An oven is a vital appliance in your kitchen. And generally, heating elements are the heart of every oven. The heating element is responsible for heating your oven. Therefore, a faulty or broken heating element could mean uncooked food. Generally, ovens have two heating elements: the broil (top or upper) element and the bake (bottom) element. And while they are designed to last, they are not fault-proof. Therefore, they can malfunction over time. It's important to know when this happens to purchase replacements early enough. Therefore, here are some easy ways you can tell that your oven heating element is bad.
Check The Colour of Your Heating Elements When the Oven Is On
Heating elements typically glow bright orange when the oven is hot. Therefore, the quickest way to troubleshoot a faulty heating element is to check its colour when your oven is in normal operation. If only parts of it are bright orange or if it's not at all, it's likely burnt out, and you will have to find a replacement. Worth noting is that some ovens have a metal plate covering the heating elements. Therefore, you will need to follow the instructions in your owner's manual to remove the metal plate to access the heating element. If you are not confident doing this, it would be best to skip this step and focus on other potential indicators of a faulty heating element.
Your Food Is Cooking Unevenly
An issue with your heating elements will often show in the quality of food you cook. With faulty heating elements, your food will cook unevenly or partially. Therefore, if parts of your dish are overdone while others appear not to be cooked, it's usually because sections of your heating element are damaged. However, before you conclude that your heating elements are problematic, it's worth noting that your temperature sensor probe could also be the culprit.
Your Oven Is Taking Longer Than Usual to Preheat
Malfunctioning heating elements will often come with heating problems too. Notably, preheating your oven may start taking longer than usual. Additionally, you may also notice that your food is taking longer than expected to cook. However, this could also be an issue with your thermostat. Therefore, if the oven feels hot after a few minutes, chances are your thermostat is the culprit. In such cases, it's best to have a technician inspect both components to identify the faulty one.
It's also possible to notice visible damage on your oven's heating element. Signs of significant burns, cracks, bends, and other damage to your heating element are cues that you may need to get a replacement.
Fortunately, heating elements are relatively easy for a professional to replace. Look for Smeg oven spare parts or other brands of spare parts for your oven.