I do not know what is wrong with me. I like to cook and I try new recipes but I always seem to burn or over cook the food. I follow the instructions without success. I have tried lowering the temperature of my oven and it doesn’t work. Do you have any suggestions?”
Sincerely, Hot Box
Dear Hot Box, (that’s funny) As a matter of fact, I do, and believe me when I tell you my friend, it has nothing to do with you. It’s your oven. It’s off.
When I visit a client’s home for a consultation, the first thing I do is test their oven. As soon as I walk in, I turn on their oven and stick in my trusty thermometer. After 15 minutes I take it out and write the difference down on their file, that way when I go to work the job, the client will be taught how to use “their” oven their way.
8 outta 10 ovens are off, I don’t care what the salesman tells you. No matter if they are new, old, high-end, gas, electric, whatever; it happens to any kind of oven. It’s common, and I find it all the time among new cooks. Most clients blame their skills, it’s just not the case.
There are 3 options, drive yourself crazy looking for something you think is better, spend a lot of money on electricians or simply adjust. I recommend curtain number three.
Once you figure it out, you no longer have to worry about it. Your oven will remain as it has always been, it’s not a fluctuation, your problem is a mis-reading.
If you place your oven thermometer in the center of the oven and set your temp to 400°, 15 minutes later your reading will be accurate. And most likely not what your oven is telling you. You can count, figure out how many degrees you’re off and adjust your recipes accordingly. I think you will be shocked.
And you know what? When something goes wrong in the kitchen, don’t automatically assume it’s your fault.
Oven thermometers come in many sizes, find one that doesn’t take up too much room and keep it in there for a week. Try out some of those recipes you burned before and lemme know how you do.
Good luck and enjoy!