Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Oven, Part I . . .

I like to cook and I'm pretty good at it.  What I don't like, is to clean the oven.  I'm good at it, though - I've cleaned many a dirty oven in my time (and not all of them were mine!) because, you know, we moved a lot when I was a kid - and I've moved a lot as an adult - and you could never leave a dirty oven if you wanted to get your security deposit back.  Champion oven cleaner, here. 

I have two ovens.  Mostly I just use the top one, though.

I have lived in this house for nearly 12 years.

I have never cleaned the oven. 


There's still a burned up, carbonized, quite well-preserved blob of sweet potato goo that bubbled out of a sweet potato I was baking like 10 years ago.  Regular potatoes don't bubble out goo when you bake them.

Really - if that blob heats and cools and heats again much longer, I might have a really awesome oven-made sweet potato diamond and OMG I have Not. Cleaned. The Oven. In. 12. YEARS.

I am not proud of this.

I always think I'm going to clean it.  And then I don't - mainly because it's an electric oven and in my experience those are a lot harder to clean than a gas oven.  The heating filaments always get in the way.  Anyway, I was really thinking about this the other day and was talking about it with my friend, T.  I said that my oven was filthy, and she said how much she had loved having a self-cleaning oven back in the day - and then, "remember how great and easy they were to clean?"  (She has a gas oven now.)

Well, I said yes to be agreeable, but - truth be told, I've never had a self cleaning oven that I knew of.  I just heard they were easy to clean because they did all the work themselves  :-D   Mostly I've only ever had a gas oven except for one electric one a million years ago and it wasn't self-cleaning.  Easy Off and I have been fine friends in the past.

I don't know why I never got around to cleaning the oven in nearly 12 years.  It works fine and there have always been other things I would rather be doing, I guess.

Anyway, last night I made a lasagna.  And after I cleaned up the kitchen and put the left overs in the fridge (I'll freeze servings tomorrow). I walked over to close the oven door and I noticed this latch hook:

I'd seen it before but I never gave it any thought.  Until last night, when I found myself thinking, "Wait a minute.  Ovens don't have hooks on them."  Well, no, gas ovens don't (well, maybe they do now, but I never had one with a hook on the door) and you can't have a gas oven built in to the wall - it's not safe and it's not code.  So, I have two electric ovens.  Why would you need to latch hook an oven door? 

I'm surprisingly slow at times . . .

And then I thought, "OMG, do I have a self-cleaning oven???????"  And promptly toddled off to my office, where one of the eleventy million items still not put away is the big fat folder from the orignal owner of my home that has ALL the appliance manuals for everything that came with the house.

So . . . um . . . it turns out that I have a self-cleaning oven. Two of them, actually.

After I got done calling T and leaving her a message that I laughed all the way through, I sat down to actually read the instructions on how to actually clean my filthy oven.  Top of the page.  The Quick Reminder list.

1.  Prepare the oven for cleaning.
2.  Close the oven door.
3.  Press the CLEAN pad.
4.  Press the INCREASE or DE . . . Wait - What?  Press the CLEAN pad????

WTH??   Press the CLEAN pad???????

JesusMaryAndJoseph, how is it, that in 11 years and 10 months of living in this house and cooking in this oven, the fact that it is self-cleaning never even once registered in my conscious mind???

Seriously - could YOU miss it????  It's right there, under the CLEAR/OFF pad.  I finished reading all the instructions, and it's a good thing I did, because you're not supposed to use any sort of oven cleaner on this oven.  I can use it on the racks, which I might do as, apparently, it's not best to leave them in the oven during the self-cleaning cycle.  I learned that I am supposed to use soap and hot water and an SOS pad with soap in it to clean the front frame (where that brown is, one photo up).

I was going to set it to clean overnight last night - you can set it for anywhere between 2-4 hours, but I was afraid I might burn the house down in my sleep with the oven cleaning itself for 4 hours (3 hours is apparently average).  It's going to have to wait until I get home from church.

Cross your fingers and check back tomorrow to see how this saga turns out  :-D


Anonymous said...

I can so relate to not cleaning the oven. I wish I had a self-cleaning oven, but mine is from 30 years ago, before that perk was even thought of. But I had a good laugh when you said you had a self-cleaning oven and hadn't even noticed. [Not laughing AT you, but laughing WITH you!] I'm such a ditz, I probably wouldn't have noticed that nice, easily readable button either. [Shows how much of hurry we are in most of the time.]

I just can't stand the smell when the oven is cleaning itself [my brother has one]. Be sure to turn the exhaust fan on otherwise your asthma may be irritated, because my asthma reared its ugly head.

Janice H.

A :-) said...

Oh! Good plan, Janice!

calicokitty6 said...

I have a self cleaning one too. It needs to be done. My husband made himself a gluten free pizza and just cooked it on the rack instead of using the pizza pan. Some of the cheese dripped to the bottom from the rack. I've set the smoke detector off 3 times when it's been on.

I won't clean it at night either. I want to be able to keep checking on it.