Oven – How to deal with an inaccurate oven thermostat


So my oven's thermostat is wildly inaccurate. Case in point: I was roasting some potatoes and squash with the oven set to 350F, but the oven thermometer read 600. It's not usually that bad, but it's also not uncommon for the oven's temperature to be off by 100 degrees. What can I do about this? I'm burning a lot of food, and my neighbors don't appreciate how often the smoke alarm goes off.

I've tried just getting used it it, but the inaccuracies are not predictable. Sometimes setting the oven at 350 gets me 375-400, other times (like today) it's much more.

Does the placement of the thermometer affect the reading? That is, could the thermometer be reading extra-hot because I put it in the wrong spot? I have it up close to the door, and it hangs down closer to the heating elements than the food (but still 3-4" above the elements).

Also, I heard somewhere that the way you arrange trays & dishes in the oven affects the ability of the oven's thermostat to do its job. Can someone clue me in on that.


Best Answer

It sounds like the oven needs desperately to be looked at. Please have someone check it out before a fire starts!!!!

The thermometer placement isn't a huge concern. It should be near the middle for general use (top to bottom) and off to the side. Or if you prefer you can just hang the thing in the middle. As long as you can always safely see it it should be fine. If your coils are on the side and not top and bottom put it in the center (where the window would normally be)

Really though I can't stress it enough. If your setting it to 350 and sometimes it is temperature x and sometimes it is temperature x + 100 then you really need to have it looked at before it gets worse.