For Better Baking Check the Accuracy of Your Oven

Constant and consistent heat control. Ovens receive the most use throughout the Christmas season. The inaccuracy of your oven might be to blame if you've ever had difficulties getting your baked items or roasted meats to come out as expected.

Ovens receive the most use throughout the Christmas season. The inaccuracy of your oven might be to blame if you've ever had difficulties getting your baked items or roasted meats to come out as expected. An oven is a crucial tool for every competent chef. How precise are the settings? Once the desired temperature is reached, how stable is the oven?

America's Test Kitchen has come out and said, "Ovens are incorrect. While cooking, even the greatest ovens will stray by a few degrees from the set temperature at various points since they all turn on and off to maintain the set temperature[...]. To add insult to injury, they claim, "we have observed that ovens set to the same temperature may vary by as much as 90 degrees."

It will take longer for baked items too brown if you set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit but the middle of the oven only reaches 330 degrees. Cakes may rise unevenly and cookies may brown on the exterior while remaining undercooked if baked at temperatures greater than 370 degrees Fahrenheit.

The reality of your oven's heating cycle

Thermostats in ovens initiate a heating cycle that maintains an interior temperature close to the one chosen by the user. If, for instance, you set the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, the internal thermostat will automatically switch it off after the temperature is reached. The heater will restart when the indoor temperature drops down below the predetermined level, typically about 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Over the course of a cycle lasting several minutes, the actual oven temperature will "oscillate," or bounce up and down around your setting. Extreme amplitudes of variation are possible between the highest and lowest peaks. When set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, the thermostat's real maximum and low temperatures might be 400 and 300, respectively.

Not only is there an issue with oscillation, but there are others as well. However, even the most precise ovens may lose precision with use. As a matter of fact, most ovens are off by 25-50 degrees Fahrenheit from their intended temperature. The outcome of your cooking will be wrong if the oven is set to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (163 degrees Celsius), but really cooks at an average of 360 degrees Fahrenheit (182 degrees Celsius).

So, make sure your oven is accurate by doing a test run.

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