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15 Common Oven Symbols and Controls Explained


It is hard to understand the symbols and controls of an oven, especially if you do not have much experience with cooking.

If you’re unfamiliar with the symbols on your oven, you are certainly not alone. But even though there are sometimes many of them, there isn’t too much to remember since most of these symbols have some common meaning behind them.


Ever wonder what those symbols mean to a professional chef? They’re there for a reason. Understanding the fan, plate warming, and other features will enhance the way you cook and save you money and stress.

Here are some of the oven symbols and controls:

  1. Microwave
  2. Crisps
  3. Fan
  4. Grill
  5. Defrost

Ovens have symbols to help you use them easily and, at the same time, keep you from burning your food or damaging your home.

If you’re a little confused about your oven’s different symbols and controls, you’ve come to the right place. This article will discuss the fifteen common oven symbols and explain their controls.

Oven Symbols and Controls Explained

Have you ever wondered what on earth are oven symbols and controls? Ovens have many symbols and controls to know about to operate your oven properly.

Here are the fifteen common oven symbols and controls explained:

1. Fan

Oven Fan

The fan symbol is the most common control to control the oven’s fan. This control is used to select the speed of the oven’s fan.

Depending on your model, the fan symbol is at the bottom of your microwave or convection oven.

Pressing this button will change the speed of your oven’s fan, so you can adjust it to whatever level you want. To adjust it, turn this knob left or right until you find a setting that works best for your oven and needs.

The fan has two settings: low and high. The low setting is used when baking bread or cookies that don’t require a lot of heat. The high setting or more intense heat is used when baking cookies or bread that are baked longer than 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Full Grill

Oven Full Grill

The full grill is a basic symbol that indicates that the oven will cook more food, at a higher temperature, than what is normally possible. Two zig-zag lines usually denote it.

The full grill will also allow you to cook food at higher temperatures than other settings and keep it safe from burning or overcooking.

This allows you to cook foods quickly, safely, and evenly without sacrificing taste or texture.

3. Light


The light is the most important part of any oven. It tells you when your food can be removed from the oven. There are two types, a red light and a green light.

The green light means your food is done, so remove it from the oven. The red light means there is still heat inside, so wait for it to cool down before removing your food from the oven.

The light will turn on when the door is opened and the control panel is in use. The light will also illuminate once the oven has reached a pre-set temperature and is ready for use.

The light on the oven is also a diagnostic tool. The light is usually red when the oven temperature is too high and yellow when it’s too low.

The light also tells you how much heat your oven can hold, so you don’t cook something before it reaches its desired temperature.

4. Top Heat Element

Oven Grill

The top heat element is attached to the top of the oven and provides uniform heat distribution.

The top heat element is surrounded by a glass turntable that prevents the element from becoming hot and damaged. A line denotes it at the top of the box.

The top heat element is used to heat foods quickly, typically meats and vegetables. It also helps to distribute heat evenly throughout your oven cavity, ensuring all parts are heated evenly.

5. Bottom Heat Element

Oven Grill

The bottom heat element is a surface-mounted element at the oven’s bottom. It can be used to heat the bottom of an oven, or it can be used in combination with other elements to heat the entire oven.

The bottom heat element is connected to the burner in your oven, providing the lowest cooking temperature. The exact location of this element varies depending on how many burners are in your oven.

You will see one bottom heat element if you have a single burner with a small space between it and the door. You will see two bottom heat elements if you have two burners.

The bottom element can be used for roasting meats and vegetables or baking cakes and other baked goods. A single line usually symbolizes it at the bottom of the box.

6. Upper and Lower Heat Elements


The upper and lower heat elements are the metal mesh elements covering the oven cavity’s top and bottom. They are used to distribute heat evenly through the oven cavity.

They are also used to regulate the temperature within the oven cavity. The upper element can be adjusted to control the heat applied to the cooked food.

The lower element can be adjusted to control how much time food cooks in its juices. They are symbolized by two lines, one at the very top and one at the bottom of the box.

7. Steam

Oven Steam

Steam is a powerful feature found on most ovens. The steam allows you to cook at high temperatures, which helps you brown meats and vegetables before using the normal cooking method.

Steam can be used with other cooking methods, such as convection, radiation, and microwave energy.

The steam setting is indicated by an arrow pointing down toward the bottom of the oven door. If you see an arrow pointing toward the top of the door, your oven does not have a steam function.

8. Lock

Oven Lock

The lock symbol is used on most modern ovens to indicate that the door is locked. The lock will only be engaged when you have selected the “lock” option from the menu.

The solid line in the middle of this symbol indicates that the door has been locked. The open line indicates that the door has not been locked.

9. Pizza


The pizza symbol is one of the most common symbols to appear in the oven. It represents your pizza setting temperature and the number of minutes you want it cooked.

The temperature setting for a pizza symbol is either 250 or 450 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have an oven with a higher temperature, you can use this symbol instead of the one that only goes up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

The symbol has a fan and a line at the bottom. It is used to cook food that requires more heating at the bottom.

10. Microwave

Oven Microwave

The microwave symbol is a circle with a line through it. The line represents radiated energy, and the circle represents the field of operation.

These options can be used to reheat food that you want to be heated again. It can also be used to boil foods like potatoes and broccoli.

11. Partial Gill


A partial gill is a section of the oven with a smaller area than the full gill. The partial gills are used for baking and heating, while the full gills are used for baking and roasting.

The partial gills are specified in your oven manual but can be on either side of the cavity. You’ll find many controls on these sections, which may be labeled “partial” or “full.”

12. Defrost

Oven Decfrost

The defrost button is used to start the defrost cycle. Next, the defrost button is used to freeze the food in the oven. This stops the food from cooking and keeps it fresh for longer.

When pressed, it will activate the defrost mode. The defrost mode will continue until the timer has elapsed or if you cancel it manually.

The timer can be set from 0 to 60 minutes in 10-minute increments. A beep will sound when the action is completed.

Once complete, a buzzer sounds, and a light glows red, signaling that your oven is ready for use again.

13. Fan Grill

Oven Fan

A zig-zag at the top of the box with a fan at the bottom. The fan with a grill controls the temperature in an oven. The fan spins at a higher rate than the panels and helps circulate the heat around all sides of the oven.

The fan grill can also be used to preheat or defrost an oven. Turn on the fan if you want to defrost something in your oven. The fan will blow warm air into your oven for about 30 minutes.

This will help to speed up the process of warming up your food or allowing it to cool down quickly after cooking.

14. Grill and Bottom Heat Element


The grill and bottom element heat elements are separate and can be turned on individually. These temperatures can be set to cook food at a low temperature or to finish cooking at high temperatures.

This is symbolized by a zig-zag at the top of a box and a line at the bottom.

15. Plate Warming

Oven Hot

The plate-warming function of your oven is designed to keep food warm during cooking. As the food cooks and loses heat, the plate-warming elements in the oven’s interior turn on to maintain a constant temperature.

This is done by circulating heated air through the hotplate’s heating element, which warms the air before reaching the food. The plate warming setting is accessed via a dial on the front of your oven. Three lines usually denote this in the middle of a box.


If you bake often or are considering baking in the future, these will help you. You’ll be able to associate each symbol with its functions.

Bake confidently, knowing everything you’ve learned still applies to your new learning.

Ultimately, learning to control your oven is just a matter of understanding what those symbols mean. Common symbols and controls like steam, plate warming, and bottom heat elements are essential for your knowledge.

There’s no stone left unturned in this article, and hopefully, these fifteen common oven symbols and controls will help you understand these symbols more clearly and where they fit inside your oven.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Normal Oven Setting Symbol?

The normal oven setting symbol is a circle with a line that indicates the oven’s temperature. Pressing this symbol with your finger will show the temperature reading on your oven’s display.

The range starts at 200 degrees Fahrenheit and goes up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

What Does the Oven Fan Symbol Mean?

It’s on the top of the oven door, which means that the door has a fan inside it. The fan is there to help you get your food cooked more quickly.

It works by pulling hot air out of the oven and pushing it back into the oven so your food cooks faster.

The more often you use the oven, the more frequently you’ll need this feature to cook everything evenly.

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