Cooking on an open fire as your only resource for a hot meal is so foreign to us that many of us forget this is where the idea for the oven started. Open fires began the process and simple construction with brick and mortar was added later to hold the wood.
Historical records refer to the first oven being built in France in 1490, made of brick and tile. Over the years many improvements were made, holes were cut into the top to hold flat bottom pans which replaced the heavy cauldrons. Chambers were built to contain the fire and flues were added to remove the smoke.
Cast iron stoves called five-plate began to be made in larger quantities in 1728. In the 1800's the first working kitchen stove was invented. It could heat several cooking pots with one fire source, and the heating level could be regulated for each individual pot. This design proved to be too large for the average kitchen and by 1834 a compact cast iron stove was invented with iron grates added to the cooking holes.
Gas ovens made their way onto the scene in 1826 and by the 1920's were found in most households. Gas ovens had some competition by the early 1930's when electric ovens became more popular. Electric ovens had been available since the 1890's but the technology to distribute the electricity still needed improvements.
Over the years the oven has made major advancements in design and technology. Repairs and replacement of parts can seem a daunting task, however many repairs are simple and easy to do yourself. Here are a few of the most common problems.
Bake Element or Broil Element - On an electric oven there are two elements. The top element is the Broil Element and the bottom is the Bake Element. If you are noticing that your food is not baking evenly or taking too long to finish, one of these elements may need to be replaced.
Igniter - A weak or burned out igniter is usually the cause for the oven to stop baking or to bake poorly. The same is true for the oven not broiling. This is the most common part to replace on a gas oven.