Oven hot spots are a common problem for both professional chefs and home cooks alike. You may be struggling with your own oven hot spots and not even realise it!
Oven hot spots are areas within the centre of the oven that retain stronger heat than others. This means that certain parts of the oven will be hotter than other parts, the former being known as ‘oven hot spots’. Simple!
Sadly, oven hot spots have been the cause of many a lopsided cake and burnt cookie. Once you know where they are, it is quite easy to adapt your cooking to them.
Convection ovens tend to avoid the issue thanks to the fan assistance which helps the heat circulate around the oven. Depending on where the heat source is in your oven, the heat will most likely stick more to the bottom or the top.
Oven hot spots occur for all kinds of reasons. That’s no reason to put up with them!
How Do You Fix Oven Hot Spots?
Firstly, you must identify where exactly the hot spots are. An easy way to do this is to buy an oven thermometer or to simply check your food!
If you lay out a few trays of cookies and you find that the outer left side is burnt compared to the rest, for example, you will be able to identify the oven hot spot as being towards the left side.
Once you have located the oven hot spots, simply turning your baking over and around whilst they are cooking is the best option.
For example, should you be cooking a cake, midway through the cooking time, simply turn the cake in its platter around, and let the other side cook through as well as it did on the first side.
It may take a few tries to get it right, but eventually you will end up with a relatively even bake!
Where is the Hottest Spot in an Electric Oven?
Most ovens are hotter at the top. It can vary, though, meaning it’s good to check from top to bottom before baking!
When it comes to electric ovens, an oven hot spot at the top is a common issue, though not a guarantee. A good way to find out where your oven is hottest is simply to buy an oven thermometer and see for yourself.
Preheat your oven before checking, giving it time to warm up thoroughly, then give it a go! Fan assisted ovens tend to be the best when it comes to heat distribution, as the fan helps the heat to circulate, but no oven is perfect and no oven thermometer is completely accurate.
Why not try using a few slices of bread on your oven rack to try out your oven hot spot theory? There’s no point letting baked goods go to waste!
How do I Know if My Oven is Too Hot?
A good way to check whether or not your oven is too hot is to simply check the food that it cooks.
Maybe you have tried to make the perfect meal over and over again and it just keeps coming out burnt! Sometimes, this can be due to a faulty part in your oven.
Should it keep coming out overcooked to the point where it is burnt, even though you followed the recipe perfectly and the temperature setting was correct, then it may be time to get your oven fixed. Sometimes the problem is with a smaller component that can be replaced.
Should, however, it be a part of a bigger issue, then it may be time to replace the appliance. Cooking or baking with an oven that is getting too hot may not seem like a big deal and is something that you feel you can work around, but being that an oven is an appliance that needs to be 100% safe to use in your household, it would be wise to have an engineer take a look at it.
How Do I Test my Oven Heat?
The best way to test your oven heat is with an oven thermometer. You could, again, try the white bread test!
All recipes require specific temperatures in order for the food to be cooked perfectly. You may have followed the recipe to the letter and still find that your food has not come out properly!
Built-in oven temperature gauges are not completely accurate and are usually off by quite a bit! Oven thermometers can be bought in most supermarkets are usually just under or just oven £ 10. It might be the cheapest and easiest way to check the center of the oven is at the best temperature.
Can I Check My Oven Temperature Without a Thermometer?
A common way to check the temperature of your oven without a thermometer is by using sugar!
Simply put a handful of sugar in a dish and place it in the oven. At a precise temperature (186 degrees Celsius), sugar begins to melt. Should your oven be set at 186°C and the sugar not be melting, then you will know that the temperature in your oven is colder than what it is portraying. On the contrary, should the sugar melt at a temperature that is lower than its 186°C rating, then the oven is running higher than the gauge is showing!
Should Ovens Get Hot On the Outside?
Oven doors do get hot, but not the handles. Even so, whenever you are baking, keep oven mitts to hand!
Ovens can reach extremely high temperatures so it is only normal that their doors do get quite hot too. Due to the layers within oven doors being quite thick, they will not get as hot as it is inside the cavity, but they will warm up from it.
There is no need to worry if your oven door is heating up, especially if your oven has been running for a while.