Utilize this convenient table to swiftly change between the oven’s various temperature settings. In addition, get an understanding of the role that temperature plays in cooking and baking.
A seemingly insignificant factor, ensuring that your food is prepared at the appropriate temperature, can have a significant effect on both its appearance and its flavour. When food is cooked for an excessive amount of time, it can become dry, tasteless, or even burnt.
If something is undercooked, it might still be hard even though it shouldn’t be, or it might even be unsafe to eat in the case of certain types of meat. With the help of our guide to oven temperature conversion and some pointers on how temperature affects your cooking, you will be able to achieve perfect results every time.
Gas mark: what is 180 degrees in gas mark or 200 degrees in gas mark?
In the United Kingdom, Ireland, and other Commonwealth nations, gas cookers and gas ovens are required to have a temperature scale known as the gas mark. If you cook with a gas cooker or gas oven, you will occasionally need to convert oven temperatures when following a recipe. In those cases, our chart that converts oven temperatures will come in handy.
Using our chart, it is easy to see that 180 degrees Celsius corresponds to the gas mark 4, and that 200 degrees Celsius corresponds to the gas mark 6.
How come the temperatures in fan ovens are lower?
Cooking temperatures in fan ovens are typically around 20 degrees Celsius lower than those in conventional ovens. Because the fan forces hot air to move around the interior of the oven and into the food, this results in a temperature that is more uniform throughout the oven as well as food that is cooked more rapidly.
It is always a good idea to double check your recipe, as failing to adjust the temperature to account for this effect could result in the outside of your food being overcooked, which would then render your dish inedible.
If a recipe only specifies one temperature for the oven, you can generally assume that it is referring to fan ovens because these types of ovens are the most common type of oven used today. However, there are some that will offer two, one being a higher temperature for traditional ovens and the other being a lower temperature for fans.
How can I determine if the temperature displayed on my oven is accurate?
These days, ovens come with a plethora of high-tech features to entice you, such as steam cooking and self-cleaning capabilities. Some of them can even be controlled by an app on your smartphone from a remote location. But this doesn’t mean that they get the fundamentals right, which is unfortunate. When the temperature is set to 180 degrees, we occasionally find ovens that reach a temperature of 220 degrees. Although it is more typical for an oven to exceed the temperature that you set it at, we occasionally come across models that have trouble reaching the desired temperature in the first place. Even though the temperature on one of the ovens we just tested was supposed to be 180 degrees Celsius, we only measured 150 degrees Celsius in a portion of the oven.
The margin by which the ovens in our tests that were least accurate exceeded the temperature that was set.
Thermometers for the oven
Every single oven comes equipped with its very own thermometer. Checking the temperature of your oven with a thermometer made of stainless steel is the most reliable way to ensure that it displays an accurate reading.
You can test the temperature in various areas of your oven by positioning the thermometer there to find areas that are either too hot or too cold. It is imperative that you remember to keep the thermometer in each location for at least ten minutes before checking for any changes.
If an oven is only off by a few degrees on average from the temperature that should be used, you can adjust for it by turning the temperature up or down slightly. You run the risk of getting unsatisfactory results, however, if the temperature difference is significant during the cooking process or if it fluctuates a great deal.
What effect does the temperature of the oven have on the cooking and baking?
Do you put the blame on yourself when your sponge cake doesn’t rise properly or when it burns the biscuits? It’s possible that it’s not you. As was just mentioned, despite conducting tests on hundreds of different ovens, we discovered that many of them do not maintain the temperature that is set inside of them. Some have even gone over the temperature limit by more than 40 degrees Celsius.
In order to determine the extent of the damage that can be caused by an oven that does not have accurate temperature controls, we conducted an experiment in which we baked a traditional Victoria sponge.
We baked four cakes according to the same recipe, but at temperatures ranging from 20 degrees Celsius below the recommended temperature to 40 degrees Celsius above the temperature at which they should have been baked.
Even a difference of 20 degrees Celsius can have a significant impact on how a cake turns out visually and how it feels to the touch, as our research has shown. And the same holds true for other dishes: if your oven runs too hot or too cold, you might find that your dinner isn’t ready when you expected it to be, or that it has burned and bubbled over before the timer goes off.
Too low of an oven temperature (140 degrees Celsius)
The cake’s colour was far too pale, and it had a depression in the middle and was underbaked in the middle as well. As a result of the baking process, the structure was extremely dense and contained very few air bubbles.
Oven set to the appropriate temperature (160 degrees Celsius).
The colour of the cake ranged from light beige to a medium brown. After being allowed to cool, it became relatively flat and maintained a good soft structure all throughout. There were a few air bubbles that were small in size and a few that were medium in size. Near the end of the baking process, the surface started developing a few cracks here and there.
Temperature in the oven was slightly too high (180 degrees Celsius).
This cake ended up being a shade or two darker than it should have been, and once it had cooled, its centre had risen more than its edges. The cake had risen during the cooling process, causing it to sink back down, which resulted in a number of surface cracks in the centre of the cake. This cake’s structure wasn’t too bad – it was soft in the middle, but it got slightly harder as it got closer to the base.
Too high of an oven temperature (200 degrees Celsius).
The top had an excessively dark colour, and the edges of the cake were overcooked and burned. It rose in an uneven manner, with a much greater height in the middle, and there were many surface cracks to be found.
The texture of the centre of the cake was fluffy, while the base and edges of the cake were quite firm. Please take into consideration that we baked the Victoria sponge at the recommended temperature of 160 degrees Celsius using a fan oven.
When you bake something, what exactly is going on inside your oven?
When baked at the correct temperature, your cake mix should transform into a fluffy, light, and hopefully delicious sponge that has uniformly risen, is completely cooked through, and has a lightly browned top.
This is because the chemical reactions that take place as a result of the heat from the oven take place in the correct sequence and for the appropriate amount of time. These reactions include the melting of the fat, the dissolving of the sugar, the formation of those nice airy bubbles, and the caramelization of the surface.
But if you accidentally cook in an oven that is preheated too high, the higher temperature will cause moisture to evaporate too quickly from the surface of the cake, resulting in an overbrowned cake that may be burned on the edges before the centre is cooked through. This can only happen if you cook in an oven that is preheated too high.
The overheating also has an effect on the structure, as a result of which the sponge will be drier and more rigid around the edges than in the middle. Cooking at a temperature that is too low will slow down the reactions, which will cause each stage to take longer. And even though you don’t run the risk of burning the exterior of the cake, you still run the risk of damaging the interior structure.
As a result of the lower rise, the finished product is a denser and less airy sponge.
How to make your baked goods taste amazing
The results of your baking are susceptible to being influenced by a wide variety of factors, including the ingredients that you use, the temperature of your kitchen, and the amount of humidity in the air. There are some things that are beyond your ability to manage, but a good place to begin is by selecting an oven that can accurately maintain the required temperature.
In order to achieve results that are deserving of The Great British Bake Off, here are some pointers that will put the odds in your favour.
Don’t open the oven door This can be a recipe for disaster for dishes that are particularly delicate, such as soufflés, and it is also not appreciated by delicate sponges. Because our reviews highlight which ovens have great visibility through the door, you will be able to keep an eye on your bakes without affecting their rise if you purchase one of the ovens that we recommend.
Be careful not to overfill the oven. Even though some ovens are better than others at distributing heat evenly and providing your food with the appropriate amount of heat, this task is made significantly more difficult if the oven is overloaded. In general, the quality of the food produced by cooking on more than two levels is likely to suffer.
Take careful measurements of the ingredients. When time is of the essence, it can be tempting to wing the measurements, but doing so is fraught with danger. If you want the best possible results from your baking, it is best to adhere to the ratios that are specified for the butter, sugar, and flour.
Make use of foil to prevent excessive browning. If you notice that your cakes or pastries are browning before they are fully cooked in the middle, you can potentially save the day by loosely covering them with aluminium foil. This allows the warm air to circulate, but it prevents the surface from being directly subjected to the more intense heat.