Oven temperatures are a lottery, Which? research reveals17% of ovens overheat your dinner by 20°C

03 March 2015

range cooker

Your cooker or oven dial could vary from the actual temperature by as much as 40°C

Whether you're buying a range cooker, freestanding cooker or built-in oven, it's quite an investment, so you'll want to guarantee great results. But Which? tests have found that an alarming number of ovens either don't reach, or will exceed the temperature you choose. 

We've come across ovens going over the thermostat's stated temperature by more than 30°C – that's enough to seriously burn your batch of biscuits or overcook the supper.

Our latest batch of tests reveal 17% of range cookers, freestanding cookers and built-in ovens overheating by a staggering 20°C or more, with nearly a third exceeding their stated temperature by 10°C. And it's not just overheating that's an issue – we detected one model under-heating by 40°C.

Find out how well brands including Beko, Belling, Leisure and Rangemaster fared in our range cooker reviews.

Best and worst ovens and cookers

A great oven will heat up quickly to the correct temperature – some cookers take less than four minutes to reach 180°C. You'll be left waiting for nearly three times as long for the slowest-to-heat-up ovens.

The best ovens spread heat evenly throughout the oven cavity. We bake shortbread and sponge cakes in our tests, and it's clear which ovens succeed at distributing heat well. The ones that don't, leave us with pale and overdone shortbread and an unevenly browned cake.

Our results reveal which ovens, whether as a cooker or as a built-in oven, will give results you can rely on. 

Visit our freestanding cooker reviews or built-in oven reviews to discover which cookers impressed and which should be left to languish in the shop.

Range cooker reviews

Here's the full list of range cookers we've just tested:

Beko BDVF 100X £699
Belling Classic 90DFT £829
Belling DB4100E £1149
Belling DB4110G £1074
Bertazzoni AD905MFEXE £1695
Flavel Milano MLN10CRS £680
Flavel MLN10FRS £550 
Leisure Cookmaster CK100G232C £848
Leisure Cuisinemaster CS90F530X £1033
Rangemaster Platinum 110 £1800

More on this...

  • Top models revealed in built-in oven best buys
  • Get expert advice on how to buy the best range cooker
  • Compare our freestanding cooker reviews