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How to Calibrate an Oven

Not all ovens are created equal. If you have switched to a new model, you might be surprised to learn that ovens can be designed to run at a lower or higher temperature. If the oven consistently produces unsatisfactory results no matter how you switch up the recipes, it might be time to recalibrate it.
Below are some general guidelines. For best results, always consult your model’s instruction manual or a professional technician.

How to Calibrate an Oven for Better Baking

Most baking recipes require a consistent baking temperature to achieve the perfect taste and texture. If the recipe is otherwise satisfactory, and you’ve followed all the steps to the letter, the problem might be with the oven itself. Oven calibration allows you to alter the oven’s working temperature to the recommended baking requirements. If the new oven seems to be too hot or cold at all times, calibrating can give it more accuracy and can give you consistent baking results.
If you’re wondering how to calibrate an oven, don’t worry. It’s a relatively straightforward process that will require only a bit of prep work. Before you start calibrating the oven, you’ll need to know its current working temperature. For that, we recommend using an oven thermometer. You will most likely find an analog oven thermometer in your local store.

How to Calibrate Oven Temperature

Here’s how to find your oven’s current working temperature:
  1. Move the oven racks, so there’s a rack closest to the middle of the oven cavity (where food you bake usually sits).
  2. Place an oven thermometer in the center of the rack. You’ll need to secure the thermometer to the rack, depending on the model you have. It’s vital to place it as close to the centre as possible.
  3. Turn the oven on to 350°F (180°C).
  4. Wait for the oven to finish preheating. Newer models will turn off the status light and make a sound to notify you that the oven has reached working temperature.
  5. Check the thermometer’s reading. If your oven has a glass door, you can do this without removing the thermometer. If your oven doesn’t have a window, open the door and quickly check the temperature.

Once you’ve noted down the thermometer’s readings, check them against the temperature you’ve set the oven to. If it’s more than 15°F (10°C) off, you’ll want to recalibrate it. If temperature is off by a lot, you should call a technician and not try to calibrate it yourself. Always check and follow your appliance and product use and care instructions before beginning any task, as it should be your primary source of information.

How to Calibrate Your Electric Oven

Electric ovens have either analog or digital controls. You can follow the oven’s instruction manual and use a Phillips head screwdriver when calibrating analog controls.

Calibrating Electric Ovens With Analog Controls

  1. Remove the temperature knob from the control panel by pulling on it.
  2. Turn the knob over. You’ll see one or two screws on the back.
  3. Turn the screws clockwise to reduce the oven’s working temperature (i.e. if the thermometer reads above the setting). Turn them anticlockwise to increase the temperature. Work in small steps. We recommend only eighths of a turn at once. Anything larger might change the temperature too much.
  4. Replace the knob, and redo the temperature test as explained above.
  5. Repeat these steps until the reading aligns to the settings.

Calibrating Electric Ovens With Digital Controls

  1. Consult the user manual to access the calibration settings.
  2. Follow the instructions provided to begin calibrating. Oven temperature can be changed by up to 35°F (20°C) for most modern models, although that can vary by model.
  3. Save the settings. Usually, this is done by tapping “Start” on modern models.
  4. Repeat the temperature test above if needed. If the temperature is not right after calibration, consult a technician to look for additional problems.

How to Calibrate a Gas Oven

If you have a digital gas oven, you can follow the same steps as with electric ovens to calibrate it.
However, if you have an analog control model, you’ll need to contact a qualified service technician to handle the oven calibration process.

What if My Oven Is Very Inaccurate?

It’s rare, but an oven can sometimes be off by more than what you can achieve by calibration. In those cases, contact a technician or a service centre immediately and explain your problem and book a service appointment.

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