If great cooks were to share their secrets for creating delicious recipes without fail, one of those would likely be a dependable oven that maintains the proper temperature. When the temperature fluctuates up too high, the surfaces of the food may scorch or overcook, while the interior is still raw and underdone. When the temperature fluctuates below the preferred setting, the food may take much longer to cook, resulting in texture issues and a lack of moisture. If the oven in your kitchen has begun to be less than dependable, here are some potential issues that may be causing the problem.
A damaged oven seal
Maintaining the heated air inside the oven chamber is a necessary part of the successful cooking process of each recipe. If the seal that is designed to help the oven door seal tightly to the body of the appliance is damaged, it may be unable to maintain the proper seal needed to cook food correctly.
A sensor issue
Each oven has a sensor inside that it relies on to help it reach and hold the temperature desired by the user. To work properly, the sensor must be positioned so that it does not touch the floor or wall of the appliance, which may be hotter or cooler than the air inside the oven compartment that actually bakes the food. In addition to being improperly positioned, sensors can become faulty and need to be replaced.
A bad thermostat or heating element
Both the thermostat and the heating element are also capable of creating major disparities between the temperature setting the cook selects and the actual temperature that is produced and maintained. If the oven has a digital control panel, as many recently manufactured models now do, it can be used to provide a clue about the condition of both the thermostat and heating element.
If the control panel thermostat light does not come on when you set the temperature and turn on the oven, it should be taken as a likely sign that it is not working correctly and will need to be checked and possibly replaced.
Conversely, if the control panel thermostat light comes on and does not go off at all, cooks should immediately suspect a faulty heating element is the problem.
Difficult ovens can ruin your baking and waste expensive ingredients. To make sure that your oven is working correctly, consider having it evaluated by a reputable appliance repair service before your next backing session.