Are you scratching your head, trying to figure out what those funky symbols on your electric oven mean? Don’t worry. It needs to be clarified among new and seasoned Smeg cooker users.
Understanding the symbols on your oven’s control panel is vital for you to cook like a pro and get the most out of your oven’s advanced features.
You should know what the symbols represent to utilise your oven’s full potential. Using the wrong function or temperature could potentially damage your oven, leading to costly repairs or replacements.
This article will cover the most common Smeg cooker symbols, so you can feel confident using your oven and cooking up some scrumptious meals.
The Cooking Function Symbols
Each symbol represents a unique cooking mode, such as fan-forced, grill, or conventional cooking. By understanding the cooking function symbols, you can select the right mode for your dish, ensuring it’s perfectly cooked.
In this section, we’ll break down each symbol, explain what they mean, and offer tips on how to use them effectively. Whether baking a cake, roasting a chicken, or grilling some veggies, this section will help you make the most out of your Smeg oven and achieve delicious results every time.
Overview: This old symbol has two lines, with one at the top and one at the bottom. It means that there is heat coming from both sides for total cooking. With this setting, you can achieve a classic cooking experience, especially if you prefer to cook your dishes one at a time. The heat concentrates in the centre, creating a well-cooked, evenly browned dish.
Best for: Roasting meats, baking casseroles, and anything else that doesn’t require special settings.
Benefits/Drawbacks: It’s the easiest setting to cook just about anything. There is no special requirement or understanding to use this function. The only real downside is that it can’t do anything special for recipes that require special considerations.
Overview: This symbol has the word ECO in the middle of it. If you’re cooking a small amount of food, the ECO function on your Smeg oven is a great option. This mode is not only energy-efficient but also versatile. The Eco setting is a fast preheat function that uses only the grill, bottom heating, and fan elements, which reduces energy consumption and saves you money on your electricity bill.
Best for: Baking, grilling, or roasting smaller portions of meat or vegetables.
Benefits/Drawbacks: Since it doesn’t use as much energy as other modes, it’s a more sustainable way of cooking, making it an excellent choice for eco-conscious cooks. The only drawback is that it doesn’t have any specialized function for special items.
Bottom Only Setting
Overview: This symbol has a line at the bottom and is perfect for baking those delicate items that need a more precise and even heat distribution. The gentle heat from the bottom of the oven cavity creates an even bake, giving you consistently perfect results every time. As the name suggests, this mode only heats from the bottom.
Best for: Since this mode only heats from the bottom, it’s perfect for cakes, pies, tarts, and pizzas.
Benefits/Drawbacks: The heat only comes from the bottom, so the top of your dish won’t brown too quickly, preventing it from burning. The drawback is that it can take a while to cook whatever you are baking.
Top Only Function
Overview: This mode uses only the top heating element, with a line at just the top of the symbol, making it ideal for dishes that don’t require full cooking but need a crispy or browned finish.
Best for: Casseroles, mac and cheese, and even baked goods like meringues and souffles.
Benefits/Drawbacks: Since this mode only uses the top heating element, it’s also an energy-efficient way to cook, reducing your electricity bill while still producing delicious dishes.
Overview: The grill symbols have a dotted line at the top of the box. If you’re a fan of grilling and want to achieve that perfect char on your dishes, the grill function on your Smeg oven is a must-try. The heat comes only from the top of the oven. This mode is for full grill capacity.
Best for: Making a lasagne, a gratin, or a roast, that could use a golden-brown finish.
Benefits/Drawbacks: Use the grill function when you want to achieve a chargrilled effect with perfect browning and crisp surfaces. The downside is that it can result in the loss of a crisp exterior when turned over, unlike the effect on a traditional barbecue.
Overview: The symbol is represented by a design of a pizza in the middle. The Pizza Mode on your Smeg oven is a game-changer for achieving that perfect, crispy crust. This mode uses a combination of the fan and upper and lower heating elements, creating a perfect balance of heat.
With the fan circulating the heat and the upper and lower heating elements working together, the pizza will be evenly cooked and perfectly crispy. Depending on your topping, this mode is designed to cook pizza in up to 5 minutes.
Best for: Can be used for other dishes like pies, cookies, and even roasted vegetables.
Benefits/Drawbacks: The key to a good pizza is quick cooking so it tastes fresh and is nicely crisped. Having a pizza function enables those results. The downside to this function is not having a pizza stone to go along with it makes it more difficult to achieve those results.
Fan Assisted Grill
Overview: The fan oven grill function on your Smeg cooker is represented by a fan and a dotted line over it. It’s a fantastic way to achieve perfect grilling, even for those thick cuts of meat. The air produced by the fan helps soften the strong heatwave generated by the grill, creating a perfectly cooked, juicy and tender dish.
Best for: Thick cuts of meat such as steaks and rib roasts, as well as whole chickens.
Benefits/Drawbacks: There are no cool spots in the oven cavity when you use a fan. For cooking meat, you can get an evenly cooked product and in less time than it would take using the conventional cooking setting. The downside is that the fat from the meat tends to spray into the cavity and make a mess on the walls.
Fan Assisted Bottom
Overview: The fan with lower heating function on your Smeg oven, represented with a line at the bottom and a fan over it, is an excellent way to cook your dishes more rapidly. This mode uses a combination of the fan with just the lower heating element, creating a perfect balance of heat that is ideal for finishing off the cooking of foods that are already well-cooked on the surface but not inside.
Combining the fan and lower heating element also ensures that your dishes are cooked evenly, eliminating any hot or cold spots that may occur with other cooking modes.
Best for: Baked goods, meats, fish, and vegetables, that need a little more heat to complete the cooking process.
Benefits/Drawbacks: Getting a crisp bottom on a quiche or loaf of bread is best achieved with this function. However, remember that the fan function can dry food out if it cooks for too long.
Fan Assisted Static
Overview: Represented as a fan with a solid bar over and one under it, the fan-assisted traditional cooking mode on your Smeg oven is perfect for achieving uniform cooking, even with complex recipes. This mode combines the power of a fan with traditional cooking, ensuring that your dishes are cooked evenly and to perfection.
Best for: Cooking large quantities of food that will still be cooked evenly such as meats and vegetables simultaneously.
Benefits/Drawbacks: This function allows for cooking on several racks simultaneously. When you are cooking for a holiday and need to cook a large amount of food, this is the mode you are looking for. The drawback is that it can take longer to cook things when you have crowded the oven.
Overview: The Circulaire function is represented by a fan within a circle. The combination of the fan and circular resistance (incorporated in the rear of the oven) is a fantastic way to cook different foods on several shelves, as long as they need the same temperature and the same type of cooking.
Best for: Casseroles, gratins, and biscuits all benefit from having an indirect heat source with the assistance of a fan.
Benefits/Drawbacks: This function allows for greater flexibility with the ability to cook a wide range of dishes from sweet to savory. The downside is that you aren’t able to cook too many dishes simultaneously.
Circulaire and Bottom Heat
Overview: The Circulaire with bottom heat mode, represented by a fan in a circle hovering over a solid bar at the bottom, is perfect for cooking dishes that require a crispy texture, such as roasted vegetables or baked goods. The fan ensures that the heat is evenly distributed, while the bottom heating element ensures that the heat is concentrated on the bottom of the dish, creating a crispy and golden-brown texture.
Best for: This mode is great for making quiches and flans, where you typically need to “blind bake.” A blind bake means you need to pre-bake the crust before adding the filling.
Benefits/Drawbacks: The biggest benefit from the Circulaire with bottom heat is the consistent temperature needed to cook foods such as flans. There are no downsides worth mentioning since this function does exactly what is needed for specialty dishes such as flans.
Circulaire with Upper Heat
Overview: This symbol for the Circulaire with upper heat function has a fan within a circle under a solid bar. If you’re a fan of food with a crispy topping, you need to try the Circulaire with top heat-only mode on your Smeg. This mode is perfect for achieving that crispy, golden-brown texture that makes your dishes taste extra delicious.
Best for: Getting crispy or crunchy exteriors on dishes such as mac and cheese, casseroles, and roasted potatoes.
Benefits/Drawbacks: This is a very energy-efficient way to cook that also gets stellar results. With this mode on, there will be some splatter, so be prepared to clean up as soon as the oven has cooled down.
Overview: Turbo mode is represented by a fan within a circle and a solid bar above and a solid bar below it. The extra heat provided by the Turbo mode on your Smeg oven is perfect for cooking large joints of meat, such as roasts, and helps seal in the meat’s juices. This mode is similar to rotisserie cooking, where the heat is evenly distributed throughout the dish, ensuring your meat is perfectly cooked.
Best for: Cooking whole chickens, large skewers of meat, and Sunday roasts all do well when cooked in this setting.
Benefits/Drawbacks: When you are cooking large quantities of food, this will help to cook everything faster and with uniform results. The downside is that food tends to dry out on this mode and there is a risk of bruning ddue to the faster cooking time.
Overview: The microwave mode on your Smeg oven, represented by three wavy lines, is a fantastic feature that allows you to thaw and heat almost any food without changing its appearance, smell, or taste. This mode is perfect for quick and easy meals, as it’s fast and efficient and doesn’t require any preheating.
Best for: It’s perfect for heating leftovers, defrosting frozen meals, and cooking various dishes, from vegetables to meats and more.
Benefits/Drawbacks: The biggest benefit to using a microwave built into a Smeg oven is the fact that you can load it with far more dishes than a traditional microwave. The downside is you must be careful with some of the plateware used since some may react. You also need to remove the metal racks beforehand.
Microwave with Grill
Overview: The microwave function symbol has three wavy lines underneath a dotted line above. With the combination of the grill and microwave function on your Smeg oven, you can achieve perfectly cooked meals in no time. The microwave function ensures that the food is cooked quickly and through, while the grill browns and crisps it.
Best for: Reheating pizza with the microwave and grill function to get a crispy crust instead of soggy, chewy slices.
Benefits/Drawbacks: With this feature, you get the best of the microwave with quick, thorough heating and the added benefit of getting a crisp exterior. Traditional microwaves leave things soggy but this takes that aspect away. The only downside is that it can’t achieve the same browning level from just using the grill function.
Microwave + Circulaire
Overview: The microwave with Circulaire symbol is represented by wavy lines inside a circle. This function uses heat from the rear of the cavity as well as the microwave. The microwave will give the food even cooking within and the Circulair fan oven circulates air for even browning and cooking of the exterior
Best for: Shortening the time to cook jacket potatoes.
Benefits/Drawbacks: You can dramatically shorten the cooking time of vegetables and potatoes and still get them browned on the outside. The downside is that the interior can be left mushy if cooked for too long.
Rotisserie with Grill
Overview: The rotisserie with grill setting on a Smeg oven, represented by what looks like a barbell underneath a dotted line, is a fantastic feature that allows you to cook large joints of meat, such as roasts, and achieve that delicious crispy texture that everyone loves. This setting works by rotating the meat slowly, ensuring that it’s cooked evenly on all sides, while the grill function provides the perfect amount of heat to brown and crisp the exterior.
Best for: If you love the crispy skin and juicy meat of a roasted chicken from a rotisserie, use this function to cook your next bird.
Benefits/Drawbacks: You’ll get results like a pro or from your favourite rotisserie when you use this function. One potential downside is that it can cause a lot of smoke in the kitchen.
Rotisserie with Half-Grill
Overview: The rotisseries with half grill has a barbell looking graphic underneath a small dotted line. Like the setting above in which you use the whole grill, this does the same using half of the grill surface. The point of this is to save energy when you are roasting small items on the rotisserie.
Best for: Use this setting to make a kebab on a skewer that doesn’t need the full power of the entire grill.
Benefits/Drawbacks: The biggest benefit when using this function over the full grill rotisserie is that you can cook thinner items with less risk of burning. The downside is that it can take longer to cook with this function.
Overview: This symbol for Meat cooking has a graphic of a whole chicken under two wavy lines. It features 5 presets for meat so you can zero in on the exact method to optimize your results. If you are cooking a roast, whole chicken, or a thick chop, you can set the mode and let the oven do the work.
Best for: Roasting meats of all kinds.
Benefits/Drawbacks: This setting takes the guesswork out of the equation when it comes to getting great results for your meat. The downside is that you can’t cook anything else in the oven alongside the meat.
Overview: The symbol for this function is represented by a graphic of a fish under two wavy lines. The oven will give you the exact temperature and cooking time based on the chosen preset for the type of fish and weight.
Best for: Cooking fish of all kinds without over or under-cooking.
Benefits/Drawbacks: The benefit of using this function is not worrying about if the fish is cooked correctly or not. However, if you like crispy fish skin, this function won’t achieve that.
Overview: The symbol for the vegetable cooking setting has a bunch of vegetables featuring a carrot underneath two wavy lines. It is meant to give you perfectly cooked vegetables according to your preference by giving you 5 preset options.
Best for: Perfectly cooked potatoes and vegetables.
Benefits/Drawbacks: All the nutrients in the vegetables remain when you cook them properly and having these settings can achieve that. However, if you like crispy roasted vegetables, this setting won’t allow that.
Overview: The steam function on a Smeg oven, represented by a puff of steam, is a great feature that allows you to cook food using steam, rather than traditional dry heat. This setting works by injecting steam into the oven cavity, which helps to keep your food moist and flavorful. It’s especially great for cooking delicate foods like fish or poultry that can easily dry out.
Best for: Use this function to bake baguettes that are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, just like you would get in Paris.
Benefits/Drawbacks: In addition to the benefits of food not drying out and the crispy crust you’ll get on breads, the other benefit is that the results are healthier. Since you don’t need to use much fat to cook, many dishes will have fewer calories. The downside is that you’ll get soggy results for things like meat and vegetables.
Overview: The manual steam function is represented by three steam puffs as wavy lines. This function is a manual setting so you are in full control of the steam release.
Best for: Bread with a crispy crust, pastries, vegetables
Benefits/Drawbacks: Being able to control the duration of the steam can prevent foods from getting soggy. There is no downside since you can control the steam.
Many Smeg models come with special features to aid your cooking without doing the cooking. To take your cooking skills to the next level you can use some of these functions to help.
Overview: The defrost function on your Smeg cooker, represented by a snowflake and three drops of water underneath, is a great feature that can save you time and hassle. This setting allows you to defrost food quickly and efficiently. This function will half the normal defrosting time, which means you can enjoy your food in no time.
Best for: Defrosting foods quickly and in large quantities.
Benefits/Drawbacks: When you need to defrost quickly, this is a great function since it keeps food out of the danger zone when left out. However, it isn’t always the best function to defrost small quantitates of food such as bread or pastries.
Defrost By Weight
Overview: The auto-defrost function on your Smeg oven, represented by a snowflake, three drops of water underneath and the letter g above, is a great feature that removes the guesswork of defrosting your food. This setting automatically calculates the optimal defrost time based on the weight of your food.
Best for: Use this function for more oversized items that can take a long time to defrost, such as roasts or whole chickens.
Benefits/Drawbacks: You can plan things out much better when you know how long something should take to defrost based on its size. Something to remember is that you may need to flip the food around a few times during the thawing process.
Defrost By Time
Overview: Using the manual defrost function, represented by a snowflake with three drops of water and a small clock symbol above, is incredibly easy. Select the mode, enter the desired defrost time using the number pads, and let the oven do the rest. The oven will then defrost your meal for the specific period that you’ve set, ensuring that it’s ready to cook without becoming overcooked or dried out.
Best for: Use this mode instead of the timer if you need to defrost more oversized items and want more precision and control over the defrosting process.
Benefits/Drawbacks: It is much easier to plan out your cooking for the day when you know how long your food will take to defrost based on weight. The downside is that you will have the noise from a fan running while it defrosts.
Overview: The proving function on your Smeg oven, represented by a dome with three arrows over it, is a great feature that helps you create the perfect environment for proving yeast-type dough for bread. This function works by heating the air inside the oven at a constant 40°C, which is the perfect temperature for bread to rise and prove.
Best for: The proving function is perfect for all types of yeast-based bread, from basic white bread to more complex sourdough and brioche.
Benefits/Drawbacks: On of the biggest benefits to using this feature is for those cooler days when finding a warm spot for your bread to prove can be difficult. It also avoids any temperature fluctuations that can impact the process. There is no downside to speak of since it is a very valuable feature for people who love to bake.
Overview: The rapid preheating setting on your Smeg oven, represented by an x and y axis graph with the Celsius symbol and a clock, is a great feature that can save you time and start your cooking quickly. On average, the rapid preheating setting can save you anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes or more.
Best for: Use this function when you have large quantities of meats to cook, or will be using all of the oven racks for your cooking.
Benefits/Drawbacks: Saving time is a great advantage when you have this function. One thing to remember is that it may be too hot for some cooking needs which will lead to time waiting for it to cool down.
Overview: The reheat function is represented by a symbol of a bowl at the bottom and three wavy lines coming out of it. If you’ve ever reheated leftovers in the microwave, you know that sometimes the taste and texture of the food can suffer. But with the reheat function on your Smeg oven, you can revive the original taste and texture of your cooked meals kept in the fridge.
Best for: The reheat function is particularly useful for dishes that tend to dry out or become tough when reheated, such as meats, stews, and casseroles.
Benefits/Drawbacks: The reheat function works by gently reheating your food to the perfect temperature, without overcooking or drying it out. It is important to remember that reheated food shouldn’t be left too long in the oven for safety reasons.
Overview: The “Keep Warm” function on your Smeg oven, represented by three stacked plates and some lines underneath them, is a handy feature that lets you keep your dishes warm until you’re ready to serve them.
Best for: Use this function when you need to prepare multiple dishes at once or if you’re waiting for guests to arrive.
Benefits/Drawbacks: Your food won’t dry out or lose their texture and flavour for up to an hour with this function. The downside is that you won’t be able to use the oven for anything else while using it.
Overview: When you use the Electronic Cooking function, represented by the °Celsius symbol, you can set the exact temperature you need for your dish. This is great for recipes that require a specific temperature to cook and for those who want to experiment with new cooking techniques.
Best for: Use this to cook delicate dishes like souffles, custards, and meringues.
Benefits/Drawbacks: You have a lot more control over how the food cooks when you use this setting. However, there can be a learning curve so results will vary the first few times you use it.
Overview: The old symbol with a candle is the Sabbath Mode feature You can warm up your food before the Sabbath holy day and keep it at the perfect temperature until you’re ready to serve it. This is especially useful for those who observe the Sabbath and must keep their food warm without breaking religious rules. It works by allowing the oven to operate with no lights over an extended period of time at a lower heat of between 40-100°C.
Best for: Food that can be cooked the day before and then reheated without losing flavour or texture.
Benefits/Drawbacks: The benefits are that you can strictly adhere to your religious duties without sacrificing the ability to eat homemade foods. You have to remember to shut off the oven afterward when you are able to do so without breaking your religious requirements.
Not only are there a lot of functions to help you cook better and enjoy better tasting food, there are also many cleaning functions to ensure you have a spotless oven without doing much work.
Overview: Pyrolytic cleaning, represented by an uppercase P, is the oven’s self-cleaning function, and it’s a game-changer when it comes to cleaning your oven. It’s a great way to clean your oven without using harsh chemicals or spend hours scrubbing since it reaches 500°C to burn off any residue.
Best for: Heavily soiled ovens that would be difficult to clean by hand.
Benefits/Drawbacks: You get a hands-free cleaning function that allows you to take care of other things while the oven cleans itself. Remember, this programme can take up to 3 hours, so plan and allow enough time for the cleaning process. You’ll also need extra time for the oven to cool down once the Pyrolitic function is finished.
ECO Pyrolitic Cleaning
Overview: The Eco Pyrolitic cleaning function is represented by an uppercase P with the word Eco over it. If you need to clean your Smeg oven, but it’s not heavily soiled, the ECO Pyrolitic cleaning function is perfect for you. This setting is designed to turn any food particles into ash, making it easy to clean up and get rid of any unsightly build-ups. The automatic cleaning mode will last for up to 1.5 hours.
Best for: Stubborn residue that is not as heavily soiled as when you would use the Pyrolytic mode.
Benefits/Drawbacks: It’s important to note that the automatic cleaning mode is not as intense as the Pyrolitic setting. If you use this mode regularly, you can keep your oven clean and free of build-ups, reducing the need for more intensive cleaning methods.
Overview: The Vapor Clean function is represented by a symbol with five drops of water. If you want to get rid of any stubborn stains or burnt-on food inside your oven without resorting to the high temperatures of Pyrolitic mode, the oven’s Vapor Clean function could do the trick. This mode uses a combination of detergent and water to dissolve and remove any build-up from the oven walls, leaving it sparkling clean.
Best for: Use this feature in between deep cleanings with the more powerful cleaning settings.
Benefits/Drawbacks: This is a good cleaning setting that makes your life easier without using so much energy. It uses less electricity and takes less time to work. The downside is that it can’t remove some of the stubborn residue that is baked onto the walls of the cavity.
What to do when symbols rubbed off/worn off
If you’ find yourself with a Smeg oven that has worn-off old symbols, it can be a frustrating experience. You may be a renter or have inherited an old oven. Whatever the reason, not being able to decipher the oven settings can make cooking a challenge. But fear not! There are solutions to this problem.
First, check the manual. The model or serial number can usually be found inside the oven door or on the back of the appliance. With this information, you can look up the manual online and better understand the oven’s settings. There should be a picture of the dial with all of the settings positions. Then, a section will explain the symbols, or you can refer to the guide above.
If that doesn’t help, try taking a clear photo of the dial with the numbers and symbols visible. Then, you can search for replacement stickers online to apply to the dials. Or, if the control panel is too damaged, consider purchasing a replacement fascia panel.
With these tips, you can take control of your oven and get back to cooking up a storm. Don’t let worn-off symbols hold you back in the kitchen!