Thursday, December 03, 2009

self-cleaning oven... HA!

The kitchen range I bought a few months ago is the first one I've owned with a self-cleaning oven. I got a good deal on it because it was a floor model; I was quite proud of myself, and so happy to know there'd be no more messy, stinky oven cleaners to deal with. As a Flylady dropout, it sounded good to me.

With just Cliff and me to cook for, I don't mess up an oven too badly these days. But Thanksgiving came and I had a spill-over from the apple pie I was baking.

"No problem," I told my daughter, "I have a self-cleaning oven."

So yesterday I got out the "Use and Care Guide" for my Maytag range.

The first sentence I noticed was this: "This oven should be cleaned regularly by wiping up spillovers to prevent excessive smoke and flare-ups," and "Wipe up sugary and acidic spillovers; Porcelain enamel is acid-resistant, not acid-proof. The porcelain finish may discolor if acidic spills are not wiped up before a self-clean cycle."

You mean I have to clean that big apple pie mess myself? By hand? That was the main reason I was going to use the self-clean mode!

As luck would have it, I had baked a turkey after the apple pie spill. When I took a spatula to the glob, I found it had turned to black dust; it cleaned up easily.

I grabbed the book and read more, only to find I was to remove the oven racks.

What? I have to clean those by hand too? Geesh. I pulled them out, then read this:

"Clean oven frame, door frame, area outside of gasket, and around the opening in the door gasket with a nonabrasive cleaner or detergent and water. The self-cleaning process does not clean these areas."

Let me tell you, the oven was already looking pretty darned good, and I hadn't even used the self-cleaning feature yet.

So, having done all that was required, I was ready to set the oven for self-clean. In reading the instructions, though, I was warned that there might be some smoke involved. It doesn't take much to set off the smoke alarm in the kitchen, so I decided I'd better wait until Cliff woke up at 10 A.M. to proceed. I've seen him awakened by smoke alarms before: It isn't a pretty sight.

I continued perusing the book while I waited, and learned that the oven would be going for at least two, and possibly four, hours, depending on whether it was lightly soiled or heavily soiled. I was warned that all parts of the range were going to be hot to the touch, and I should avoid touching the cooktop, door, window or oven vent area.

I wondered just how much expensive propane this process was going to use.

I opened the oven door, took a look inside, and realized that my oven really wasn't all that dirty now that I'd removed the apple pie mess and cleaned the inside of the door.

I don't think I'll be using the self-clean feature of my range any time soon.


  1. I did once own one of those self cleaners and yes it did get hot. It think I only used it once a year. It does use alot of electricity.

  2. I feel the same way about oven cleaners....kinda scary really! I've had weird thoughts about the crazy thing blowing up!! They do get really, really hot as MA said. I always make sure hubby is home when I use it, because it freaks me out!! Blessings~Sharon

  3. I think it's semantics... by "self-clean" they meant you.

  4. I had one of those once but it was so long ago I can't remember if I ever used it or not. Sounds like you have to do almost all the cleaning yourself beforehand. Helen

  5. Lindie10:38 AM

    the time it takes for it to be done does not even include the cool down time. It won't open until it is almost cold.

  6. We did an auto-clean on our oven a night or two ago. At least there were no flames this time. (I left my racks in there though....oops?)

  7. I never did mind cleaning my oven but then I'm odd like that. Now I have a continous cleaning oven and I'm not crazy about it.

  8. Thanks for the laugh! I don't have a self clean oven either and from the sounds of it I don't want one. I think I'll continue to close my eyes and plop the food in the oven and pretend it's clean as a whistle.

  9. Anonymous8:18 PM

    Hi Donna...I have one of those "Ovens" and after all that time wasted while it is cleaning...and smoking and smelling up the house...and getting hotter than still have to wipe out the oven when it is finished...cause there is a residue left behind!!!! LOL..looks kinda like gray chalk...I have used mine twice and cannot say it was that big a deal...swipping it out a time or two specially after a spill works for me LOL...good luck...hugs..Ora your friendly lurker!!!!!

  10. I finally got a self cleaning one when my last one died and I love it! I did leave my racks in though and it cleaned them also...maybe I should take them out next time, huh! It does take a while and then it has to cook down afterwards. But once it is done all you have to do is wipe the dust out.


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