How Do Electric Ovens Work?

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The oven must first be plugged into a working power source. Then, it must be turned on by selecting the desired oven temperature. This causes the bottom heating element in the oven to turn on and the oven to begin heating. The main components of an electric oven are the top and bottom heating elements, thermostat and either dials or electric controls.

As the oven heats, the temperature inside is detected by a thermostat. When the thermostat senses that the desired temperature is reached, it causes the bottom element to turn off. The bottom element turns on and off as needed to maintain the oven at the desired temperature. If the oven has a convection feature, a fan blows the hot air around inside to cook the food more quickly and evenly.

If the broil option is selected, the oven's top element will heat instead of the bottom element. This causes food to cook from the top instead of the bottom. The oven's broiler is often used to melt and brown cheeses on food such as casseroles, to toast bread or to cook meat. Food that is placed under the broiler should be watched carefully, as it may burn easily.