, it is still going to radiate more heat as compared to light pans.
Therefore, don’t make the mistake of not adjusting the temperature simply because you are using an aluminum pan. Follow the same rule and reduce the oven temperature by 25° F.
Avoid Dark Pans When Baking Cakes
Generally, it is advisable to avoid using dark pans for baking cakes, muffins or cupcakes.
This is because you want the baked goods to be nicely done till the center and also have an appetizing appearance. However, when you use a dark pan, the outside and sides of the baked goods are likely to brown in just a few minutes while the inside will still be gooey and undone.
This won’t be a problem if you use a light-colored pan. Moreover, cakes, muffins, and cupcakes require even heating to get the right texture and evenness. Therefore, it is generally advisable to avoid using dark pans for baking all sorts of cakes.
Learn From Your Mistakes
This is perhaps the most important tip when it comes to cooking – don’t lose heart and learn from your mistakes. It is important to understand that cooking is a learning experience. Even if you are a disaster in the kitchen, know that you will get the hang of it over time!
So don’t hesitate to let your inner chef out, an experiment in the kitchen, prepare your favorite meals, bake your heart out, and before you know it, you will be making delicious, mouthwatering meals like a pro!
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