HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
What's your latest food quest? Get great advice
TELL US

My oven says its 375, my new Taylor thermo says its 275

f
foodsmith Jan 11, 2009 04:52 PM

So either my brand new Kenmore Elite oven is full of it, or my brand new Taylor oven thermometer is full of it. I am gonna say the oven is lying, but off by 100 degrees?!?! No wonder my Genoise is failing so badly!?

I moved the rack holding the Taylor to the top, and it increased an additional 10 degrees. The thermometer is hanging from below the rack by a clip. I have no idea if it was swung around to the top so it was above the top rack if it would register a higher heat? But no matter since no food can float in air anyway.

The Genoise I believe is supposed to be near the bottom 3rd of the oven. What should I do? Crank the oven to 450 and see if I can get the Taylor to register 375? Or just wait and see if the temp goes up? Maybe the oven is lying too quickly? It did beep after supposedly reaching my desired temp.

  1. j
    janniecooks Jan 14, 2009 04:40 AM

    My oven beeps after 5 minutes preheating, by which time the temp is only about 250 to 275. It takes a good 15 minutes more to reach proper temperature. As other posters have said, ignore the beep!

    1. tommy Jan 12, 2009 04:07 PM

      put your thermometer in the top or middle of the oven and let it preheat for 45 minutes. no need to think your oven or your thermometer is not working until you give both sufficient time to actually heat up.

      if you have a pizza stone in the oven as many people do let the oven preheat an hour before even bothering looking at the temp. the 'beep" means nothing other than that the air surrounding the one thermometer in the oven is at temp. as for the rest of the oven the temp will vary greatly at the time of the beep.

      1. scubadoo97 Jan 12, 2009 02:48 PM

        First make sure your Taylor is reading correctly. Even though it's not water proof, hang it over boiling water. Do not allow it to touch the water. The steam from the water should read around 212F. Now if your Taylor is reading in the neighborhood of 212 you have an oven problem

        1. Robin Joy Jan 12, 2009 02:51 AM

          How about taking the Taylor thermometer for a nice visit to a couple of friends' ovens?

          4 Replies
          1. re: Robin Joy
            thew Jan 12, 2009 05:04 AM

            boil water.

            check the temperature of the boiling water.

            is it 212f? if not your thermometer is off

            1. re: thew
              Robin Joy Jan 12, 2009 05:20 AM

              Likely to wreck an oven thermo I'm afraid. Mine certainly has a warning against imersion in water.

              1. re: Robin Joy
                g
                grant.cook Jan 12, 2009 06:05 AM

                First, don't calibrate off of one point.. try a range - say 250 to 400, jack it in 50deg increments, and give the oven time to stablize. Second, don't go by the oven beep, as others have said above. I preheat my oven for a long time, and have a huge foil-wrapped cement paver in the bottom to provide a bit of "capacitance" to things..

                But once you have that scheme, most ovens allow you to adjust their temp calibration, or worst case, get a marker and tape and relabel your dial..

                1. re: Robin Joy
                  thew Jan 12, 2009 06:58 AM

                  silly me. i was thinking of an instant read, for some reason

            2. greygarious Jan 11, 2009 07:09 PM

              Is this the model that is about 6" wide and 2" high, with what looks like a rectal thermometer fastened to it horizontally? That's the Cooks Illustrated-recommended one I have, and not only is it hard to read because the oven light doesn't hit it right, but after I nearly incinerated the Thanksgiving turkey I discovered that the thermometer can slip from side to side and if it does, the "mercury" doesn't line up accurately with the temperature markings. I put mine in a mug of boiling water and realigned it, making a mark on the metal so I know where the end of the rod should be.

              3 Replies
              1. re: greygarious
                f
                foodsmith Jan 11, 2009 09:21 PM

                Mine is from the same company but the "special" version, it's circular and the thermometer is a dial that goes from left to right. It's pretty easy to read, at least to guesstimate and get within a few degrees, although the writing is quite small on it.

                1. re: foodsmith
                  Zeldog Jan 13, 2009 05:06 PM

                  Foodsmith, it sounds like you have a cheap mechanical thermometer. Did it cost about $9.00? Those are notoriously inaccurate. I've used Taylor and Polder electronic thermometers, the type with a probe connected to the readout by a small cable, and they have all been very accurate (you can put the probe in boiling water to check at least that one point, and they agreed with the oven). They are not very durable, though. I've had to replace mine every 3-5 years.

                  1. re: Zeldog
                    f
                    foodsmith Jan 13, 2009 06:45 PM

                    Mine cost almost $20. Here it is: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                    Maybe I overpaid, I'm sure it's not as good as it tries to make out, but surely it's not total crap? Or is it...?

              2. f
                foodsmith Jan 11, 2009 06:29 PM

                It turns out that it took the thermometer longer to finish calculating the temp. In the end the oven was ~20 degrees off from the thermometer, which isn't nearly as bad. Although after tonight's failed Genoese which appears to have cooked too quickly, maybe it's the thermometer that is 20 degrees off.

                1 Reply
                1. re: foodsmith
                  c
                  Claudette Jan 11, 2009 07:01 PM

                  I've always had 2 thermometers in all of my ovens - one on the top rack, one on the bottom - and they've always varied by 25 - 50 degrees. They also vary if I move them to the front or back of the ovens. They also vary if I utilize the convection option. I've learned the hard way to adjust my settings to hit the middle before putting in sensitive things like genoise and custards.

                2. Bryn Jan 11, 2009 06:04 PM

                  Is your thermometer properly calibrated?

                  1. cheesepowder Jan 11, 2009 06:01 PM

                    I wouldn't go by the oven beep. Try waiting a while with the oven on and see if the oven thermometer keeps going up to 375. I have a gas oven and an oven thermometer. It takes much longer for my oven to get up to the right temperature than the beeping would indicate, but it does get up there.

                    1. janetms383 Jan 11, 2009 05:59 PM

                      i have the opposite problem.... my oven is set to 300, but the thermometer says between 400 and 425... a HUNDRED degree difference!!

                      1. wekick Jan 11, 2009 05:47 PM

                        Definitely call Sears and have it serviced. It could be as simple as calibration but could be a lot of things especially if a computer board is involved. You paid too much to not have it work. Document all your dealings with the oven. I would also check if you raise the temperature of the oven does the element come on and raise the temp? I had a very bad experience with an oven(not Sears) and I would say get on it right away with Sears.

                        1. c
                          chez cherie Jan 11, 2009 05:35 PM

                          if it's a gas range, at least where i live (in So CA), the gas company will come out and calibrate the oven FOR FREE. might as well take advantage of that, if your utility company offers it!

                          1. Caralien Jan 11, 2009 05:25 PM

                            I would trust the Taylor thermometer. There's a way to adjust the thermostat on the oven, but I have no idea how to do that (since it's brand new, it should be under warranty and could be checked out easily)

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Caralien
                              paulj Jan 11, 2009 06:26 PM

                              On older electric stoves, you change the calibration by moving a ring on the back of the control dial. In effect you change the position of the dial relative to the control shaft.

                              1. re: paulj
                                Chris VR Jan 12, 2009 04:43 AM

                                If you a stove with a digital setting, the manual should give directions for recalibration. I recently did mine and it was very easy to do,

                            2. m
                              mordacity Jan 11, 2009 04:58 PM

                              Experiment. Try setting the oven and baking something temperature-sensitive. Then try it again with the oven at the right temp according to your thermometer. I'd be more inclined to say the oven is to blame - I hope it's still under warranty!

                              Show Hidden Posts