Oven settings explained & guide

Has reading the back of a frozen pizza box got you cooked? Is a small packet of cake mix whipping up a big batch of trouble? And what is the difference between a conventional oven and a fan-forced oven anyway?

Understanding recipes can be difficult, let alone knowing how each oven setting works on different appliances. It doesn’t help that different brands also put their own ‘innovative’ spin on these universal functions, either. A recent survey by Italian appliance manufacturer Smeg reveals nearly half of Aussies who use an oven, don’t fully understand how to use the majority of their oven settings. To help you make sense of all this, we’ve created a list of a few common oven settings and suggest a number of ways you can make the most out of your kitchen appliance.

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Conventional oven cooking

It takes two to tango when you’re dancing with both the upper and lower heating elements of the oven. You might recognise this setting in recipes or on the back of a frozen meal as ‘conventional’, ‘static’ or ‘traditional’ heating − otherwise known as the option that isn’t fan-forced.

The lines featured on the symbol indicate where the heating element is available. So, an icon with only one line at the top (or bottom) only contains the top, or lower, heating element. This mode best caters to bakers because it doesn’t utilise the oven fan, allowing the heat to naturally travel to the centre of the cavity. That’s why conventional oven cooking works best when the dish is placed in the centre of any bottom shelf.


Is your cake fluffy at the base but darkened to a crisp on top? The fan-forced mode can help you achieve greater consistency throughout because the top and lower elements are not active. Instead, the setting turns on both the fan and a circular heating element in order to spread hot air throughout the oven. This apparently encourages the appliance to heat up quickly, while shortening cooking time and lowering energy consumption.

Some brands like Beko boast ‘Side Venting Technology’ to prevent different odours and flavours from mingling. But the fan-forced function means air is already constantly moving, so the fan-forced setting should naturally minimise any mixing of flavours and odours. Keep in mind that compared to conventional oven cooking, the cooking temperature needed for oven fan cooking tends to drop by 20°C.

Fan-forced grill

Want to avoid the disappointment of tucking into a succulent steak and finding it to be dry and chewy on the inside, making it tough to swallow? To help you maintain consistent temperature throughout your cooking you might like to use the fan-forced grill function on your oven.

It works slightly differently from a regular grill. The biggest difference is that it doesn’t require as much babysitting as the rear fan will apparently help cook the food from underneath, while also browning the top. This type of grill function generally works well with the door closed because the setting browns the food while the fan moves the heat created by the grill element around the oven. This also allows you to cook or reheat food using the lower elements.

Oven grill

Similar to the straight line on the conventional oven cooking symbol, the oven grill icon typically features wavy lines. When double lines are shown, it indicates heat is spread over the whole grill portion of the oven. But when the icon only shows one line, heat is usually directed towards the centre or another specific area of the grill.

Keep in mind that some grills must be used with the door closed, while others are designed to be kept open. Check the instruction manual to make sure you know how to stay safe in the kitchen.

  • The oven grill setting with an icon that features double lines is suitable for cooking larger quantities of food, especially sizzling some sausages and bacon. A full grill can also be used for browning, or even making a big batch of toast.
  • The oven grill setting with an icon that features a single line typically works best when grilling small amounts of food.

Turbo grill

There are only a few things more satisfying than walking into the familiar aroma of home-cooked comfort food. But just like a Christmas dinner, things can get a little overwhelming. Thankfully, the turbo grill function can help calm the intensity of different odours. It’s also suitable for simultaneously cooking larger amounts of food. However, good things take time, which is why this gentle mode of cooking can take longer than other settings.

If you want to take advantage of this function, invite guests to feast on roast turkey and end the night with an impressive soufflé.


Frozen on what to do with the snowflake icon on your oven? Keep cool and use the defrost function to quickly thaw food in time for dinner. Switching this feature on typically prompts the fan to distribute air throughout the cavity without using any heat. Electrolux claims air, without using any heat, speeds up defrosting times and best works with ‘delicate frozen foods’ such as scones or cakes with icing. It can also be used to defrost fish and poultry.

Oven light

The oven light setting typically features a light or light bulb. Some ovens offer this feature independently from the oven, meaning you can turn the light on in the oven without the heat on.


Put the foil away and activate the warming function to enjoy freshly made food later on without drying out your roast chicken or burning a batch of choc chip cookies. A modern take on traditional warming drawers, this feature can also heat up plates.

Other oven settings

A symbol containing the word “ECO” typically uses the grill, fan, and lower heating element to reduce the amount of energy used. Any ECO setting is usually suitable for cooking a small amount of food.


If you buy a pyrolytic oven, you might see an icon with a P symbol. This allows you to activate the pyrolytic self-cleaning function to deep clean the inside of your oven. This setting heats up the oven to about 400°C-500°C to turn any baked-on grease and grime into ash that you can then just wipe off. If there’s only a small bit of grime, you can opt to choose the icon which features both a P and the word ‘ECO’ to reduce energy usage.

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Let’s not forget about the dish-specific settings cooked up by different brands. Depending on the product you get, a variety of ovens come with a number of functions designed to cater to certain meal types.

Pizza mode

Pizza mode is a pretty common setting on most ovens. The combination of the fan and both the upper and lower heating elements are designed to blow pizza lovers away by ensuring a crispy base. The setting can alternatively be used for meals that require browning, or simply taste better when crispy.

Fish cooking function

Some Smeg appliances also feature an automatic fish cooking function, which provides pre-set cooking programs for different types of fish and fish cuts. Other similar features include the vegetable cooking function and meat cooking function.

Bread proving

If you prefer to bake your bread at home, rather than buy a loaf at the store, look for a symbol that has a semi-circle and a few arrows pointing up. This option is suitable for proving yeast-type dough mixes, just check your manual to see how long you’ll need to place the dough in the oven.

So, there you have it! Take advantage of the different settings on your oven and get a little creative in the kitchen. If this has inspired you to buy a new oven, hit the link below to see plenty of ratings and reviews on a wide range of brands and products.

Picture credits: Domain.

Original Author: Tahnee-Jae Lopez-Vito

3 Minute Read

Let’s see if we can explain some of the common oven symbols, settings and functions. We will only discuss the common ones, considering nearly every brand has a special brand-only function.

The conventional oven setting is represented by two lines or rectangles on top and bottom. This means the top and bottom heating elements will radiate heat, which is the standard for all-electric ovens. The fan is not involved in this, using only the natural convection within the oven. This is perfect for baking bread, cakes, cookies and any standard baked good.

Full or Half Grill

This setting is represented by a single line or bar on top. There are some ovens that do not have a separate heating element from their grill function, so you might also find the jagged top symbol as an alternate. This means only the top part will be radiating heat. Top Heat Only is perfect for browning dishes and performing rotisserie function.

Bottom Heat Only

Much like the former, the bottom heat only is the opposite setting, having a single bar or line on the bottom of the square. This symbol means only the bottom part will radiate heat and is typically perfect for pastries and bakes that require a crunchy, toasty base like pizzas, casseroles and lasagne.

Fan Forced

One of our favourite settings, fan-forced setting runs a fan with a heating element around it. This is typically symbolised by a fan inside a square with no lines or a fan within a circle around it inside the square. Fan forced allows for even distribution of heat in the entire oven, allowing for faster cooking times and even temperatures on all levels. This is ideal for batch baking where all levels need the same bake time.

Bottom Heat with Fan

This is represented by a fan with a line or bar on the bottom. This allows for a combination of fan forced function together with the bottom heat only. This has the same function as bottom heat only but it allows for an additional function of helping cook the top part with indirectly radiated heat. If you need the bottom to be crispy but the top to be cooked softly, this is the right setting. Bottom heat with fan oven function is perfect for pizzas, open faced pies and tarts.

Top Heat with Fan or Grill with Fan

This has a near similar function as top heat or grill only electric oven setting, represented by a fan symbol with either a line on top or a jagged line on top.This allows for good distribution of heat around the oven and is a great setting to use for meats, poultries and BBQ. If you need to brown a casserole quickly, this is a great option to use.

Fan Forced Full Bake

This is the highest heat setting that you can put your oven, symbolised by two lines on top and bottom and a fan in the middle. This radiates heat from the top element, bottom element and the fan’s heating element, allowing for a very even distribution of heat in the entire oven. If you’re concerned that your bake goods or roasts may not cook evenly, you would want to use this function to make sure of even cooking all-throughout.

Slow Cook

Another of the newer settings on electric ovens, this is characterised by a pot or casserole pot symbol. This symbol is designed to run on low consumption for low heat and very long cooking times. This is perfect for stews, casseroles and even some large meat BBQ like ribs and steaks.

Keep Warm

One of the more uncommon but useful function in electric ovens, keep warm is represented by a plate with steam lines on it. Keep warm keeps whatever is inside it warm until it is taken out. This is very low heat and it is used to stop the cooking but keep the food inside nice and piping hot. Great for preventing breads from going stale or keep foods moist for a slightly later time.

Your oven is covered in symbols, but what do they all mean? Below, you can find the most common oven symbols. The appearance of the symbols differs slightly for each brand, but they’ll look largely the same. If the symbol you’re looking for isn’t in the list, it’s probably a brand-specific program. In that case, you can check the manual of your oven.

Fan function

The fan oven symbol is a fan. With this setting, the oven uses a fan to evenly distribute the heat throughout the entire oven. The advantage of this is that you can bake relatively fast and on different levels. This setting is less suitable for baking pies, but handles casseroles well, for example.

Lower heat

In case of lower heat, all heat is generated by a heating element at the bottom of the oven. You can use this setting for au bain-marie or to finish cooking a dish. If you’re making an oven dish, quiche, or pie, this setting will heat the bottom without burning the top. For this setting, you should preferably only use 1 baking sheet or oven rack. That’s because the heat from the bottom heating element won’t reach the second baking sheet or second oven rack.

Upper and lower heat

Upper heat

In the case of upper heat, your oven only activates the upper heating element. You can use this function to bake pies with a pre-baked crust. That way, you keep the bottom of your apply pie from burning. You can also use upper heat if you want to gratinate your dish, like a lasagna or chicory with ham and cheese.

Full grill

With this setting, you use the entire grill of the oven. With the grill, you can gratinate a dish or give a piece of chicken or fish a crispy crust. You can also make tasty vegetables, like bell peppers, zucchini, or aubergine. Thanks to the grill setting, the food gets that typical, sweet grill flavor. The grill isn’t suitable for preparing thick pieces of meat. If you grill a piece of meat that’s too thick, it’s difficult to fully cook the inside without burning the outside.

Partial grill

With a number of ovens, you can easily use just part of the grill. Make sure to check which part of the grill you’re using, so you can place your dish in the right spot. Usually, this is the center of the grill. You use the part grill function the same way you’d use the full grill function, but for smaller amounts.

Fan grill

If you choose the fan grill setting, your oven will alternate between the grill and the fan. That way, the oven blows the hot air around your dish every now and then. You can compare it to preparing a piece of meat on a spit. As a result, large pieces of pork fillet, pork chops, or roast beef cook faster. If you only use the grill for larger pieces of meat and fish, you run the risk of burning the outsides while the inside is still raw.

Pizza setting

The pizza setting often uses a combination of the fan oven and the heating element at the bottom of the oven. The extra heat from below ensures your pizza gets a crispy crust. You can also use the pizza setting for other dishes that need to be properly cooked on the bottom, like a quiche.


The steaming function allows you to steam vegetables and potatoes, but also rice, meat, fish, and poultry. If you steam a dish, the flavors and nutrients are better preserved compared to other preparation methods. In addition, you can also use a steam oven to heat up leftovers. It takes longer to heat a dish in a steam oven than in a microwave, but your dish will taste a lot better.


With the microwave setting, you can defrost food and reheat your leftovers from yesterday. In addition, this setting is very suitable for boiling broccoli, beans, or potatoes. With the microwave setting, you need less water to boil vegetables than you would in a pan. This way, the food retains its vitamins and you don’t pour them out along with the water.

With the defrost function, you defrost products without heating them up. You can quickly defrost a slice of bread for breakfast or the minced meat for your pasta sauce. The defrost setting works differently for ovens and microwaves. When you use the defrost setting on a microwave, you select the weight. The microwave will then use the right wattage and defrost time. After, the air circulates through the oven at a low temperature.


You can only find a crisp function on microwave ovens. With this function, you can make crispy oven fries, give your pizza a crispy crust, or give your chicken a crispy layer. The crisp function only works in combination with a crisp dish or crisp plate. The extra-hot dish heats the bottom, while the grill is aimed at the top of your dish. You can use the crisp function to speed up the cooking process, so you’ll be able to serve a crispy dish quickly.

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Ovens offer a variety of settings and functions to get the best cooking and baking results. Different brands may use slight variations, however many oven symbols are universal and designed to help you identify the different functions of your oven.

If you tend to gravitate toward the functions you are most familiar and comfortable with, you are not alone! We take the guesswork out of deciphering those little pictures on your oven with our guide to common oven symbols, settings and functions.

Conventional heating oven symbol

The symbol for conventional heating is two lines – one at the top and one at the bottom. This means that both the top and bottom heating elements will radiate heat. The bottom heating element provides the primary source of heat, while the upper element delivers intense top-down heat to brown and grill your food.

Ideal for

Roasting meat and vegetables or single shelf cooking.

Lower heating element

The lower heating element oven symbol is represented by a single line at the bottom. This indicates that the lower heating element is in use.

Slow cooking, casserole baking or for food that requires a crispy base such as pizza or a pastry case.

Upper heating element

The upper heating element symbol is represented by a single line at the top. This indicates that the upper heating element is in use.

Baking pies with a pie crust.

Fan forced symbols feature a fan inside a circle. A fan forced oven has a heating element around the fan to circulate and distribute heat evenly. This allows for a faster cooking time, even temperature and a decrease in energy consumption. This will likely be your most used setting.

Batch cooking, cakes, cookies.

Fan forced grill

This symbol features a fan with a zig zag line above it. When this is switched on, the grill and fan will operate at the same time. The fan’s function is to spread the grill’s heat. Unlike the standalone grill, your oven door should be closed when using this function.

Cooking through thicker meats or fish.

The grill icon features a zig zag line on the top. It is also sometimes represented with a double zig zag line. This grill setting uses the entire grill of the oven.

Vegetables, crisping and browning food.

Some ovens offer a partial grill setting, represented by a smaller zig zag line. This indicates that only part of the grill is in use. You will need to place your food in the right spot (usually in the centre of your oven).

Grilling smaller portions/amounts.

The defrost function can reduce your defrosting time. The oven does not use heat on this function, instead it circulates room temperature air (30°C) around the food to give it an even and fast defrosting result.

Defrosting food when you are in a hurry.

Plate warming

The plate warming symbol shows three lines stacked on top of each other. This keeps your dinner plates safely warm.

Keeping your dinner guests happy.

Often depicted as a dish with rising steam, this function keeps your food warm, without cooking it.

Warming food or plates so they do not cool too quickly.

Your oven cooks with the light on so you can view your cooking progress. Also handy when cleaning your oven so you can take a better look.

Child lock

A small key symbol indicates that the child lock feature is activated.

Keeping children safe when the appliance is on or when the self-clean function is in operation.


The alarm symbol will enable you to manually set your alarm.

Setting a reminder to check your cooking when your oven is in use.

Self cleaning or Pyrolytic cleaning oven symbols

The self cleaning function shows a series of black dots or diamonds decreasing size from top to bottom. It can also be represented by the letter P.  High temperature pyrolytic cleaning heats your oven to approx. 500°C. The intense heat will incinerate any built up grime and then the remaining ash can be wiped away.

Now that you are familiar with your oven symbols and functions, why not get familiar with the different parts of your oven and how they operate? Check out our essential guide to oven parts.

Shop for oven & cooktop spares at Statewide Appliance Spares. Our most popular oven and cooktop spare parts are always in stock, including oven elements, racks, hinges, seals, thermostats, knobs and more. We have everything you could possibly need at competitive prices, with fast Australia wide delivery.



(the level is indicated on the wall of

the cooking compartment)

6. Upper heating element / grill

7. Circular heating element

(do not remove)

9. Bottom heating element


For switching the oven on by

selecting a function.

Turn to the

position to switch

the oven off.

With the oven switched on, press

to turn the oven compartment

lamp on or off.


For accessing the cooking time

settings, delayed start and timer.

For displaying the time when the

oven is off.


For changing the cooking time


Turn to select the temperature you

require when activating manual

functions. Automatic functions use

Please note: All knobs are push-

activated knobs. Push down on the

centre of the knob to release it from its



To receive more comprehensive help and

support, please register your product at

You can download the Safety Instructions

and the Use and Care Guide by visiting our

the instructions on the back of this booklet.

1 32 4 5

Ariston 60cm Cooker 3 Gas + 1 Electric w/ Electric Oven & Grill, Rotisserie, A6MSH2F(X)

  • 60 cm
  • 3 HE Gas Burners + 1 Electric Hotplate
  • Electric oven and grill
  • 62L oven capacity
  • 2 Hand Electronic Ignition
  • Safety Device
  • Flame Adjustment Levels
  • Mechanical Timer
  • Adjustable Temperature
  • 4 Cooking Modes (static oven, bottom oven, grill, double grill mode)
  • Rotisserie Function
  • Safety Chain
  • Steam Assisted Oven Cleaning
  • Stainless
  • Mechanical control
  • High Efficiency burners
  • Tangential Ventilation
  • Close pipes burners
  • Injector type
  • Full Glass Oven Door
  • Hydro Assist Cleaning System
  • Made in Poland
  • Net weight: 49kg
  • Gross weight: 53kg
  • Net Dimensions (W x H x D): 595 x 655 x 868mm
  • Gross Dimensions (W x H x D): 660 x 680 x 940mm

What’s in the box:

  • FSC Unit
  • Warranty Card
  • Gas Burners
  • Grill Rack
  • Rotisserie
  • Drip Tray

ⓘ We aim to show you accurate product information. Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and some has not yet been verified. For additional information about a product, please contact the manufacturer.

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Standard delivery

Your order should be with you in less than 24 hours for orders in Kampala, Wakiso, Entebbe, Mukono and nearby cities and 1-2 days to upcountry cities.

Pre-orders & Backorders

Pre-ordered goods and back-ordered goods will take 10-14 days deliver to most of Uganda.

Abanista Care™

Standard warranty, monthly care and replacement care.


You may return the unused item in its original packaging within 7 days unless noted above.

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