How Often Should I Clean My Oven?

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File:Dirty dishes.jpgCooking can be hard, there’s no two ways about it. You can slave away for hours in the kitchen only for your end result to often come out looking nothing like the picture on the recipe. Regardless of how the food looks, the most important thing is that it tastes delicious; which is why, when it comes to cooking, you’ll need your kitchen to be as clean and organised as possible. As hard as cooking can be, it’s even harder with a dirty kitchen, and unclean fixtures.

A dirty oven can result in dishes being more disastrous than delicious, cause difficulties with your entire cooking process and be a serious health and safety issue. How often should I clean my oven? Do you know if your oven is too dirty?  And what can you do about it if it is?

Dangerously Dirty

A dirty oven can wreak havoc when it comes to baking. Burnt on grease and grime can cause flavour issues and increase the cooking times.

Food burnt to your oven’s insides can leave an unsavoury taste in your mouth. The carbon particles can affect the flavour of fresh food baked inside the dirty oven, leaving your cakes, breads and other baked goods tasting smoky and scorched.

Complex recipes often call for accurate cooking times. If you use a dirty oven you’re constantly running the risk of your food not cooking properly. If your oven door isn’t clean you’ll never be able to peer in and check when food is done, and constantly opening your oven is a sure-fire way to quickly lose the valuable heat you’ve spent time building up. That being said, that heat has to pass through extra layers of grease, grime and burnt food in a dirty oven, so your food might not even cook evenly in the first place.

It’s not just your food that’s in danger either; dirty ovens can be a serious smoke hazard. Stray food may burn at the bottom of your oven and cause your appliance to fill with smoke. If the grill is also coated in grime it’ll give off fumes every time it’s used. This can obviously prove problematic; especially if your oven chimney filter isn’t replaced regularly, as an overused filter it won’t be able to properly extract any steam or smoke that your oven emits.

The Quick Wipe AwayFile:Electric oven.jpg

Keeping a damp cloth handy when cooking and wiping down your oven after each use, including clearing away any spills or fallen food, will keep your oven in a relatively good state, and prevent troublesome stains from building up.

Try to avoid any commercial chemical cleaners that you’re not 100% sure are safe to use, as they may contain noxious chemicals that could prove potentially harmful to both you and your oven.

When it comes to solutions for stopping the grime, you can buy disposable oven liners which will keep food from getting burnt to the bottom of the oven, and these can be replaced as regularly as needed.

You can stop grease from splashing onto your oven’s sides by simply covering what you’re cooking. If you’re cooking something that you think is going to overflow, such as a bubbling pie and pasta bake, place the oven dish inside of a larger one to keep the food from dripping onto the floor of the oven.

The Full Service

Of course, many people don’t have the time, resources or patience to properly clean their oven themselves, which is where professional valeting services come in handy. Trained technicians are called out to thousands of homes every year, and can have your entire cooker looking like new. Regular cleaning will help quell the accumulation of dirt, but nothing beats the occasional skilled valeting.

Image Credits:

Dirty Dishes courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Electric Oven Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

in Hob Cleaning, Oven Cleaning by Rik Hellewell
About the author: Rik Hellewell

Rik Hellewell is the founder and current Managing Director of OVENU.

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