It’s time to answer that burning question you’ve been pondering for years: what is the difference between a convection and conventional oven?! Yes, my friends, here at Cooker Spare Parts we are real oven nerds, and we have all the knowledge to accurately distinguish convection and conventional ovens for you.   

 You’ll often find that what’s conventional, isn’t necessarily what’s best and the same can be said of ovens. Over the years, conventional ovens have become less popular, while convection ovens have seen sales grow like a baking cake. So, let’s breakdown the distinctions between a convection oven and a conventional model:

A load of hot air – convection vs conventional

Have you ever thought about exactly how your oven works? It’s not just a magical device which turns out hot food; its purpose essentially centres around hot air, and this is how we distinguish between convection and conventional oven cooking.  

When your oven heats up, it heats the air and cooks your food – simple, right? Well, if you’ve ever had a tray of half-burnt, half-undercooked oven chips, you’ll know this isn’t always true. That’s because conventional ovens tend to radiate heat from just the top or bottom – heating from one source alone means hot spots are created, and some parts of your food are cooked more than others. This is one obvious con of conventional ovens.

What makes the convection model different to the conventional is the circulation of hot air. This is done simply and effectively with a good ol’ fan; it is the fan used in a convection oven which makes it unique when compared with a conventional model. The fan circulates the air meaning your food will be cooked evenly. Hurrah, no more half-baked cookies for you!

Cooking with convection also means cooking with less heat and for less time. Because your food is cooked evenly, the oven doesn’t need to be as hot to cook all of it – so your food will be out of the oven and into your belly faster. While the speed difference isn’t huge, roughly 30% quicker, over the course of every meal you make it means a lot less time waiting for dinner.

Of course, nothing is perfect (not even convection ovens) and there are reasons why some people chose to stick with their conventional cooker. In general, convection models will be better at heating multiple foods at once, but if you overcrowd the oven you’ll probably be in for a raw deal. An oven pile up blocks the air circulation resulting in an unheated feast.

 Convection cookers might also be less popular with grandmas. Why? Because they hate casseroles. No, it’s not a personal preference, convection ovens – unlike conventional types – just aren’t very good with deep dishes. Baking trays will work best in a convection oven, whereas conventional ovens are a safer bet for anything in a deeper dish.  

The good news is, whatever your oven type we have the parts to make it cook to perfection. Or, if you’re looking to replace your oven or cooker our supplier Kitchen Economy have a number of quality ovens to match your needs – that’s whether you’re seeking a convection oven OR a conventional one. As always, if you have any questions, our staff can help!

There’s nothing worse than getting home from a long day at work to find your electric oven has broken – there go your dinner plans! Luckily for you, we can save the day with our powers of damaged-electric-oven-diagnosis (…think of us as a more practical superhero). So, from minor oven faults to an oven which has completely cut out, we have the ‘problem + solution’ equations to get your electric oven back up and cooking.

Know Your Elements (no, not the periodic table kind)

Faults with heating elements are a pretty common problem with electric ovens. If you’re finding that the light or fan still come on, but your oven isn’t heating up properly, you probably have a faulty heating element. In the majority of cases, the best way to fix this is to identify the damaged element in your electric oven and replace it. You can find all our oven element replacements here.

Burnt Grub

If your oven is still cooking food but doing its job a little too well –  i.e. burning everything to a crisp –  the issue is likely down to the thermostat. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that a thermostats job is to manage the temperature of your oven, when it breaks or becomes dirty the temperature becomes unstable. A quick tip for checking this is to take the temperature of the heat inside your electric oven manually – if the reading is higher than the temperature your oven is set to you can be sure the thermostats to blame – browse this page for a replacement.

Black Out

The dreaded electric oven cut out. If it appears that your oven is completely broken, it understandably causes a bit of panic – while it’s hard to diagnose the exact oven fault without knowing the specifics, there are a few common oven issues we can outline for you. One possible problem is that the power from the mains has cut out due to a blown fuse (luckily, this is easily fixed). Alternatively, you may have an issue with the thermal switch or cooling fan. If you’re concerned, we recommend getting in touch with us – we can help whatever your electric oven problem.

Too Much Heat

We all like some warm weather, but if you find that your oven door or knobs are very hot to the touch – or even that other utilities in the kitchen are heating and burning you may have a broken oven door or faulty cooling fan. A damaged oven door allows the heat to escape and consequently can burn furniture around the kitchen. Once you’ve identified whether the fan or oven door is the issue, you should look into cooling fan and oven door replacements.

If we didn’t identify your electric oven fault here then fear not, you can give our team a call on 02920 452 510 so we can help diagnose the problem and recommend quality parts to get your electric oven fixed. For those of you already in the know, you can browse all our spare electric oven parts to find what you need for excellent value for money!

What is a hob element and why is it important?

A hob element is one of the most important components of your cooker as this is the part of your appliance which produces the heat that you need to cook your food. The typical hob element is a ribbon, coil or strip of wire that produces heat similar to that of a lamp filament. It produces this heat through an electric current which flows through the wire, making it glow red hot and radiate heat in all directions. So, if your hob element becomes damaged or stops working completely, your hob will not be able to produce the heat needed to cook your food. Therefore, this becomes a pretty crucial part of your whole appliance.

 

Difference types of elements

  • Solid Hotplates – This is the hob element that most people will be familiar with. In essence, these are the contemporary take on the older radiant rings (which we’ll cover below), with a simple element found beneath a solid metal plate which encases the element itself. In the past, this type of hob element was slow to heat up and retained a lot of heat once you’d turned it off. Nowadays they are a lot better as they regulate their temperature faster than before and the cost to replace them has decreased dramatically due to their popularity. Despite these improvements however, they retain some disadvantages in comparisons to other types of hob elements such as their appearance and maintenance. After the first use they will start to discolour and will require cleaning in order to prevent the black metal cooking surface from rusting and pitting. As mentioned, the price of replacing this type of hob element had reduced significantly, so if they were to become faulty or broken, they would not cost much to replace.

  • Ceramic Elements – The ceramic hob elements that you find today are not much different from the ones that were originally available in the 1970’s. Here you find the open element sitting in a unique housing under a ceramic glass surface. The heat exerted from the element rises through the glass and heats up whatever is sat above it. These types of elements heat up faster than the above solid hotplate elements but not as fast as either gas or induction hob elements, which we’ll also look at. These are a more ideal option if you do not want to splash out on an induction hob, with cleaning and maintenance a lot easier. The cost of replacing this type of hob element can vary from cheap to very expensive as some may be bespoke to particular appliances.

 

 

  • Induction Elements – These types of hob elements are the latest within the domestic hob and cooker industry and as a result, are very good! Induction elements are similar to that of ceramic elements in terms of cleaning and maintenance in that they require minimal effort as the hob itself doesn’t get too hot due to there being no direct heat transfer from the element through the glass. Here, the induction element below the ceramic glass passes heat onto the pot or pan that sits above it using a magnetic field. As a result, the pot or pan that’s used needs to have iron content in them in order to get heated up. This increases the safety of using this form of hob element as the heat that is transferred from the element to the surface is reduced as it is only dispersed to the surface area of whatever is sat above it. As well as being safer, they are faster and more controllable than other hob elements and are also more energy efficient. The only disadvantages that come with induction elements are that they are not just costly to purchase, but costly to replace and repair. Also, in some cases, due to the presence of a strong magnetic field, it may be dangerous for any individuals with an electrical implant such as a pacemaker.

  • Radiant Rings – These are similar to the solid hotplate elements above, the only difference being they are not housed in solid metal plate and are instead exposed. Apart from the USA and a few other areas of the world, this form of hob element is more or less obsolete due to the difficulty involved with cleaning as a result of hob size requirements. In comparison to the previously mentioned hob elements, radiant rings are extremely simple, in that the heating element heats up and directly transfers heat to the pot or pan sat above it and are fairly cheap. The only issues with these are that they are not very energy efficient and are not particularly pleasing on the eye.

 

What to do if your element needs replacing?

If you use any of these types of hobs and your element needs replacing due to it being faulty or broken completely, then there is no need to worry as here at Cooker Spare Parts, we supply an extensive range of quality replacement hob elements. Whether you are looking for genuine like-for-like replacements, or high-quality alternatives, we are sure to have what you need! To view our collection of replacement hob elements, visit our Hob Rings and Hob Elements page and either search via manufacturer or keyword.

If you're still struggling to find the right hob element for your oven, you can always give us a call on 02920 452 510 or visit our contact page – where our customer service team will be happy to help you out!  

What is a Convection Oven

Don't get us wrong, we love a good cooker but even we understand how all this oven talk can be a bit overwhelming. With so many cookers on offer it can be hard to know which best suits your requirements, so let's take this one cooker at a time. In this blog, we will be answering the common question "what is a convection oven?", which will hopefully get you one step closer to knowing what will work for you. 

What is a convection oven?

So actually this really isn't a complicated question, it basically all comes down to the fan. A convection oven is a cooker that has a fan and exhaust system that pushes hot air evenly around the oven cavity. This allows the hot air to steadily cook your food and give you an even bake. This also cooks your food more quickly than a traditional oven would. 

This is why convection oven is generally the preferred cooker choice for many people these days. As the hot air is more evenly dispersed around the oven it means the person cooking can spend less time checking on the meal and having to turn baking trays around, for example. 

Benefits of a convection oven

  • Food cooks more evenly - As we mentioned above, allowing hot air to be pushed evenly around your oven means that your food is all heating up at the same pace. This should stop that old dilemma when you have half your meal cooking and the other still looking raw. That can be a real pain which is why an even bake is one of the most beneficial features of a conventional oven. 
  • Food cooks more quickly - We want our food and we want it now! Okay, maybe we aren't that impatient, but it is nice to know your food will be ready as quickly as possible without the risk of burning it. Okay, so there's always a risk you're going to burn your food if you aren't careful, but convection ovens still heat up food around 25% faster than traditional ovens. 
  • Saves energy - Because your food is cooking at a quicker speed and at a cooler temperature (generally speaking) you tend to use less energy to cook your meal. This makes convection ovens slightly more energy efficient which should save you money.

If you're looking to get a brand new convection oven for your kitchen you will be interested in visiting Kitchen Economy, a trusted supplier of high-quality ovens and cookers.

However, if you are actually looking to repair a convection oven which has broken down you've come to the right place. We have plenty of high quality genuine and alternative spare parts for a huge number of oven models and manufactures. If you need help finding the right part to make a repair feel free to get in touch with our expert team

How to Use a Gas Oven

Gas Oven

Did you know that the first gas oven was developed as early as 1826? They became a commercial success in the 1880's and went on to become one of the most popular household appliances worldwide. Gas ovens also remain the cooker of choice for chefs and big restaurants as they heat up quicker and provide better temperature control. 

Nowadays, gas ovens are still widely popular in households, but the introduction of electric ovens may have left a few people wondering how exactly you use a gas oven? As both ovens work in an entirely different manner, gas ovens may seem a little daunting at first. But we're here to sort that problem out for you. Read on to find out how to use a gas oven.

Note: This is just a general guideline. Depending on the model, you may have to use your cooker in a different way. Try to read the manual first.

  •   Light the oven using the pilot light or electrode 

To start with, the first step in using a gas oven is to light it. If you're using an old gas oven, you can do this by locating the pilot light which should be found at the bottom of the cooker. It looks like a small piece of metal located in the center. You can then light it using a match or a lighter. When the flame is blue, you can then use the oven. 

If you are using a newer gas oven model, the oven will typically come with an electrode or spark generator. These systems have replaced the older pilot lights and generate a spark when the spark generator switch is pressed. The spark will light the gas flow and will remain lit until the oven is switched off. If you're unsure what a spark generator is, you can take a look at our replacement spark generators here. 

  •    Heat up the gas oven hob using the burner control knob

If you're wondering how to use a gas oven hob rather than the oven cavity, you can do this by pressing the burner control knob and switching it to the light position. Be sure to place the pan on the hob first and then light the flame. If it does not light the first time you can try again, making sure to turn the control knob to the off position first. If it still doesn't light, you can use a lighter to ignite the gas as it is flowing. 

The flame will be quite large at first, so try turning the control knob towards the 'off' position - but not all the way as this will diminish the flame. You can now adjust the flame to suit the temperature you need. The larger the flame, the hotter it is! 

  •   Use a baking tray or casserole dish when cooking in a gas oven

As gas ovens heat up very quickly, it is advised to use some form of protection to avoid burning the bottom of your food. If you are using a convection gas oven, this should not be a problem as the fans will help evenly distribute the heat. Standard gas ovens, however, may cause burning or uneven cooking - so prevent this by placing all food on a baking tray or casserole dish before cooking. 

  • Turn off the flames when you're finished cooking

Finally, be sure to turn off all flames when you're finished cooking. Gas ovens require close attention when doing this as a control knob left slightly on may cause a gas leakage. This can be incredibly dangerous, so take extra precaution to turn a gas oven off properly when done using it. 

We hope this guide has helped teach you how to use a gas oven. If you've tried all these steps and your gas oven is still not working properly, you could need a replacement part! Take a look at our cooker spare parts here or get in touch with our team on 02920 452 510 if you need help finding the right spare part.