Common Issues With Electric Ovens Answered

Man Testing Oven

Last month we outlined some of the most common issues caused by having a dirty oven.

This time round, the team here at Ovenu have put together a quick troubleshooting guide that will help you determine whether your electric oven is beyond repair, even after it has been cleaned.

By following these, quick and easy steps, you might just save yourself a fortune from having to shell out on a brand new cooker. (more…)

Dirty Ovenware

In previous posts we have discussed the dangers associated when cooking with a dirty oven.

But did you know that even if you have a clean cooker, old and used baking trays, cooking dishes and grill sets can be just as detrimental to your health and safety?

When was the last time you changed your kitchen’s ovenware? (more…)

Dirty Oven

You might be surprised at how popular a question this is, but in a lot of cases, people who have experienced problems with their oven often put it down to wear and tear. In reality, a rigorous clean can help resolve a number of issues and save you a fortune compared to forking out for a new model.

The problem is a lot of homeowners are unable to distinguish between complications caused by a build-up of grit and grime, clogging up vital internal components. Although this isn’t always the case, it’s always good to try a thorough clean before committing to a new purchase.

With this in mind, we thought we’d help you to identify and troubleshoot a few common issues that a dirty oven can cause. (more…)

More often than not, when we clean appliances and surfaces, we generally focus on the areas we can see. After all, that’s where most dirt is attracted and will have the greatest impact on the appearance of your home.

However, sometimes this isn’t enough. For instance, you can vacuum your carpet as often as you want, but it won’t always get rid of that ground in dirt that can cause discolouration. For this, you need to shampoo it fully. Another classic example is when you come to clean your oven.

Some people choose to do this themselves. This is fair enough of course, it only takes a little elbow grease and some cleaning products to get the surfaces sparkling again. However, as with the previous example, this won’t account for all the built-up grime that can get into the nooks and crannies.

Take your fan for instance. If you have a fan operated electric oven, then it’s just as easy for dirt and grease to penetrate this area. Over time, this can cause unpleasant smells and may begin to impact performance too. Therefore, every time you wipe down the surfaces of your oven, you could be forgetting about this equally important area.

However, it would be unwise to attempt to get into any such mechanical areas within your oven without proper training or a full understanding of what you’re doing. This can potentially cause more problems than you solve, particularly if you damage thermostats or other heating elements that may be contained. So either make sure that you tread carefully or call in a professional oven valeting service provider.

When we carry out a full service on an oven, we really do mean a full service. This means that we don’t just mop up the mess on your surfaces and shelves, we will actually get into the hard to reach areas and clear out all of the mess. This is done just for the sake of a little extra work.

When dirt is allowed to build up within any kind of working mechanism, and particularly ovens, it can have a major knock-on effect in performance.  When it comes to your cooker at home, this may mean that as well as producing more smoke than it did in the past, you may also find that it takes longer to heat up too. This is usually as a result of grease penetrating the working components and slowing them down.

This loss of efficiency can be costly and could even result in a full break down of your oven if it isn’t treated. Therefore, having your oven professionally cleaned every now and then can help to cut down your energy costs and make sure that you don’t experience a loss of functionality at any point. After all, you don’t want to keep having to adjust your timings when preparing food or wafting away the smoke as you do so.

A recent story from the U.S highlights the importance of ensuring that your oven is cleaned regularly and thoroughly when possible. Just after the Easter weekend, three people had to evacuate their home in Arkansas City after their oven caught fire. It is believed the fire started after the family had been baking biscuits, which then caught fire.

Thankfully, none of the family was harmed, but the story does highlight the dangers of using ovens, particularly if they haven’t been serviced or cleaned in a while. Whilst it’s unclear what actually caused the fire to start, it’s all too common for food particles and remnants found within an oven to start the unfortunate chain of events. What starts out as smoke can very easily lead to fire because of the sheer heat that is involved. This can be particularly scary, especially if you have young children for whom you cook for on a regular basis.

This is the message that needs to be sent to all oven users, because a dirty oven could do more than just ruin the taste of your food. An oven that is dirty and filled with grease will also likely to be inefficient, meaning that your food will either take longer to cook, or it simply won’t be cooked well enough; and as a result you could be risking your own health with poorly cooked food.

However, the risk is greater than just to your health, it’s also a risk to your safety as well. That’s because an oven that works twice or even three times as hard to have the same outcome will reach incredibly hot temperatures. Add a dirty smoky oven with food spillages, and it’s a very dangerous environment indeed; one that’s easily susceptible to fires. Of course, if the oven is old anyway, then you run the risk of lose wires and faulty heating elements, further increasing the risk.

This is why it’s essential to ensure that your oven is kept cleaned and serviced on a regular basis. There’s no time frame or frequency for when this should get done, but is recommended that your oven gets cleaned once every couple of months at least. This does depend on the oven you have and your own requirements of course.

Whether you clean the oven yourself or choose the services of a professional cleaning company, it’s entirely up to you and your own circumstances. However, a word of caution needs to be extended. Whether you choose to clean your oven yourself or use a professional oven cleaning company, it’s essential that your oven is only ever cleaned using caustic soda-free cleaning products. This is the chemical that’s contained in most commercial oven cleaning products found on the high street or in the supermarkets, and it’s incredibly corrosive. This means that it can harm and affect all parts of your oven, worryingly the trims and seals as well as the heating element. The effects of which could make your oven completely useless – and their not cheap to replace either.

So, the moral of the story is to regular clean and service your oven. Ask yourself when you last cleaned your oven, if it takes you longer than 5 seconds to answer, then it’s probably a good idea to give it a clean – it could just prevent a nasty fire.

Unless you own a bulletproof AGA, the likelihood is that at some point you’ll need to consider replacing your oven. This is often done when you carry out a full kitchen refit, but may become necessary if performance reduces significantly or it is damaged for some reason. How, though, do you know when it’s time to invest?

Electric ovens don’t last forever. Of course, they are built to last, but there will always come a day when it just doesn’t want to work any more. This might happen over the course of many years or it could just develop a fault in an instant. Where heat, moving parts and electronics are involved, there is always potential for issues.

Modern ovens are built to last though, particularly those that offer the highest specifications. But even these need to be looked after properly. If you don’t clean it regularly and fully, grease and other detritus can collect in the oven and cause damage, particularly if it’s left for too long. So by ensuring that all of this is dealt with and removed before it can build up, your oven is far less likely to encounter functionality issues further down the line.

Of course, comprehensive cleaning and the removal of dirt are beneficial in a number of other ways, not least when it comes to hygiene. So you won’t just be boosting the longevity of the appliance, but also making sure that your food isn’t given an unnaturally smoky taste too.

It is also possible to get a service for your oven. Some manufacturers will provide this as standard, along with any repairs that are covered under warranty, but this should ensure that if fans are damaged or filters need to be replaced that these issues are found and dealt with accordingly. Food spillages can easily clog any moving parts and quickly render an oven useless, so identify the issue and remedying it swiftly can help you to save the cost of buying a brand new appliance.

One of the telltale signs that your oven is on its way, is when getting up to temperature takes longer. Whilst this could indicate an issue with the seals, it is also indicative of more fundamental problems with the heating element and may point towards an irreversible decline in performance. This can obviously impact cooking times and energy efficiency, so whilst it may function to an extent, the continuing decline may prove to be more costly in the long run.

As we all know, prevention is better than cure, which is why it’s so important that your oven is kept in full working order throughout its life. So always ensure that repairs are made promptly, filters are changed when the manufacturer recommends it to be done and, easiest of all, make sure that it is kept clean at all times. If you don’t have the time, use professional cleaning services. This way you can enjoy all the benefits of a fully functional oven, but without any of the hassle of maintenance.

As with many modern innovations, the self cleaning oven is designed to make a regular task that little bit easier. No doubt you will be all too aware that your oven often acts as a magnet for dirt and grime. This residue is built up over many months and dozens of cooked meals, often creating an unsightly appearance and stubbornly resisting any meet attempts of removal. However, the self cleaning oven is supposed to bring an end to all this.

Essentially, they work by not allowing the dirt to build up, with many using extremely high temperatures to simply reduce it to ash – therefore making it easier to clean away. Most also have a surface on which the residue simply can’t stick, funnelling it away elsewhere to be dealt with more easily.

All of this sounds perfect. Your cleaning duties in the kitchen are reduced and you never need to worry about your oven again. Except this isn’t entirely true.

A self cleaning oven will certainly have nowhere near the same level of build up as you might expect in a conventional model, but this doesn’t mean that it is going to be entirely spotless. Spills, splatters and grime can still slowly tarnish the surface of your cooker. In fact it’s almost unavoidable, unless of course you are will to carry out a comprehensive clean every time you use it.

So the simple answer to the question posed in the title is that yes, you should certainly still continue to clean a self cleaning over. It might sound a little ridiculous, maybe even a touch unnecessary, but unfortunately it is essential.

The self cleaning design can only do so much itself. At some stage you will have to manually intervene, particularly if you want to bring your oven back up to a showroom appearance. Fortunately this should be nowhere near as frequently or vigorous an activity as you might otherwise expect; but nonetheless, it will need to be done.

If you look at your oven as the centrepiece of a kitchen, then it’s almost unthinkable that you would allow it to deteriorate into a state in which it was clogged with grease. You need to take good care of it and keep it looking presentable, if not entirely impeccable. You can do this yourself, or you could choose to take advantage of a professional oven valeting service; the choice really is yours.

The important thing to remember though is regardless of whether your oven is supposed to be ‘self cleaning’ or not, is that you still need to properly maintain your appliances. This means giving your cooker a good clean at regular intervals and removing any stubborn stains and built up residue.