How to Calibrate Your Oven Temperature

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The accuracy of your oven is essential to the quality of your home cooking. If your oven cooks too hot, food will burn when you’re cooking exactly to the recipe. If your oven is too cold, food can be undercooked and even dangerous to eat at the end of the prescribed cook-time. Unfortunately, ovens don’t always know what temperature they are inside. They have a temperature sensor and can raise and lower the temp in set intervals, but ovens can be off-set from the actual temperature you asked for. Fortunately, there’s a standard user-friendly way for any oven temperature can be fixed. It’s called Oven Calibration. Every oven model has a calibration process and you can reset your oven so that it is accurate when you cook. Most ovens can be calibrated up or down 30-35 degrees F.  

Supplies You Will Need

  • Metal Oven Thermometer
  • Needle Nose Pliers or Screwdriver (Knob Style Only)
  • Oven Manual – Print or Digital

You only need a few tools for this repair. The key tool is the oven thermometer, a little round device on a metal stand that can take the temperature inside your oven. Be sure to get one marked for use in ovens. If your oven has knob controls, then you may also need either needle-nose pliers or a screwdriver. 

Find Your Offset

To recalibrate your oven, you need to know how wrong it currently is. This can be done with just the oven and the thermometer.

Place Thermometer in Oven

Start by putting the small oven thermometer into the oven on the middle shelf, facing outward where it is easy to read.

Set oven to 350 F

Now turn on your oven and set it to precisely 350 degrees with the controls. Wait the appropriate reheat time for the oven to reach it’s intended temperature.

Do the Math

Check your thermometer. Your oven thinks it is at 350 F, how far off is it? If your oven is currently 375, then your calibration offset should be (-25) because you need to lower the temperature. If the thermometer says 320, then the offset needs to be (+30) to raise the calibrated temperature by 30 degrees. 

Calibrating Your Oven Temp with Buttons

If your oven has a touchpad button control panel, then this is how you will recalibrate the temperature.

Look Up Your Oven Reset Process

Start by opening your oven’s manual or user guide. This can be found online if you don’t have the original. Look up the oven calibration instructions. You need two facts. First, the pair of buttons to press in order to trigger the reset function. Second, the number of seconds to press those buttons and any additional procedure.

Press and Hold Until Reset Message Displays

Press and hold the designated two buttons at once. In many cases, this is the “Bake” and “Oven Light” buttons, but sometimes, the “Timer” button is used instead. Press and hold for somewhere between two and fifteen seconds.

You’ll have held the buttons long enough when the digital display changes to a reset message. You might see “SF” or “F TempOffset” or “0 F CAL” or “00.” displayed. You may need to press a confirmation button at this point.

(+) and (-) to Calibrate Offset

When you see a double-digit or zeros displayed, use your plus (+) and minus (-) buttons or the arrow buttons to reflect the offset you discovered earlier. This number will likely be somewhere between -30 and +30 to correct the oven’s temperature difference.

Press Start

When you’ve completed the setting, tap “Start” to lock it in. This stores the changes in the oven’s internal memory and exits the calibration setting mode. 

Calibrating Your Oven Temperature Knob

If your oven temperature is set with a knob, the temperature calibration setting is found inside the post or the knob itself. There is no fancy reset procedure, but you will need to do some precise twisting.

Remove the Temperature Control Knob

Pull the temperature control knob off of its post. It should be a quick tug with no latch or screw holding it in place. It might stick and, if so, may need to be washed.

Mark the Original Position

If it’s not already marked, mark the zero-point where the knob was pointing near the post. The factory default for this calibration is dead center, which is a 0 degree offset. If this oven has never been calibrated before, then you won’t need to mark the position. If it is already offset, do your math from this point. 

Twist the Post or Knob Screw to Calibrate

Look into the back of your knob. If there’s a metered arrow or pointer in the center, this is your calibration. Loosen any fasting screws (but do not remove them) and twist your pointer hotter or colder. The notches will most likely indicate ten degrees at a time. Set the setting and re-tighten the screws.

If the back of your knob is plain, look at the post. There might be a metered screw with a pointer in the center of the post. Twist this screw up or down the correct number of notches, likely demarking 10 degrees F at a time.

Return the Knob

Pop the knob back onto the post and make sure that it feels secure. 

Test Your Success

Now that you have completed the oven calibration process set the oven to 350 again with the thermometer inside. When the oven says it is preheated, check to see if the thermometer ready 350 or acceptably close. If so, your oven calibration has been fully successful. If the temperature is still off, repeat this process and refine the settings you just made. Use the offset from your thermometer to add or subtract from the current setting, not from the center.

—With a little know-how, anyone can perform this simple appliance repair procedure. Calibrating your oven is safe and doesn’t even need you to cut the power or wear work gloves. However, if your oven problems go beyond what you are comfortable fixing solo, we are here to help. Contact us today for more appliance repair insights and services.

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