Before you even attempt to fix your cooker yourself, you must gauge just how serious the fault is. If there is a serious electrical fault or malfunction we recommend you call a professional engineer or electrician to ensure that the fault is corrected safely. However, if there is a minor fault that you are confident you can amend yourself, please read the following tips on how to keep safe whilst doing so:

  • Before you do anything we advise that you turn your cooker off at the mains and remove the plug from the socket. While the plug is out, it's worth checking it for cracks and other signs of damage, as a simple plug replacement may be all that’s needed.

  • If you feel that the issue may be related to the gas mains themselves, do not touch anything, and make sure you call in a Gas Safe registered professional ASAP. If the problem is with the appliance itself, you may be able to resolve it safely on your own.

While the oven is off, you want to do some quick troubleshooting and work out which part is actually causing you grief:

  • The oven does not heat up – this could be an issue with your oven elements or your changeover switch.

  • The oven overheats and burns everything – this usually occurs due to a thermostat malfunction.

  • The oven door doesn't close properly – this could be an issue with the hinges or the hinge runners.

  • The oven shuts off or cuts out after a while – again, this is probably due to your thermostat, although it could also be an issue with your cooling fan.

  • Any superficial problems like broken knobs, damaged door seals, and broken door glass are all obviously quite straightforward to mend yourself.

Before you do anything, we advise that you locate what it is that is faulty before you try to fix the appliance yourself. Certain procedures are quite safe and simple to attempt yourself, but whatever you do, DO NOT go rushing into anything you are uncertain of.

Click here to browse our range of replacement cooker parts.

Though the Welsh weather is putting up a good fight, it is almost impossible to deny that summer is coming! Every now and then we get a burst of glorious sunshine, and we can only hope that this is a little glimpse into the future months where our lives will by dominated by sunglasses, Pimm's, barbecues and beer gardens. We usually post delicious and filling hearty meals to cook and warm your cockles - but in summer everyone wants a light and refreshing meal, without compromising on taste or flavour! 

Here are two of our favourite recipes to cook in the summer from around the web. Both are simple, delicious and perfect for these warmer evenings. Enjoy!

1. Healthy Pizza from BBC Good Food


For the Pizza:
100g Strong White Flour
100g Strong Whole Wheat Flour 
1tsp or 7g Sachet Easy-Blend Dried Yeast
125ml Warm Water

For the Topping:
200g can Chopped Tomatoes, Juice Drained
Handful Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
1 Large Courgette, Thinly Sliced Using a Peeler
25g Mozzarella
1 tsp Capers in Brine, Drained
8 Green Olives, Roughly Chopped
1 Garlic Clove, Finely Chopped
1 tbsp Olive Oil
2tbsp Chopped Parsley 

1. Mix the flours and yeast with a pinch of salt together. You can either do this in a food processor with a dough blade or by hand. Slowly pour in the water and mix until you get a soft dough, and then work it for 1 minute. Remove the dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 30cm across. Lift onto an oiled baking sheet. 

2. Spread the canned tomatoes over the dough. Leave an edge of around 2cm. Arrange the cherry tomatoes and courgettes over the top, then scatter the mozzarella so you get a good, even coverage. Mix the capers, olives and garlic, then scatter over the top of the pizza. Drizzle evenly with the oil. Leave to rise for 20mins. Heat the oven to 240C/gas mark 9 or the highest setting. 

3. Bake the pizza for 10-12 minutes until crisp and golden around the edges. Scatter with the parsley before serving.

2. Moroccan-Style Lamb Burgers from Jamie Oliver 

600g Minced Lamb Shoulder
Olive Oil
6 Soft Rolls, Halved
6 Heaped tbsp Natural Yoghurt
1 Heaped tbsp Harissa Paste
Juice of 1 Lemon
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
A Handful of Fresh Mint Leaves

For the Dry Rub:
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Ground Coriander
1 tsp Ras El Hanout or Garam Masala
1-2 tsp Sweet Smoked Paprika 

For the Salad:
1 Round Lettuce, Washed and Dried
1/2 a Bunch of Fresh Mint, Leaves Picked
Lemon Juice
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Pomegranate
A Handful of Edible Flowers (Optional)

1. For the dry rub, pound all the ingredients in a pestle and mortar until combined.

2. Divide the minced lamb into 6 pieces. Pat each piece into a ball then squash into a burger, roughly about 1.5cm thick. Pat some of the rub all over the burgers then drizzle on a bit of olive oil. Cook on your barbecue or in a griddle pan for around 7 minutes on each side, or until done to suit your preference. Don't worry if you think they look a little burnt - it's just the combination of spices and smoke! When the burgers are nearly ready, toast the buns on the side of the griddle or bbq.

3. Spoon the yoghurt into a bowl and dollop the harissa on top. Squeeze over a little lemon juice to loosen, then ripple the harissa through the yoghurt and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

4. When serving, spread some harissa yoghurt on the toasted buns, top with the burgers and squash them into the buns. Add some more yoghurt, then squeeze the remaining lemon juice over a few mint leaves before placing on top. 

5. For the salad, place the mint, lettuce leaves and edible flowers (optional of course) all in a bowl, dress with lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil and then sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds. 

Cooker hob

Some people use the hob even more than they use the oven, and so a broken hob can quickly spell disaster in the kitchen. How will you boil your rice, fry your bacon, and simmer your soup now?

Well, given that most cookers have more than one hob, you could always just use one of the non-broken ones. Still, it’s nice to have a fully-functioning cooker – after all, there may well come a time when you’re cooking loads of different things at once, and when that day arrives, you’ll need your hobs to be firing on all cylinders!

With that in mind, here are some tips for diagnosing your poorly hob and getting it back in working order...

Please note that this article is intended for informational use only. Cooker Spare Parts will not be held responsible for any damage that occurs while you are trying to repair your oven. Always unplug your appliance before attempting any repairs, and call a professional if you don’t know what you’re doing.

  • Loose connections? Malfunctioning hobs (particularly malfunctioning electric hobs) are quite often caused by loose connections and faulty wiring. Consider contacting a qualified electrician.

  • Don't overload it! If you're trying to cook several different things at once - perhaps for some big family dinner - it may be that your cooker simply can't handle another hob's worth of work. Switch everything else off and try the unresponsive hob again; if it works, it may just be that your cooker doesn't have a very good circuit rating.

  • Blown fuse? If all the lights went out when your hob stopped working,the problem is likely to be a blown fuse (which caused your electricity supply to trip)

  • Out of its element! Some hobs rely on heating elements, just like ovens. If the hob element is dead, you probably just need to purchase a replacement.

  • Broken simmerstat? Another part that may need replacing is the simmerstat. This regulates the energy used by your hob, and if it is broken, it may not allow your hob to light at all. You can purchase a new simmerstat here.

  • Lid problems? Some cookers (particularly gas cookers) come with glass lids that cover the hobs when they're not in use. The manufacturer will often include a shut-off valve to ensure that the hobs cannot be lit when the lid is down; if this safety valve is malfunctioning, it may stop the hobs from lighting regardless of whether the lid is up or down.

  • Give it a clean! The accumulation of grease and gunk can, over time, clog up a gas hob, rendering it unable to function. A good, thorough clean is sometimes enough to get things working again.

  • Check your supply! If you use a gas cooker, then the problem may not lie with your appliance at all, but with your gas supply. Call in a tradesperson and get them to check your gas (particularly if you are having problems with other gas appliances in your home).

Important: Only a registered gas-safe engineer can legally perform repairs on a gas appliance.

Zanussi oven seals

We’ve discussed the importance of oven door seals before, and they’re just as essential in a Zanussi cooker as in any other appliance. If your current door seal is split or otherwise broken, your oven will be losing precious heat through that gap, which means that it will take longer to heat up and cook your food.

Replacing your door seal is such an easy task that there’s really no reason to put it off. Pop over to our door seal section now and grab a new, fully intact seal for your oven – it’ll save you a lot of time and energy that you would otherwise have lost through the broken seal.

Today on Tuesday 20th of May it is National Pick Strawberries Day - and Cooker Spare Parts are encouraging you to get involved. Strawberries are one of the nation's most loved summer fruits and they often find themselves in breakfasts, yoghurts, ice creams, desserts and even the occasional salad! They are extremely versatile and can add a delicious and sweet twist to many recipes, which is why picking your own is so much fun.

Using strawberries in your cooking is a delicious, healthy and sweet way to encourage both children and adults to eat fruit and get their 5 a day, and with a number of great pick your own fruit farms dotted all over the UK picking the fruit can be a great family activity! Wales is home to some fantastic local farms where you can pick your own fresh produce, but here are some of our favourite South Wales farms. 

Photo by Janine (flickr)

1. Hendrewennol 

Hendrewennol is a Pick Your Own (PYO) soft fruit farm located in Bonvilston, Cowbridge which is located in South Wales. Having been a PYO fruit farm since 1978, Hendrewennol is now an established farm full of activities and will guarantee a great day out. You can pick a variety of fruit including raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries, red, white and blackcurrants, tayberries and blackberries. They also have a range of PYO vegetables, including broad and runner beans, beetroot, courgettes, onions and garlic. There's a fantastic shop and coffee area, a plant nursery and a children's play area too.

2. Gelynis Farm 

Gelynis Farm is roughly a 10 minute drive from the centre of Cardiff in Morganstown, and as well as boasting a gorgeous and traditional B&B, they have a fantastic PYO Fruit farm too! As well as a cafe, camping facilities and horse livery and stables for rent, Gelynis farm also offers pony rides for children for just £3 per child, ensuring your children will have a magical day once they've picked their fruit! The PYO facilities depend on the season of the fruit, but throughout the year you can expect to see gooseberries, currants, raspberries, blackberries and silvanberries! There are a number of lovely pubs located nearby so you can make a real day out of picking your own fruit at Gelynis Farm. 

3. Berry Hill Fruit Farm

Berry Hill Fruit Farm is a gorgeous little farm and garden centre which can be found in the village of Coedkernew, between Cardiff and Newport. As well as a wonderful PYO fruit and vegetable farm, they also have a well-stocked farm shop and a garden centre for you to enjoy. Their PYO season starts from June and ends in October, and you can pick a wide variety of 15 varieties of apples, 5 varieties of plums, 3 varieties of pears and some gooseberries too! 

Picking your own fruit is a great family activity which gets you out in the sunshine and is the perfect way to spend the day in the coming summer months. You can then head over to the food section of our blog and peruse our yummy recipes to see if we can provide you with any cooking inspiration for using these delicious fruits! In honour of National Pick Strawberries Day, plan to do something different this summer and visit one of these lovely farms to pick your own fruit.