AskDefine | Define oven

Dictionary Definition

oven n : kitchen appliance used for baking or roasting

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A chamber used for baking or heating.


chamber used for baking or heating
  • Crimean Tatar: furun (northern dialect pırım)
  • Czech: trouba, pec
  • Danish: ovn
  • Dutch: oven
  • Estonian: ahi
  • Finnish: uuni
  • French: four
  • German: Ofen
  • Greek: φούρνος (foúrnos)
  • Hungarian: kemence
  • Italian: forno
  • Kurdish: firrne, ocax, tenûr, tebax
  • Persian: (ojaq)
  • Portuguese: forno
  • Russian: духовка, печь
  • Slovak: piecka , pec
  • Slovene: peč , pečica
  • Spanish: horno
  • Swedish: ugn




  1. oven; A chamber used for baking or heating.

Related terms

See also






  1. ram

Extensive Definition

An oven is an enclosed compartment for heating, baking or drying. It is most commonly used in cooking and pottery. Two common kinds of modern ovens are gas ovens and electric ovens. Ovens used in pottery are also known as kilns. An oven used for heating or for industrial processes is called a furnace or industrial oven.


Settlements across the Indus Valley Civilization were the first to have an oven within each mud-brick house by 3200 BC.
culinary historians credit the Greeks for developing bread baking into an art. Proper front-loaded bread ovens originated in Ancient Greece. The Greeks created a wide variety of doughs, loaf shapes and styles of serving bread with other foods. Baking developed as a trade and profession as bread increasingly was prepared outside of the family home by specially trained workers to be sold to the public. This is one of the oldest forms of professional food processing.
The Greeks also pioneered sweetbreads, fritters, puddings, cheesecakes, pastries, and even wedding cakes. Often prepared in symbolic shapes, these products were originally served during special occasions and ceremonies. By 300 AD, the Greeks had developed over seventy different kinds of bread.


In cooking, the conventional oven is a kitchen appliance and is used for roasting and heating. Food normally cooked in this manner includes meat, casseroles and baked goods such as bread, cake and other desserts.
In the past, cooking ovens were fueled by wood or coal. Modern ovens are fueled by gas or electricity. When an oven is contained in a complete stove, the burners on the top of the stove may use the same or different fuel than the oven.
Ovens usually can use a variety of methods to cook. The most common may be to heat the oven from below. This is commonly used for baking and roasting. The oven may also be able to heat from the top to provide broiling. In order to provide faster, more-even cooking, convection ovens use a small fan to blow hot air around the cooking chamber. An oven may also provide an integrated rotisserie.
Steam ovens introduce water (in the form of steam) into the cooking chamber. This can aid the formation of a crisp crust on baked goods and prevent the drying-out of fish and casseroles. The degree of humidity is usually selectable among at least several steps. Some steam ovens use water carried to the oven by the user in a container; others are permanently connected to the building plumbing.
More modern ovens, such as General Electric's Trivection oven, may also provide combined thermal and microwave cooking. This can greatly speed the cooking of certain types of food while maintaining the traditional characteristics of oven cooking such as browning.
Ovens also vary in the way that they are controlled. The simplest ovens (for example, the AGA cooker) may not have any controls at all; the several ovens simply run continuously at various temperatures. More-conventional ovens have a simple thermostat: this both turns the oven on and off and selects the temperature at which it will operate. Set to the highest setting, this may also enable the broiler element. A timer may allow the oven to be turned on and off automatically at pre-set times. More-sophisticated ovens may have complex, computer-based controls allowing a wide variety of operating modes and special features including the use of a temperature probe to automatically shut the oven off when the food is completely cooked to the desired degree. Orthodox Jews may purchase ovens whose controls include a sabbath mode automation feature.
Some ovens provide various aids to cleaning. Continuous cleaning ovens have the oven chamber coated with a catalytic surface that helps break down (oxidize) food splatters and spills over time. Self cleaning ovens use pyrolytic decomposition (extreme heat) to oxidize dirt. Steam ovens may provide a wet-soak cycle to loosen dirt, allowing easier manual removal. In the absence of any special methods, chemical oven cleaners are sometimes used or just old-fashioned scrubbing.

Industrial, scientific, and artisanal use

Outside the culinary world, ovens are used for a number of purposes.
  • A furnace is used either to provide heat to a building or used to melt substances such as glass or metal for further processing. A blast furnace is a particular type of furnace generally associated with metal smelting (particularly steel manufacture) using refined coke or similar hot-burning substance as a fuel, with air pumped in under pressure to increase the temperature of the fire.
  • A kiln is a high-temperature oven used in ceramics and cement manufacture to convert mineral feedstock (in the form of clay or calcium or aluminum rocks) into a glassier, more solid form. In the case of ceramic kilns, a shaped clay object is the final result, while cement kilns produce a substance called clinker that is crushed to make the final cement product. (Certain types of drying ovens used in food manufacture, especially those used in malting, are also referred to as kilns.)
  • An autoclave is an oven-like device with features similar to a pressure cooker that allows the heating of aqueous solutions to higher temperatures than water's boiling point in order to sterilize the contents of the autoclave.
  • Industrial ovens are similar to their culinary equivalents, and are used for a number of different applications that do not require the high temperatures of a kiln or furnace.

External links

oven in Arabic: فرن
oven in Catalan: Forn
oven in Cebuano: Horno
oven in Czech: Kamna
oven in Danish: Ovn
oven in German: Ofen
oven in Modern Greek (1453-): Φούρνος
oven in Spanish: Horno
oven in Esperanto: Forno
oven in Basque: Labe
oven in Persian: تاون
oven in French: Four
oven in Scottish Gaelic: Àbhainn
oven in Croatian: Peć
oven in Hebrew: תנור אפייה
oven in Hungarian: sütő
oven in Dutch: Oven
oven in Dutch Low Saxon: Noven
oven in Japanese: オーブン
oven in Norwegian: Ovn
oven in Portuguese: Forno
oven in Russian: Печь
oven in Sicilian: Furneddu
oven in Simple English: Oven
oven in Serbian: Штедњак
oven in Finnish: Uuni
oven in Swedish: Ugn
oven in Turkish: Fırın
oven in Yiddish: אויוון
oven in Chinese: 烤爐

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Seger cone, Torrid Zone, acid kiln, brickkiln, cement kiln, enamel kiln, equator, furnace, hell, inferno, kiln, limekiln, muffle kiln, pyrometer, pyrometric cone, reverberatory, reverberatory kiln, steam bath, stove, subtropics, tropics
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