Cooking and baking are skills that involve more than just setting an oven temperature and blindly trusting it. There comes a point when eyeballing your food gets out of hand. While judiciousness should always be used with baking and roasting, it's entirely possibly your oven has a mind of its own, and your Maytag oven temperature problems need some solving.
Things That Affect Temperature Performance
Oven liners and aluminum foil on the bottom of your oven can reflect the heat and intensify the cooking for your baked goods. On the other hand, it can impede air flow and reduce the heat. Foil on the oven floor can do both these things and can damage the heating elements by superheating them.
Cookware can change how heat distributes too. If you're using shiny aluminum for baking, you can follow the directions on packages and recipes. But if you're using dark and nonstick products, you may have to lower the temperatures by 25 degrees Fahrenheit, since they can absorb heat more readily and speed up the cooking process.
Finally, every time you open the door, the temperature drops. After all, that's why there's a window in the door. The colder your place, or if there's a breeze blowing through, the more this impacts cooking time.
Checking Maytag Digital Appliance Controls
Just because your oven panel's digital display says your oven is cooking at 400 degrees Fahrenheit doesn't mean that's the case. Maytag advises those who are concerned about oven calibration and whether their oven is cooking accurately to purchase a pack of refrigerated biscuits at the grocery market. It's a little strange, yes, but the ease of finding the fridge biscuits and the consistency in the product means they're a great way to see if you're getting the results you should.
Set the temperature to package directions if using a shiny baking tray, but drop it by 25 degrees F for dark or nonstick trays. Position the biscuits 1 to 2 inches apart and preheat the oven for a minimum of 12 minutes or until the "preheated" indicator shows it's ready.
Bake the biscuits for the suggested time without opening the door at all. If, during the recommended baking time, the biscuits come out appropriately browned and properly baked, your oven is fine. If not, you'll need to adjust the calibration.
Maytag Oven Calibration
When you press and hold the "bake" button for at least five seconds, the oven display should show "00" if it's never been calibrated before. If it has been calibrated in the past, you may see the calibrated temperature display in increments of 10, between -30 and 30 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the range you can calibrate.
Press the "temp/time" up and down arrow pads to adjust the temperature in 10-degree F increments. Maytag recommends not adjusting the oven calibration by more than 10 degrees Fahrenheit at a time.
You may press "cancel" if you decide to abort the mission. Your changes will not be saved, but press "start" if you wish to save them.
Or Go Old-School
The older your oven, the more likely it could be behaving more inconsistently than the calibration-tweaking can atone for. From dollar stores to big box home improvement stores, you can find oven thermometers cased in steel that you simply clip onto the rack. Once you set your baking temperature, this thermometer should reflect the actual temperature, and you can adjust accordingly until you get to the ballpark temperature you need the oven to be.
Steffani Cameron is the daughter of a realtor and interior decorator mother and a home contractor father. Steffani is a professional writer with over five years' experience writing about the home for BuildDirect and Bob Vila. Raised with a mad love for decorating, Steffani gave up her Art Deco apartment to travel and work remotely for five years. She's in love with experiencing traditional decor around the world, including stays in Thai teak plantations on the Mekong River and cave homes in Turkey.