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Can I test my oven temperature without an oven thermometer?

I have a big dispute with an electrician if the oven he supposedly fixed works or not. Problem is I think it reaches only about 150 C (300F) degrees when it indicates it has reached 250 C. So at 250 C (480F), I'm still able to hold my hand in the middle of the oven for 1 minute, or probably more.

When you cook next time, may you please try to see if this is possible at such temperature? I will try to get hand of a thermometer, but have nothing now, so would appreciate someone testing it.

Rephrased: Is it possible to hold a hand in the oven at 250C for 1 minute, or is it too hot?

  • Does it have a self-cleaning cycle? Try that, you'll know if it's getting hot or not. Also, check your tags. – MikeTheLiar Jan 29 '13 at 13:32
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    This question needs modifying before it fits here. It needs to be answerable by one acceptable answer. At the moment it's something of a poll question. – ElendilTheTall Jan 29 '13 at 14:05
  • Under the standard that the answer to this question is substantively the same as what you are essentially asking ("Is my oven temperature correct?") I think this is a duplicate. Take note of the fact that opening the oven door, in order to put in your hand (or anything else) releases a great deal of the heat, of course the longer the door is open the more heat escapes...and the longer you can hold your hand in there. While your test is not a 'valid test' the underlying question is, but has been answered elsewhere. – Cos Callis Jan 29 '13 at 17:21
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    Your profile says you live in Norway. I would just break down and buy the oven thermometer--surely as a modern developed area of the world, they are readily available. Everyone should have one. – SAJ14SAJ Jan 29 '13 at 20:38
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    Don't care if this is an exact duplicate or not, whether or not you can hold a bare hand at the oven at 250° C is of precisely zero culinary relevance. The answer to the "real" question is "use a thermometer", that is the only answer, and that is the answer that was previously given. – Aaronut Jan 30 '13 at 2:16

The book "Cooking for Geeks" has a preview available online which explains how to use sugar to check whether your oven's temperature is above or below 186°C (367°F). It won't tell you whether it's getting up to 250°C, but if you're right that it only gets to 150°C then it will be obvious that it's not fixed.

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    Awesome, I like that one! It's already in the oven. Will report result. – bretddog Jan 29 '13 at 13:51
  • So what was the result? – user28908 Oct 30 '14 at 13:41
  • @Piglet, the only person who's likely to see your question is me, because as the author of the answer you're replying to I get notified. If you want someone else from the comment thread to be notified, you should use an @ tag. (And if you want more than one person to be notified you need to leave multiple comments, because only the first @ tag is processed). – Peter Taylor Oct 30 '14 at 13:58
  • @bretddog so what was the result? Thank you Peter Taylor for helping this newbie out. :) – user28908 Oct 30 '14 at 14:08
  • @Piglet I think it changed behavior after I sat it at very high temp. After, sugar did melt slowly when set at ~200. I never got to test it with a thermometer. Found out it kicked in when set at ~225. So basically 225 works normal, but 175 I think gives much less than 175. – bretddog Nov 11 '14 at 9:12

No - mine reaches up to 255 and if you are a little too close when opening it you'll find yourself quickly moving back - there is NO way I'm sticking my hand in for a minute. ;)

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