Photo: Saute Magazine
Are your pies, cookies and cakes baking unevenly and you’re wondering if it’s you or the oven? An easy test is to get canned biscuits and bake them according to the directions. If they come out unevenly browned or burned in some areas, then you’re not at fault – your oven is! While it’s fairly simple to determine if your oven is baking unevenly, it can take a bit more work to find out why.
- Bake Element
The bake element is the narrow metal tubing that sits near the bottom of your oven. If it doesn’t glow red when the oven is on, then the element isn’t heating. To see if the element is burned out, check for any visible damage like holes or blisters. You may also want to test it with a multimeter. If the baking element is damaged or doesn’t have any electrical continuity, then you’ll want to replace it.
An igniter opens the gas valve and ignites the gas in your oven. A defective igniter will take longer to accomplish this, thus causing temperature issues. To determine if it is defective, turn on the oven and watch the igniter. If it glows for more than 90 seconds without igniting the gas flame, then it’s too weak to work correctly and will need to be replaced. You can also test the igniter’s electrical continuity with a multimeter.
- Broil Element
The broil element looks similar to the bake element, but you’ll find it on the top of your oven. As with the bake element, the broiler element will glow red if it’s heating properly. To see if the element is burned out, check for any visible damage like holes or blisters. You may also want to test it with a multimeter. If the broil element is damaged or doesn’t have any electrical continuity, then you’ll want to replace it.
- Temperature Sensor
As its name suggests, the temperature sensor helps to regulate your oven’s temperature and is one of the more common causes of an oven not baking evenly. It looks like a prong sticking out from the back oven wall. If the sensor is out of calibration, your oven won’t bake evenly. You can test the temperature sensor using an ohm meter to test the resistance of the part.
- Oven Control Board
An oven control board works with your oven’s sensor to control your oven’s temperature. If your sensor is operational, then the oven control board may not be reading the sensor resistance correctly. You may need to recalibrate your oven’s control board – check your owner’s manual for instructions. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to replace the oven control board.
- Convection Element
In a convection oven, some models use a separate convection elementto help heat the air circulating inside of it. If the convection element is burned out, the oven won’t heat evenly. To see if it’s working, use a multimeter to test the element for continuity. If there’s no continuity, you’ll have to replace it.
- Convection Motor
The convection motor is what drives the convection fan to circulate the air inside the oven. For a convection oven to heat evenly, the air must circulate. If the motor isn’t working, first see if it turns freely. You can also test its continuity using a multimeter. If it doesn’t turn freely or there’s no continuity, replace the motor.
Article by Chris Zeisler for Sauté Magazine. Read the original article here.