/ Home & Energy

Your cooker complaints – give your oven a scolding

Pie in oven

Which cooker niggles get you all hot and bothered? Here’s your chance to take the oven gloves off and share your cooker complaints with the Which? Convo community.

If you’re like me, you’ll use your cooker or oven everyday. Because of this, if there’s something annoying about the cooker you cook on, it’s going to get you boiling over with rage pretty quickly.

I love my oven even if it is a bit temperamental, and I’m loathe to spend money on a new one if I don’t have to. It’s about ten years old but it heats up quickly, it’s easy to use and I love the fact that it’s multi-function. In fact, I’ve got more cooking options available than I know what to do with.

But the grill isn’t great. It doesn’t seem powerful enough for the heat to spread all the way across the grill pan. I’ve learned to live with this by moving my food around to make sure it’s all cooked, making sure that the full-grill option is selected and, if necessary, using a higher shelf in the grill. I really don’t want to shell out £500 for a new oven until I absolutely have to.

Boiling over with cooker and oven problems

But some niggles might be a bit harder to live with than my iffy grill. If the markings around the temperature dials have worn off, you’ll be setting the oven from memory, and this is going to be hit and miss at best.

If it’s hard to slide the oven shelves in due to the way the door is designed, this is going to be a pain every time you cook. And if your oven doesn’t heat-up properly or overheats, cooking instructions and recipes won’t be worth the paper they’re written on.

If you have a problem with getting an accurate temperature, oven thermometers are available for about a fiver online and will help you live with temperature problems. They stand, or hang, inside the oven and will tell you how hot your oven is. You’ll never know exactly how accurate the thermometers are, but they will give you an indication about how hot or cold your oven is and you’ll be able to adjust your settings.

What’s less than perfect on your cooker and how have you learned to live with it? And tell us about the practical steps you’ve taken to keep your cooker cooking for longer.

Jill Munro says:
8 September 2016

I have a Bush cooker with a double oven. When I try to cook larger tiems, such as cakes, in the fan oven I find the items are overcooked round the edges but undercooked in the centre, even if I use the lower temperatures suggested for fanb ovens. I thought the idea of a fan oven was that the hot air circulated around the oven to produce even cooking and I found this in previous fan ovens that I have used. The cooker is now just a few weeks out of guarentee. I have also found that the instructions for operating the grill in the top oven are incorrect. I wish I had bought a cooker from a shop where I could touch the goods and ask advice.


Hello Jill- the first most obvious answer is have you checked that the fan is turning and not jammed ? . It can overheat and the fan windings burn out or the edges of the fan blades are jammed against the outer casing of the oven stopping it rotating . First thing to do is with the oven off locate the fan , it might have a protective grill , if you can see the blades through it get a pencil and see if you can turn the blades freely without it rubbing the casing .If it turns without scraping the sides then turn the oven on a check if the blades are rotating by visually looking at them , do not poke them when the oven is on. If the fan is rotating all right get back to me and supply the model number of the Bush cooker. I take it the vent at the back of the oven is not blocked ? It certainly sounds like uneven heat distribution , I also take it this has just started to happen and that your baking was okay up till then ? Please get back Jill.

LInsay Staines says:
30 September 2016

I purchased a Belling range cooker and the facia and knobs get so hot that I cannot touch them without using an oven glove but HSE and BSI have set the maximum heat allowed for the Knobs as 60 degrees above ambient room temperature and Belling then state this cooker is suitable to be used by anyone over the age of 8 years. IT seem that countless people have complained for years about the same problem but because of HSE and BSI ruling it is perfectly OK and we can do nothing about it . HOw bad a burn will someone have to sustain before someone does something about this?


Linsay -are the HSE+BSI really saying that if your kitchen is say 70 degrees F then the allowed temperature of the outer casing and knobs is 130 degrees F ? That puts it in the extreme danger range of humidity but more to the point it puts it in the range of second degree burns . If those two are saying thats okay then they both should be shot/ hung +drawn +quartered . It is patently obvious to me as an ex engineer that the heat insulation properties of your oven are WAY too inadequate . I do oven chips on my oven at full heat and I dont get burned opening the doors or touching the knobs , somebody is spinning you a yarn your oven is FAULTY do you want your children to be badly burned ? This is a disgrace I hope nobody comes on and says this is “okay ” this deserves investigation I would kick up hell over this .


As far as I can recall, the limiting temperatures for components that will be touched for adjustment (but not held for more than a brief period) – such as knobs – are 60 deg C for metal and 75 deg C for plastic.


167 degrees F for plastic malcolm ? at 162 degrees F human tissue is destroyed on contact , something far wrong here ?


duncan, these touch-temperature figures have been arrived at internationally and are soundly based. They are not figures designed for permanent contact. I’ll trawl through the BS EN standards when I have more time. The difference between the two figures is because metal conducts heat quickly, and plastic does not.


My figures come from various medical websites – they all agree malcolm , little children have finer skin ,usually females have too surely you must admit something is far wrong with the cooker ? If not then are all the other regular posters unable to keep a hold of cooker control knobs /door handles and they consider that “normal ” ? Then my cooker is “abnormal ” ?