How to Detect and Fix Heat Spots in an Oven

Published on
21 October 2020
Gareth Busby
Gareth Busby

These show the oven’s capability to distribute heat. In a low-budget oven, you will most likely notice a difference in the browning of the baked goods in different areas of it. Often it happens near the heating element or at a regular radius from it. Some areas of the bread will be darker or paler than others. The effect of heat spots (sometimes called “hot spots”) becomes more exaggerated when the oven’s running at full capacity.

Can I use a fan oven to bake bread?

Using the fan in an oven when baking bread is generally a no-no. And it won’t fix a problem like heat spots. Having air blowing around stops pressure from being built up during the bake. Pressure is necessary when forming the shape of your loaf, it also removes moisture from the surface of the bread which destroys the oven spring and the prospect of a crispy crust. I found when trailing that a powerful fan will push the bread over as well!

What causes heat spots in an oven?

In a commercial bakery oven, the baker is still going to have to deal with distribution challenges when it comes to heat. In the trade, they are referred to as heat spots. Similar to the issues found in low-cost ovens, but can also occur in smaller areas. These areas form heat pockets as well as areas of low heat. Heat spots can occur in recurring places even without a fan, the hot air circulates regardless. It can bounce off the products inside causing hot and cold spots to appear.

How to stop heat spots occurring:

To counteract heat distribution issues during bread baking here are a few pro-tips that can help remove or reduce the issue:

  • Get your oven serviced to repair any broken fans, elements or components.
  • Switch the trays over three-quarters through the bake (make sure the crust has formed before opening the door).
  • Keep an area of the oven clear. This could be an area that contains the heat spot, or the area that reduces the airflow to areas of the oven.
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