Fall is right around the corner, and these last few months of the year are when we tend to use our oven the most. Whether you’re prepping a baked treat for Halloween or gearing up to bake a perfect Thanksgiving turkey, you will want to make sure your oven is in prime condition for when you need it the most. Here is our Ultimate Pre-Holiday Oven Maintenance Guide to help prevent your oven from breaking down at the worst possible time.
Pre-Holiday Oven Maintenance: Preventing Holiday Hosting Fiascos
You turn on your oven Thanksgiving morning to preheat. Within minutes you can hear your child yelling, “Mom! What is that oven burning smell?!” At that moment, you realize you’ve missed one critical step in the preparation for the holiday season: Fall oven maintenance.
You still have plenty of time to prevent this nightmare situation from occurring. Take a moment to follow our pre-holiday oven maintenance guide.
1 – Clean your Cooktop
- Gas Range: Remove the grates over the burners. Allow them to soak in a sink of warm soapy water, then scrub clean and allow to dry. Remove spills from the surface of the range top with a sponge. Gently clean individual fuel ports, located around each burner with a toothpick.
- Electric Cooktop: Remove the coils and grease bowls below them. Throughly wash the grease bowls in a sink of warm dishwasher. Gently clean each coil with damp sponge. Do NOT use soap while cleaning the coils. Using soaps can cause coil damage.
- Glass: To clean a glass cooktop, we recommend always using a non-abrasive pad and cleanser meant specifically for glass cooktops. If you’d like to get cooked-on stains off, and help your cooktop stay looking new, we recommend purchasing a professional-quality cleaning kit, like Weiman Cooktop Cleaner Kit.
2 – Test your Oven
Testing your oven periodically throughout the year will help ensure that it does its job, and does its job accurately.
Luckily, preparing an oven for the holidays produces an easy and tasty treat. Simply purchase a basic white cake mix, and prepare it exactly according to the mix instructions and settings.
While the cake bakes, your kitchen should smell great. However, an oven burning smell should raise a red flag that it’s time for a holiday oven cleaning.
Once the cake is done, take a close look at it. Is your cake burnt or dry? Or is it undercooked or raw in the middle? Both are clear signs that a heating element issue is developing, and you will want to book an appointment with a professional oven repair technician.
3 – Use the Oven Self Clean Feature with Caution
Self-cleaning ovens may seem like a great oven maintenance tip, but the self cleaning oven option may cause more harm than good. During the cleaning process, the oven will heat up to over 900 degrees Fahrenheit. If your oven has this option and you’d like to try it, you will need to follow the owner’s manual exactly as written.
Unfortunately, the self-cleaning option can cause major oven malfunction and require intense repairs. As a rule of thumb, never use the self-cleaning feature two weeks before a major event, as it could cause catastrophic damage.
4) Safely Clean the Interior of Your Oven
Giving your oven a good (and safe!) cleaning during your fall oven maintenance is a key holiday oven maintenance tip.
To easily clean the interior of your oven:
- Remove the interior baking racks. Soak in a sink of hot dishwater. Scrub the baking racks well, then rinse and let dry.
- Create a paste composted of 3 cups of baking soda and one cup of water.
- Apply paste to interior using a paint brush. Avoid applying to any heating elements. Allow to dry overnight.
- Use a dry, soft brush to dust out the dried remnants of the baking soda paste, along with any of the oven debris. Use a damp cloth to remove any stubborn spots.
It may be tempting: But never use any soap while cleaning the interior of your oven. Soaps can cause lingering smells or undesirable tastes in foods, and can even lead to oven repairs.
The holidays can be a stressful time, but preparing for them well in advance can reduce the likelihood of last-minute emergencies. If any issues or concerns are found during your holiday oven maintenance routine, book an appointment with American Appliance for fast and professional oven and range repairs.