We’re not far off from an age devoid of 100-watt incandescent light bulbs. In such an age, there will be consequences. The transmogrification of the Easy-Bake Oven as we know it is one of those consequences. As it uses 100-watt light bulbs to cook the mixtures placed inside, a new heating element will be required after the ban.
The Easy-Bake Oven wasn’t the first attempt at miniature novelty cookery. Before the Easy-Bake oven there were products like the Little Lady Range from a company called Lionel. Such “toys” were scaled-down version of real appliances, which meant lots of exposed heating elements that could potentially burn little hands. The designers of the Easy-Bake Oven took a cue from street vendors’ pretzel ovens to create a modified oven where you slide bakeware full of batter or dough through the oven to cook and cool.
100-watt incandescent light bulbs above and below the bakeware cooked the mixtures and created the novelty foods. The makers of the Easy-Bake Oven plan to release a new version called the Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven, but they have not revealed what the heating element will be. It certainly won’t be any newer light bulbs like LED or CFLs, as they run very cool compared to incandescents.
Through all the aesthetic redesigns, the Easy-Bake Oven has used the same two 100-watt incandescent light bulbs for baking. How will the new version work? A related story is the old Creepy Crawlers oven, which used a light bulb to heat metal molds filled with plastic goop to create creatures. Will Creepy Crawlers receive a sans-light bulb update as well?