Is Your Oven Correct? (Why It’s Important To Calibrate)

Do you trust your oven? A lot of times I get questions from readers criticizing how a recipe came out and demanding that I change the instructions or details :) It always somewhat amuses me that clearly -I’m- the one to blame if -their- attempt comes out wrong :) One simple suggestion that I make, and I make it from my own experience, is to always keep a thermometer in your oven.

“But what I need a thermometer for? The recipe says x degrees and I put the dial on x degrees”.

Yes, this was something that I did myself for years, until one day I decided to put an oven thermometer into my oven and was shocked at the results.

You see, oven thermometer dials are just suggested ranges, and if (as was my case) your oven has lost its calibration or ability to auto-regulate, those temperature ranges may be fluctuating dramatically during the baking process from what the number on your dial says! In my case, I found out that my oven (several years ago) was varying from 25 to 50 degrees higher than the number on the dial. It was definitely time to call in the repairman, who quickly blamed a faulty thermostat and remedied the issue.

Since then my trusty oven thermometer has not left its lodging place on the second row of our oven and the consistency of my efforts (especially where baking was concerned) has left the responsibility for my efforts squarely on my shoulders, where it belongs!

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Passionate foodie, founder of Trinigourmet and Caribbean Lifestyle Maven. Author of "Glam By Request: 30+ Easy Caribbean Recipes"

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  • http://chennette.net Chennette

    Ah yes. Oven temps. I have a whole post in mind about the oven in my new place. A cautionary tale really. How not to design an oven. Lilandra gave me an oven thermometer after spending some time using that oven :-)

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      a very wise lily indeed! :)

  • http://chennette.net Chennette

    Ah yes. Oven temps. I have a whole post in mind about the oven in my new place. A cautionary tale really. How not to design an oven. Lilandra gave me an oven thermometer after spending some time using that oven :-)

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      a very wise lily indeed! :)

  • http://breakfastlunchdinnerandpunch.blogspot.com/ Wizzythestick

    Great tip.
    .-= Wizzythestick´s last blog ..A Tale of Whale =-.

  • http://breakfastlunchdinnerandpunch.blogspot.com/ Wizzythestick

    Great tip.
    .-= Wizzythestick´s last blog ..A Tale of Whale =-.

  • http://cookingveganwithsoul.wordpress.com Faith

    great post. more people need to know about this because it is soooo true.

    Faith
    .-= Faith´s last blog ..“Vegan Peace Waffles,” Anyone? =-.

  • http://cookingveganwithsoul.wordpress.com Faith

    great post. more people need to know about this because it is soooo true.

    Faith
    .-= Faith´s last blog ..“Vegan Peace Waffles,” Anyone? =-.

  • http://chezannies.blogspot.com Nate

    How do you know if the oven thermometer is calibrated correctly? How often do you check the thermometer over the course of a cook to make sure the temperature stays where you need it to be?
    .-= Nate´s last blog ..Dutch Apple Bread =-.

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Hey Nate, that’s a great question. I think the thing is to use a really really good quality thermometer. Something heavy duty (industrial). Truth be told I haven’t used our thermometer in other ovens but as the results have not been a problem since we changed the thermostat I haven’t seen the need :) If I am baking I try not to open the oven door too much, but for casseroles and such I may peek from time to time. There have been no variances since the thermostat change, but before that the thermometer would fluctuate widely (20 – 100 degrees!)

  • http://chezannies.blogspot.com Nate

    How do you know if the oven thermometer is calibrated correctly? How often do you check the thermometer over the course of a cook to make sure the temperature stays where you need it to be?
    .-= Nate´s last blog ..Dutch Apple Bread =-.

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Hey Nate, that’s a great question. I think the thing is to use a really really good quality thermometer. Something heavy duty (industrial). Truth be told I haven’t used our thermometer in other ovens but as the results have not been a problem since we changed the thermostat I haven’t seen the need :) If I am baking I try not to open the oven door too much, but for casseroles and such I may peek from time to time. There have been no variances since the thermostat change, but before that the thermometer would fluctuate widely (20 – 100 degrees!)


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