Dacor Oven Baking Unevenly using Pure Convection
Model #MSC127S, the complaint on this built in oven was it was not cooking evenly when using a pure convection bake cycle and she had the stack of cookies to prove it. This was a rather odd symptom to be searching out a cause for failure, but with a cookie in hand (one of the fully cooked ones) I proceeded to make this oven heat as expected.
Convection cooking utilizes a fan to bring controlled air movement into the oven cavity to provide a more even level of cooking. In an oven with a normal bake element in the bottom, if we placed three cookie sheets (one on each rack) in the oven, the cookies closest to the bottom bake element would brown first and faster than those on the other two racks requiring constant monitoring to ensure even baking. Convection ovens use a fan built into the oven cavity to blow heated air on and around the cookies baking them evenly and faster than in a non-convection oven.
A true convection oven will use a fan or two to draw air past a dedicated heating element that surrounds the fan blades and heats the air as its circulated around oven cavity. Most oven designs will pull the air into the fan, heat it and exhaust it to the sides in a very specific airflow pattern that is created by a baffle mounted to the rear of the oven cavity. It is the action between the fan and the baffle that insures the heated air is moving around and heating the food at the same rate. Any uneven cooking would generally be an indication of a misaligned fan, convection element, or air baffle.
Dacor ovens use a metal filter over the convection fan to filter odors during the convection cooking process allowing the customer to convection bake different foods and not have the odor or flavors from one bake into the next. This filter needs to be removed and cleaned periodically to ensure it still filters properly, but more importantly, does not disrupt the critical airflow used in the convection baking process. Because the filter on this range was noticeably discolored and had not been properly maintained, I was sure it was the reason for the unevenly baked cookies. I installed a new convection filter, had the customer try another batch of cookies, but this time they came out just as expected.
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