Checking the temperature is correct in ovens and cookers
In most cases, this is a question that many of us have never asked – is my oven temperature correct? This is because we have noticed no deterioration in cooking times or consistency, and have no issues with the outside temperature of the actual oven/cooker.
This could be because you have purchased a good quality appliance and whether its free-standing, under-counter or built-in, it has been installed correctly and meets the guidelines laid out in your manufacturer’s handbook.
That’s all well and good, but unfortunately even the best products can have problems, but it is probably fair to say that problems of this kind are more noticeable on a less expensive oven/cooker.
The quality of materials used may lead to temperature issues over time. If you appliance is not fitted with an internal fan it may make the problem more noticeable.
You can rest assured that even if your oven does feel hot on the outside in normal use, it will be within BS Standards, which are upgraded all the time. It is a very rare occurrence if the outside temperature of your oven/cooker exceeds these standards. Urgent action should be taken if this is the case, the first being to switch off the appliance and do not re-use until such time it has been checked by a professional.
If you have concerns about your oven temperature, it is a good idea to make sure the installation is correct. Check the installation instructions in your manufacturer’s handbook to ensure it has been done correctly. Check all the gap sizes to confirm they are in line with those specified in your handbook. As a general rule there should be a 10mm gap around the top and both sides. Depending on whether you have an oven that is fitted under-counter or built-in cabinet, there should be a 10mm gap at the bottom as well. However, please double-check the correct gaps for your model and fitting choice as some models may require different spacing.
If you find there is an error in the installation, once amended this should stop any further problem. You will also have saved yourself a call out charge from a qualified engineer. The installation is the first thing they will check, so it is definitely worth taking the time to make sure you are happy it complies with the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Signs to be aware of
Apart from wondering if the outside temperature is too hot to the touch, you may have also noticed discolouration of cabinets surrounding the oven, or even a cracking of the surface of the adjoining cabinets.
As stated above, the first thing to check is the air gaps surrounding the oven. If the gap is not large enough, it is not surprising that some discolouration has occurred. However, on closer inspection the markings may not be caused by excess heat, but the fact that when the oven door is opened during the cooking process, some droplets of fat can be expelled with the air that is released, which is can be the cause of any markings. Cracking is more than likely to be the result of wear and tear from the budget end of kitchen ranges.
If you have worked through all the above options and you are still concerned that the outside temperature is too high, you should speak to your local qualified engineer and ask him to check it out for you.
The reason for this is that most households will not have to hand the kind of thermometer that your professional will use to test the equipment. He will generally give you a call and ask you to turn on the oven on to a specific temperature, so that it has reached the required level when he arrives.
He will take readings from all areas of the oven, both inside and out, and once he has all this information he will either advise the temperature is within BS Standards or advise what the next steps could be.
Please bear in mind, if the problem is caused because the oven/cooker you have chosen is of poor quality there may not be anything he can but may be able to offer some advice of ways to mitigate the problem.
However, if the problem has been caused by a fault on the oven, when you contact your supplier, it is probably a good idea for you to have taken some photos of any damage that has been caused to your units, as you may be able to claim for this to be repaired.