internal temps
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Posted on Thursday May 19, 2011 at 4:56 AM  
Allen,you getting any fishing in? got a quick question for you.say your oven is pretty accurate,you put in something like a meatloaf.internal temp is supposed to be 160-165 after about 30 min. you test it and say it is at there a time to temp ratio? like 2 min to 1 degree?just trying to figure out how much more time to put on the timer without having to open the oven so much and not overcooking.
thanks tom
Posted on Friday May 20, 2011 at 8:40 AM  
Never trust the oven dial. Get a separate, "oven thermometer". You'll probably have to go to the Stockpot; it's a restaurant supply store on the north side of 41st, halfway between Sheridan and Memorial. Do a dry run; place the thermometer in your oven (I just leave mine in at all times), set your oven to 350 degrees F, give it 30 minutes to come up to temp, then check what the thermometer says. It could be over or under. Figure out what the difference, up or down, and set your dial by that much. Some ovens, you can actually adjust how the dial fits onto the control armature, or adjust the little piece with the markings for temp on the dial itself.

If you can, get a "pizza stone". It's a large piece of artificial, stone-like material, that you can place in your oven. It's supposed to be used to place a pizza directly on the stone and bake it. An added side-effect is that this helps to regulate the oven temp. On electric ovens, the element kicks on and off, at different intervals for different temps. This averages out to give a set temp, but what actually happens is that you get spikes and dips on the oven's temp. The stone helps to hold the heat, and evens it all out. It's been my experience that using a stone, the oven is usually 25- 35 degrees F higher than what the dial says. On gas ovens, the dial actually adjusts the amount of gas that's being burned, so the effect of a pizza stone is not as great, but still beneficial.

I'm not sure if there's a time/temp chart for cooking something like a meatloaf. I honestly wouldn't trust the time given in a recipe, as I usually end up adding more stuff to a given recipe, and that just adds to the cooking time. You're on the right track, though. Check the temp before you try to serve it! You might make a notation on your recipe about, "Cooked meatloaf weighing X lbs, took H:MM time to cook.

And yes, I am getting some fishing in. That's the primary reason why I haven't been on as much. Next week, I'm on vacation, and should be on the forum a little more.
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