Why Is the Top of the Oven the Hottest Part?

Why Is the Top of the Oven the Hottest Part

We’ve all been told that the top of the oven is the hottest part. This is a cooking rule that has stood the test of time, and it is always present in every baker’s mind when they are baking bread and cakes at home.

However, many home cooks may not know why the top of the oven is the hottest part and what this can mean for your cooking creations.

So, today, we’re exploring why the top of the oven is the hottest part, what cooker companies have done to try and combat this, and what you can do when cooking or baking delicate recipes.

Why the Top of the Oven Is the Hottest Part

The main reason that the top of the oven is one of the hottest parts is that hot air spreads. This is a natural process. As we heat molecules and create hot air, they wiggle and jiggle a lot more than colder molecules, and this causes them to spread out.

Science says that heat doesn’t rise in particular; it spreads in all directs. So, while the top of the oven is one of the hottest parts, the sides may also be hotter than the middle of the oven.

So, if you have two baking sheets with biscuits on them, for example. One on the top shelf and one on the bottom, the biscuits on the top shelf will cook faster.

But you’ll notice that all of the biscuits around the edges on both trays will cook faster than the ones in the middle of both trays. Because hot air spreads!

Temperature Control in Your Oven

Fan-assisted oven

One way that cooker companies have combatted the spreading of hot air is to use fans in the oven. Most commonly you find this in fan-assisted electric ovens. The fans don’t heat the air but instead spread the already hot air around the oven more evenly.

So, when the hot air inevitably spreads to the top and sides of the oven, the fan recirculates the air back into the centre of the oven.

So far, fan-assisted ovens are the best way that manufacturers have created for controlling the heat in an oven. But what if you don’t have a fan-assisted oven? How can you control the temperature in your oven?

Tools for Measuring the Heat in Your oven

Using Cooking Thermometer in the Oven


If you enjoy baking, controlling the heat in your oven is really important. Knowing exact temperatures is vital to good loaves of bread and some tasty cake.

A lot of bakers don’t rely on the temperature gauges on their ovens because of the spreading heat. Instead, they use cooking thermometers to dial in the temperatures in their ovens perfectly.

These will let you know the overall temperature of your oven, the temperature of different areas of your oven, and loads more. You can even use a cooking thermometer on your BBQ for smoking meats!

Cooking thermometers come in a variety of styles and costs, but they start at a very reasonable price. Here are a few that bakers and cooks alike will be able to use to dial in their temperatures perfectly.

Bluetooth Cooking Thermometer

Bfour Smart Bluetooth Meat Thermometer Digital BBQ Thermometer APP Controlled with 6 Stainless Steel Probes, Large LCD Display, Grilling Thermometer for Cooking Smoker Kitchen Grill Oven
This is one of the fanciest cooking thermometers you can buy. You can set it in your oven on the shelf in question if you are really dialing in your temperatures.

Then use the app on your phone or the LCD display it comes with to know precisely when the oven is at the critical temperature.

This thermometer is convenient for baking, as you don’t need to open the door to check the temperature. You can simply keep an eye on the temperatures from the comfort of your living room and leave your bread in for the perfect time at the ideal temperature.

This is one of the best baking and cooking thermometers available at the moment, and it is incredibly handy for every cooking task where exact temperatures matter. It’s one of the most expensive cooking thermometers available, though.


Invero Oven Temperature Gauge

Invero Universal Stainless-Steel Oven Thermometer Monitoring Temperature Gauge - Hang or Stand in Oven - Clear Dial
This is a very simple oven temperature gauge that simply goes into the oven and tells you the temperature. It is extremely easy to use. Just pop it on the shelf of the oven, and it will quickly tell you the temperature of that shelf. You can also use this thermometer on your BBQ if you wish.

This gauge is nice and small, so it allows you to place it right on the shelf without it getting in the way of anything. It is also the cheapest option for temperature gauges for the kitchen but is the most basic, of course.

Still, if you want to control the temperature in your oven with any degree of accuracy, this is a good place to start.

Those are just some of the thermometers that you can use to control the temperature of your oven with more accuracy. We hope this look at why ovens are hotter at the top than the bottom has been helpful.

Controlling the temperature of your oven is incredibly important in some cooking tasks, so if you want to perfect your cooking or baking, grab a thermometer. It will be your best friend for BBQs, baking, and beyond.