The oven that is in your kitchen is more than likely a wonderful piece of engineering that does a great job of baking, broiling or cooking the food that you cook with it. The first “modern” stove was invented in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin and was known as the Pennsylvania fireplace. Since then, the stove has undergone a dramatic evolution that has led these appliances to become the great stoves that exist today. Unfortunately, far too many fail to see their oven as an advanced piece of machinery, and as such, they don’t take care of it as they should.
We believe that the oven is the centerpiece of the kitchen and should be properly maintained by the consumer to ensure that it functions as well as it should function. We’re not only talking about cleaning the oven on a regular basis, but we’re also talking about taking other steps such as performing routine oven inspections to help keep the oven running as well as it should. Let’s begin with some of the more general tips and then work our way from there to more advanced tips.
Tip One: Clean The Oven Regularly
One of the first things that we’d like to recommend to all of our readers is to thoroughly clean their oven regularly. And we’re not just talking about wiping up messes but doing a thorough cleaning. How often should the oven be cleaned? Well, how often you use the oven will determine how often you will need to clean the oven. The more you use it, the more often it will need to be cleaned.
To clean the interior of the oven, the consumer is going to want to make sure that they purchase the best oven cleaner that they can find. A cleaner that will cut through grease and grime effectively. Other tools that are also going to be needed to clean the oven include the following:
- Rubber Cleaning Gloves
- Protective Safety Glasses
- Paper Towels Or Old Newspapers
- Microfiber Sponge
- Damp Cloths Or Sponges
- Large Plastic Garbage Bag
Tip Two: Some Ovens Can’t Have Their Knobs Removed
We know that it’s common for a lot of people to remove their oven knobs so that they can clean them, and with some oven models, that’s perfectly acceptable. However, with some of the modern oven models, the knobs are connected directly to the oven’s main control system. If that’s the case, then the consumer can be inadvertently subjecting themselves to a risk of electrocution. That’s why it’s always important for the consumer to read their oven’s manual thoroughly and find out what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable as far as oven cleaning goes.
Tip Three: Regularly Inspect The Oven’s Gas Line Or Electrical Cord
The next thing that the consumer should do regularly, is to inspect the gas line and connection to the oven, or electrical cord if it’s an electric model. Gas lines and electrical cords can degrade over time, so about once a year the consumer should inspect them thoroughly. If they’re worn, replace them immediately.
Tip Four: Unplug An Electric Oven While Cleaning The Inside Of It
Although it’s not necessary for the consumer to unplug their electric oven while they’re wiping down the outside of it, the oven should be unplugged if the consumer is planning to deep clean the inside of the oven using oven cleaner.
Tip Five: Inspect The Oven’s Door Gaskets
It’s also a good idea to take a good look at the oven door gaskets and make sure that they’re in good condition. Although these door gaskets are generally long-lasting, they will begin to deteriorate over time, and the consumer is never going to know when that’s going to happen, so the door gaskets should be regularly inspected.
Tip Six: Inspect Element Burners On Electric Stoves
While you’re cleaning your electric oven, it’s a good idea to take a look at the elements—both inside the oven and on the stove portion of the oven. Make sure that there’s no debris clinging to the elements and that they’re in good condition. If they’re dirty, clean them and if they’re compromised, then replace them immediately.
Tip Seven: Racks Need To Be Cleaned As Well
We’ve seen quite a few people spend a considerable amount of time cleaning their oven, only to neglect their racks. And this is a huge problem because it’s the racks that often become the dirtiest and require the most attention. Therefore, whenever you’re cleaning your oven, it’s a good idea to also give the rack a good cleaning as well.
Tip Eight: Clean Under, Behind, And Around The Oven
While you’re spending time cleaning your oven, it’s a good idea to clean underneath it, alongside it, and behind it. Yes, we understand that requires pulling out the oven, but it’s just something that needs to be done. When the oven was installed, its vents were clear and it was these vents that allowed for proper airflow. Unfortunately, these vents can become blocked over time with grease and gunk, which not only restricts airflow through the oven but may also create a fire hazard.
Tip Nine: Avoid Doing These Things To Your Oven
The last tip that we’d like to give you and the rest of our readers is to say that not everything is designed to be used in the oven and that there are things that people do with their ovens that are dramatically shortening the oven’s lifespan. Below are some things that you should avoid when using your oven.
Using Empty And/Or Untempered Glassware
You should never place glassware that isn’t designed for the oven in the oven. That’s an important rule. However, it also should be said that even when using tempered glassware made for the oven, the consumer needs to be careful. Thermal shock from putting cold glassware in the oven can shatter it, as well as heating up glassware that’s empty.
Using Aluminum Foil On Oven Racks
Although we’ve seen people put aluminum foil on oven racks to keep them clean while they’re cooking, it’s an extremely bad idea. Foil can block airflow in the oven and may reflect heat improperly in the oven. This can result in the very least in making foods cook improperly and at the most might cause severe damage to the oven or its elements.