This Is the Best Oven Rack Position for Baking Cookies

Get a perfect bake every time! Here's the best oven rack position for baking cookies.

Most ovens have two or three racks. But, when it comes to making cookies, there is no reason to take a bet on which one will ensure the superior bake. We have all the information you need on best oven rack position for baking cookies.

(Love chocolate chip cookies? Here’s the swag you need.)

Where should I bake my cookies?

The simple answer to this question is, meet in the middle. Cookies should (almost) always be baked on the middle rack of the oven. The middle rack offers the most even heat and air circulation which helps cookies bake consistently.

The bottom rack of the oven is closest to the heat source (ovens heat from the bottom unless you have the broiler on), so it can result in burnt bottoms. The top rack of the oven is the furthest from the heat and can result in cookies that spread a little too much.

To make sure your oven is in pristine condition, follow our maintenance tips.

Ideally, cookies are baked one sheet at a time, placed horizontally across the middle oven rack. You should also rotate the pan about three-quarters of the way through the bake time.

What if I’m baking two batches at once?

But we don’t all live in that ideal world. Sometimes you have to bake quick! When you need to get two sheets done at once, here’s our recipe for cookie success:

  • Place one sheet on the middle rack and one sheet on the top rack.
  • Add two minutes to the total bake time.
  • Switch the two sheets halfway through.

So, if the recipe called for a 10-minute bake time, you’d bake the two sheets for 12 minutes total, swapping their location at the 6-minute mark.

If your sheets fit on your oven racks vertically (going from front to back of the oven on the rack), place one sheet on the left side of the oven and one sheet on the right side of the middle and top racks. This helps with air and heat circulation and will keep the tops of the cookies on both sheets and even golden brown.

Oven location isn’t the only cookie quandary you’ll run into! We talked to an expert about the tips for getting perfect cookies every time.

Now that you know where to put your cookie sheets in the oven, try out some of our favorite simple cookie recipes.

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Mandy Naglich
Mandy is a food and beverage writer with bylines at WNYC, Munchies, Mic and October. She's a Certified Cicerone and award-winning homebrewer living, writing and cooking in New York City.