This post is important if you ever need to leave your “Egg” and head inside to cook in your home oven.
If you follow recipes as I do, you follow the suggested temperature settings. That’s because you figure the author has done the testing for you. I know that whenever I’ve tried to be creative and set the temperature “my way”, it doesn’t work out well.
But, if your oven’s thermometer isn’t calibrated correctly,—that means what you see isn’t what you get— you more than likely going to be disappointed in the finished product.
There is a proven way to test the accuracy of your oven thermometer. It’s simple, but does take a little time. Read on and you’ll see how it’s done.
Of course, you may find that even when you go through the calibration exercise, the oven still off. That’s what I faced with my last oven and needed to take care of…
For quite a while I was disappointed in how poorly our last wall oven, a Thermador, held the temperature I set.
To see how far off the oven’s thermostat was, I attached an external thermometer to a probe that I placed in the oven. As I suspected, the oven’s temperature was different that the one on the external thermometer.
Even when I then made adjustments to bring the oven in alignment with the thermometer, it would not hold after just a few cooks.
Well, the Thermador finally died—at least the control board(s) died. The oven was about 15 years old and the company didn’t make the boards any longer. That gave me the excuse to go looking for new wall oven.
Being ‘foodies’, my wife, Renée, and I have a few requirements. The oven has to have:
- a convection feature, preferably one with a double fan
- proof and hydration settings
- a clean, sleek look for our modern kitchen
- an accurate thermostat and the ability hold that temperature
- the heating coil below a solid floor so a pizza stone can sit on the floor
After weeks of searching, we finally settled on a Miele. It met our core requirements. Also, Miele designs and makes everything in the oven rather than buying off-the-shelf parts from other manufacturers.
As my readers know, I love the thermometers and timers from Thermoworks.
In addition to providing precision thermometers, they have a simple set of instructions to test the accuracy of your oven. So, as you can guess, one of the first things I did after the Miele was installed was test the accuracy of the oven’s temperature .
I was amazed at the results. To do this properly, you should use their ChefAlarm thermometer because it records both minimum and maximum temperature.
According to the instructions, you first need to get the oven up to temp—350°. Then let the oven hold that temperature for 30 minutes. During that time, the oven temperature will oscillate over a pretty wide range around the temperature you set. That’s because the surfaces of the oven are still heating up.
Then wait another 30 minutes. At the end of this period, record the max and the min temp displayed on the ChefAlarm and divide that in half to get the average. Compare that number to the actual temperature showing on the ChefAlarm. The difference, if there is one, tells you how much you need to adjust your oven setting.
When I did this test on my new Miele, the range was from 348° to 352°! That makes the average 350°—spot on!!
I’m happy right now. I’ll be performing this check on a quarterly schedule to see if the oven needs any adjustments over time.
Here are the tools you need if you want to duplicate what I used:
Here’s a video from Thermoworks about how to Test Your Oven’s Accuracy…
…And here’s the link to print out the step-by-step instructions: http://greeneggchef.com/likes/Testing-Oven-Accuracy