What’s this? A post about cleaning the oven? (I hear you cry)
Yes, that’s exactly what it is, so leave now if you have never cleaned an oven.
You definitely will not be interested, I assure you. And it’s not the first time I have written about this job, which shows how much I really hate doing it.
Today, I decided that the oven would have to be cleaned. Not only do we have a visitor this weekend, I can no longer see through the glass on the doors. This is my own fault, as I confess to not having given this oven a good clean since the latter part of 2016. (I know, shameful) I always have good intentions to clean it on a regular basis, but something (Anything. Please, anything) usually gets in the way of that. I do cook a lot, so regularly use both ovens. There is a small top oven and grill, and a larger fan-assisted oven. Hardly a day goes by when I don’t use one or the other, or both together.
This morning, I decided to try the chemical-free approach. I resolved to use baking soda and water, mixed with white vinegar. Mix into a paste and apply, and according to the You Tube videos, the grease just slides off. That sounded good to me, but I fell at the first hurdle. For best results, this should be left on for no less than 24 hours. That was never going to work. For one thing, I need to cook later on, and for another, Ollie sleeps in the kitchen/diner, so I don’t want him exposed to any concoctions overnight. So, I only managed to leave it on for two hours, as I soaked the racks in biological washing powder first. (That works, by the way.)
When I could wait no longer, I tackled the top oven first. The non-chemical process had worked well inside, and around the frame, but had hardly made a dent on the thick glass window. I had to resort to Oven Mate liquid, a seriously corrosive cleaner that can take the skin off of your fingers if you are not careful. Scrubbing away with this fluid made a hell of a mess, and I went through quite a few scrubbing pads too. But it was more than ‘good enough’, so I started on the large oven. Of course, the fan-assisted heat that cooks food so well also ensures that any spills and residues are also beautifully baked on. This second oven laughed at the soda/vinegar combination. If it could have talked, it would have said “Better luck next time, sonny Jim.”
I poured on the rest of the Oven Mate, then got ready and took Ollie for a long walk. Any excuse not to face the demon oven. On my return, I started again, having to reach awkwardly over the drop-down door in the process. My hands and arms were soon worn out from scrubbing, and though there was some improvement, it was only just over what I consider to be ‘acceptable’. I still have the extractor to clean, filters to replace, and floor to clear up too. I had to have a break, and what better way than to blog about this nightmare chore?
Another tiring day of oven cleaning has left me with two conclusions.
1) I have to make a concerted effort to clean the oven EVERY time it has cooled down after use.
2) I have to save up to pay a professional oven cleaning company to deal with it in future.
I think I will go with option two.