Kitchen Hacks: 6 Signs Your Oven Needs a Good Cleaning

The oven is a versatile and indispensable kitchen gadget that allows us to bake, roast, and cook a wide variety of dishes. From cakes and cookies to savory breads and more, the oven plays a crucial role in our culinary endeavors. However, it is often overlooked amidst the bustling kitchen. A haven of delectable creations, it so rightfully deserves tender care like any other kitchen appliance. The oven requires regular maintenance and cleaning to ensure optimal performance and hygiene. Signs that your oven is due for a cleaning include unpleasant smells, smoke while cooking, and unevenly cooked food. Having said that, the signals aren't always as apparent as they seem, therefore it's important to be able to identify a variety of indicators. Let's find out ways of keeping your oven clean, the indicative signs that it needs cleaning, and practical tips for maintaining a sparkling and efficient oven. 

Strange odor: It’s time to clean your oven if you detect a foul odour when you turn it on or open the door to place food inside. After all, no one wants their guests or relatives to get a bad taste from the smell of the stove or oven. Depending on the food you prepare and how well you take care of your oven, it may develop a variety of foul aromas. Some meals, including meats, are naturally fatty, and if their grease drips down the oven's walls or bottom, the odour might stay for weeks. 

When turned on, it smokes: The smoke coming from your oven isn't for no purpose at all. Assuming you've had the oven for some time and it works fine mechanically, a lack of cleanliness could be to blame. It's possible that there are charred fragments or oily residues from previously cooked items. If you sauté something at high heat or put your food next to the grill, you may notice that some foods produce smoke when heated. The grease may splash onto the oven wall, but that doesn't make it smokeproof. The longer the grease accumulates, the more obvious the smoke. 

Visible grime: It's probably time to clean your oven if you can see dirt on the racks, the walls, or the floor of the cooking chamber. The residue is typically dark and may be sticky, making removal more involved than just wiping with a wet cloth. Sometimes a black powder will transfer to your skin when you contact it with your finger. It's likely that this sort of buildup takes some time. Something else could have spilled while you were cooking recently, and you didn't notice it right away. The next time you used the oven, it baked the residue on. 

Fan not working: The benefits of a convection oven are lost, and the oven becomes a fire hazard if anything becomes stuck in the fan if the fan is turned down too low. Even if you just cleaned your oven, particles can settle on the fan at any time, so this isn't necessarily a gradual issue. This is why it's important to check this area of the oven before each use. 

No window view: Most new ovens have a window so you can check on your food without opening the oven. However, when a film blocks the glass, it becomes challenging to see what's inside. Although this haziness normally develops over time, you shouldn't put off dealing with it until you're giving your entire kitchen a fresh cleaning. The dirty glass will impair your cooking, especially if you're working with delicate foods like cakes. Since the cake can fall in the middle if you keep opening the oven door to see how things are going, it's best not to do so. 

Door isn’t closing properly: Having an older oven can make it difficult to completely close the door. As a result, your home will become warmer while the oven itself will cool down, reducing the oven's effectiveness. In order to identify the source of this issue, it is necessary to examine the door's interior. A faulty door lock or racks that prevent the door from closing all the way should be the first things you look for. If they aren't the problem, then maybe some grease or dirt has built up in the seal or on the hinges. If it needs cleaning, use a moist towel and the cleaning solution of your choice. 

Natural cleaners can do the trick, but if you must resort to chemicals, be sure to open the windows afterwards. Otherwise, inhaling the vapours could be harmful.