How Does My Electric Oven Work?

It’s true that gas once ruled supreme where cooking is concerned but nowadays there’s been a big rise in electric ovens. In fact, since the 20th-century electric ovens have gone from strength to strength and are now probably one of the most common and popular cooking appliances available.

But exactly how does an electric oven work? It might not be a question you have ever bothered to ask yourself but if you own an electric oven of any kind or are thinking of getting one then you should really know how they work.

Electric ovens are very versatile appliances that come in many different forms, you could have a single free-standing unit, a wall oven or a combination unit. There’s a lot more choice when it comes to electric ovens than you probably realise but the good news is electric ovens all follow very similar principles.

To understand how exactly an electric oven works you need to look at two main things, first the basic components of the oven and then its inner workings. Like I mentioned earlier all types of electric oven whether it be a freestanding stove or a countertop one all follow the same principles in operation so many of the basic components will be the same.

Electric Ovens – Basic Components

heating elements

So, let’s start with the basic components of an electric oven, shall we? The first thing you need to know about are the two heating elements, one is at the top and one is at the bottom. These elements are enclosed in a steel box and controlled by the oven’s thermostat and selector switch.

The majority of electric ovens (regardless of type) will usually also feature a built-in timer for more precise cooking and an interior light which helps you see inside it. More modern electric ovens will also usually feature self-cleaning control to help ensure the oven stays clean.

Despite a few more modern design elements, newer electric ovens are very similar to older models although there is one important area where they differ. Older electric ovens will usually feature control dials whereas more modern machines will instead feature more advanced electrical controls. So, that’s the basic components of an electric oven let’s now take a look at there inner workings shall we?

Electric Ovens – Inner Workings

electric oven fan

So, now we know the basics how do the inners of the actual oven work? First of all, when you set the temperature, whether it’s with an older style dial or a more advanced control panel the result is the same, the heating elements activate. The elements are connected to the temperature control box with a copper wire that checks the temperature and allows you to make adjustments.

The heating elements are actually powered in a somewhat unusual manner when the elements reach a high temperature (higher than what you actually request on the dial) the power to them is cut and the heat level reduces till it reaches the temperature you selected.

Whatever kind of electric oven you have one thing will be certain neither of the heating elements inside it will move, they will remain fixed at all times. Heating elements also aren’t what you likely think they are either, they are actually made up of metal wires and sheaths.

The electrical wires that make-up the elements are how the heat is sent to them, once the wire heats up the elements start cooking the food. The heat travels to the metal to help ensure even cooking throughout the elements.

While most electrical ovens follow the same principles convection ovens do have one added extra feature in the shape of a fan which is used to blow hot air around inside the oven. Some other types of electric oven have adopted this feature and will have their own in-built fan to blow air as well but it’s more commonly a feature exclusive solely to convection ovens.

Dials and Electric Controls

control panel

Depending on a number of factors like the age, make and model your electric oven will either have a dial setting or an electric control panel. With each control type comes a few differences, but in many respects, they work very much the same.

Although one way they differ is with baking and broiling, with electric ovens baking is always done on the bottom heating element while broiling is always done on the top one. In older models with a dial you can select what kind of cooking you want but can’t really control much with the dial when it comes to broiling, they are simply designed to cook food from top to bottom.

But with electrical controls and more advanced electric ovens, you’ll have more options when it comes to broiling of your food.

To learn more about how you can get the best out of electric oven, please consult our electric oven repair technicians.

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Author: Repair Aid®

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