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I am curious why I can not find a home oven that can reach temperatures over 500°F/260°C. Every oven I have seen maxes out at 500°F.

I am wondering are there safety regulations that limit this, or maybe technical or cost reasons?

  • Mine goes to 550F, and I looked at a handful of random ones from Home Depot and saw 550F there as well. Still a fair question why they don't go past that, I suppose, but I don't think 500F is a hard limit. – Cascabel Apr 15 '16 at 18:25
  • Where are you? Your country may have restrictions that other places do not. – Catija Apr 15 '16 at 18:44
  • @Catija I would say that if someone's quoting oven temperatures in Fahrenheit, they're in the US. Even in the UK ovens are labelled in Celsius. – Chris H Apr 15 '16 at 22:05
  • Self cleaning cycle will exceeds 500°f, but many ovens lock the door during that cycle. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-cleaning_oven says 900°f – Optionparty Apr 16 '16 at 3:05
  • I remember with small pizza ovens in the EU, there were issues with the maximum OUTSIDE temperature being subject to regulation. And don't forget that manufacturers will be shy to implement a capability that is useful to few users but risks unsafe use by a lot of users (setting food or cookware on fire) and ensuing legal arguments. – rackandboneman Apr 20 '16 at 15:48
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They do go above 550F, it's a question of design and the type of wiring used in an oven. THWN is commonly used to wire up home ovens, which has a maximum surrounding ambient temperature rating of 105 degrees celsius.

So, oven makers need to design ovens where the ambient temperature of things outside of the insulated oven cavity don't reach a temperature above 220 degrees fahrenheit (that's where the wiring lives), and not exceed the insulation around the door of the oven, and not burn anyone coming in contact with the sides.

So it's both safety and technical cost reasons. Hotter home ovens are possible, and available, but they're made a bit differently and the cost to produce them is a bit higher. Since most people cooking at home don't need something that goes north of 500 degrees, there isn't a big market for them - and the market that does exist is mostly in the commercial space.

A residential implementation would have some pretty specific insulation requirements, be slightly larger than most home builders anticipated (making them harder to install) and naturally quite a bit more expensive and scarce.

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No there is no reason why a well-built oven can't go higher then 500°F: my German-built Bosch oven has:

  • a pyrolytic self-cleaning program that goes to 480°C (896°F), and even the hardest stains get reduced to a mere sprinkling of white dust
  • the grill goes up to 350°C (662°F) which will make a perfect gratin in less then a minute, but which will burn the same gratin to something resembling charcoal in about 2 minutes.
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    This is quite consistent with Tim's answer; Bosch is definitely a more high-end brand in the US. So given that you have to spend that kind of money to get a high max temperature, while there are cheaper ones available with lower max temperatures, I wouldn't exactly say there's no reason most commonly available ovens don't go higher. – Cascabel Apr 19 '16 at 21:12

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