Posted 2013-10-12 11:06 PM (#7764) Subject: Oven temperature calibration tip:
Oven temperature calibration tip:
I am reading this book called ‘Cooking for Geeks’ by Jeff Potter. Absolutely wonderful book, even if you are not a geek! He presents all kinds of insight into the math, chemistry and science of cooking. I love to cook, sans recipe, but I also bake things (which is a different discipline altogether for this southern Louisiana boy) but when I bake, in the back of my mind, I always wondered where they come up with all those measurements in the recipes. When baking, I don’t dare deviate. If the recipe calls for 1 cup I never add 1.25 cups but I never knew why. Sometimes my cookies come out absolutely wonderful and other times not so much. Well, it turns out that all those measurements of flower, sugar, eggs etc… are all ratios!!! Amazing eh’ - now I get it! Just like sin, cosine and tangent to triangle legs. Also, if you are going to bake make sure everything is room temp before you combine it all. He goes into why for a few paragraphs – absolutely fascinating!!! Oh and you can throw away all of the measuring cups and reclaim the space in our already crowded and undersized RV cupboards. Weigh all the ingredients for much more accurate results. He goes on for a few pages and experiments on measuring…
So here is the tip he shares on calibrating an oven: (I am paraphrasing from memory here)
Fact: Sugar melts at 367°. So create an aluminum foil bowl and place some sugar in it. Put that in your oven. Set the oven to 350°. After a decent interval of time for the oven to warm up, from 15 minutes to a week or more – the sugar should not melt. It may be brown from burning but certainly not melted. After you are convinced the oven is at what it thinks is 350° turn the dial up to 375° and within 15 minutes the sugar should melt. Viola’ if the sugar does indeed melt within the 15 minutes at the 375° temp than you have a properly calibrated oven. If it melts either before (while at the 350° setting) or at an even higher temp than 375° than adjust accordingly and make a note as to where the new knob values are.
He also makes extensive reference to adding a pizza stone to our ovens, below the rack, to help even out the temps.
Happy cooking!!! If the cookies come out really wonderful save me some okay…
Cheers, Darren Koepp / RV Tech / Geek
FYI: Here is the book on Amazon - I am reading the kindle version: