STOP putting off the inevitable: it is time to clean your oven
When was the last time you cleaned your oven? Have you ever cleaned your oven? You are not alone if you answered “ummm” and “no”.
Put something in the oven, take it out and close the door, until the next cooking session. Nothing to see here! “Kind of out of sight, out of mind” mentality.
There is also an element of putting off the inevitable. People delay it so long they make it such a miserable task.
So maybe it is time to take a look at that oven. After you get the job done, it will look and smell better, and take a weight off your shoulders. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Read the manual
Especially if you are about to engage in an intensive cleaning session, now is the time to dig out – or search online for – the instructions for your oven. It is especially important to know what types of cleaners are approved for your specific model.
There is a natural conflict when cleaning products say they are safe for self-cleaning ovens. Manufacturers are understandably cautious, but generally you can feel comfortable using fast-acting sprayable oven cleaners for spot-cleaning. Again, read the label to be sure.
Your manual will also tell you whether the racks can be left in the oven during the self-cleaning cycle.
If you are using a cleaner, you should take care to protect yourself and your kitchen. Wear gloves. Line the floor with rubbish bags and/or newspaper, as products may damage wood and laminate. That protection will also be useful if you are taking out the racks to clean in the kitchen. Having a damp rag around to quickly wipe away any cleaner that you get on your clothes or a vulnerable surface is recommended.
Do not take apart your oven door to clean in between the panes of glass. Just let it be a little dirty in there. It is not worth ruining the door, which should only be removed and disassembled by a professional. For the glass you do have access to, use a grease-cutting cleaner (ie dish soap) and scrubber or sponge. Take care not to dislodge or damage the gasket, which is important for sealing in heat.
Take preventive measures, and make the job easier. The easiest way to clean a dirty oven is to not have a dirty oven. If you are baking a pie or casserole that risks bubbling over, use a baking sheet to catch any potential drips. If something does spill, try and get to it as soon as you can. Do not clean a hot oven, but going in while there is still a little residual heat can make the clean-up easier. Another tip: place a hot, damp towel over a spot to loosen burnt-on debris. Then wipe off or remove with a plastic scraper.