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How to Fix an Oven that Heats Unevenly

I need to know how to fix an oven that heats unevenly. First make sure the racks are even, since the food may cook unevenly because it is sitting at an angle because you put on side up a notch higher than the other. This isn’t because we put the oven rack in wrong.

Have you run the self clean cycle in your oven recently?

That uses the broiler elements in most ovens. Yes, but an oven that had the broiler elements burn out may not cook the food the way you expect. It would take longer to pre-heat or fail to pre-heat at all, and it wouldn’t be able to broil at 450 degrees, but it should still heat evenly.

Is the oven burning things when it shouldn’t?

This isn’t a case of an oven over-heating everything because the heating elements are stuck on. There are mechanical controls that turn on a heating element and turn it off. If that’s stuck on for one heating element, it will glow hot while the others are off.

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At least that cause would be obvious when I look inside and all the elements but one are on.

The uneven heat distribution in that case is the cause. And fixing it requires fixing the control for that heating element. It isn’t because a heating element is stuck on.

You may have a heating element that burned out.

In that case, you look for the heating element that isn’t on while the others are. And that solution is just as obvious – replace that heating element. Replacing a heating element may be the right solution, assuming the wiring isn’t messed up.

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This isn’t like some appliances where you’re moving it or unplugging it often.

No, but a self-cleaning cycle could melt the insulation on the wires to one heating element, shorting it out. That’s a fire hazard. Yes, and it could cause the electrical fuse to the oven to blow out. That’s easier to diagnose, though, than when the oven’s thermal fuse blows out.

It is rare to get an electrical overload that overheats an oven unevenly, though I guess an oven on fire could do that.

That’s a whole other problem. If you had a gas oven, I’d say the problem was due to a dirty gas nozzle, so it couldn’t burn cleaning or evenly. That I could diagnose by one of the flames being dimmer or more yellow than the others.

The same thing could happen if the gas to that nozzle is turned off.

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That would be as obvious as a burned out heating element. A gas oven uses igniters or a glow bar to ignite the gas. Depending on the layout, you could have one side cooking and another not if not all of the gas burners ignite.

The same thing could

The fire hazard of gas ovens is why I don’t like them or have them. You could still have a really dirty heating element that is essentially insulated and not distributing the heat as it should.

Then I really need to turn on the convection fans until I get this resolved. Or your oven has several convection fans and one of those isn’t working, so one side cooks faster or more evenly than the other.

 

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