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Kitchen

Tool Tip: His and Hers Oven Thermometers0

I got a new $10 gadget from the hardware store, all because I undercooked a chicken pot pie.

My husband (jack-of-all-trades and licensed electrician) confirmed that the oven wasn’t reaching the right temperatures after I complained for weeks about baking calamities and roasts that wouldn’t brown without the broiler.

He’d diagnosed a bad thermistor ($40) and considered a defective printed-circuit board ($450), until I told him stuff was not cooking on the bottom.  It took longer to find the hidden bottom heating element ($50) by removing the side panel than it took to remove the element and see that it was physically broken!

The oven works now, but its built-in sensor indicates a temperature that’s 25 degrees higher than the hardware store thermometer.  Which is right?

“Let’s get another one for a second opinion,” I suggested.

The second thermometer agrees with the first and now resides permanently in my oven as a reliable temperature indicator.  My husband can keep the other one in his toolbox.

Bon Apetite!  Baked goods are browning nicely, but I gotta remember to remove that new thermometer before the oven cleaning cycle!

text and photos by Sandra Simmons

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