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Why is My Oven Not Heating Properly?

man trying to figure out why oven is not heating properly

While high-end ovens are synonymous with superior cooking ability, even they can fall victim to heating issues.

Why is my oven not heating properly?

In gas ovens, a faulty igniter is the most common reason an oven does not heat properly. To function properly, the igniter must gather enough electrical power to open the valve that allows gas to flow and must produce a spark to ignite the gas. Similarly, with an electric oven, a malfunctioned heating element will result in improper heating

We will now dig deeper into the most likely reasons for an oven not heating up and the right solutions.

Troubleshooting an Oven Not Heating Properly

Though a part malfunction may be responsible, troubleshooting the oven not heating includes several other possibilities. From a failure to preheat to an open oven door, these are the most common causes of an oven not heating properly.

Oven Heating Pie

Oven Not Adequately Preheated

Sometimes a failure to preheat can present as an oven temperature problem. For food to fully cook within its recipe’s time frame, the oven must first reach its set temperature. Always allow adequate time for your oven to preheat before you begin cooking. 

Self-Clean Cycle Is Not Complete

The oven’s self-clean cycle uses extremely high heat to burn away grease, grime, and food particles over a long period of time. The oven is so hot during the self-clean cycle that it also requires a significant time to cool down once the cycle ends. You may find your oven not heating properly and overcooking food if you attempt to use it before the self-clean cycle is complete.

Before using the self-clean cycle, check your user manual to determine how long the cycle will take. Most require at least 3-4 hours, including an hour-long cooldown, before you can use the oven for cooking. 

Oven door.jpeg

Oven Door is Not Completely Closed

If the oven door isn’t completely closed during cooking, heat will escape, elongate cooking times, or leave food undercooked. Even a small opening can result in an oven not getting hot enough to cook food properly. 

Here’s how to ensure that the oven door is correctly closed:

  • Make sure oven racks are correctly installed: Racks that aren’t positioned properly can block the door from closing.

  • Check for door obstructions: A trapped dish towel or handles on cookware can prevent the door from closing completely.

  • Assess for damage: If the door hinges, rack guides, or other door components are broken or damaged, the door won’t close properly. Damaged parts require professional replacement.

Faulty Igniter

To determine if the igniter is faulty, watch it as it attempts to light the gas. If it takes longer than 90 seconds to light the gas or doesn’t light up at all, the igniter should be replaced.

Burned Out Bake Element

For electric ovens, a burned out bake element is often responsible for heating issues. Located at the bottom of the oven, the bake element provides most of the heat for baking and roasting. When functioning properly, it will glow bright red and provide consistent, even heat.

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