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Old 11-14-2007, 12:26 AM   #1
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Electric oven-how to use?

Hi.This may sound like a rather silly question ,but I need some help in using an electric oven.I have just moved to an appartment which has a rather old HOTPOINT oven.It has four burners.There are 4 knobs for the burners but only one control button for the oven which has the temperatures stated on it and also the broil function on the same.I can't figure out how to preheat the oven.......how would I know when the said temperature is reached(For eg a temp of 350).How long do I have to wait before I can place the food in it????
Further when the said temp is reached can I put the food immediately in or do I have to wait for a while??
If somebody could please help me out with this,I'd be grateful!!!!!Thanx a lot!!!!!

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Old 11-14-2007, 03:06 AM   #2
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Not sure in the similarities between the countries on this one but generally I give an oven about 15mins to reach the prescribed heat but with a new oven, the only way to be certain is to use an oven thermometer. Once you have the temp at the desired heat, I don't see why you couldn't put the food in. Not sure what you would be again waiting for but that could be a cultural difference.

I am also assuming that a broiler is the same as our grill. Some of the stoves here have a combined grill/oven function in which you slide the oven door down to expose the grilling element at the top and it is that action that signifies how the control is used.

Best advice though is to contact the manufacturer or search the net for instructions on that model.

Good luck!
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Old 11-14-2007, 06:18 AM   #3
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Fluer, The one control, I'm guessing it's a knob, is for the oven. Turning it clockwise will set a temperature say 350 , 400 etc. Turning it all the way clockwise to Broil, the top element (broiler) in the oven should come on When you do this, an indicator light should come on. The oven is preheated when that light goes out. You can use it immediately when it's preheated. I'm assuming from your question you're a first time electric stove user......SOME THINGS TO REMEMBER!!!!!! The stove top burners...STAY HOT IF YOU TURN THEM DOWN OR SHUT THEM OFF. Forget quick temp. changes you're used to with gas. The top element in the oven is the broiler, the bottom is for regular baking. Only one works at a time. Test these the first time you work with the stove to make sure the elements are working. To do this turn the temp of the oven to 400 let the oven preheat for a few minutes and look inside and see if the element is glowing red as it heats. If it isn't and isn't giving off heat it may need replacement. Check the broiler by turning the knob to broil and give it a couple of minutes to see if it works. An oven thermometer may be very useful especially in an older oven. I hope this helps.
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Old 11-14-2007, 10:56 AM   #4
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Hi again.Thank you for your responses!!!!!!!Like you said I am totally new to electric stoves.....Morever I'm a complete novice at baking!!!!!This oven had only one control knob which had me confused!!!!!!
Like you said I tested the oven I set the temperature to 350 and the red light turned on and the element turned red too.But it hardly took five minutes for the oven to preheat and reach 350,the red light turned off after 5 minutes and the element was also no longer red.Is this the normal time to reach 350???????I thought it would take longer!!!!!!
You mentioned that the top element is for broiling and the bottom for baking......does that mean that I should only use the lower rack for baking and the upper for broiling???????I think I sound like a complete fool now!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anyways thanx again for the help!!!!!!!
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Old 11-14-2007, 11:01 AM   #5
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You can move the racks up and down to accommodate your needs. They should be interchangeable.

Electric ovens heat up faster than gas so I'm sure it's OK on that count. However, if you are not familiar with the oven, an oven thermometer serves as insurance that it's accurate.

For temperature critical items, such as baked goods, it's a good idea to let the oven preheat for longer (an extra 10-15 minutes) to ensure temperature consistency.
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Old 11-14-2007, 12:30 PM   #6
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Fleur, The elements in an electric stove work like light bulbs. When the oven is heating up electricity is supplied to the element. When at temp it is off till it's needed to heat again. So, yes it's normal that the element doesn't glow all the time. I only mentioned about which elements do what as you weren't familiar with electric stoves. I remember a time in our first apartment my wife was cooking something, and couldn't figure out what was wrong when it took forever--the oven element had burned out, but it was her first experience with an electric stove she had no idea it wasn't working correctly.
Regarding rack adjustmants in the oven, if you wanted to broil a chop, if you had the rack at the highest setting as the chop cooked it will splatter onto the element, if the rack is in the middle it will take longer but won't splatter onto the element. I'd suggest starting your baking in the middle . I might add that keeping a very close eye on your baking at first may be a very good idea. We have an electric oven now , if you use a store bought cake mix and it calls for 35-40 minutes at 350, we usually check it about 26 minutes and it's done. Electrics can vary so an oven thermometer is a really good idea. Start with some easy things and you'll get the hang of it.
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Old 11-14-2007, 04:28 PM   #7
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Feeling a little confident now about using the oven after all that help.Will surely get myself an oven thermometer!!
There is just one more thing I need to know.If I need to toast some bread with cheese in the broiler can I use one of those aluminium pans to broil or is it unsafe at those high temperatures???
Thanks everybody!!!!!
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Old 11-14-2007, 04:36 PM   #8
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Plain aluminum is fine under the broiler. Non-stick coated alum. is not. You could also use a cookie sheet.
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Old 11-16-2007, 07:08 PM   #9
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Hi again everybody!!!!I finally did get to baking a cake today and it turned out ok..........It could definitely have been better!!!!!But I'm glad I finally got to using the oven at least!!!
The power light of the oven would go on and off every 5 minutes during the baking -is that normal??????
Anyways thanks for all the tips.......Finally got to baking!!!!!!!!
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Old 11-16-2007, 07:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fleur View Post
The power light of the oven would go on and off every 5 minutes during the baking -is that normal??????
That is the thermostat control working. As it reaches the desired temp, it stops heating the element, as the temp starts to cool, it comes on again. The fluctuations should be minor however. No different to a thermostat on your electric heater.
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Old 11-16-2007, 08:55 PM   #11
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Ahh. It has a power light. When the light first goes out, it has reached the temperature you set it to, and you can begin to bake. As for broil, you have to be careful. Watch the food with the door partly open. My rule: If you can smell it, it's already burning.
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:26 PM   #12
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Shortly after moving into an apartment with an old electric oven, put in a 12 lb turkey to roast at 350 degrees. Looked at it in an hour and a half and it was brown and fully cooked.

The thermostats do not always work correctly in ovens. Can only iterate that one should always have an oven thermometer. They are so cheap, particularly compared to the cost of a few ruined meals.

Did learn how to cook in an oven that only went full blast. Would not recommend the procedure routinely, but it was a small victory. When you are young, just married, and living in a place where almost nothing works right, any small victory seems large.
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Old 11-16-2007, 11:42 PM   #13
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Yeah I know what you mean!!!Gonna get an oven thermometer tommorow for sure!!!!!!
Hope my baking gets a little better next time!!!
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Old 11-29-2007, 12:23 PM   #14
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Hi again everbody!!!!!I have done quite a bit of baking since I last posted and I'm getting the hang of it now!!!!!!Feels really good I just need a few tips on broiling.....I want to broil some bread with cheese.....do I need to leave the oven door open when I broil??I believe it may take just a few minutes to broil....which rack would be ideal for broiling the bread?????Also does the broiler need to be preheated and for how long????? I don't have a specific broiling pan.......I have a non stick aluminum cookie sheet but there was a posting saying that should not be used for broiling....can I use a disposable aluminum pan for broiling then????????Some tips please!!!!!
Thanx!!!!!!!!
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Old 11-29-2007, 12:37 PM   #15
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Yes, you can use disposable aluminum pans or just plain aluminum foil. You don't want to use non-stick pans because they are not designed to withstand that kind of heat.
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Old 11-29-2007, 01:25 PM   #16
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Assuming the broiler coils are at the top of the oven, position the rack as close as possible, but not so high that you can't see the surface of the cheese with the door open. No need to preheat, but watch it closely. In my experience, if you can smell it, it will be burned in seconds!
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:06 PM   #17
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I just watch the coils on top, when they are all red put my bread in, now I put mine done about four inches, so I can watch it better, door open always when broiling for me.
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:57 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the tips!!!!!Will try to use my broiler over the weekend ........will let u'll know how it turns out!!!!!!!!!!Hope I don't burn anything! Thanx again!!!!!
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:41 PM   #19
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When you use the broiler you are supposed to leave the door ajar. That's what our instructions said. Also most of those stoves came with a broiler pan, a two piece pan with the bottom to catch drippings and a top that is like a slotted grill surface that nestles with the bottom pan. Basically you are top grilling and there is no heat setting.

As mentioned before when baking you set the temperature and when the light goes out the temperature is reached and then you can put in what you are baking. So you keep the door closed.
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:57 PM   #20
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Hi Just wanted to say got down to using the broiler this weekend And it turned out fine!!!!!!!!!!.Fortunately no burning!!!!Left the oven door ajar and kept a close eye on it. Thanks for the tips!!!!!!
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