How do ovens work?

Have you ever wondered how the food that you place in your oven actually gets cooked? Conveniently we do not have to even consider thinking about the cooking process and we focus more on the end result. It is always good to know about how the food we are consuming is actually cooked.

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Electric fan ovens work differently to gas ovens; there are many components that generate the appliance working functions.

 Electric fan ovens

A fan assisted oven cooks a lot quicker than a standard electric oven, as the fan distributes heat around the oven which overall speeds up the cooking process.  Fan ovens are particularly good for baking as the even heat supply generated creates perfectly golden brown bases- ideal for cookie and cake making.

  1. The power source is connected to the oven element, which is either activated by a switch knob or electronic functions- this depends on the style of the appliance.
  2. The temperature is kept at the selected level by the thermostat.
  3. The fan controls the heat flow around the oven which allows food to cook evenly.
  4. The grill function is activated by using a switch – the heat can be controlled using the switch. The grill elements heat up to the set temperature required, when using the grill the door should be slightly left open so that it doesn’t over heat.
  5. Most fan ovens will also have a light inside the oven which lets you check cooking progress without having to open the door.

Gas ovens

Gas ovens work in a different way to electric ovens as they are powered by natural gas, the advantage here is that the gas generates heat instantly as well as cooling down a lot quicker when switched off.

  1. Natural gas is runs through the valve regulator to the jets of the burners when the power knob is switched on.
  2. The cooker ignition needs to be switched on in order to generate a spark and light the flame.
  3. The heat can then be controlled by the power knob switches.
  4. The heat flow is controlled by an oven thermostat.
  5. The grill functions in a similar way but stems through smaller holes across a metal bar.

Electrics and gas – the pros and cons

  • Electric hobs heat up quickly but gas hobs have an easier controlled heat
  • Electric hobs are easy to clean
  • Gas hobs have a better heat distribution
  • Gas is commonly more cheaper to run than electric
  • Gas ovens do not usually come with fans so the heat isn’t as evenly spread as an electric fan oven
  • Gas cookers generally need to be professionally installed whereas electric do not
  • If your pan is bigger than the electric hob ring it will take longer to heat food up then gas hobs

As you can see there are many different functionalities with gas and electric ovens, although gas seem to be the cheaper option; electronic ovens prove to have a more substantial even heat flow, these factors will all need to be considered when picking your oven appliance.

Read on to find out how to clean an oven. 

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