First start up
You're actually referring to the "broiler" elements. Most electric ovens have these at the top of the main oven space. (Some gas ovens are set up the same way, but many put the broiler elements in a bottom drawer.)
As their name implies, broiler elements are active only when you're broiling. They will not go on for baking.
Broiling is the process of cooking food by exposing it directly to a high heat source at close range. To broil a steak, for example, you would place the pan holding the steak on an oven rack raised to the top or next to top position in the oven (consult the manual) and set the oven to broil. The top elements will then turn on and cook the meat by direct radiation.
Most people, however, use ovens for baking far more often than for broiling. Baking is the process of cooking food (cakes, casseroles, roasts etc) by indirect heat. In other words you raise the oven to a certain temperature, put the food on a rack more in the middle of the oven, and let the surrounding heat cook it over time. When you bake the top broiler elements usually don't come on at all.
I hope this helps.
Apr 30, 2014 |