So, I’ll admit, my oven is old! No, it’s ancient! I guess one could say it’s retro. But it’s an old, brown, Frigidaire wall oven, and it still works. And, with it, I’ve pumped out countless meals, awesome baked goods, and even a bunch of Thanksgivings. So, I thought things were great, that is, until I started making bread (more on the actual bread making in a later post).
In my quest to make homemade bread, last year, for Christmas, I asked for the book “Flour Water Salt Year” by Ken Forkish. The book is fantastic if you’re a beginner bread maker. And, in the very thorough instructions, Ken suggests getting an oven thermometer to check your oven. Actually, I’m not sure that he really suggests…I think it was a demand. But anyway, I had to do it. And, sure enough, my oven was off. Not just a little off, it was WAY OFF…by between 50 and 75 degrees. Crazy, right? I was shocked, SHOCKED! And that totally explains why my “little too golden” pie crusts occurred on occasion (see last year’s Thanksgiving pie pictures…so sad).
So, I know what you’re thinking, of course my caveman oven would be way off. It is ancient after all. And yes, you’re probably right, I should have checked ages ago, but I didn’t. I had to be scolded in a book. But I learned something, and now I’m imparting that wisdom on to you.
And even though I have that ancient oven, I did a little experiment. I checked other ovens of friends and loved ones, and, sure enough, even newer ovens were off a bit. So there! 🙂
Moral of the story, do yourself a favor, and just get an oven thermometer. They are really cheap. Amazon has a bunch of them for under $10. The lovely TruTemp that I have was only $6.35 from Target. And even though they make more expensive ones, you just don’t need to get them. Get a cheap one, hang it in your oven, and go!
Oh, and a word of advice, DO NOT leave the oven thermometer in when you use the self-cleaning function. I’ve been there, done that, and I’ve gone through 2 thermometers already. They just don’t survive!