Why does a black pan get hotter than a lighter pan in a dark oven? Everything I've read says that it is the visible light that causes the increased absorption of heat.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ As far as I know I doesn't. Can you cite a source providing evidence that it does? $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Oct 6 '17 at 15:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @JohnRennie: I've heard this as "cooking lore" as well, but I don't have a definitive source either. In the long run, of course, both would reach the same equilibrium temperature with the oven. But it's not implausible that a dark-colored pan would heat more quickly than a shiny one due to the increased absorption of IR radiation from the oven walls (assuming that absorptivity is similar in the visual and the IR); and faster heating of the pan would affect the qualities of the finished baked good. $\endgroup$ – Michael Seifert Oct 6 '17 at 16:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @MichaelSeifert: it seems likely to me that heating in the oven is dominated by convection. $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Oct 6 '17 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ @michael If that was so, the idea of a "convection oven" would be pointless $\endgroup$ – Philip Roe Oct 6 '17 at 16:48
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnRennie - although various things (biscuit/cinnamon rolls in the refrigerator case at the supermarket) have different temperatures given for 'dark' pans vs glass pans. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Oct 6 '17 at 16:48