The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cracked Oven Glass

nytesong's picture

Cracked Oven Glass

Ever since I read the BBA, bread baking finally made sense and it finally clicked for me.  (Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook's bread section--what a waste!)

 I've been been baking bread...a LOT.  As much as I can manage it--which is several times a week.  I'd probably bake more, but my family and the occasional unsuspecting neighbor can only eat so much so fast.

 However--the other day I came across the worst thing ever!  I opened my cold oven to put a cookie sheet in it for storage purposes (smallish kitchen) and noticed that the glass on my oven door (the peep thru window) was cracked!!!  Not one crack but several.

 I'm the ONLY one in my house that uses the oven.  And I never slam it.  EVER.  

What I'm wondering is it possible that it cracked either a)having the oven at 500 on occasion (not normal several months ago) or b) creating steam?   or c) just a fluke?

I confess I've baked a few times since noticing this without a noticeable problem..but how long do I have before I need to replace it?  Can one replace just an oven door?  I've tried looking on the manufacturer's website to no avail.



mkelly27's picture

Yeah, stuff happens.  If you read the sidenotes in BBA he talks a little bit about breaking oven glass.  Fear not, it really isn't the end of the world.  Check out the appliance parts suppliers on the interwebs, they also offer advice on repairs,



Redundancy is your friend, so is redundancy

LindyD's picture

Peter Reinhart in the BBA warns that one must cover the oven door's glass window with a towel when you are adding water to the hot oven, noting that just one drop of water on the hot glass can cause it to crack. Perhaps this is the cause of the cracked glass? An oven temp of 500F wouldn't cause it on its own.

What brand oven is it and how old? You should be able to just replace the door. You might try contacting the customer service rep of the manufacturer, or a local appliance company to find out the costs. Then tell your hubby that you'll bake him a yummy loaf of bread in exchange for his labor in removing the old door and installing the new.

I don't know how long you could get away baking without fixing the problem. You will be losing heat because of the cracks and I'd be concerned about it shattering at some point. Perhaps we have some glass gurus here who could help.

Good luck!
Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

has some tips about taking the door apart and putting it back together.

First remove the door from the oven, see manual.

  • If your door is put together with stainless steel screws (check with a magnet, good ss will not stick), use a stainless screwdriver or cover the tip with a piece of cloth to keep the different metals from rubbing together.  
  • If the screws seem to be all around the outside of the door, think of the door like a clock and remove 12 o'clock, then to the opposite side 6 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 9 etc, always working opposite sides as much as possible,   till all the screws are removed.  Take note of any screws being longer.
  • When putting back together, the same, working opposite sides, only don't tighten completely until all the screws are in. 

Mini O

SylviaH's picture

SYLVIAH   Depending on your ovens age style, make, hopefully it will remove easily.  I was surprised when reading my instruction book on (cleaning) my ovens that the doors remove without any tools...they are pretty heavy.  My ovens are about 7 years old. 


sheffield's picture
sheffield (not verified)

This happened to my oven also.  It was from creating steam (heating a pan and dumping hot water into it).  The problem is not getting the door fixed (could get expensive if it cracks everytime you make steam), but it's how are you going to create steam if your oven door cracks whenever you make steam (could get expensive).  I thought of just humidifying my oven instead.  I know there's a thread on here about humidifying vs. steaming, but it wasn't much help.  Has anyone humidified their oven and achieved results similar to making steam?

alconnell's picture

If it is like my old gas oven, it has an inner and outer glass.  My inner glass broke while steaming a loaf of bread, and I used it  (not ever steaming again!) for about 3 years with no problem.  They are made with tempered glass and can stand up to pretty high temps, but as mentioned above, don't do well with moisture.  I felt safe continuing to use it since it had the outer glass, but you should be careful.

Wild-Yeast's picture

I guess this is a pretty good reason to keep liquid water away from the oven.  The ice cube and cast iron fry pan method is somewhat better in this aspect though I've had ice cubes skittering around the oven on more than several occasions. 

The best method is to use an earthenware "cloche" soaked in water prior to covering the bread for baking.  Using a regular stainless steel bowl or pan is a good alternative.


xaipete's picture

I cracked my oven glass too. It wasn't until I read WGB that I learned exactly what caused this to happen--I was making a number of different dishes and probably just slopped a little liquid on the window. At first there was just a tiny hole, but as the weeks went on the hole turned into a crack which grew and more cracks appeared. I ordered new glass on line from an appliance warehouse for $45. Putting it in was a nightmare! It took me several hours to figure out how to get the oven door off, then I had to completely deconstruct the oven door piece by piece (the cracked glass pane was 3 layers down). I was able to remove the cracked glass without to much difficulty, but getting the new piece in required plying all these really sturdy metal tabs up, inserting the glass, and bending the tabs back down again to hold the glass in place. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever attempted. It worked and my oven has functioned for 2 years now and undergone multiple cleaning cycles. However, if you look through the various levels of glass, you can see those tabs that I plied up and bent back down--they look like somebody opened them up with a beer can. I don't know if I would attempt this on an oven again. I guess it depends on how much it would cost to have it repaired professionally and how much the oven is worth.

tananaBrian's picture

Another me-too here ...

I have a GE oven and cracked my door glass by pouring water for steam into a pan on the lower shelf, but spilled a little on the window ...sizzle sizzle sizzle CRACK!  I an oven door "glass pack" online for about $90, downloaded the user manual from the GE web site, and replaced the glass in about 20 minutes.  My door comes off by flipping 2 little levers on the hinges, then lifting the door out and off.  I needed star-drivers to remove the inner face of the door and what not, and the 'glass pack' just set in place.  It took some jiggling to get the door to go back on, but (whew!) it did finally go back onto the stove.  NOW I hold a cookie sheet over the window (left hand) while pouring water into the pan for steam (right hand.)



gcook17's picture

I'm thankful that I haven't broken the glass yet, but I was able to get all the other oven parts I've had to replace at  it was easy to find the parts for my oven model and they were shipped quickly.

I hope this helps:


Mustang 51's picture
Mustang 51

I have another method for introducing steam into the oven. I put a metal pie plate with water in it on the bottom shelf of the cold oven oven. While I am preheating the oven, it adds humidity. When you put the loaf in, jiggle the bottom shelf and the water falls inside the oven. My concern is with the minerals in my water. If I do this regularly, the bottom of my oven will be white. I guess that would be one way to create a brick oven. The main mineral component in my water is dissolved limestone. I realize I could use distilled water for this, but that is too much bother.

Has anyone noticed actual damage to the finish on the inside of their ovens from spraying water on the walls?


Wild-Yeast's picture

After replacing the inside oven glass several times I've taken to placing a two layers of terry cloth towel over the open oven door whenever "wet stuff" is being placed into [or out of] the oven.  Any spillage is absorbed by the towels instead of "chill shocking" the glass.