Don’t let your oven make this holiday season any more stressful than it needs to be. Over, under or unevenly cooked foods are all common oven problems that can usually be fixed without needing to call in a professional, and are usually not too expensive.
If the temperature of your oven if off, it can cause a disaster. A bad oven sensor usually causes this. To test and see if this is the problem, buy a small oven thermometer and place it in the oven. If the temperate on the thermometer doesn’t match what you set the over to, you need a new sensor. An oven sensor is mounted along the back inside wall of the oven and is a metal rod usually 3-6 inches long. It is held to the wall by two screws and a harness plug, making it very easy to remove and replace. Once replaced, if there still is a discrepancy in temperature, the problem could be your control board, which is also a simple replacement, but more expensive.
If you are using a gas oven and find that baking takes much longer than it should you could have a weak oven igniter, which turns on multiple times during baking to fire up the oven burner. Weak igniters won’t start every time. This is also a very simple and inexpensive repair.
If your food is cooking unevenly this is mostly like your fault and no the ovens. Food cooks uneven when the oven is not properly preheated before cooking. Even after the oven says it has finished preheating it is a good idea to let it heat for another 5 minutes. This is because the oven sensor might be hot enough but most likely the oven walls are not and are still absorbing heat, and lowering the overall temperature.
Some oven models use a thermal fuse located on the back wall of the oven. If the fuse stops working, the oven controls will still continue to work like normal and let you turn on all functions. However, nothing will actually happen in the oven. Repairing the fuse itself is easy, however it usually requires moving the oven out from the wall, which can sometimes be a hassle.
The easiest repairs to identify are the ones that cause error codes to flash on the screen. Refer to your oven’s manual to see what each code stands for and the correct repair.
Once your oven is running correctly, you should have no added cooking stress for your holiday meals. Make sure you don’t use the self cleaning function right before a day you need to do a lot of cooking, as the oven runs the risk of overheating and damaging an important part.