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Old 05-12-2005, 05:19 PM   #1
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Oven Temperature

Is there a cheap, accurate way to tell if my oven temperature is off? My wife does a lot of baking and everything always seems to finish very early. I suspect that the oven may be cooking extra hot.

I have a meat thermometer but I'm not sure it will work to get an accurate reading of the air temperature inside the oven.

AND what can be done to calibrate an oven if it is found to be way off what it should be?

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Old 05-12-2005, 05:21 PM   #2
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You can buy a cheap oven thermometer at just about any cookware store and at places like WalMart, target and at supermarkets in the kitchen gadget section.

If yours is off, you can either live with it by figuring out how far off it is and adjusting for it or call the repariman.
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Old 05-13-2005, 03:53 AM   #3
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I got mine for the café at Albertson's. Good Cooks' is an ok brand for things like that.
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Old 05-13-2005, 07:30 AM   #4
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You definitely want an oven thermometer because they are programmed to be accurate in the appropriate temperature range for ovens. They are widely available - Target, WalMart, etc as well as cookware stores for $10+-. Taylor is probably the best known brand. If you buy one, look for one with a wide base so it doesn't fall between spokes of the rack if you inadvertently nudge it when checking the food. Mine also has a hanger on it, which I like even better because it always stays facing the correct direction.
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Old 05-17-2005, 11:06 AM   #5
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I bought an oven thermometer at Wal-Mart for $3. Determined that the temperature was off by about 40 degrees.

The real revelation was that a repairman was not needed. The temperature knob on my oven is adjustable so that you can change what temperature the arrow points at. I was able to adjust the knob down 40 degrees and now it reads perfectly in sync with the new thermometer.
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Old 05-17-2005, 09:26 PM   #6
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In my miilitary days, I always had an oven thermometer. Mine had a base that allowed it to be placed on the rack, but more conveniently, a hook that allowed you to hook in on the rack, so it hung below (in other words, you could leave it in the oven when you were cooking witout worrying about knocking it off). Living in so many temporary rentals and base/post housing, even though I don't bake (where it is very important), I learned to hang the thermometer and test the oven.
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Old 05-17-2005, 10:43 PM   #7
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An additional recommendation.

I'm probably in the minority here, but I've had TERRIBLE luck with those cheap oven thermometers. The cheap ones are just a coil of wire that expands when it's heated up..or so it seems... and they vary a lot.. at least mine did.

I tested mine with my "steady" & "reliable" and "calibrated" Polder probe thermometer (you know, the one Alton Brown uses on his shows...) By calibrated I mean I check it in ice water and also boiling water (I'm only 500 feet above sea level so 212 is about 212).. then I stick the probe through a baking size potato, with the tip sticking out about 2 inches or so.. carefully close the oven door so you don't crimp the cable. (Don't heat your oven over about 350 to be safe) ... and see what temp your oven REALLY is..

Two of the el cheapo oven thermometers (the $3.95 or so things on cardboard with plastic over them you get in the supermarket) were 15-30 degrees off... If you don't have one of those probe thermometers I'd get one.. then first use it to test your hanging or standing oven thermometer for accuracy. Hopefully you'll have better results with the oven thermometers than I did
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