One of the hardest chores in the kitchen is cleaning the inside of the oven. Spills and splatters that occur in the oven cycle can quickly bake onto the surface making it nearly impossible to remove without damaging the metal. Whether it’s a bubbling lasagna or melted pizza cheese, baking foods can leave a real mess. Making the mistake of using an abrasive material or harsh chemical can actually cause permanent damage to your oven’s lining. Fortunately, many manufacturers offer Steam Clean cleaning cycle to easily and safely remove baked-on foods.
Conventional self-clean modes involve heating the oven chamber to exceptionally high temperatures to completely burn-off any foods. This temperature can get as high as 1000° and can take between 1.5 and 3 hours. Many articles out there recommend not using the self-clean cycle with conventional ovens because it can cause damage to the oven to reach such excruciating temperatures, though newer models are likely to handle the heat with no issues. Instead of turning your oven into the surface of the sun, the Steam Clean cycle is able to help you remove food spills at much lower temperature for less time. Plus, since Steam Clean doesn’t involve high heat or chemicals, you can leave the racks right inside. You technically don’t even have to lock the door!
Begin by simply wiping away any excess grease and soils from your *cool* oven. Pour 1 cup of water on the oven floor, close the door, and select the Steam Clean cycle. In just 30 minutes, heat and steam come together to help loosen and soften all that grime and tough mess. Once the cycle is complete, simply use a sponge or a soft cloth to remove any remaining food particles and moisture from the oven interior and racks and, Voila! Your oven is completely clean and ready to be used again.
As with most things, prevention is always best. For starters, always place foods in an appropriately-sized dish. Whenever possible, avoid splatters by covering foods with aluminum foil. If you think a dish might bubble or melt over, lay a cooking sheet underneath the rack or directly under the dish (but never aluminum foil which can reflect heat and cause damage to the element).