Your Oven is a Liar

… Get used to it.

For those of you that didn’t know:

An oven is an insulated box with a fire in it—there’s only so much control you can have over that setup, and we might as well be honest about it.

Brian Palmer, at Slate, explains why you can’t trust your oven.

Plus, a good baking tip: ‘The most common method [to determine adequate baking temperature in times of yore] seems to have been holding one’s arm in the oven until it became intolerable. (If you could count to thirty, the oven wasn’t hot enough for bread.)’

And thus, if you trust your oven’s temperature dial, I condemn you to put your arm inside your oven and switch it on. Time how long it takes for your arm hairs to singe. Anything under ten seconds indicates prime roasting temp.

Enjoy your dinner tonight.


PS. On my oven, the ‘Wrinkle Control’ setting seems best for most things.