If you’re used to wowing crowds at dinner time, the last thing you want is your electric cooker to throw in the towel. While cookers can last for several years, they don’t have an indefinite shelf-life. If your struggling to hit the dizzy heights with your tried and tested favourites, or you feel like something isn’t quite right, here are 5 signs that your electric cooker could be on its way out.
Signs your electric cooker is on its way out
1) Your signature dishes aren’t turning out as expected
You’ve made roast beef and Yorkshire puddings a hundred times, but lately, the puddings haven’t been rising and the meat hasn’t been as tender. Does this scenario sound familiar? If you cook a lot, and you have a few signature dishes that don’t seem to be turning out as expected, you might be worrying that you’ve lost your touch. While none of us are immune to kitchen nightmares, if this is a recurrent theme, the cooker may be to blame. You might find that a closer inspection reveals that heat is escaping from the oven, or that the cooker isn’t heating up as normal.
2. Your energy bills have increased
If your cooker doesn’t seem to be firing on all cylinders, and your energy bills have increased without any obvious cause, this could indicate that it’s time to replace your oven. Modern cookers are more energy-efficient, and buying a new oven will also eliminate those unwanted cooking issues.
3. A lack of heat
If you’ve switched your oven on, and it doesn’t seem to be heating up properly, or there’s no heat at all, there may be a fault with the heating element. It is possible to replace an element, but if your cooker is very old, and it has a limited lifespan, it may be better to consider buying a new cooker.
4. Leaking heat
Have you noticed that the surfaces above your oven get very hot when you’re cooking, or have you spotted scorch marks on the worktops? If so, the seals that are designed to keep heat within the oven may have become worn. Seals can be replaced, but if there’s a significant amount of heat escaping, and the seals look like they’re in good condition, it’s wise to seek expert advice.
5. Uneven cooking and baking
There’s nothing more frustrating for chefs and bakers than uneven results. If you’ve got batches of biscuits that display a colour spectrum from beige to brown or you’re cooking a joint of meat that is well done in some parts and rare in others, this suggests that there’s an issue with your oven. There are several reasons why the temperature may not be stable, including damaged or worn seals, problems with the heating elements and electrical issues.
What to do next
If you’re having troubles with your electric cooker, seek professional advice. It may be possible to repair a fault or tend to damaged seals or wiring issues. If not, it might be time to explore replacement options.