You may be setting your oven to 350 degrees, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s reaching that temperature. Perform these easy steps to calibrate your oven and make sure the temperature gauge is telling you the full story. Then, the next time you make some turkey or meatloaf, it will turn out perfectly instead of being burnt to a crisp!
Find an oven thermometer. To get an accurate reading and avoid breaking your thermometer, it’s important that you use one that’s meant for ovens. You can purchase an oven thermometer for around $10. If you have one, but it’s a few years old, consider buying a new one – they can lose accuracy over time.
Place your thermometer in the oven. Position it as close to the center of the oven as possible (you may need to move some racks around) and make sure you can read it through the oven window.
Determine your oven’s temperature. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Once your oven is finished heating, take a reading from the thermometer and write it down. Do this four times, waiting 20 minutes between each reading. If the average of your four readings is between 325-375 degrees F, your oven is properly calibrated (oven temperatures fluctuate naturally within this range). If your average falls outside of this temperature range, it’s a good idea to calibrate your oven.
Calibrate your oven. Calibration is different for every oven – sometimes it’s as easy as turning a screw, while other models require professional assistance. Take a look at your owner’s manual to learn how to calibrate your oven.