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What do the symbols on my oven mean?

An image of a oven knob with different symbols

Do you want to make the most out of your oven? It is time you knew what all the symbols mean! We know the symbols on ovens can be confusing and that is why we are here to help. We’ve put together a guide to help you understand the meanings of the symbols on your oven. Whilst the appearance of symbols may differ slightly for different brands, they will look largely the same. By the end of this guide, you will know what each symbol means and how to make the most of your oven to get the best cooking and baking results.

1. Fan Oven

Symbol: A fan in a circle. 

Meaning: the oven will use the fan to distribute heat that is generated from a circular element that surrounds the fan. It should mean that the heat is distributed evenly and no matter where the food is in the oven, it will cook perfectly every time. Fan ovens are designed to heat up quicker, reduce cooking time and decrease energy consumption. 

Great for: Fan ovens are great at baking multiple trays at a time. They are also great if you enjoy your meat being tender and cooked on the outside and rare on the inside. 

The symbol will not have a circle around the fan if you have a combination oven and want to use the fan

2. Conventional heating

Symbol: Two lines, one at the top and one at the bottom. 

Meaning: This symbol means there are two heating elements in the oven, one at the top and one of the bottom. The heat will be diffused by natural convection as opposed to a fan. 

Great for: Roasting meat and vegetables or baking cakes.

3. Fan with lower heat

Symbol: One horizontal line at the bottom with a fan above. 

Meaning: The heat will be produced at the base but will be wafted around the oven by the fan. 

Great for: Blind cooking and baking pasties and quiches. 

4. Bottom element heat

Symbol: One single line at the bottom. 

Meaning: The heat will come from the lower heating element of the oven. 

Great for: Cooking or baking food where a crispy base is desired for example pizza or pastry case. It is also commonly used for baking casseroles and stews. 

5. Bottom element heating with grill

Symbol: Zigzag line at the top of the symbol and a straight line at the bottom. 

Meaning: The grill and the lower heating element is responsible for creating the heat in the oven. 

Great for: Cooking pies, quiches or pizzas that need a crispy base and a browned surface. 

6. Fan with grill

Symbol: This symbol is the fan with the zigzag grill line above at the top of the symbol.

Meaning: This symbol means that the fan distributes the heat around the oven and the grill roasts from the top. The grill cycles on and off to ensure that the temperature is maintained. It means that the heat is less fierce and will stop the whole oven heating up or burning the top of the food. 

Great for: Cooking thicker pieces of  meat and poultry.

7. Grill

Symbol: Zigzags at the top of the symbol. 

Meaning: Two zigzag lines means the heat is being generated by the full grill element. One zigzag line will mean that only one section of the grill element will get hot (if this is the case, make sure you put your food directly under this part of the grill). Half grill is very handy if you only want to cook a few items of food. 

Bear in mind when using the grill setting, some are designed to be used with the door closed and some are designed to have the door open. Check your manual! 

Great for: Any food that sizzles (e.g. sausages and bacon) and browning off foods (e.g. meat or the top of a lasagne). 

8. Oven light

Symbol: Light bulb

Some ovens will have a separate light setting which means that you can turn the light on even when it is not in use. This is great for when you are cleaning your oven. Some ovens will turn the light on automatically when the oven is on. 

9. Defrost 

Symbol: A snowflake and a water droplet

Meaning: The fan in the oven is switched on, but no heat is being produced. The circulation of air is what defrosts the food and it is likely to be quicker than leaving it to defrost on the kitchen top. Not all ovens will have this function, but it is great if yours does and you’ve forgotten to get the food out the freezer overnight

10. Plate warming

Symbol: Three lines on top of each other. 

Meaning: This function will gently warm plates or other dishes. 

11. Warming oven

Symbol: A dish with ‘steam’ lines rising from it. 

Meaning: This function will keep your food warm but without cooking it anymore. This function keeps the food warm and moist. 

12. Pyrolytic cleaning

Symbol: Not consistent, examples include a capital P, rows of dots or diamond shapes that increase in size.

Meaning: This will heat the oven up to around 500°C. This will incinerate burnt-on grime into ash that can be easily wiped away. There are lots of ovens that now offer this function. 

Cooker Solutions

We hope this article has helped you understand the symbols and functions that your oven offers. Now that you have an understanding, it is time to make full use of your oven and produce some great food! 

Here at Cooker Solution, we are a professional electrical oven, cooker and hob repair service. We cover many areas throughout London including Croydon, Wimbledon, Clapham, Bromley, Battersea, Barnes, Beckenham, Wandsworth, Dulwich, Surrey and South London. If you would like to know more about our service or have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Contact us on 0750 822 9049 or fill out our online contact form