How to Check if Your Oven is Cooking Evenly

Uneven cooking is a common oven problem that becomes more of an issue as your appliance gets older. An oven that does not cook evenly can completely ruin an otherwise delicious dish. No one enjoys biting into food that has not been properly cooked, as you may encounter cold spots or burnt patches. Nobody wants to serve up an improperly cooked dish, so to help prevent this problem; you need to know if your oven is cooking evenly.

Image of an open oven

Common Reasons for Uneven Cooking

There are a myriad of reasons why your food may not be properly baked in your oven. Ovens contain a broil element and bake element that heats the top and bottom of the appliance, and if either element develops an issue, the food will be cooked only from one element. This can cause uneven baking. Another common cause of this problem are issues with the oven’s temperature sensor. This sensor regulates the heat level of the oven interior, and if it develops a fault, the oven might either become too hot or not heat up enough.

It is also a good idea to check that your oven is level. If your appliance is not standing level, it can cause food to be unevenly baked. Use a carpenter’s leveler to check side-to-side and front to back. If your oven is part of a cooking range, you may need to adjust the appliance legs to even out the oven. Should you have a built-in oven, you may need to contact an appliance repair service for assistance in re-installing your unit.

Finally, you may have an issue with the convection motor or element. This motor is needed to circulate air heated by the convection element. If either component develops a fault, it can create uneven cooking by improperly circulating air.

Burner Is Not Shut Off

It’s normal to hear your burners click several times as they attempt to ignite, but if you notice a clicking noise while your appliance is off, you may want to further check your unit.

Sometimes, this noise can simply be caused by accidentally leaving your burners on. Be sure to check each burner control knob to ensure they are completely turned to the “OFF” position. On some cooktops, you need to ensure the knob has been popped out in addition to turning it to the “OFF” position. Should you notice continuous clicking after your burner is properly turned off, or after it has already ignited, you should immediately turn off the unit’s gas supply and contact a professional cooktop repair technician, as this indicates a larger issue with your unit’s ignition system.

Checking if Your Oven is Cooking Evenly

If you have concerns that your oven may not be cooking evenly, there are some ways to determine if there are cooking hot spots. These include:

  • A Bread Test: Spread a layer of bread slices on a rack in the middle of your oven and bake for several minutes. After baking, remove the bread from the oven and check to see where the bread has been browned. If there are any areas that are still cold, this indicates that your oven isn’t cooking evenly.
  • Check the Calibration: Temperature calibration is a common cause of uneven cooking. Many of us take it for granted that when we set the dial to 350 degrees; the oven heats up to this temperature. This may not be the case, and you can check for uneven cooking by checking the temperature calibration. Set the oven to a specific temperature then place an oven-safe thermometer inside. You can then check the thermometer’s temperature to see if it matches your oven settings. Different temperatures indicate issues with the unit’s calibration.
  • Bake a Cake: A cake is one of the most temperature sensitive items to bake. If your oven is cooking unevenly, your cake may brown, but not cook through, or it may rise unevenly. Follow your favorite cake recipe and bake it in the oven. Once the cooking time has elapsed, pull out the cake and check for uneven browning or uncooked areas.

Simple Ways to Create More Even Cooking

If your oven is brand new or doesn’t have any faults, there are times you may still experience uneven cooking. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to get a more even cooking result. First, adjust your oven racks. If you are trying to cook a dish with the racks placed too high or too low, it will cook unevenly. You should also try to put dishes in the center of your oven for a more consistent result.

When considering oven repair projects, it’s important to remember that most ovens last anywhere between 10 to 15 years. If you’ve had your unit for a long time, it may be smart to invest in a newer model instead of tackling a costly repair project. To explore the wide range of options available today, consider using this online collection of ovens.

Upgrading your cookware is another consideration. The quality of your pans, pots or bakeware can have a massive impact on the results of your culinary experiments. If you are experiencing cooking difficulties in the preparation of meals, it may be the right time to make an investment in some better cookware.

It can be challenging to correctly diagnose or even dangerous to repair oven problems. For assistance with all your oven repair needs, do not hesitate to contact a professional home appliance repair service.