People say that things aren’t built to last anymore. Are they not, or is it that we just don’t look after them properly? Take household appliances for example, they’ll be put to the test day-in-day out through the course of their lives. If you look after them, they’ll get used a lot more often than those which are ignored, not maintained, poorly serviced or kept unclean. This will save you money as well as effort in the long run, and it also means that you’re appliances will stay performing to their best for longer.
For anyone who has just made a large purchase, for example on a brand new oven, the last thing you’ll want is to have to purchase a new one in a few years time, especially if it’s because you didn’t look after it properly. As a result of the current financial climate, disposable income is being reduced year-on-year for most UK households; this means that it’s imperative to look after appliances like ovens, otherwise you’ll end up forking out a load more money buying a new one.
In light of this, here are some tips on oven maintenance to preserve the life of your oven.
Clean spillages regularly
Whether you’re cooking on the hob or inside the oven, if something spills, wait for the oven to cool then clear immediately. This will prevent any grease and grime from building which causes your oven to slow down and also causes food not to be cooked properly.
Clean the oven thoroughly at least once every two or three months
One of the biggest mistakes people make is to leave their oven unclean for over a year. Not only will this affect the taste of your food, it can also harm the effectiveness of your oven, meaning that food won’t get cooked properly.
Check the oven’s temperature gauge
The best way to check that your oven is performing to its best is to be vigilant of the temperature gauge. Try cooking a basic cake, exactly following the instructions from a cookery book. If the cake isn’t cooked properly, then be sure to have it looked at or serviced.
Be sure to have it serviced
As mentioned above, this way you’ll know your oven always performs to its best. If the temperature isn’t as it should be, or the seals and trims have corroded, then your oven just simply won’t work as well. With a service, these problems can be fixed swiftly.
Be sure to use the appropriate cleaning products
Oven Cleaning products found on the high street and in the supermarkets contain a corrosive chemical called caustic soda. This can damage both the functionality and the aesthetics of your oven. Be sure to use an oven cleaning service that only uses caustic soda-free products.
Don’t rely on self cleaning ovens
This is referring to the way in which owners of self cleaning ovens use the self cleaning mode as a way of thoroughly cleaning their oven. Overreliance of this will see you purchasing a new oven in no time because components have been known to burn out as the oven runs at an extremely high temperature.
Ovens accumulate grease, spilt foods and food particles, it’s an inevitability. However the amount of food spillage and grease that’s accumulated really depends on the individuals using the oven, what they’re cooking and how often they use the oven. This makes putting a time frame on cleaning your oven quite difficult, because some ovens maybe used more frequently than others, whilst different foods are used as well.
The best way to prevent grease and food building up is to give the oven a quick wipe and a clean after each time you use the oven. For example, if you’ve been frying and you can see fat and grease on the hobs, its best to give them a wipe down after usage. The same can be said when cooking inside the oven itself. However the problem with this philosophy is that not everyone has the time to clean the inside of their oven, whilst fat and grease spills are not always visible.
It’s definitely wise to remove and food spillages as often as possible from the insides of ovens. When foods have spilled and are left inside, this can cause unnecessary smoking which will not only set off your fire alarm, but the smell can permeate into rooms, and even ruin the food that you’re cooking in the first place.
It’s unrealistic for an oven to be cleaned every time after usage, and so many of us allow for dirt and grime to build up before we attempt to do something about it. However, in some cases it may be a year or even two years before the cleaning products are purchased and used to tackle the grime that has built up. This really shouldn’t be the case, because dirty ovens are inefficient ovens, it’s unhygienic and the smell can often destroy any nice smelling home.
So what’s the solution? It’s good to get into the habit of cleaning an oven thoroughly between every two and 12 weeks. Again the time frame needed is really down to the amount you use it and the types of foods that are cooked in it. For example, if the oven is constantly being used to cook large family dinners where foods can spill and cause odours, then it is advised to clean the oven thoroughly every couple of weeks. Whereas someone who uses a microwave or the oven hobs a lot may not necessarily need to clean their oven every couple of weeks because it may have only been used a couple of times in that period.
Also think about the times when you’re entertaining guests or have family round for holiday periods. Would you feel embarrassed if guests came round and you opened the oven door to reveal a stench that could seep into your home?
It’s advisable to clean your oven as often as possible, not only for aesthetics, but for hygiene reasons as well as for efficient and effective cooking.