Christmas CookingThe cold, wet weather demands hearty, warming food. This is the time of year when you are likely to be cooking roasts, casseroles and stews – all of which can take their toll on the oven – and that’s before you consider the biggest roast of the year, Christmas dinner.

Oven space and performance is key to making it through without a hitch. The build up to Christmas is a boom time for cooker manufacturers and is traditionally the period with the biggest uptake in product purchases as people get ready for entertaining and the festivities. One option to ensure you have enough space to cope with cooking the turkey and all the trimmings is to opt for a range cooker, however these are very expensive and purchasing a brand new oven is not a practical option for most people.

Fortunately, there are more cost-effective ways to ensure you have the space you need without changing oven. One way is to make better use of the oven capacity by adding in an additional oven shelf. These are readily available for most brands and model of oven, or there is a universal option that can be extended to fit.

Oven performance will diminish over time if the oven isn’t properly maintained. It is wise to check your oven for signs of wear and tear. This will commonly include checking items such as the oven door seal. If this has loosened over time then it will fail to provide a tight enough seal and it will allow heat to escape. As a result the oven will need to work harder in order to maintain temperature, which adds extra strain on to internal components such as the oven element.

Watch the video for this repair:

Oven door hinges are another part that can result in heat escaping from the oven cavity. If the hinges have become bent or sagged then the door won’t shut correctly and an appropriate seal won’t be formed. As well as the extra strain on the internal parts, escaped heat can also lead to longer cooking times, uneven cooking and higher utility bills!

Other oven parts that may need to be replaced include cosmetic parts such as control knobs. The numbers or markings on these can wear off or it is even possible for the knobs to melt if too much heat is escaping from the oven.  If the lamp in your cooker has blown and you’ve made do without, then this needs replacing before you start preparations for the big day and entertaining. With so many side dishes and accompaniments that need to be cooked at the same time, visibility is crucial.

Effective oven maintenance now will hopefully help to avoid any failed parts or issues during the festive season. For more tips, help and advice on preventing common oven problems and fitting replacement parts visit our appliance advice centre.

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