Oven Maintenance Tips for Thanksgiving
Worried your oven might not make it through Thanksgiving? Fortunately, by using our oven maintenance tips for Thanksgiving, there’s no need to panic! But before you begin, here’s an important safety tip!
Always make sure to turn off the power at the circuit breaker panel, and make sure your oven’s power is off before proceeding with any maintenance or repairs.
Examine the Door Seals
Oven door seals keep in the heat. If heat escapes your oven, your Thanksgiving meal will take much longer to cook, if it cooks at all.
To locate the oven door seals, open your oven door. You’ll find the seals lining the rim where the door meets the oven.
Check the door seals for cracks, frays, breaks, or other issues before Thanksgiving. It’s also not a bad idea to check this periodically to ensure your oven is in tip-top shape year-round. If needed, you can easily replace the oven door seal. Additionally, when using the oven, check for escaping heat. If it feels very hot, as if the heat is escaping around the oven door, the door seal likely needs replacing.
Remove And Clean the Grates
Over time, food and grease can build up on your oven’s grates. And then, every time you use your oven, the food and grease will get baked on there too. Over time, this can create a build-up of carbon-based fumes, which, if left alone, could potentially start a fire. To clean your oven grates, all you need is some dish soap and hot water. Or, you can try using an oven-safe, non-abrasive cleaner. You should aim to clean your oven grates at least every 3 to 6 months. However, cleaning the grates more often will make the job much easier.
If you’re dealing with stubborn grime, try soaking the grates in soap and hot water overnight. Then, give them a good scrubbing before putting them back into place.
Clean The Oven From Grease And Food Residue
The last thing you want is for your Thanksgiving meal to taste like last month’s burnt lasagna. No matter how often you use your oven, over time, it’s going to get dirty. Grease and food build-up is common and regular maintenance and cleanings are essential to keep your oven in good working order, especially before your next big turkey dinner.
Allowing food and grease to build up in your oven will eventually damage the appliance, not to mention it can cause unusual flavours and odours while cooking. You can tell it’s time to clean your oven if you open the door and smoke billows out. Also, if you see discoloration of the oven interior or grime build-up on the window, it’s surely time to clean your oven. Here’s an easy way to clean your oven: create a paste using baking soda and water. Remove the racks and coat the inside of your oven with the paste. Leave overnight. Then, remove the dried paste by scrapping and scrubbing it with a non-abrasive sponge.
Clean your oven at least every three months. However, know that the frequency of cleaning depends on how often you use your oven and what you cook. Either way, cleaning it more often is preferable to cleaning it less often.
Make Sure Heating Elements Aren’t Burnt
Well before you set the Thanksgiving table, make sure your oven’s heating elements are in good working order. The heating elements are located at the bottom and/or top of your oven. When you turn your oven on, the heating elements start and are what produces the heat needed to cook your food.
However, if either of your elements are burnt, the oven won’t work the way it should. On average, a heating element will last 5 years. Therefore, if your heating element is any older or nearing the 5-year mark, it’s best to consider replacing it with a new one. Also, make sure to visually check your heating element from time to time. If it is separated, cracked, peeling, or looks damaged in any way, it’s time to replace it.
Give Your Oven A Test Run
Testing your oven is a great way to make sure your Thanksgiving dinner is going to be cooked to perfection. To do this, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, after about 20 minutes, take a temperature reading with an oven thermometer. If the temperature is correct, you know your oven is working well. If the temperature is incorrect, you might have an issue with your elements or the door seals.