Test Your Oven Temperature Before Holiday Baking

Test Your Oven Temperature Before Holiday Baking

Taryn Williford
Nov 10, 2010

It's our first Thanksgiving away from family and we're gearing up to prepare a feast. Without the weight of family tradition on our shoulders, we're planning on turning turkey day upside down with unique twists on the classics. It's our most ambitious meal to date—and we want to make sure that our appliances can handle it. First up, we're calibrating the oven.

Are your pies always gooey? Does the turkey come out dry? You could be cooking and baking at a lower or higher temperature without even realizing it.

Most household ovens routinely run 25 to 50 degrees off from what the built-in oven meter reads. And that difference gets worse with the age of your oven. Before you get baking this holiday season, it's a good idea to calibrate your oven.

Just grab an oven thermometer (we've listed a few of our favorites below) and measure inside the oven. Then, adjust the heat on your oven accordingly. You'll be eating a perfectly cooked meal in no time.

  • The Mastech 5-in-1 Multimeter ($69.95, Amazon.com) does a heck of a lot more than measure temperature, but it's going to be the most accurate oven thermometer out there (pictured at the top of this post).
  • Oxo Good Grips Oven Thermometer ($14.99, Amazon.com) can clip to the oven rack, giving you an in-the-action reading through it's frosted glass (it's the one pictured directly above).
  • The Taylor Elite Oven Thermometer ($18.00, Williams Sonoma) can clip to oven racks or casserole dishes like the Oxo thermometer, but it's got a large gauge that's easier to read.
  • But if you're just looking to make sure you don't burn the turkey at Thanksgiving, grab this low-end Oven Guide Thermometer from Taylor ($7.77, Ace Hardware). It's got a tough-to-read mercury-style measure, but it can easily hang from an oven rack or stand up next to your muffins.

(Images: Flickr user sean dreilinger under license from Creative Commons, Amazon.com)

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