Old Fashioned Recipe Oven Temperatures

Black cast iron old fashioned oven.
Old-fashioned oven temperatures.

Vintage Terms for Modern Oven Temperatures

Back in historic time, ovens were not as temperature reliable as they are today. They were old appliances, often not electric – coal, wood and gas ranges were the norm – and each one cooked differently.

The cook had to get to know their oven and temperatures were often tested by the feel of the hand method.

Old recipes are often somewhat confusing about oven temperatures. Some will say use a slow oven for a certain time, but never state a temperature, while others will state a temperature but not give a cooking time.

You often have to be the judge of when an item is finished cooking. Below are some approximate equivalents for old time oven temps converted to today’s degrees Fahrenheit.

Vintage Temp.Modern Temp.
Very Slow Oven200-250F / 95-120°C
Slow Oven250-350F / 120-175°C
Moderate Oven350-400F / 175-200°C
Quick or Hot Oven400-450F / 200-230°C
Very Hot Oven450-500F / 230-260°C
Extremely Hot Ovenover 500F / over 260°C
Estimated conversion for vintage oven temperatures.

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