Knowing the accuracy of an oven's temperature settings is very important. Even though that dial reads 350°, more than likely it really isn't. While just a couple of degrees off will not make a noticable difference, many ovens, even new ones can be up to 100° off! This makes a huge difference in baking times. Many times people bake to the recipes directions, only to have items to burn or come out undercooked. Of course, some bake good are more delicate on baking times than others. For example, bread cooked too fast can become dried out, over browned and tough. The outsides can sometimes be burned, while the inside is still doughy and undercooked.

Is this oven accurate?

How to test an oven’s temperature for accuracy?

Needed: An oven and water proof thermometer

  • First the thermometer’s accuracy will need to be tested. This can be done by measuring the boiling point of water. Sea level boiling point of water is 212°. The temperature will go up or down with elevation levels, so keep this in mind. Test the thermometer by sticking it in a pot of water. Then bring the pot of water to a boil. Watch the temperature rise and get the reading when the water begins to boil. The closer to 212°, the more accurate.
  • Place an accurate oven thermometer inside the oven. Do not use a candy thermometer. It has to be one made for the oven. Make sure the tester is not touching any metal inside the oven. The thermometer should be taking the reading from the middle part of the oven, in the center of the rack.
  • Turn on the oven to preheat at 350°. This is a good temperature to test, since many items are baked at this setting. It is also the middle point of temperatures on the oven. Of course, test can be conducted on other oven settings for accuracy.
  • Once it is done preheating, open the door and to see the results. Refrain from opening the door during the heating process or before the oven reaches the point of preheated stage.
  • For better accuracy, test the oven right after preheating, and again after the oven has been on for several minutes. The readings might differ. Ovens often will heat higher during the preheating stage and shut down until the indicated degree is reached. Test 3 times after reaching the preheating degrees and figure the mean for the oven’s correct temperature.
  • Contact the manufacturer to have the oven calibrated. It might be covered under the warranty. If the oven is off, recipes will need to be adjusted to the oven if the oven is not calibrated.