Replies: 14 - Last Post: Dec 24, 2011 8:18 AM Last Post By: 5Waldos
Dec 22, 2011 11:40 AM
Oven TemperaturesShort of going out and getting an oven thermometer in a foot of new snow, does anyone have any clever checks of oven temperature? I suspect mine is not what it should be but hate to just push it up randomly. I am trying to make cookies and cooking them way longer than recommended they still seem a bit underdone.
Dec 22, 2011 12:04 PM
Dec 22, 2011 12:27 PM
Dec 22, 2011 4:36 PM
Dec 22, 2011 4:36 PM
Dec 22, 2011 5:03 PM
5Do you have any sort of thermometer?
Check your oven temp
How to Test Your Oven Temperature Without a Thermometer
I once owned a stove with a completely useless dial. I got really good at estimating temperature by holing my hand in the heat. I didn't trust it for really delicate cakes, but it worked for just about anything else. How else did great-grandma figure out if she had a slow oven or a moderate oven?
Dec 22, 2011 5:56 PM
Dec 22, 2011 7:21 PM
Dec 23, 2011 3:48 PM
Dec 23, 2011 4:35 PM
Dec 23, 2011 8:44 PM
Dec 24, 2011 5:24 AM
12It seems to me the way you were doing it with your cookies was about as good as any, assuming you were using trustworthy recipes. If the cookies we taking much longer than the recipe specified, then the oven was too slow. If you turn it up and they get black at the edges before the center is done, it's too hot.
Our grandmothers not only had to test the temperature without a thermometer or thermostat, they had to then build or bank the fire to get it to the right temperature.
I've heard amateur etymologists recently claiming that "easy as pie" must mean "easy as eating pie" because making pie is, they claim, hard. But in a primitive oven, baking a pie is lot more forgiving than baking a cake. It was easy by nineteenth century standards.
Dec 24, 2011 7:38 AM
13So, by comparison, baking with a modern stove is a piece of cake?
Don't forget how much fun those old stoves were to maintain. This is from a little gem called a "Domestic Science Reader," published in 1896 . It's supposed to be a fun way for girls to learn about keeping a home. Norah's mother is explaining how to clean a stove. The "blacklead work" is using a stove blacking or stove polish to rub every bit of the stove to keep it "bright and nice" and prevent rust. "Black lead" isn't lead; it's graphite (as in pencil lead).
"...Now watch me, and I will show you how the stove should be cleaned." She opened the flue-doors in the back of the stove as she spoke, and pushed a brush into the flues, one by one. "These flue-brushes with their long handles of twisted wire," she said, "enable one to work them up and down, and round the flue in every direction, so as to sweep the soot from the top and sides of both oven and boiler."
All this time she was suiting the action to the word, of course, and in a few minutes she removed the brush, took out the soot-doors under the oven and boiler, and proceeded to clear out with the stove-rake the soot which the brushing had collected there.
"Now, I know the flues will be clear for some time," she said. "Let us next have a look at the grate, for that must be quite clear too."
She emptied the grate entirely of ashes and cinders, removed one or two rather large clinkers, which had become lodged between the bars of the grating, and then brushed all up clean into the ash-pit. Nothing now remained to be done but to remove the ash-pit, and brush away all dirt and ashes that had become lodged underneath it. Norah carried this away to be sifted, while her mother proceeded to brush and wipe out the oven itself, so that this might be quite clean and free from grease-spots.
The last business was to polish the stove, and this took some time, for there was a great deal of blacklead work, and it could only be done a piece at a time.
Dec 24, 2011 8:18 AM
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