How to Determine an Oven Problem
Have you noticed that things aren’t baking or roasting in your oven properly? If so, you could have an oven problem and may need a serviceperson to have a look at it.
Always check your owner’s manual first to see if there is any troubleshooting information. If you don’t have your manual, look for it on the manufacturer’s website or phone them to request one.
If you think you do have an issue with your oven, phone the manufacturer to see if it is still under warranty or if they are aware of a common issue. The following are some things that may help you determine if your oven has a problem:
• Have you put something on the floor of your oven (e.g. aluminum foil, a pan, etc.)? If so, remove it. Lining the floor of your oven with foil or putting something on the floor can interfere with the heating in your oven. As well, foil could potentially melt onto the floor.
• To check if your oven is keeping temperature, use an oven thermometer. You can look for one at grocery stores or specialty kitchen stores. An oven thermometer is designed to stay in your oven while it is in use. It is best to use your oven light to help with checking the oven thermometer and to not open the oven door, if possible. Opening the oven door will cause the oven to lose heat and may skew the thermometer reading.
• A test you can perform to determine if your oven is keeping a constant temperature is to put an oven thermometer in your empty oven on a rack where you will be able to see it without opening the oven door. Turn your oven on to a certain temperature. Over the course of an hour, record the oven thermometer reading every 10 minutes. Take the average of those readings. If you find that the average reading is more than 25°F off from what you set your oven to, you may have an issue with your oven.
Many ovens can be calibrated at home by following the instructions, if any, in the owner’s manual. For more on this, check out our oven calibration information.
• Another test you can perform is to buy a plain white cake mix from the grocery store and prepare the cake exactly as directed. If the cake does not bake properly in close to the time stated in the directions, you may have an issue with your oven.
Last updated on January 22, 2019