We see it all the time, most often in the Fall when the Holidays are creeping up and family meals become more frequent. We do NOT suggest utilizing a thermometer in your oven for oven calibrations. A lot of over-the-counter thermometers are simply not 100% accurate and all too often will not represent the true current temperature as opposed to what is being shown on the oven display. Sometimes oven owners try to “chase” a thermometer’s reading by changing the temperature of the oven, but doing that can create problems with cooking results. Not sure what we mean? See below for some issues we ran into with store bought thermometers during an experiment we conducted recently.
Guinco Service recently conducted a store bought thermometer experiment utilizing four different brands of thermometers. The placement of each thermometer varied within the oven from the upper rack, middle rack and lower rack. On each rack, a thermometer was placed in a variety of places from front to back. See picture below:
A full calibration and preheat cycle were completed each time.
There were a wide range of results. As the oven display showed an actual temperature of 356 degrees, the thermometers showed a low of 310 and a high of 380.
When someone feels their oven temperature is “off,” it’s always best to reference the calibration section of their Use and Care Guide provided by their manufacturer as opposed to utilizing a store bought thermometer.
Why Shouldn’t Thermometers be Used for Oven Calibration?
Store bought oven thermometers tend to lag in the process and frequently produce inaccurate temperatures. Thermometers actually react differently depending on where in the oven they are placed. Lastly, they are not calibrated.
Can it Cause Me to Use the Oven Incorrectly?
Yes! The inaccuracy of store bought thermometers can cause the appliance owner to “chase” temperature readings by adjusting the the oven temperature on their display. This can cause inconsistently in their baking dishes.
Does Rack Placement Make a Difference?
The short answer here is, yes! Please take a look at our blog on rack placement and bakeware for more specific information.
My Oven Has Hot and Cold Spots.
Yes it does. All ovens are made to have warmer and cooler areas. To help alleviate unsatisfactory baking results, either rotate your food while baking or utilize your oven’s convection fan to assist in more even temperature distribution. More helpful information about convection baking.
Does Preheating Make a Difference?
Yes! Sometimes we are tempted to open the oven door before it has completed the preheating cycle. Unfortunately, as you open the door you allow more heat to escape, thus, making your oven temperature a bit “off.” To learn more about preheating, check out our blog that discussing its’ importance: https://guinco.com/lets-chat-really-preheat-oven/