The temperature setting on your oven may change or drift away from factory settings, especially if you have been using it for years. When this happens, you will find that your oven consistently roasts or bakes food slower or faster than the time you expected, or the time specified in the recipe. Fortunately, you can recalibrate your gas or electric oven so it can get closer to the original setting. Here’s how:
Find the oven’s average temperature
Before you can adjust your oven, you will need to know its actual average temperature. For this purpose, you will need to put an oven thermometer on the middle rack section of your oven and set the appliance to 180 degrees Celsius. Then, let it preheat for at least 10 minutes to level out the temperature spike inside your oven.
After 10 minutes, try checking the oven thermometer through the window and see if the reading falls and rises several times throughout the whole baking cycle. List down at least two or more temperature readings. Keep in mind, the more readings you list down, the more accurate your average total temperature is. In fact, even oven repair technicians take a reading every 5 to 10 minutes to ensure that they are getting the accurate temperature inside the oven.
Set the temperature offset to make up for the difference
In calculating the temperature, the difference between 180 degrees and the readings on your oven thermometer is the offset value you will need to set when you recalibrate the oven. For most ovens, you can recalibrate by about 2 degrees C in either direction. However, if the average temperature is off by more than 2 degrees, then you will need to replace the thermostat and temperature sensor.
Common recalibration steps for ovens
Recalibration steps may vary depending on the oven’s manufacturer, so it is best to check your manual for specific instructions related to your model. Of course, you can always find a guide on the web by searching the model number of your oven.
The first thing to do is press the bake button until you see the offset setting on the temperature display. Make sure that it is to 0 or 00 unless you recalibrated the oven before. Once you set the offset value, use the arrow keys to either decrease or increase it, depending on the difference you found using your oven thermometer.
Lastly, press the bake button again to save your settings.
For ovens with knobs, you will need to pull off the temp knob first so that you can see a small adjustment screw at the back of the knob. It will usually be labelled with hotter at one end and cooler at one end. Depending on the offset value, try loosening the screw just enough that you can move it.
Repeat this process, then recheck the actual average temperature to see if you still need to adjust the screw to get the best setting for your oven
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