Need-To-Know Facts About Your Self-Cleaning Oven

ovenThanksgiving is right around the corner, meaning you’ve got some heavy-duty cooking coming up. Before you pop that turkey and sweet potato pie into the oven, you need to make sure it’s clean. Few things can ruin a Thanksgiving dinner quicker than caked on gunk or char falling into the dishes you’ve worked so hard on.

If you’re using a self-cleaning oven this year, there are a few things you need to know before firing it up. Read on to make sure both you and your self-cleaning oven are prepared to take on Thanksgiving meal prep.

Self-Cleaning Oven Info that Can Prevent Holiday Dinner Disasters

Have you ever wondered how often you should use the self-cleaning cycle? The answer to this question varies widely depending on who you ask. Some people say you can use your self-clean setting monthly, while others say you should never turn it on at all. Because of this, you should check the manufacturer’s instructions for your self-cleaning oven to see what the recommended cleaning frequency is.

Now, one of the reasons some people say that you shouldn’t run the self-clean cycle too frequently is because it can cause your oven to blow a fuse. The logic behind this claim seems solid: Your oven ramps to temperatures that can reach almost 900 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the model. It also has to maintain those temperatures for several hours while circulating air at the same time. That’s a lot of work for an appliance, so you can see how it would be possible for your self-cleaning oven to short-circuit. In some cases, the control panel can even be damaged.This isn’t a risk you want to take a few days before you start baking pies and cornbread dressing, especially since it could be difficult to find someone to fix your oven during the holidays. Therefore, if you’re going the self-cleaning route, it’s a good idea to do so a few weeks before Thanksgiving day. That way, you have time to recover from any snafus.

Download: Thanksgiving Emergency Playbook – American Home Shield

How Long Does a Self-Cleaning Oven Cycle Take?

The amount of time your oven will take to run its cleaning cycle will depend on the type of oven you have and on how dirty your oven is. Naturally, the dirtier the oven, the longer the cycle will take. However, most cycles can take anywhere from one to five hours. Sounds like the perfect time to run errands, right? Unfortunately, you’re going to need to stay at home and babysit your oven in case anything unexpected arises. For example, food baked onto the oven can sometimes start to smoke, and you’ll need to be home to turn on fans and vent the kitchen if this happens.

Additionally, if you live in a warm climate or decide to clean your oven on a hot day, you’ll want to run the cleaning cycle in the evening. This way you won’t overwork your home’s air conditioner, or worse, blow a fuse in the house.

Self-Cleaning Oven Concerns

Your self-cleaning oven works by using extremely high temperatures to burn off bits of food debris. This process causes carbon monoxide to be released into the air, which is hazardous to anyone, but can be very harmful to people with asthma or other respiratory problems. It can also be harmful to pets, especially some birds. Additionally, most ovens are coated with protective non-stick compounds that can also release fumes when exposed to very high temperatures. Because of this, you should always review your manufacturer’s instructions for specific warnings.

Self-Cleaning Oven Best Practices

There are several do’s and don’ts when it comes to self-cleaning oven best practices:

  • Do read your manufacturer’s instructions before running a cleaning cycle and follow them word-for-word. If you can’t locate your manual – a quick internet search on your oven model should suffice.
  • Do remove any oven racks, pots, pans, utensils and foil liner that are in the oven before cleaning.
  • Do clean only the parts of the oven that are listed in your manual.
  • Don’t clean the oven door gasket as you can damage the oven’s seal.
  • Don’t use commercial oven cleaners or oven coaters in a self-cleaning oven.
  • Don’t touch the oven or let children near it during the self-cleaning cycle, as it gets hot enough to burn human skin.

The key to successfully using your self-cleaning oven lies in timing and making sure you’ve pored over those manufacturer’s instructions. Once you know how to plan accordingly and use your oven’s self-clean feature safely, you’ll be ready to clean your oven in time for Thanksgiving dinner.

Looking for ways to keep busy while your self-cleaning oven is running its cycle? Check out these fun fall decorating ideas to get your home in the holiday spirit.