In Chapter Five, I tell the story about my oven-cleaning habits. After moving into my new home with its spotless oven, I ended every cooking excursion by lifting the coils to wipe them clean. I removed the pans and cleaned beneath them every time! I was just so happy that it was clean, and I wanted to keep it that way forever! I didn’t ever want that vintage, pristine stovetop to end up like the burnt and encrusted stoves of my past.
Well, there’s a moral to this story, and hopefully you’ve realized that the reason I’m ranting and raving about cook tops has little to do with kitchen grime. The point is that it’s easier to keep something clean when you tend to it daily. So far, I've given you some tips on keeping your thought closet tidy. Now, for fun, here is an article about cleaning your oven!
Adventures in Oven Cleaning
By Becky Williams
We humans sometimes have odd relationships with our ovens. On one hand, we love the ROI (return on investment) that we receive. Lumpy batter becomes yummy cake, raw meat becomes tender roast beef, and soupy mixtures become sumptuous casseroles. However, on the other hand, we hate to accept the task of maintaining our hard-working ovens. So we open the door quickly, shove the pan inside, and slam the door so that we don’t have to see the gunk and grime of last year’s sweet potato casserole crusted into crisp carcinogens on the lining of our oven.
Don’t let that crusty interior haunt your cooking! If you decide to join the ranks of those who refuse to tolerate the chunky, crunchy interior of their oven or the gunky goo that lies just an inch beneath their top burners, then break out the cleaning supplies. It’s time to bring those yellow rubber gloves back into style.
As always, read your owner’s manual first to find out the best mode of cleaning. If you have a self-cleaning oven or a continuous cleaning oven, then follow each one’s respective cleaning process. For regular oven types, here are three simple steps to cleaning:
Step One: Remove the racks from the oven and soak them in hot, soapy water for about twenty minutes. (If the racks are crusted into place by Aunt Fern’s baked beans, then have your husband help pull them out.) The grime should scrub away easily after this, but if some of the scum is stubborn, continue to soak.
Step Two: While the racks are soaking, spray down the inside of the oven with your oven cleaner, and then heat for thirty minutes at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. During your wait, allow yourself to dance like David did before the Lord, singing songs of praise as you say goodbye to grease-splattered growths on your oven burners. (Have more time? Get a good night’s sleep while your oven cleaner soaks inside the oven and then wipe down in the morning.)
Step Three: Attack! After allowing your oven to cool, snap on those yellow gloves and use a sponge soaked in warm, soapy water to clean out the inside. Although the cleaning should be fairly easy, you may have to put your elbow into some scrubbing if the sweet potato pie refuses to give up without a fight.
Be sure to wipe down carefully. Don’t skimp on the finishing touches simply because your arms feel tired. You’ll feel even worse if your next green bean casserole taste strongly like the industrial oven cleaner you left behind.
At for the top of the oven, use hot, soapy water to soak the food around the burners. Sponges and scrub brushes work well, but an old toothbrush get to the cracks that not even nimble fingers can reach.
Did you remember to clean:
The crooks and crannies?
The oven door?
The seal around the oven door?
To prevent messy ovens in the future, try these easy tips:
- Line your oven’s base with foil, but don’t allow it to touch the burners. (Foil will catch on fire.)
- Place your casseroles and pies on foil-lined cookie sheets that will catch any leaks and overflows.
After you clean your oven, no matter how messy it was this time, rejoice in the fact that from now on maintaining its cleanliness will be much easier … Now, go bake your rhubarb pie in confidence!