We all know that ovens become dirty places because of their constant use. Grime builds up, spillages accumulate, and dirt insinuates itself in hard-to-reach places. But how does this affect food and more importantly, safety?
Safety concerns associated with dirty ovens:
The major concern is the risk of fire. Food and grease that have been burnt onto the inside of the oven and its window will continue to burn whenever it is used. A key indicator of this grime can be seen in the amount of smoke that leaves the oven when you open the door. If it’s not overcooked food, it may be the burning of old food and spillages that is causing the smoke. Not only is this a fire hazard, smoke particles can be detrimental to your health when taken into the lungs. This is a sign that the oven needs a good clean; simple soaps may not do the job here. It may also prompt you to check the oven extractor is clean, so that it is more efficient.
The effect on food and flavour:
A dirty oven will also have an effect on food, particularly baking. The continuous burning of grime creates carbon-based fumes, which will alter the taste of bread, cakes, or anything in the oven for that matter. The grease will also reduce the efficiency of an oven, meaning it will take longer to cook food whilst also wasting energy. This could be dangerous when roasting a chicken to time guidelines, as it’s important that the meat is completely cooked.
The kitchen impact:
Smell is another area for concern. The heating of grime and burnt foods will leave an unpleasant smell in the kitchen and (eventually) the rest of the house. Cleaning it properly will reduce these problems. Keeping your oven clean doesn’t just have safety benefits, but is also important visually. Oils and tomato-based sauces look unsightly, splash easily, and can become quite tough to remove if not cleaned immediately. Repetitive heating will burn them into the top. A filthy stove can undermine all the effort you may have put into making your kitchen look pleasant.
How to clean an oven with burnt-on food:
No part of your appliance is exempt – it’s important to know how to clean an oven stovetop as well as the oven, since the same hazards persist here. Enough time should be set aside to thoroughly clean all the parts. This will vary according to the size of your oven – put aside about half a day for a full clean of the bigger models. That will give all the cleaning products time to work their magic.
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