Oven "hot spot(s)"

Great group. Best, most helpful on usenet. OK. Modern Maid electric range, probably mid 1980's. Came with house & previously worked well for its age.
Problem Example: Place 2 pans/cookie sheets side by side in oven. Temp seems OK. Pan on left burns food. Pan on right does fine. U-shaped bottom element seems to work as it should. Top element does not come on which is as it should be.
Anyone want to give an opinion? It's a nice, old stove & easy to clean so would like t keep it.
Appreciate all ideas.
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Olie Young wrote:

Hi, Check fuse and top element(could be burnt out)
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Tony Hwang wrote:

Possibly an air leak around the door causing uneven temps?? I have no idea how you check for or fix such a thing <sigh>.
Lou
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When baking (as opposed to broiling), why would the top element matter? In a well designed electric oven, the top element does nothing, except PERHAPS assist during the preheat cycle.
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I had 'hot' and 'not-so-hot' spots in a toaster oven. I found it was directly related to clean vs not-so-clean areas on the sides and bottom of the oven. YMMV
FMB (North Mexico)
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Electric ovens are generally preferred because of their even heating. You sure blew that theory. I'd look for a vent that may be causing air circulation. Do you see a gradient from left to right on the burnt pan? Check to see if you are leaving equal space between the pan and oven wall also.
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Thanks for opinions. Tony: Top element is not required to be "on" when baking, ever. Where would a fuse for oven be located?
Lou: Oven appears to seal well but will check closer: . FMB: My oven is clean, thank you! 8^) Mostly because I don't use it due to this problem.
Edwin: Yes, seems to be gradient from left to right from burnt to not so to OK. Will check for vent(s). Pans are spaced as they should be & not touching each other, side nor back.
'Tis a puzzlemet, eh. Thanks for the ideas. Will let you know if I ever solve the mystery. Olie
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Never mind the fuse, unless you noticed in the past that the top element came on during the pre-heat cycle, but has stopped doing so. Even so, it might not have a separate fuse.
Question: After the oven reaches the temperature you want, how long do you wait before putting in the food?
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If the element is heating evenly, the trays are spaced evenly, there is logical reason that one side would be hotter. From your description, the heat seems to be coming up the left side more. Gas oven usually have a vent but it has been years since I've owned an electric. In my case, the vent is on the right side, thus my question.
If you cnnot find the actual cause, it my be possible to lay a strip of foil on the left side of the lower rack to deflect the heat more towards the center. You can also swap trays half way through, but that would be a PITA to watch.

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wrote in message

The other thing I just noticed (I know-should've noticed yesterday) is the OP said one tray BURNS food. That's pretty extreme. The electric oven in my previous home cooked just a bit differently on one side than the other. It was enough that when my ex was baking cookies which needed only 10-15 minutes of so, she had to base the timing on the hotter side of the oven (from experience), and leave the other tray in for an extra minute or so. Even so, if she'd based the timing on the cooler side, the ones on the hotter side didn't burn. They just got a bit crisper than she wanted.
So, this raises two more questions for the OP:
1) Are the two baking pans identical?
2) What type of food are you talking about?
3) At what height are the oven racks? Top, middle or bottom?
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