How Does an Electric Oven Work?
Electric ovens are quite simple in design. There are several dials on the exterior which are used to operate the oven. A thermostat to regulate the temperature of the oven is located in the temperature control dial. There is also a timer/clock control dial. Some electric ovens have a switch for an oven light and a self cleaning dial. All of the electrical wires are covered in steel, on the back of the stove. Upon opening an electric oven, there will be baking racks, a top heating element and a bottom heating element.
The temperature control is connected to the oven by a copper wire. When this control is turned on to a specific temperature, the heating element at the bottom of the oven begins to heat until it reaches the designated temperature, at which point it will turn off. When the temperature has decreased, the oven will heat again to the desired temperature. This method creates a consistency to the oven temperature.
The top element of an electric oven works differently. This element is used for broiling. When the dial is set to broil, the top element comes on and heats very quickly. Although it is regulated by the thermostat, there is no temperature control and gets as hot as possible.
The clock dial can be set like a normal clock. The timer dial is used to set the amount of cooking time required for a particular dish. At the end of the time, a buzzer will sound and in some ovens, the element will shut off.
The self cleaning dial is used to clean the oven. The front of the oven door has an oven lock so that the oven cannot be opened when using the self cleaning option. When the self cleaning dial is turned on, the thermostat activates both the top and bottom elements making the oven extremely hot. The door cannot be unlocked until the cleaning cycle is complete.
When setting the temperature on the oven, the baking cycle is started. This is the most common way to use the oven for cooking and baking. This is also when the timer dial is most often used. The broil dial is used for quick browning of food. It is usually the final step to add crispness to a dish. Leaving food for too long during this cycle will result in burning it. The self cleaning mode burns away any baked on residue in the oven and turns it to dust. When the cycle is completed, the dust needs to be wiped away before using the oven again.