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Old 02-10-2008, 01:31 PM   #1
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My oven says 300 but thermometer says 375!?!?

Ok i thought that my oven would be a little off. So yesterday i happened to find an oven thermometer at a thrift store in its original packeging (cardboard thing with plastic covering front with staples). Today i tested it, i heated my oven up to 300 degrees and i looked in the oven without opening the door and it said 373 degrees! I was shocked, my baked goods never come out over done or anything, they usually are very blond on the top and bottom. I don't know if i should just keep doing what i have been doing or to trust the thermometer! Please help me, i have to make a birthday cake in a few days!


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Old 02-10-2008, 02:41 PM   #2
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I would trust past results...If your cakes have been baking ok...then go with that. Maybe at a later date pick up another/better oven thermometer and check again!!

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Old 02-10-2008, 03:21 PM   #3
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Ditto what UB said.
I have found quite a bit of variance in refrigerator and oven thermometers sold for that purpose.
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Old 02-10-2008, 08:29 PM   #4
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Those cheaper ones have very delicate inner coils that are not very accurate to begin with (I think the manufacturers say they can be off plus or minus up to 10 or 15 degrees and considered working fine). It is more a miracle when they are right...
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Old 02-11-2008, 01:50 AM   #5
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I have the same issues with my oven but the problem is the thermostat is off and needs adjusting. Of course, the oven is over 25 yrs old so that would explain why it's a little off kilter. I've actually thought about replacing it as soon as the weather breaks. Too cold to be handling anything heavy in this minus degree wind chills.
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Old 02-11-2008, 02:42 AM   #6
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Is it an convection oven? Did you locate exactly the thermometer and the baking pan in the same place?
I have an inexpensive Taylor thermometer that originally showed my oven was 20 degrees lower than it showed. I did some testing relocating the thermometer in different places, turn out the oven settings are correct.
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Old 02-11-2008, 03:19 AM   #7
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First - I do not put any trust in those really cheap thermometers with the dials, they work off a coil of wire that expands and contracts according to the temperature - and they are the least reliable, and there is no way you can easily check them to insure they are within calibration limits. For oven use, I would highly recommend a wet-bulb type thermometer, such as this one from Taylor called the Oven Guide:

They don't get out of calibration and only cost about $15. If you can't find them locally you can get them at Amazon.com or other online sources.

Second - as wysiwyg brought up ... ovens do have different temperature zones ... if you move the thermometer around to various areas (front/back - left/right/center) you will see that - how much difference you find depends on the oven.

If you can locate where the thermostat probe is located within the oven, and place the thermometer next to it, then you can guage how close the oven's thermostat is reading the temperature.

I'm with Uncle Bob - if everything has baked fine and your "Thrift Store" thermometer shows your 20% off ... I would really question the thermometer.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 02-11-2008, 08:53 AM   #8
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Michael brought up a fundamental issue: Accuracy of your instrument.
I use a thermoteter just like the one he pictured, I've seen it at the local "Tuesday morning" for $7.50 and before I used it, I checked accuracy with boiled water. It was right on, perhaps you can do the same with the one you have, but as the phrase goes "If it ain't broken, don't fix it"... just leave your oven steeing the way it is.

"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are" Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
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