Oven temperatures - is this a thing?

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Oven temperatures - is this a thing?

Postby Pepper Pig » April 19th, 2017, 3:45 pm

Or an urban myth?

Mum used to cook on gas and reckoned that at popular times such as Christmas the pressure would drop and you had to allow extra for the meat to cook. Since I've been head meal provider I've always thought this was bunkum but I was wondering again on Sunday. I have a mock AGA with electric ovens and it was full. The temperature is always even in the fan oven, but it dropped down in the ordinary one when they were both full. It bucked up no end once I removed things.

I think (know) the cooker is fairly crap (memo, this is our second Leisure and not impressed) but is there a thing whereby more stuff in the oven makes it panic?

Mum also had a thing about baking cakes. You had to leave al the doors into he kitchen closed whilst the oven weaved its magic . . .
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Re: Oven temperatures - is this a thing?

Postby scullion » April 19th, 2017, 4:08 pm

i think it's more to do with the fact that if you put more cold, dense stuff in a hot oven the longer the heat takes to go up again and to penetrate each individual, cold thing - in the same way as if you put a lot of unfrozen stuff in the freezer it will take the temperature up and will take a longer time to get back down to a good freezer temperature than if you put a small pack into an already 'cold' freezer.
not being the best at physics, i may be wrong but just think how long it takes to boil a small pan of water on the hob as opposed to a massive pan using the same heat source.
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Re: Oven temperatures - is this a thing?

Postby Hope » April 19th, 2017, 4:23 pm

My mum said the same about gas and christmas. She even said it when I cooked christmas dinner for her for the first time, even though my oven is electric! (potatoes did take longer than normal to cook, but probably because I was cooking more things than normal - maybe that's the reason!)
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Re: Oven temperatures - is this a thing?

Postby earthmaiden » April 19th, 2017, 5:03 pm

We had all electric and the same theory was put out. I have most experience with water and there are peak times each day when most is being used that pressure drops considerably - to a level which is still acceptable unless something goes wrong because regulatory levels are pretty tight these days. I see no reason really why it wouldn't be the same in the gas and electricity industry. At times like Christmas it takes some tweaking to keep levels up. If you sit in the control room of any utility and watch the consumption change at the end of a football match or something like that when people rush to put kettles on and go to the loo you will see a huge surge in use, the degree by which it does is astounding!

It certainly seems to take an age to get everything cooked at Christmas when the oven is full. Much, much longer than usual. I find it quite hard to gauge how long extra will be needed - and oh yes, no draughts whilst cakes were baking!
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Re: Oven temperatures - is this a thing?

Postby Busybee » April 19th, 2017, 5:46 pm

EM - on a same theme........how quiet a&e is when there is a big football match on or a cliffhanger/wedding in one of the soaps. People seem not to be in need of assistance but it soon gets busy when it's finished!

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Re: Oven temperatures - is this a thing?

Postby suffolk » April 19th, 2017, 5:54 pm

I'm certain that electric power used to drop at times of peak demand way back ... but I'm talking about the 50/60s ... certainly haven't noticed it over the past 30 years.
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Re: Oven temperatures - is this a thing?

Postby Suelle » April 19th, 2017, 6:18 pm

I think things definitely take longer to cook if the oven is full, but I think that's due, as someone has suggested already, to each batch of cold food going in lowering the temperature, and the oven needing to heat up again. And it's not heating just air, as when you open the door, but all the cold things you've added
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Re: Oven temperatures - is this a thing?

Postby PatsyMFagan » April 19th, 2017, 6:42 pm

I often cringe when you see cooks/chefs/bakers on a tv programme opening their oven to put something in and then slamming it shut .. I was taught to close the door gently so as not to blast a shot of cold air in :aww: :?
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Re: Oven temperatures - is this a thing?

Postby StokeySue » April 19th, 2017, 7:00 pm

Certainly the gas pressure used to drop at peak times, it affected our first gas boiler as well as the oven, my impression is that it got better after we went to natural gas, and hence got rid of the gas holders used as reservoirs for town gas?

Not sure about 'lectric
But don't forget that if you really fill an oven, say you normally put 1kg of food in, but at Christmas you put 5kg in. To raise the temperature of the food by 1 degree C then needs (obviously, but we all tend to forget it) 5 times the heat and five times the electricity, so even working flat out an average oven may not be able to maintain the intended temperature as the food soaks up the heat. Plus even in a fan oven circulation isn't as good with the oven full.

If nothing else it's a good argument for pre-heating the oven properly
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Re: Oven temperatures - is this a thing?

Postby EmWilk » April 19th, 2017, 7:02 pm

We have had a national grid saga over the last week as our pressure apparently was dangerously low.

Anyhow, after works were carried out the pressure was measured twice for various boring reasons but once on maundy Thursday around tea time and once on easter Monday around 3pm. The pressure each time was 19 millibar (?) and 20.5 millibar respectively. I asked why it would've changed and the engineer said there might've been a lot of people on the network on the Thursday! Apparently it does change based on this.

So I guess it could affect the temp but could it really? I'm not altogether sure!
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