An oven that doesn’t run true to its temperature setting is unreliable and, more often than not, the cause of disappointing recipe results. With the holiday baking season just around the corner, now is the time to make sure your oven is properly calibrated.
First, buy a new oven thermometer. Some thermometers, especially the dual metal coil types (like the one pictured above), become fatigued over time and lose accuracy. It’s a good idea to replace your thermometer every year.
Position the thermometer in the center of the oven so it’s visible through the window, and heat the oven to 350°F.
Once the oven signals that it’s at temperature, note the thermometer’s reading every 20 minutes without opening the oven door.
When you have four readings, calculate their average by adding and then dividing them by four.
If the average is between 325°F and 375°F, the oven is calibrated. If it’s outside that range, the oven needs adjustment. In this case, consult the owner’s manual. Calibrating some ovens is as simple as turning a screw, but for others, you may have to call a professional to do the job.