I am new to Chowhound, and I hope this question is not out of place.
We have bought an oven with a hidden bottom heating element. I had not realized that virtually all ovens now have this feature rather than radiant heating from an exposed heating element on the bottom of the oven. None of my recipes seem to work anymore:
1. Nothing browns enough.
2. When the oven preheats, it beeps about 30C lower than the temperature it should be at. If I let it keep heating, it eventually gets near the right temperature.
3. The temperature drops from 350F to 290F (175C to 145C) when I put anything into the oven, and the temperature stays there.
4. I have three oven thermometers in the oven, and they are consistent with each other. By playing with the temperature to which I set the oven, I have baked at the desired temperature, but things still do not brown right. And, I have to constantly play with the controls to try to get and stay at the right temperature.
5. I cannot figure out from the manual (Scholtes) whether the fan is on in the various modes. I wish I had a simple way to control whether I am doing conventional or fan baking.
My assumption is that I should let the oven preheat for a very long time in order to make things more stable. A stone might also make the temperature more stable. And presumably, the browning I used to get was greater because of radiant heat rather than heating by conduction.
But I am still completely confused! Are all my old recipes to be thrown out? Do cookbooks now have to specify which kind of oven? Is there some systematic way of guessing what will work on a given recipe?
This has been really frustrating. Have we progressed backwards?