If you want your range to last for years to come, it’s important to take care and maintain the oven including all of its components.
In this article, we’re sharing a few oven maintenance tips to help you take care of your own.
Oven Maintenance Tips
How often do you use your oven? How often do you look inside to inspect just how clean it is? And, well, how often do you clean it? Have you tested the temperature lately to ensure it is heating properly?
Somewhere along the line, whether you realize it or not, there is a good chance you have spilled food inside your oven. It could have boiled over the top of your casserole dish or splattered as something began to heat up. Did you clean it up? Unlikely. Most often, when the food is done, we pull it out, feast on our deliciousness, and move on. Right?
This means that the next time you go to bake something in your oven, you are going to get those drippings and splatters nice and crispy. And, probably add more to them. Then the next time, you do it again. Over and over.
Before long, your oven is not going to look too clean – and attempting to clean it is going to be quite the chore.
Just like a car requires routine maintenance to ensure it runs at its optimal level, so does your oven.
Here are a few oven maintenance to help you keep your range in top condition.
Make Use of Your Oven’s Self-Cleaning Feature
Most ovens have these, but very few people are familiar with how it works. Read your manual or contact the manufacturer. Be sure to wipe down the inside of the oven after it cools down. And, whatever you do, never start the self-cleaning feature and leave home.
Clean Your Oven Regularly
Experts say that you should give your oven a thorough cleaning at least twice each year. Of course, if you use it daily, you may want to increase that cleaning routine to, say, every couple of months. Leaving burnt food to continue to re-burn with every use will eventually cause your oven to work less efficiently. Not to mention that the continuous smell of burnt food every time you use it will eventually start affecting the taste of your new meal.
Don’t Remove Your Oven’s Knobs
These knobs are directly connected to your oven’s control system. When you remove them to spray cleaner on them, you are actually putting yourself at risk of electrocution. As tempting as it is to clean them this way, don’t. Leave your knobs right where they are.
Inspect and Replace Your Gas Line
Every time you purchase a new oven, you should always update your gas line, too. It seems like a logical thing to do, right? After all, a fresh line means less chance of a leak down the road. But, here’s the thing – what if you have invested in a well-working oven and you don’t plan on upgrading anytime soon? If you have had your oven for a while, you may want to take the time to inspect the line. If it looks at all worn, replace it.
Always Unplug Your Oven When You Clean
Now, we aren’t necessarily referring to when you decide to wipe down the stovetop. Or even clean your oven’s glass window. But, because this is an electrical appliance that is not made for dealing with water or lots of liquid cleaners, by leaving it plugged in you are putting yourself at risk for electrocution.
Be safe – always unplug it.
Check Your Element (Burners) Regularly
If you see any debris on it, any deformities, or a spot that glows a little bit brighter than the rest, you are going to want to replace it. It can spark and create a flame as it shorts out. Generally, it’s a rather minor issue. However, it can result in heavy damage to the appliance. As soon as you notice this, stop using your oven and replace the burner/element.
Take Care When Baking
If you are baking a full casserole or pie, for example, consider putting a larger baking sheet underneath it. This will catch anything that may leak out or boil over, reducing the mess within your oven.
If you do notice spills, though, when you are done baking, you should always wipe down the inside of the oven as soon as it cools. This reduces a bigger mess later.
Don’t Forget to Clean Your Racks
It is easy to focus on the bottom and sides of your oven. And, for good reason – that is usually where all the food is. But, it is not the only place. In order to reach the bottom, it has to go through the racks. So, be sure to give them as much attention as the rest of the oven when cleaning.
Inspect Your Door Gaskets
This is the rubber piece that runs along the oven door that helps seal in the heat. Over time, this gasket can begin to deteriorate, allowing heat to seep through, and resulting in your oven not heating appropriately.
Make a point to regularly inspect your oven’s gasket and replace it if necessary so that your oven may operate efficiently.
Slide Your Oven Out and Clean Underneath and Behind It
Your oven requires a bit of space to allow air to flow around it. While it was likely installed this way, over time that could change. Crumbs, debris, and all sorts of things can find their way underneath the oven, on either side and behind it. This can disrupt the flow of air and, in some instances, create a fire hazard.
Your oven is an investment and you should treat it as such. This means performing routine maintenance that will give you the best performance for an extended amount of time. So, take the time to regularly clean your oven and prevent future messes down the road. Clean in and around it, inspect your gaskets and your elements, leave your knobs right where they are, and, by all means, unplug the oven as you clean it.
You will find that by being there for your oven, it will be there for you.