We had an oven repairman in our kitchen today to look over my Bosch double wall oven. We got got an oven thermometer over the holidays and the oven never seems to get within 40-50 degrees of the designated temperature.
Bosch has replaced the oven once, and this second oven is already having problems though its only been in the wall for a month. (but more on that in another post.- their responsiveness is great, their quality is questionable)
Chatting with the repairman, he mentioned that newer electric ovens all run colder than the displayed temperature, and should either be calibrated hotter (360 for a 350 degree setting) or you should just set your dial hotter. He also mentioned that an oven is considered on temperature as long as it is within 25 degrees of the desired temperature.
One of our favorite sites (RepairClinic.com) discusses the same subject in this nice little article on getting your oven to hit the right temperature.
Some Tips for Ensuring Ovens Hit the Right Temperature
Can Ovens Be Blamed for Cooking Disasters?
CANTON, Mich., Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ — This month RepairClinic.com(R), the online source of home appliance parts and repair advice, is shining its virtual repair flashlight on ovens. Ovens are often easy to service by home DIYers. RepairClinic can supply appliance repair parts and free repair help online, as well as shiny new knobs, racks and drip pans to spruce up older ovens.
“If you’re wondering why your oven-baked culinary masterpieces don’t come out right every time, don’t blame the chef, blame the oven!” says Chris Hall, president of RepairClinic.com. “All too often, home chefs will find out that their oven is not reaching and maintaining the temperature they’ve set, which means their recipes simply won’t turn out right. Our website can help them diagnose and fix problems with ovens — and many other home appliances.”
Home chefs who suspect their oven is not playing by the rules and keeping the right temperature should first verify that the oven’s built-in thermostat is working properly. This is easily accomplished with a separate oven thermometer. Set the oven temperature and then compare the temperature of the thermometer with the set temperature. To get an accurate reading, let the oven cycle on and off at least three times, which takes at least 20 minutes.
“Over the years, we’ve learned that most inexpensive dial thermometers sold in grocery stores as oven thermometers are generally not very accurate. To get a good reading, we recommend a glass-bulb thermometer,” says Hall. “Also, don’t expect perfection. For example, if you’ve set your oven to 350 degrees, it is acceptable for the actual temperature to be 325-375 degrees. Most recipes provide a range of cook times with this in mind. And, don’t forget that altitude and humidity can affect cook time.”
Some other causes of incorrect oven temperatures that RepairClinic.com encounters include:
Door gaskets: he oven door has a gasket to keep heat inside the oven. Over time, these gaskets can become torn or deformed and this will allow heat to escape. Inspect gaskets to ensure they are in good condition and replace them as necessary.
Door hinges: If an oven door does not close properly, heat can escape. Make sure the door closes tightly and evenly. If it doesn’t, check for broken or bent door hinges or door springs, which should be replaced.
Timer settings: There’s a tricky timer issue that has confused even the best of cooks. Many mechanical clocks and timers on ovens (those without digital LED displays) have a setting called “cook and hold.” If the clock is accidentally set to this position, the oven may not work at all until it is set back to normal. Consult the instruction manual to set the clock or timer correctly.
RepairClinic.com provides step-by-step instructions on how to fix all these problems, and can supply the right part for any type of oven.