Calibrate your oven's temperature

Double wall oven in a kitchen

Ovens may gradually become out of calibration when they're older, and oftentimes you can allow for this by adjusting your recipes. But when you get a new oven, you should return to cooking your recipes as they were originally intended. When it's time to make an adjustment, you can calibrate your oven's temperature (up to 35 degrees Fahrenheit higher or lower) instead of altering your recipes every time you cook.

Note: This adjustment does not affect the broiling or self-cleaning temperature, and is retained in memory after a power failure.

Temperature adjustment

If you've bought an oven thermometer and are using that to measure with, don't. Even thermometers that indicate they are for use in an oven are often wrong, and other thermometers are worse. If you truly want an accurate measurement to know exactly how much to adjust by, you'd have to use a thermocouple, not a thermometer. Since most people don't have one of those lying around, a much easier method is to simply judge recipes based on how well they cook.

Start by cooking a few different recipes exactly as they're written. If the food consistently comes out a little undercooked or overcooked each time, try tweaking the temperature above or below what the recipe states, and compare the results. Keep trying different temperatures until you get the results you want.

To actually calibrate the oven by the amount you decided on, set the Temperature Adjustment in your oven's settings. For ovens with a Settings or Options menu, Thermostat Adjustment can be found in the menu. For other models, press and hold two buttons (for example Broil and 1) until the display shows ADJ 0, then use other buttons to adjust the setting (which can be set to either a positive or negative adjustment).

See the exact steps for your model in your user manual. If you have trouble finding the steps in your manual, look in the Troubleshooting section for "The oven temperature is too hot or cold" which will tell you what page the instructions are on.

Now that you've calibrated your oven, you can return to following recipes exactly how they're written.

Note: If your cooking results are not consistent, or 35 degrees Fahrenheit is not enough of an adjustment, see our guide for Oven does not cook well.

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