How to Find Your Oven's Hot Spots

This quick test is simple but ~spot~ on.

rows of toast
Photo: Tara Moore / Getty Images

You know how it goes. You open the oven to find the cookies on one corner of the sheet pan looking a little, uh, scorched. Or to find that the breakfast casserole with the perfectly browned center still has a soupy side. It's not you. It's your oven.

All ovens have areas that get warmer (or cooler) than the displayed temperature. Though heat tends to be the most even in the center of the oven, temperatures around the outskirts can vary.

You can find these hot spots with the help of two loaves of white sandwich bread.

How to Find Hot Spots in Your Oven

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Line slices of bread along the bottom oven rack. The slices should start to get toasted after a few minutes. You'll find hot spots where the darker slices are. Slices that don't change much in color mark the cooler spots.

3. You can repeat the process with each rack, using fresh slices. (Because science.) You can also place slices on the top rack to test the broiler.

Now you know! And don't worry about wasting that bread. Just reduce the oven temp to make our Toasted Breadcrumbs Recipe.


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