Range & Wall Oven - Proper Oven Rack Positions
The rack positions in your oven are designed for specific uses. The number of rack positions in your oven will vary by model. Older models listed the oven rack positions as letters whereas newer models list the oven rack positions as numbers. Because the number of rack positions does vary by model, the best resource for selecting the appropriate rack position is the owner's manual. This is usually listed in the owner's manual in the Oven Cooking Guide section.
Also, there is a greater variety of rack position uses due to the many choices of cooking modes such as Bake, Broil, Convection Bake, Convection Roast and Air Fry available today. The owner's manual will have rack positions listed for all of these cooking modes.
Below is a list of the typical lettered rack positions used in ovens for many years. They are listed from the bottom rack position to the top rack position. This is a list for older models to be used as a basic guide.
R- Position: This is an extra low bottom position to allow for large item roasting or for multiple item baking by placing items on this shelf and on a shelf in the "C" position. (On some gas ranges)
A- Position: This is the lowest setting in the oven. It is used for limited baking of items identified in the Owner's Manual.
B- Position: Second position from the bottom. This is the most commonly used baking position. The food is properly positioned between the heating elements to obtain the best baking results.
C- Position: The third position from the bottom. This is most commonly used for broiling. This position allows searing-in of juices and proper broiling without burning.
D- Position: The top position, rarely used, other than broiling under 208 volt conditions where normal broil heat is not sufficient.
E- Position: (on some gas ranges) This is the top position, providing another broil level.
In many wall ovens and drop-in, slide-in and some electric free-standing ranges, there is a top rib that looks like a shelf position. This is not a shelf position but instead is there to support the shelf when it is placed in the top position. It keeps the shelf from sliding all the way off the supports when pulling the shelf forward to remove food and also keeps the shelf from tilting.
On gas and some electric free-standing ranges there is a round protrusion to support the top shelf rather than having this full rib slide.