If you’ve lost the manual for your oven, or have simply inherited a Bosch oven you might be wondering what some of the symbols mean.
It could be tempting to just find the most basic setting that makes the oven heat up and go with it forever. But you’ll be missing out on the best cooking results by not understanding all the functions and symbols on your Bosch oven.
Fear not, this guide is here to help! Thankfully a lot of the oven symbols on modern fan ovens are universal, meaning the symbols are the same or similar between different manufacturers.
However, there are always functions/symbols which are unique to each manufacturer too. This guide will cover all of the functions you could potentially find and act as an overall map/key to demystify UK Bosch oven symbols.
Bosch Symbols for Oven Cooking
This guide will start with the most commonly used function that is oven cooking. Getting to know these symbols will help 90% of people get to where they need to be. Later on in the guide there is helpful information on symbols for grilling, specialist cooking modes and cleaning functions too.
Top and Bottom Heat
Overview – The top and bottom heat oven symbol has two straight lines at the top and bottom of the square. The top and bottom heat mode is the most straight forward function and will be present on almost all Bosch models.
Best used for – Everyday cooking
Benefits/Drawbacks – The top and bottom heat mode symbol can be selected to cook pretty much any food that needs an oven. However, it won’t get the best finish compared to some of the more specialist functions listed below.
Top and Bottom Eco
Overview – The top and bottom eco oven symbol has two lines at the top and bottom and the word eco underneath, this function is a more gentle version of the standard ‘top and bottom’ mode. It can be used to cook foods that don’t need as intense a heat and are more ‘slow and steady’ dishes. It is best used between 150-250 degrees C.
Best used for – Tray bakes, Casseroles, Frozen breads and similar.
Benefits/Drawbacks – The obvious benefit is the lower power consumption while maintaining the same heat output as the conventional top and bottom mode. The drawback is that although it may save you power, it could take longer to cook some foods, thus cancelling out the benefit. So it’s best used for foods that need a less intense heat.
Top and Bottom Heat Gentle
Overview – The top and bottom gentle oven symbol has two lines one at the top and one at the bottom of the square, with the word gentle spelled out in the middle. It is another variation of the standard ‘top and bottom’ cooking mode, that utilises residual heat to help cook the food.
Best used for – Slow roasted meals, such as baked potatoes, and meats/fish that you don’t want to dry the juices out of.
Benefits/Drawbacks – The benefit of this mode is that you can still achieve a good roast without burning/hardening the outer skin of foods too much. It achieves a nice gentle crisp while keeping the inside contents moist.
Overview – The intensive heat oven symbol has one straight line at the top and two straight lines at the bottom of the square. As you may have guessed it is a top and bottom heat function that gives a more intense heat from below.
Best used for – The function of this symbol is best used for dishes which taste best with a crispy base. Such as battered/breaded foods, and bread dishes like pizza or similar.
Benefits/Drawbacks – With the heat more intense from below you avoid that dreaded soggy bottom that you can find on some home-made breaded or battered dishes. The drawback is that you could actually burn the food on the underside without knowing it, so the feature may take some trial/error and getting used to.
Overview – The bottom heat oven symbol is a single straight line at the bottom of the square, as the icon indicated this means that the oven will heat from the bottom only.
Best used for – Bottom is a rather specialist function that you would normally use for pastry cases such as baking tarts. Other uses are for water bath cooking, also known as bain-marie cooking or for simple reheating where you don’t want the top of the food to dry out.
Benefits/Drawbacks – This single direction cooking function allows you to heat certain foods just they way they’re needed and avoids drying out the top of the meal/food. There aren’t really any drawbacks to this, except if you select this symbol by accident other food types won’t cook correctly.
Overview – The fast heat oven symbol has three wavy lines with two arrows pointing to the right underneath. As the name indicates it’s a function for rapidly heating up food. Best used for something that you need a quick blast of heat in just to warm it.
Best used for – This is best used for foods that are already cooked and just need a heat, that way there is no risk of undercooking or food poisoning. Such examples would be croissants, sausage rolls to name a few.
Benefits/Drawbacks – Fast heat is great for a quick blast or heating up a snack food, but the drawback is that you could be tempted to use it for food that actually needs cooked instead of heating. Doing this puts food safety at risk.
Hot Air Functions
Overview – The 4d Hotair symbol has a fan inside a circle with the words ‘4d Hotair’ underneath it. This function is available in certain 4 shelf ovens, it means that the hot air will circulate evenly among all 4 levels meaning there is no difference in top and bottom shelf temperature.
Best used for – Any meal that has multiple dishes/parts with similar oven timings will benefit from the 4d Hotair function. For example four frozen pizzas that all have the same cooking time if you have a lot of mouths to feed.
Benefits/Drawbacks – The benefits of this function are that you don’t need to judge when to rotate dishes between the higher heat top shelves and lower heat bottom shelves to ensure they’re ready at the same time. However, if you have dishes that have different cooking times, it removed the “hack” of moving the one with a shorter time to a lower shelf.
Overview – The 3D Hotair symbol contains a circular fan with the words ‘3D Hotair’ underneath. Similar to the 4D function this symbol is selected on certain 3 shelf models and circulates the air/heat evenly between all levels avoiding any hot/cold spots.
Best used for – This function is best used for meals with 3 dishes or less that all need cooked to the same time/temperature requirements. Usually this is frozen foods or foods that just need “finished” in the oven.
Benefits/Drawbacks – The benefit is that you don’t need to rotate dishes between levels in order to ensure that the food comes out all cooked evenly. The drawback is that you have no cooler shelves to keep foods warm on while other foods cook quickly on the top shelf.
Overview – The Hotair gentle symbol has a fan inside a dotted circle with the words ‘hotair gentle’ underneath. It is used for when you only have one dish to cook on a single shelf.
Best used for –
Overview – The HotAir Eco symbol has 3 diagonal dots inside a circle with the word ‘eco’ underneath it in lower case letter. The heat is evenly distributed by the fan, which circulates the warmth from the heating element located in the back panel throughout the cooking compartment.
Best used for – This cooking function is designed for slow, gentle cooking of certain food types, without the need for preheating. This could be anything that needs a gentle heat, such as finishing off a pan fried omelette.
Benefits/Drawbacks – This mode saves energy and time as it doesn’t need to wait for the oven to pre-heat. However it shouldn’t be used for dishes that require long periods of time in the oven as the cooking results will be inconsistent.
Specialist Cooking Modes
Overview – The slow cook symbol has three dashes/dots along both the top and bottom of the square. It operates at low temperatures, and the heat is evenly emitted from both above and below, ensuring even cooking throughout the dish.
Best used for – The slow cook function is ideal for the gentle and slow cooking of seared, tender meat pieces in uncovered ovenware.
Benefits/Drawbacks – The benefits of this function are that meat dishes don’t lose their moisture but cook through evenly and tenderly. The drawback is that as the name indicates, it takes a lot longer to cook the food properly via this method.
Overview – The pizza setting symbol has a circular shape with a small triangle slice cut out of it. You could also describe it as a segmented pie chart. It is a specialist function aimed at cooking pizza specifically.
Best used for – Pizza, quiches, tarts and frozen foods.
Benefits/Drawbacks – You will achieve perfectly cooked, authentic pizzas with crispy bases and moist, flavourful toppings using this function. Other functions may dry out the toppings or leave the base soggy.
Overview – The drying symbol looks like a sun with wavy lines coming out of it.
Best used for – It is best used for drying out fruits, vegetables and herbs. You can then store these dried ingredients for later use or use them as toppings/additions to your main meal.
Benefits/Drawbacks – In may ovens it is difficult to dry out food without cooking it, having this specialist symbol to do it perfectly every time avoids the stress of having to keep checking back to make sure the food isn’t going too brown/golden while it dries.
There aren’t any real drawbacks apart from if you got this symbol confused with something else it’s not going to cook your food (intentionally).
Overview – The added steam symbol has a fan in the middle with two wavy cloud like lines above it, below the words ‘added steam function’ are present. As the name indicates this function cooks at your intended temperature but also releases extra moisture into the oven cavity.
Best used for – This function is perfect for producing succulent, juicy roasts with crispy skins, ensuring that meats are cooked to perfection. In addition, it also achieves an ideal colour and crust for breads, making it an ideal option for bakers as well as home chefs.
Benefits/Drawbacks – The obvious benefit is an amazing way to get juicy and tender roasted meat, without having to place a dish of water in the oven to release steam. The drawback is that if you used this function for any other type of dish it would likely result in soggy food.
Overview – The programmes symbol has a fork and knife next to each other in that order (fork on left and knife on right).
Best used for – Each oven model will have its own specific programs, check your manual or look up an online version of the manual to see what is available for your specific cooker.
Single point probe
Overview – The single point probe symbol has the text 68 degrees C at the top, an image of a probe in the middle that looks like a wire and the text meat-probe at the bottom. The single point meat probe constantly measures the core temperature of the roast, ensuring that it is cooked to perfection. Once the desired temperature is reached, an acoustic signal will sound and the oven will automatically switch off, providing an easy and convenient way to achieve ideal results every time.
Best used for – Roasted meats
Benefits/Drawbacks – The results are perfect every time, the only drawback is that this function is only available on selected Series 6 models.
Perfect roast heat probe
Overview – The perfect roast heat probe symbol has the text 68 degrees C at the top, an image of a probe in the middle that looks like a wire and the text meatprobe at the bottom. With three highly sensitive measuring points, this function can accurately determine the core temperature of your food to the exact degree. This takes away the guesswork involved in roasting and guarantees perfect results every time, ensuring that your food is cooked to perfection.
Best used for – Roasted meats
Benefits/Drawbacks – It is even more accurate than the single point probe function/symbol, but it is only available in selected Series 8 models.
Bosch Symbols for Grilling
Overview – The hotair grilling symbol has a wavy/jagged line across top of the box with a fan in the middle. This grill symbol is used to activate both the grill and fan alternately, creating a rotisserie effect.
Best used for – This function is perfect for cooking crisp and juicy meats and poultry. This function is designed to distribute heat evenly and create the perfect crust on your food, making it an ideal choice for home chefs who love to cook and experiment with different flavours and textures.
Benefits/Drawbacks – It is a very intelligent way of cooking meats to give them a crisp skin and soft succulent centre. But you should be wary of cooking other types of food that would normally be grilled with this function, as the results may be different to what you desire.
Overview – The centre grill symbol has a small wavy/jagged line in the centre of the very top of the box, the rest of the box is blank.
Best used for – The centre grill function is best used for grilling a single item, like a croissant or cheese on toast (some people call this roasted cheese).
Benefits/Drawbacks – It allows you to quickly cook a single item, without wasting energy or having too much heat so the food ends up burning before it can cook. The only drawback would be that if you accidentally select this for grilling multiple items it might only part-cook the extra items.
Full-Width Variable Grill
Overview – The full-width variable grill symbol is a large jagged/wavy line across the top of the box, with the rest of the symbol being blank space. For added efficiency, the door can be closed while grilling, which helps to contain the smells and smoke within the oven
Best used for – If you’re looking to grill large quantities of food with precision temperature control, then this oven grill symbol is the perfect choice.
Benefits/Drawbacks – Can grill large quantities of food at exact temperatures, it is more energy intensive than oven cooking though.
Bosch Symbols for Preparation
Overview – The defrost symbol has a star/asterisk with a water drop below it. This function allows you to gently defrost food in the oven at a much quicker rate than leaving it at room temperature.
Best used for – Any frozen foods you want to bring back to a cool enough temperature that it can be cooked as if it were being taken out of the fridge.
Benefits/Drawbacks – It is a much quicker way to defrost food than the hours it can take when leaving frozen food on the counter. It acts in a way that thaws out ingredients without cooking them (which can happen when defrosting in a microwave oven).
The drawback is that it still isn’t as quick as using a microwave to defrost food.
Overview – The preheat ovenware symbol has 3 curved lines all on top of each other. These curved lines represent dishes. You would use this to heat up any range of cooking dishes/plates that wouldn’t want ingredients going on them cold.
Best used for – The preheat ovenware function is best used to preheat baking sheets or pie dishes, before adding the food. This ensures that the food cooks evenly and doesn’t stick to the dish.
Overview – The dough proving symbol has what looks like a mound in a dish (representing dough) at the bottom with an arrow pointing up towards a cloud style symbol (representing steam).
Best used for – The dough proving function is used for preparing dough before baking. It creates a warm and moist environment, ideal for helping dough rise.
Benefits/Drawbacks – Proving dough can be a lengthy process, with an oven function to help it along the way it’s a great timesaver. It may take some trial/error to get it right in your baking process though.
Bosch Symbols for Re-Heating / Keeping Warm
Overview – The keep warm symbol has a dish shape with three wavy lines on top of it. It is intended to maintain food at an ideal temperature for eating without continuing to cook the meal any further.
Best used for – It is ideal for keeping things warm in the oven while you wait on guests, or if you are still cooking/preparing other parts of the meal which need to be cooked separately (in a pan on the hob for example)
Overview – The re-heat symbol shows a dish with steam lines coming out of it going into a cloud shape. As you would expect this function is to heat up food that has already been cooked safely and is simply in need to heating up to eat.
Best used for – Any food that has been fully cooked and needs re-heating.
Benefits/Drawbacks – It offers an alternative re-heating option to the microwave which can make some foods soggy such as fries or breaded foods. The drawback is that it takes a lot longer to heat up the food than a microwave oven.
Bosch Symbols for Cleaning Functions
Overview – The pyrolytic cleaning symbol has three rows of circles/dots, giving nine altogether. The top row has 3 large hollow circles, the middle row has 3 medium hollow circles and the bottom row has 3 solid round dots.This function heats the oven to a temperature of approximately 480°C, which effectively reduces dirt and grease deposits to dust that can be effortlessly wiped away.
Best used for – Stubborn burned on stains and grease.
Benefits/Drawbacks – It gets the job done and is the most effective cleaning function, but it is highly energy intensive and will cost more to run.
Overview – The ecoclean direct symbol has a series of solid and hollow dots that make up a triangle and has the word ‘EcoClean’ underneath.
Best used for – EcoClean is best used for routine weekly or periodical cleaning, think of it as a top up of your deep clean to keep things hygienic on a regular basis.
Benefits/Drawbacks – This function keeps your oven clean without using the same intensive energy as the pyrolytic function. However, it won’t get deep burned or stubborn stains out as well.
Overview – The light only symbol is an upside down lightbulb with some rays/lines pointing out of it. This function provides no heat whatsoever and simply lights up the inside of the oven chamber.
Best used for – The light only mode is best for illuminating the oven when you are cleaning it out. It allows you to see what you’re doing and not miss any spots.