If you ever fear that your oven cleaning skill is lacking in prowess, you may consider a self-cleaning oven. It may feel like a blessing in disguise because it saves you the effort of sticking your head in there to tackle the grease and grime.
However, to make the most of the self-cleaning cycle, you need to keep certain things in mind. Only then can you hope to have a clean oven that is easy to work with and which does not ruin your cooking efforts.
Here is how you can efficiently use your self-cleaning cycle:
Remove racks – usually, you will want to remove them from the oven before starting the self-cleaning process. On the other hand, you can give them a more thorough clean with water and cleaning detergents that way. Racks take a beating entirely when cooking meat and other dishes, so they can use the extra care. One more reason for removing racks is that the self-cleaning cycle produces quite a lot of heat, which may damage them, warp or discolour them. Check with the oven manual to see what the manufacturer recommends and follow their directions.
Wipe out any spillover – if you see any spillover liquid, be it grease or other juices, you should wipe them out with a clean cloth. That way you will avoid them turning into ash inside the oven when you run the self-clean. Do the same with the window, especially on the inside part. Do not use active chemicals for this cleaning process before using the self-clean cycle.
Ventilate the room during the cycle – sometimes the oven may emit smoke during the self-clean process. For this reason, it is best to ventilate the room properly. Open all windows and doors. If applicable, take the oven closer to a window and run the cycle there. Exhaust fans help you as well. If the smoke is too much, turn the self-cleaning cycle off, let the oven cool down and wipe out the debris that caused the smoke. Hopefully, when you start the cycle again, the smoke will be gone.
Wait for the oven to cool down – once the self-cleaning process is complete, your oven will be too hot. Allow ample time for it to cool off. Anywhere between 60 and 90 minutes is sufficient. You can reduce this downtime if the oven is equipped with a fan.
Tackle the ash – all of the food soil inside the oven will have turned to ash. There could be white ash and dark ash. Do not be alarmed when you see the amount, as that is a reasonable result of using the self-clean. Use water/vinegar mix and wipe it out with a sponge cloth. This concludes the self-cleaning process.
While running this function of your oven is no rocket science, you need to be careful. The oven reaches dangerously high temperature during it, which may be a cause for concern. To retain your peace of mind, you can do regular oven cleaning and only resort to self-cleaning the oven now and then.