Proper Operation
Learn how your appliance is supposed to operate so you can determine if it is malfunctioning.

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Electric Range Baking

Oven cavity showing bake and broil elements

Baking in an electric range is achieved primarily by use of the lower oven element. That element is cycled on an off at full power (240 volts) by the control system to maintain an average (not constant) temperature. The actual oven temperature may vary by 20 degrees above and below the set temperature which results in the average oven temperature being what the control is set for.

Many oven control systems also have a preheat feature designed into them. When initially turned on both bake and broil elements are energized at full power to heat the oven as quickly as possible. Once the set temperature is reached, the broil element is disengaged and only the bake element is cycled on and off to maintain oven temperature.

Lately manufacturers have been trying different things to improve baking. With the advent of electronic controls some manufacturers have designed their controls to power the broil element at half power during bake or to alternate powering the bake and broil elements during a bake cycle. The exact system used in a modern range may be listed with the appliance's 'tech sheet' which should accompany it wiring diagram.

Simplfied bake circuit