Many modern electric stoves are designed with a hidden bake element that is normally obscured under the floor of the oven cavity.

In today’s article, we look at some of the goods and the not-so-goods of hidden bake elements in ovens.

Thumb through. 

hidden bake elements pros and cons

What is a Hidden Bake Element and How Does it Work?

A hidden bake element is an electric stove feature that conceals the oven’s bottom element under a non-removable porcelain enameled oven floor.

Unlike traditional bake elements that are for the most part exposed (allowing you easy visibility access whenever you open the oven door), a hidden bake element as its name suggests is actually “hidden” under the floor of the oven cavity.

How does a hidden bake element work though?

Just like any other normal bake element, when you turn on your oven, electrical energy is converted into heat energy that conventionally bakes, grills, roasts, and pretty much provides the heat needed for an oven to carry out its functions.

During baking and cooking , spills and splatters are inevitable. Sometimes it’s out of our control and there is nothing we can do other than waiting for that post-baking clean-up. 

A hidden bake element comes in handy when it’s time to clean by eliminating hard-to-reach areas that would have otherwise made the cleaning-up process a nightmare.

All the spills and foods are collected on the porcelain cover, making the cleaning process a breeze and in many cases as easy as a simple wipe-off.

hidden bake element

Hidden Bake Element Pros

A hidden bake element may sound somewhat overrated, but it’s increasingly becoming quite popular with buyers, and for good reason.

Let’s look at WHY you should consider a range with a hidden bake element.

1. Easy clean-up 

You’d be awed at how easy it is to clean up an oven with a hidden bake element. After you are done with your baking, you can clean up the bake element by just wiping the spills and food debris with a kitchen rag/towel.

2. Sleek and stylish.

The hidden bake element design compliments your electric stove with appealing aesthetics. You’ll definitely love how neat and stylish your range looks without the bake element in view.

3. More interior space.

The porcelain cover above the bottom element adds more space inside your oven. You get one more sort of rack. You can place dishes on the porcelain cover.

4. Better element protection

The fact that the baking element is concealed protects it from being easily damaged through skirmishes and things of that sort.


Hidden Bake Element Cons

Good as it is, there is a not-so-good side to the flipped coin.

Let’s look at some of the disadvantages of a hidden bake element.

1. Higher purchase price  

A range with a hidden bake element tends to be more expensive as compared to one with an exposed baking element.

hidden bake element

2. Stretched preheat times

This happens to be the most common and biggest complaint about ranges with hidden bake elements. 

Generally, an oven with a concealed bake element will take a slightly longer time to preheat and cook all together. This is could be due to the fact that:

  • The porcelain cover atop the hidden bake element restricts the air and heat flow, resulting in L-O-N-G cooking/baking times.
  • The bottom element heats up the porcelain oven floor first before the heat is eventually spread into the oven’s interior.

All these factors subject the oven’s bottom element to hideous heat stress which in turn lengthens the time that your oven will take to preheat and cook/bake your dish.

3. Harder to replace

In case the hidden bake element fails, repairing and/or replacing it is unfortunately not as easy as it would have been with an exposed element. More often than not, you’ll need a professional fixer which can be quite costly.

Differences Between Ovens with Hidden Bake Element and Normal Oven

There is almost no difference between a normal oven and an oven that features a hidden bake element. Both ovens bake alike, except at different durations.

An oven with a hidden bake element has a porcelain enamel cover that conceals the bake elements below the oven cavity, contrary to a normal oven that has exposed baking elements. 

Exposed oven element
Hidden oven element

Unlike a normal oven that preheats and bakes pretty fast, the oven with a hidden bake element will slightly take longer to preheat and bake. This is because the cover exposes the oven to extended preheating and cooking times.

Are Ranges With Hidden Baking Elements More Expensive?

One of the main disadvantages of ranges with hidden bake elements is their procuring price.  These ranges tend to be more expensive than regular ovens with exposed baked elements.  

So if you are considering purchasing a range with a hidden bake element and are wondering if they are more expensive, well, the answer is a YES. Ranges with hidden baking elements are often more expensive.

Of course,  the price will considerably vary based on different factors such as the brand, and design, among other specifications.

Conclusion 

A hidden bake element is the oven’s bottom element that’s concealed under the floor cavity of the oven. The feature comes in handy when it comes to clean-ups. It collects all the spills and food drops on the porcelain enamel cover making the cleaning process easy and quick.

The major advantage of this feature is its easy cleaning aspect. You can easily clean the spills and food drops by simply wiping them off.

Aside from the high purchase costs, the long preheat and cooking time may be a turn-off for you. Additionally, ranges with a hidden bake element tend to take longer to preheat since the cover restricts the flow of heat into the oven cavity.

To recap, what sets a normal oven apart from one with a hidden bake element is the porcelain enamel cover that hides the bottom element.

The elements in the normal oven are exposed and you can actually see them when you open the door of your oven. That’s not the case with hidden bake elements.