Kitchen Know-How: How to Calibrate Your Oven for Better Baking
Tired of burnt cookies even when you follow the recipe directions precisely? Can’t figure out why your oven times always seem a bit off? I have a simple solution for you! You may need to calibrate your oven.
As little as 25 degrees variation could negatively affect your baked goods. Too cold and your muffins won’t rise; too hot and your cookies will burn, or worse, your cake is baked hard on the outside yet raw on the inside. Not to worry, there’s an easy fix. Buy an oven thermometer (they’re under $10 at grocery stores), place it in the center of your oven and preheat to 350°F.
After 15 minutes, peek at the thermometer. If it reads below 350 degrees, check it again in 10 minutes. Right at 350? You’re all set! If the temp is higher than 350, try one of the following options depending upon your oven type:
- Quick and easy: Remove the oven settings knob and make a quick adjustment by replacing it so the dial is aligned to 350 degrees.
- A bit of thinking: Remember how much it’s off, and set it to the proper temperature while always factoring in the difference.
- Most expensive: Get it calibrated by a professional.
Any of the above solutions will do just fine. If you do either of the first two, be sure to check every so often in case changes occur.