How to Maintain Your Oven
An oven is an essential part of your kitchen. Whether you use it to toast pizza rolls or bake pastries, it is important for your oven to operate reliably. Regular maintenance can help keep your oven operating smoothly and prevent costly repairs. More importantly, proper maintenance prevents fires.
Use the Correct Electrical Outlet
Electric ovens require connection to a 220 – 240-volt outlet to operate at max efficiency. If connected to a 120-volt outlet, the oven may heat ineffectively, or not work at all. Also, unless the oven is on a dedicated circuit, the circuit breaker may trip whenever you use the oven.
Your kitchen should have a 240V outlet on a dedicated circuit to be used with your electric oven. If you want to move your oven to a different location, you may need the services of a licensed electrician to add a 240V outlet in the new location.
Spare yourself unnecessary work by preventing messes before they happen. When baking on the middle rack, place a cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil on the lower rack to catch accidental drips and spillovers.
Clean Spills Quickly
The longer you leave a spill, the harder it is to clean. If you don’t clean the spill, the residue may smoke, burn, or catch fire the next time you use your oven.
When you clean a spill, it is important to follow proper safety procedures.
Disconnect the oven from its power source. To do this, you can either unplug it from the electrical outlet or shut off power at the circuit breaker.
Wait for the oven to cool before cleaning. Cleaning inside the oven while it is still hot risks burns, and exposure to toxic fumes or gas.
Use gentle cleaners on stenciled or raised lettering. The raised or stenciled letters are fragile and may fade or corrode if cleaned with harsh or abrasive oven cleaners.
Apply the cleaning solution to your cloth rather than spraying it in the oven. If oven cleaner is sprayed inside the oven cavity, the remaining residue may smolder or burn the next time the oven is used.
WARNING: Do not use commercial oven cleaners on self-cleaning ovens unless it is formulated for self-cleaning ovens. Regular oven cleaners may damage the finish of a self-cleaning oven
Pro Tip: Most oven doors are designed to be removed easily. We recommend removing the door following the instructions in your owner’s manual before cleaning. It is safer and much easier to clean inside an oven without the door in the way.
Use the Self-Cleaning Feature Sparingly
Self-cleaning is an attractive oven feature, and many ovens have it. Unfortunately, this feature can be detrimental to the long-term health of your oven. Many appliance repair calls are made after running a self-cleaning cycle.
In ovens with hidden elements, venting heat and airflow is more difficult, and the oven may heat beyond its capabilities. Also, if there are oils and food debris inside the oven may be pushed past their autoignition temperature and catch on fire. Smoke is normal inside an electric oven; fire is not.
If you do use the self-cleaning feature:
- Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Do not use oven cleaners that are not formulated specifically for self-cleaning ovens.
- Stay home during the entire process. This is important in the case of fire.
- Open a window and turn on fans. A self-cleaning cycle can generate a lot of smoke, and proper ventilation is important for health and safety.
- Allow six hours for the oven to cool before wiping out the remaining ash.
Keep the Oven Door Closed
When in use, your oven raises the inside compartment to a specified temperature and turns off the internal burners until the thermostat registers a dip in temperature. This saves energy and lowers overall cook time. When you open the oven door, heat escapes and the oven must work harder to restore the proper temperature. Not only does this increase energy use and force the oven to work harder than necessary, your food will take longer to cook, and its quality may suffer due to temperature changes. The best way to cook food in the oven is to set a timer and only open the oven door when necessary.
Also, while it is tempting to leave the door open in winter to make use of the oven’s warm air, this increases the risk of accidental burns or damages to the oven door and hinges.
Only Use The Oven Door Handle To Open The Oven
Oven handles seem to be the perfect place to hang dish towels or oven mitts. Unfortunately, these can pose a fire hazard if they fall into the oven, or if sparks on the range above land on the material. Also, the oven door handle was not meant to hold a lot of weight. If the item hanging from the oven door is pulled, it could damage the door handle or even the hinges. It is best to use the oven door handle only for its intended purpose.