November 28, 2014

4 things you're doing wrong with your oven

By Sears PartsDirect staff
Things you're doing wrong with you're oven.

There's more to getting good, consistent results from your oven than just setting the time and temperature. Here are 4 surprising things to know about your oven.

Not pre-heating enough

Baked goods such as cakes, pies, cookies and pastries are delicate creatures that demand a consistent temperature for the entire cooking time.  And a consistent temperature depends on thorough pre-heating.

Precise pre-heating isn’t critical when you roast meat or vegetables, but when baking, don’t go by the pre-heat beep on your oven. Most ovens need at least 20 to 30 minutes to reach and maintain the temperature you set. Ovens with a hidden bake element take longer than those with an exposed element.

To make sure your oven is completely pre-heated, let the oven elements or burner cycle on and off 2 or 3 times. In an electric oven, during each cycle, the heating element starts then stops glowing red; a gas oven’s burner makes a soft whoosh sound when the burner goes on and again when it turns off.

When you’re satisfied that the preheat temperature has been reached, put the food in the oven as quickly as possible to minimize heat loss. Open the oven as seldom as possible while baking.

Trusting the temperature setting

If food always takes longer or shorter to bake or roast than the recipe says, it could be that the oven temperature you set isn't the oven temperature you actually get. If you suspect your oven temperature is incorrect, place an accurate digital thermometer with remote sensing probe in the middle of the center rack to measure actual oven temperature.

If the temperature is out of whack, recalibrate the oven. This guide gives examples of instructions for ovens with push-button controls and with knob controls. Because instructions vary by manufacturer, download and check your owner's manual for instructions specific to your model.

Using the wrong bakeware

The material from which bakeware is made influences how well it distributes heat, and thus how quickly foods cook. Manufacturers recommend increasing the cooking time when you use stainless-steel bakeware and insulated cookie sheets or baking pans. Decrease the oven temperature by about 25 degrees for oven-proof glass and ceramic bakeware.

Self-cleaning at the last minute

If you plan to use your oven’s self-cleaning feature before a big get-together, clean it at least a week before the event. That gives you time to fix it if the very high temperatures used for self-cleaning trip one of the oven's safety devices, disabling the oven.

Another infrequent problem is that the door won’t unlock after the oven cools. You might be able to fix it yourself: start a clean cycle, wait 1 minute and then press Cancel. If the door is still locked after 2 minutes, this video shows you how to reset the lock quickly and get the door working again. It also shows you how to tell if the lock motor is broken and replace it if needed.

Symptoms common to all wall oven

Choose a symptom to see related wall oven repairs.

Main causes: lack of electrical power, bad electronic control board, faulty oven control thermostat
Main causes: faulty oven temperature sensor, control system problem, weak burner igniter, damaged oven element
Main causes: lack of gas supply, broken igniter, tripped circuit breaker, broken oven element, tripped thermal fuse, control system failure
Main causes: broken broil element, faulty broil burner igniter, control system failure
Main causes: broken bake element, bad bake burner igniter, tripped thermal switch, control system failure
Main causes: bad oven door lock assembly, faulty electronic control board, wiring failure
Repair guides common to all wall oven

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your wall oven.

How to replace the thermal switch in a wall oven

If the oven won't heat after resetting the thermal switch, replace the thermal switch.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 60 minutes or less
June 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a wall oven control thermostat

Get your oven temperature under your control by replacing a faulty oven control thermostat.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 60 minutes or less
How to replace a wall oven door outer glass panel

Learn how to replace a damaged outer window panel on your wall oven door with these step-by-step instructions.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
Articles and videos common to all wall oven

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your wall oven.

October 1, 2018
Oven rack placement for the best baking results video
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn where to place the rack in your oven for optimal broiling, toasting, baking or roasting.

March 27, 2015
Easy DIY wall oven repairs
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn about a few easy and quick wall oven repairs you can do yourself.

November 28, 2014
4 things you're doing wrong with your oven
By Sears PartsDirect staff

You might be surprised by these 4 tips for using your oven better.