Oven temperature? Which is go about??????

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chueh

Senior Cook
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Messages
135
I have a Frigidaire oven that's installed by the mass produced builder ( according to everything he installed, I believe that he chose the cheapest appliances and items).

I've never been serious baking until recently. Although I have had an oven thermometer for years, I actually did not pay any attention to what it read in the past. Since I start to bake much more now, I start paying attention to what the oven thermometer read. I actually reads 15 degree below than what I set for the temperature on the oven.

Thus, I bought another oven thermometer ( accuracy based on online review article ). This new one reads similarly to the old one sometimes, yet still higher.

These past few weeks, the different temperature readings have driven me nuts (even though I set ONLY one single temperature for a single section). I changed oven temperature ups and downs during each baking section, because the 2 oven thermometers read much higher and also much lower. In another word, the oven temperature goes much higher at one point, and then when I change the setting to lower, the readings read much lower than what I set.

Which one do I go about?

Thanks
 

dragnlaw

Site Team
Staff member
Joined
Feb 16, 2013
Messages
7,561
Location
Waterdown, Ontario
My questions are:

Were you having a problem with the results of your baking? Either over or under baked? Is that why you are suddenly concerned with the temperatures?
My mom always said "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Are you using the correct size pan for the temperature and length of time baking?
Can you read your termometers without opening the door of the oven?
and are they as close as possible to item being baked? Every time you open the door you are losing heat and your oven will automatically come on to bring it back up again.

My first suggestion is: stop changing the oven temperature while baking. Either take the item out earlier if the oven temp is consistently higher than required. Or leave it in a few minutes longer is consistently lower.

Why don't you just believe your oven is at the right temp if one thermo is higher and one lower? Go with the average.

I'm sure I'll have a few more suggestions in a bit and so will others.
 

Andy M.

Certified Pretend Chef
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Messages
49,638
Location
Massachusetts
Before you check the oven temperature, you have to preheat the oven with both thermometers in it for at least 10-15 minutes after the oven says it has reached temperature.

Ovens will heat to temp but all the oven surfaces may not be hot yet so you wait. Then when the oven temp has stabilized, you check the readings. If you bought a thermometer that is more accurate, don't use the other one.

Some ovens can be adjusted by the end user to correct for differences. Check the owners manual.
 

chueh

Senior Cook
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Messages
135
Ah.....Dragnlaw, you are so right!!! I am just NOT experienced at all with baking, so I was so caught up by accuracy of temperature, thinking I was going to fail again (never had good luck baking. In fact, a lot of time foods were UNDER cooked).....

In the past, when I baked a few times for months for bread and meat, most time they were underbaked. However, I blamed myself for NOT following recipes EXACTLY, not temperature-wise but just ingredients. I tend to replace ingredients such as all-purpose with whole wheat, cut down tomato sauce, and such...)

What I figured out for these past few weeks is that when I set temperature around 350, the oven seems to be be the most stable and stay closer to 350 (at least neither of the oven thermometer readings are not as fluctuated).

When I set 400, the oven soars up to 450 or above (new thermometer reads 450 and above, the old 430+), without opening the door (I can read the thermometers through the glass door).

When I set 300, the oven would never reaches to 300 (even though the pre-heat is done) yet both thermometers read 250-275.

I was never baked anything at 400 or above in the past, so I did not know how the high temp of my oven affected foods. However, I often had to add longer time after the timer sounded off for the low temperature required cakes.

Hey, dragnlaw, as I typed and described the conditions, at the same time, I kind of am able to conclude my oven is lower than the set temperature if I set it to 300 and under, as well as my experiences of needing to add extra minutes.....

Thank you much, dragnlaw. Of course, I am still not getting other suggestions and takes, I shouldn't conclude anything, but definitely you've helped quite bit.
 

chueh

Senior Cook
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Messages
135
Andy, M. thank you, good suggestion. I'll check to see I am able to adjust the calibration....
 

taxlady

Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
28,837
Location
near Montreal, Quebec
My oven is pretty consistently 25°F higher than the setting at around 350. It often doesn't matter. When I think it might matter, I set the oven to 325.

It's a much bigger deal with my toaster oven which seems to run 75°F higher than the setting, at various temps. That has burnt stuff in the past, so I either check or just set it at 75 degrees less than what I want.
 

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