/ 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.

Comments

Hi not sure if you got the last comment . So will repeat. Got a beko gas cooker dec 2014. It has 2 ovens one which is also grill. They both light ok and they both seem to get to the right temperature as after a little while flame goes down but when i take food out its either still frozen or not cooked properly. Any ideas. Tbank you. Ruth

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Barbara says:
23 January 2016

Bought a hotpoint electric cooker for my mum in Dec 2011 the hob has a painted metal surround which is not fit for purpose…it rusts! Hotpoint/Indesit have relunctantly replaced the hob twice now but have replaced each time with the same model which …RUSTS! We have refused to accept hob number four and have asked for a different model , one with a hob surround that is stainless steel or enamel i.e. a material that does not rust when it gets wet. However Hotpoint/Indesit are the most unhelpful company I have dealt with, they do not reply to letters, emails or calls. Four years and three hobs later my mum still has a dreadfully rusted hob and I’m not sure what to do next!

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There is the question of durability that would open a line of challenge. I would not expect any part of a cooker to show signs of rust for well over ten years.

Hi We bought a stoves range cooker around two years ago and I have just noticed in the last two weeks thar the grill door and cooker door which has never been used is bubbling and peeling should this happen ?

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li'l megs says:
5 January 2017

Hiya Duncan.
Thank you for this. I bought a Leisure ”small range” type cooker (GR6GVCP) about five years ago (for the best part of £500 when most other cookers were about £200) and noticed after about two years what looked like brown shredded wheat on the two oven doors. I tried to clean it off with a bleach solution but realised it was small blisters that then peeled and came off and could see it was rust. It was creamy brown enamel. Also it was in an unusual diamond shape on the two doors which seemed strange. What with one thing and another I didn’t get round to contacting them about it for ages but when we did they said I had cleaned it with the wrong stuff. I hadn’t as I had only wiped it with a damp cloth before the funny brown marks came. They took no responsiblity and we have bought new doors and are still awaiting one of them. I have never had this happen in the past and have had plenty of cookers all with perfect enamel. The oven isnt even brilliant and this adds insullt to injury. Do you think I have a leg to stand on as it has been five years. I aim to send them the smaller outer sheet door for them to look at but don’t hope for much. I think like you say that stuff today is made to rot/break. Oh and I had no idea it was anything to do with Beko as I would never buy from them after having a very bad Beko appliance beforehand.
Best wishes, Megs xxx

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linda says:
30 January 2016

hi, i bought an Indesit cooker 7mnths ago and have never had a properly cooked meal from it…the oven is gas, the food is either partly raw or burnt underneath, to cook chips in oven used to take 25mins, in this oven you can cook for 40mins and still some are raw..i am going nuts….any ideas people..thanks

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mgt.mcconaghy says:
3 February 2016

I bought a Hotpoint oven locally in Wirral on 5th nov. 2015. When my family were with me at Christmasmas we cooked a large turkey.We covered it in foil for 3 quarters of the cooking time -then left it off. We found that the hot fat from our spitting turkey ended up on the floor making a greasy semicircle -very dangerous. I complained to Hotpoint and found that the best way to get someone out was to buy their service plan.The shop where I purchased it did not really want to know -however Hotpoint sent out an engineer on Jan 6th .He could find nothing wrong with the installation or the cooker itself,but remarked he had not seen a door where the 2 sheets of glass were incorporated ,like double glazing.I wrote to Hotpoint Customer Services [an oxymoron if ever there was one! ] and have had no response nor any sign of the engineers report.I am guessing it is a design fault- the temperature of the glass door appeared very high on opening it. I had a double integrated cooker for 16 years and had no leakage down the door but the glass door had 2 separate panes of glass . The turkey was big and it is not something I cook more than once a year—-But how is it that having been cooking for 60 years this has never happened?

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Around 6 years ago I bought two ovens from Ikea with a 5 year guarantee. The maker was I believe Electrolux.

The main ovens temperature was 40C out.

I tested them when they were installed as experience shows that many ovens are out and cooks tend to compensate for the ovens shortcomings. However with digital readouts one would expect these to be accurate.

Anyway it was promptly fixed. I think Ikea have a lot of clout with the manufacturer. I urge everyone to make sure that thye have got a correct reading. I used two thermometers that we have. Borrow one or two if you can as it means you can average temperature but also identify any “cold” spots.

And then please advise this thread. It seems ludicrous that these are not certified when leaving the factory. Stopping campylobactor might be easier if people were not using unsafe ovens. Over to you Which?

Perhaps fining the makers : )

It surprises me that we can still buy fridges, freezers and ovens without built-in temperature gauges. Prior to fan ovens, temperature measurement might not have been useful because of the considerable temperature variation, but having a fan certainly helps.

When cooking a turkey or large joint of meat, the temperature needs to be measured at the coldest part rather than in the oven. Unfortunately meat thermometers are offend inaccurate and there may be no means of calibrating them.

That should read that ‘meat thermometers are often inaccurate…’

I would expect to find the “accuracy” of oven temperatures (as well as other heating or chilling domestic appliances) specified in the appropriate European Standards. For ovens I have seen 10-15% quoted; this would mean a setting of 180C could result in an actual temperature of between 153 and 207 – over 50 deg difference. Is this the case?
As, like most, I no access to BS EN standards perhaps Which? could give us this information?

Accuracy in cooking temperatures is vital and I sincerely hope you are wrong malcolm ……. however!
Perhaps Which? can look at the Standards and tell us . Actually access to their copies for members on-line would seem a good idea.

Which? do test for this and the speed to heat up however as they test single models any variation within the production process could provide considerable differences. Perhaps crowd-checking of ovens would be instructive.

dieseltaylor, I have, separately, asked Which? about its own access to standards (essential, surely) and giving access to its members. Waiting……………………..

I assume that ovens (and washing machines) still use the same crude electromechanical temperature controls as they have done for years. Using an electronic system with a thermocouple probe, for example, will give much better temperature control but will add significantly to price.

Even if oven temperatures are not accurate they are likely to be reproducible, so that if 20°C higher or lower than the set temperature, they will continue to behave in the same way. There’s not much point in publishing results on accuracy unless a decent size batch of ovens is tested.

An accurate oven temperature is convenient when working from recipe books but what is important for safety is the minimum temperature attained at the coolest point inside food. Traditional meat thermometers are not very accurate and I have no idea about the modern digital versions.

British Standards are available in the British Library in London and some other larger libraries. See the recent Convo about tumble dryer fires.

We learnt quite quickly that we needed to set the oven temperature on the control knob a good ten degrees below the recommended setting [which probably errs on the side of caution to avoid under-cooking] and to reduce the cooking time by about ten percent for satisfactory and safe results. The control knobs on our Bosch oven are another example of design before function with an almost invisible little marker on the rotating knob that can be lined up with a range of temperatures feintly inscribed on an outer ring on the glass fascia but the knob is of such a small diameter and the gaps between the temperatures so vague that any degree of precision is impossible. Well done, in more ways than one.

With an electronic system it should be possible to set the desired temperature and see it displayed on a small screen and also to observe the rise and fall of the temperature as the oven cooks thus allowing the cook to check the effect of door opening.

It’s more complicated than that, John. Ovens have simple on/off controllers and the temperature will cycle up and down when the heaters go on and off. You would see this change if the actual rather than set temperature was displayed. To avoid this, proportional control would be needed, but that’s expensive.

There are some hobs etc with proportional control via a pcb and thermocouple and whilst they work pretty good they are a nightmare when they break except for those who understand electronics and the repairs are mostly guess and replace.
The tried and tested route of an element and a stat with a differential is pretty robust combination
There will always be differences in temperature
We used to bake in solid fuel cookers/ranges and the oven or plate temp was all over the place and relied heavily on management
I dont believe temp is as critical as to require absolute steady preset temp

We have always had gas and it’s in gas marks and hardly anyone remembers what the gas marks relate to, ,
I had two, , now one girl, , my wife who bakes whilst she has her own eggs
She couldn’t tell you what measurement of anything to use let alone temp and will tell you that its gas mark 5 or whatever that turns out the right goods yet the stuff she sets on the table is excellent. .
As to those things in boxes with temp/gas mark on them we learned most of those go on the top shelf and most require about half a mark higher on the knob than the instructions suggest so maybe our gas marks are little off but as long as we know what odds

I’d imagine that the gas over has a more steady temperature than an electric oven only the gas oven we have at least has no fan and I dont want a fan as it’s more to go wrong and with no fan the top and bottom are very different temperatures obviously
As best I can see and Duncan seems to be clued up on oven and stuff the gas control sends in load of gas until the preset is nearly reached and then starts to cut down the fuel to maintain the preset
If you open the oven door to lift out/set in the flame increases slightly again and once the door is closed the flame gradually reduces over the following seconds
Given the choice I’ll stay with gas, , I is not as dry I think although a good woman with and electric oven can be hard to beat also
We have never had to fix a gas cooker apart from fight with igniters or more precisely the battery connections
No, , with my closeness to proportional controls which for some jobs are an absolute need I’d stick with basic no/nc stats and elements for cooking

My fathers Aunt cooked and “baked for the country” as we’d say here with a straightforward electric oven from around 1962 or 63 and I never heard her say once the oven was at fault not even as the dog had a big smile on his face and a full belly and she could bake some good stuff
I would occasional be in a house where a TV cook lives and experiments and let me tell you they all get it wrong, ,
The husband whom I have known since I we were children says the disasters may not look so good but they are mostly tasty and that’s why he’s the size he is.. .I understand what he’s talking about because I’ve been there too at the right time as such
If the goods all came out perfect he’d starve!!
So dont think that if you get everything as the book says that it’ll all come out right because it doesnt. . That is the domain of the professional baker and they have a few tricks up their sleeve and their stuff will never be the same as good home baking. .
My daughter works in a Bakery and she says that the stuff that is baked on site is pretty good but it’ll never match home baking. . She is 22 years of age and says that, ,
She compares her home baking and commercial baking to a bus and a Ferrari. . One is much nicer than the other but one is also much more reliable than the other and its not easy getting both in the one package
Give me the wife’s sponge any day. . .It’s not dry, ,I dont need a drink in the other hand to eat it because its so dry. . It’ll stick to your ribs as we say..

I was expecting there would be two temperatures displayed – the one set by the cook and the other the actual oven temperature that would fluctuate; to some extent with fan ovens I imagine there is an equalisation effect that compensates for the on/off regulation. I agree it would be expensive but it might appeal to people as a feature – there seems to be no limit to how much people will pay for an impressive cooker, especially if it has a rail along the front for displaying tea towels.

John I think you’ve got the idea, , Tea towels and a rail
Thats doesnt mean tasty grub though!!
The fan makes obviously for less differential top and bottom
Even it one had two readouts there is no guarantee that either would be correct right across the temp range just the same way as no two cars temp gauge reads identical even if the coolant is the same temperature on both. . We settled an argument many years about that one as to whether the difference was as a result of the thermostats being irregular or gauges being irregular. . It turned out that all the same cars when new and driven then idled all had a temp within 2c of each other so the mechanical stats were pretty good as such

Having a fan in an oven or fridge greatly improves temperature control but the system is crude, using the heater either off on full power. If you had a digital display, I expect you would see the cyclic variation in temperature.

Moving to electronic temperature control not only offers more accurate temperature but the opportunity to calibrate them against a decent oven thermometer.

As DK explains, the size of the flame in a gas oven varies. It is an example of proportional control, where the heating effect can be varied. Contrast this to an electric oven where the heater is on or off. The big drawback with a gas oven is that it is hotter at the top than the bottom, but this can be used to an advantage, with the roast potatoes at the top and meat at the bottom.

The problem I see with gas is the initial installation of the thing which if your lucky will be thrown in from the retailer
Then unless you have the ability to maintain it yourself and change the hose every few years you pay for that also
I’ll admit I do all myself but not everyone would want to, , can do and wouldnt worry about regulations although all my stuff is well with regs as such
I still like gas though
There is also more risk with gas with it being an open flame but not a lot more I’d think, , red hot elements will also ignite things
I’f be more cautious of the chip pans which seem to be right beside the hob to get the extraction. . There is a chance in even a slight spill of setting fire to the hot oil. . This is something I’ve noted before and I’m still trying to work out a reasonable solution for our new cabin which hasn’t had it’s extraction bought yet

Why on a gas cooker would the ignition sparks on all five positions keep clicking over a period of hours.
any advice to halt this apart from switching the power off would be helpfull.

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duncan lucas thanks for taking time to give advice,the clicking has suddenly stopped so alls well with the world.

Hi i have just had installed a cookmaster ck90f232 and every time i use the right hand cooker after a while due to steam water drips from the bottom does anybody know how to stop this please

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I bought a hotpoint ultima induction cooker in December and even tho the main oven door stays cool to touch when in use, the top oven door is boiling to touch? Other than that I find the cooker is good.

Joanna says:
23 February 2016

Hi there, has any one experienced problems with the leisure cooker grb6c reaching correct temperature and cooking food properly. I have found that it’s taking ages to reach temperature and then drops part way during cooking resulting in above that it’s not cooking food properly. When the engineers have been out they have said that there was nothing up with it. The thermostat isn’t working correctly. The engineers ask for the oven to go on 20 minutes before they get here and than turn round and say that the ovens have reached temperature (although on average it’s 40 minutes or more before they’ve actually got here) and aren’t prepared to do anything about it. We’ve had the oven for approximately 6 months.

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Hello
I am desperate for some advice. I moved into house 2009 with an old leisure 55 classic oven, loved it until it died a few weeks ago. Replaced with second hand Leisure Gourmet Cooker (I was both desperate for a cooker and another Leisure and could not afford a new one). When I put the oven on the flame remains high whether on gas mark 1 or 9? I am not sure whether it is faulty.

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Hi, I’m at a standstill with getting help with my cooker ATM so any advice appreciated please. I have an electric fan oven with an extended warranty which ice had for around 5 years now. It’s always could fine but for the past few months it started cooking unevenly. No matter what I do I end up with uncooked parts, burnt parts and the way it will cook can vary from day to day ie something one day can cook in an hour and the same thing the next day could take 2 hours….
The engineers have said this is normal?! And to turn food around. While I am happy to do that there are some foods you shouldn’t open the oven while cooking. And to be honest turning doesn’t help. I’ve used the cooker for 5 years with no problems and been cooking for many more in general so this isn’t user error. They changed the thermostat, fan, seal but I still have the same problem. Now they’re saying the way it cooks couldn’t possibly have changed and what I’m experiencing is impossible. There is no fault? Obviously I just want to work out what’s wrong with it and not have to fork out for a new cooker but I can’t continue to use it the way it is. Any thoughts?

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Thank you 🙂 I just checked it and there is a little pressure. None around the centre but a little around the sides near the corner… It isn’t very strong, but I don’t remember if it used to be stronger or if this is normal. I didnt often stick my hand in the oven lol

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It’s belling fse60d0

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Thanks for your help 🙂
It’s the 6 blade version but doesn’t seem to be creating a lot of force.
In addition to that, when the door seal was first replaced earlier this month, it kept falling out each time I cooked after that. Never had that issue before. He called again this week to replace it again but each time the oven heats up and I open the door it falls out. I can push it back in but if it’s falling out all the time could it be that the cavity it sits in is possibly warped and could that cause the issue?

Clutching at straws here but I seem to be having to help the engineer discover the fault…

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Thanks so much for the help! I’ll get him to check on the air pressure and if it’s warped around the seal too.
Seems daft I’m having to point these things out to him but I’m at a standstill with this….. The engineer that visits is from my extended service plan and literally just checks that the oven heats up. Keeps telling me a fan oven cooks that way due to the way the air circulates and hot spots so won’t look at anything further to find a fault. Driving me nuts. Hopefully this might help nudge him in the right direction to get to the bottom of it. Thanks again

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Sounds like your cooker is basically fine but your ‘engineer’ is not fit for purpose and should be replaced by a smarter and more up-to-date model.

I quite like that one John, , Replace him with an up to date model but in that there is a problem because the more up to date the less they know it seems
Now we’re seeing the difference between a technician/fitter and proper good old fashioned engineering that is dieing

So, DK, are you saying the “engineer” should be replaced by an older and more experienced model – not a smarter and “more-up-to-date” one?

Derek, , Your question should be directed at John who made the suggestion in the first place
You cannot get older technicians/mechanics/engineers as in black hands engineers
Our Gov’s repeatedly gave no incentives to encourage trades. .
Bear in mind 75% of those who started in these trades either never finished their time or moved on later for reasons I’d rather not write. . . I’m not one to think that you can teach everyone to do everything

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An older engineer might be more up-to-date [i.e. trained on all the relevant technology for appliance repair and maintenance] and a more experienced one should be smarter [i.e. knowing all there is to know about the equipment being worked on]. Whether such perfect specimens exist is a different question.

I don’t doubt they exist – but they can probably find better (paid) things to do than mend cookers….

Lol I’ve requested a different engineer but unfortunately they keep sending the same guy (it’s under an extended service plan so not much choice in who they send) and he keeps trying to educate me in why my sudden uneven cooking is ‘normal’ . I’ve pointed out the manufacturers statements about this in their user guide but he keeps insisting….
He seems to think that because it heats up and is therefore a ‘hot box’ it will cook anything ‘OK’

Sigh…. It’s been a long process lol. I really do appreciate the help! Was beginning to think maybe it was just me going mad!

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Frustrated,

One of my friends has a 60cm free standing Beko “twin oven” electric cooker that is about 4 years old.

It was recently necessary to replace the heating element in its main oven. To save manufacturing costs, the oven is heated by a single heating element in a cavity at the back of the oven. Hence, a correctly operating fan is essential for the correct operation of that oven. I suspect the same may apply to your oven too…

While the main oven was out of service, we experimented with the “top oven”. In effect the “top oven” is only the facility to operate the grill with its door closed. This very slowly and gradually heats up the space underneath the grill element, to provide an “oven” – but a pretty pathetic one.

If a main oven does not use a fan, it ought to be heated from all sides, except perhaps where the door is.

A very, very long time ago, I had a student job in a firm that sold wood fuelled cookers (like Stanleys and Rayburns, etc.). Our experience then was that the best designs routed their flue gases around the oven, to provide a uniform distribution of heat in the oven.

I have had a standalone Bosch gas hob installed recently, gas works fine and I can use it if I light via match, etc. If the ignition plug is plugged in, the ignition trips the RCD circuit. Any advise on what the issue is? Is this a wiring problem my electrician needs to fix or an internal wiring problem I need to speak to Bosch about? Thanks in advance

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