After working hard on a great meal like a casserole, allowing it to bake for an hour or so in the oven, and pulling it out in time for dinner, there is nothing quite as disappointing as finding out that only part of the dish is ready because your oven is not cooking food evenly. An appliance services technician should be called to help if something is wrong with your oven. Here are a few reasons this may be happening.
#1 Bake Element
There is a specific "bake element" inside of your oven. This is the piece of equipment that heats up and provides the heat necessary to cook your food. When the baking element is working properly, the entire thing will heat up to a nice, bright red color. Most ovens have at least two baking elements. If one or more of these baking elements burn out, your food will not cook evenly.
It is generally pretty easy to figure out if this is the issue. Just turn on your oven, let it preheat, and then check out the color of the baking elements located on the bottom of your oven. If one or more of the baking elements are black instead of a glowing red, they have most likely burned out and will need to be replaced in order to get your oven back in good working shape.
#2 Broil Element
If you only run into the issue of uneven cooking when you broil food in your oven, then there is a chance that the broil element has burned out. The broil elements look very similar to the baking elements in your oven. They are just located on the top of your oven. Once again, to test out the broil elements, set your oven to broil and come back after ten minutes or so. If one or more of the broil elements doesn't turn red, that means the broil element has burned out and needs to be replaced in order for your food to broil evenly in your oven.
#3 Temperature Sensor
Finally, if the elements seem fine, the temperature sensors may have gone bad. Your oven should have a couple of temperature sensors located inside of it. The job of the temperature sensors is to determine how hot it is inside of your oven, and then convey this information to the heating system in your oven, so it knows when to release more heat. When these temperature sensors fail, they are not able to properly figure out the temperature of your oven or even keep the temperature consistent, which can lead to uneven cooking of your food.
If you are able to locate the temperature sensors in your oven, you can test them out with an ohm meter. Just put the sensor from the ohm meter over the temperature sensors and see if the resistance measurement increases as the temperature inside of the oven increases. You can double check the temperature inside of the oven with your own oven thermometer. If the resistance and the temperature rise together, the temperature sensors are fine. However, if they don't rise together, the temperature sensors will need to be replaced in order for your oven to get back into the evenly-cooked food business.