The majority of things on this list are probably things you do without even considering the damage they could be doing to your oven. However, we are here to make you aware by bringing you a list of things that damage your oven– whether it’s your cleaning habits, your storage habits, or simply your lack of attention to detail.
1. Neglect Oven Cleaning
Most of the time, you use your oven for cooking something, that something will leave behind grease, and if you do not clean it right away, the grease will build up. Over time it will be harder to clean up your dirty oven, especially the grease stains.
Plus, the next time you turn on your oven, there will be a whole lot of nasty smoke. Be sure to always include your oven in your kitchen cleaning routine, and if you use a drip tray, empty it after each use.
2. Allowing A Mess At The Bottom Of Your Oven
If you wonder how to maintain your oven, there is one simple piece of advice you should follow: do not let spills and crumbs get to the oven floor. Why?
Because it’s hard to clean and sweep. A drip tray is a great alternative that will put an end to this problem – it’s practical, it will catch all the food spills, and you can remove it in the end and clean it easily and correctly.
3. Put Frozen Food Directly In Your Oven
Some people think it’s ok to put frozen meat inside the oven, or half-frozen meat, at that, but it’s a cooking mistake that can put you at risk of getting food poisoning. Why?
Because the timer will be adjusted for regular cooking, but some of the time will be spent defrosting your food, which can result in dishes that are not cooked properly. How to avoid food poisoning? Allow your food to defrost before cooking it in the oven.
4. Assuming The Oven Temperature Is Correct
Your oven will measure the temperature in only one spot, but inside the oven, there are different temperatures. You place your food at the center of the oven, and the temperature it shows to you is not the real temperature that is cooking your food – in fact, research has shown that some ovens can be off by 50ºF.
But this is something you can easily solve by purchasing an oven thermometer – it’s a good investment that will allow you to know if your food is being cooked at the desired temperature, or if you need to make some adjustments.
5. Not Knowing When To Use The Convection Setting
The majority of recent oven models have a convention setting that allows the heat to spread evenly through a fan. The air circulation allows the food to cook faster, which can result in overcooking.
The recipe will tell you when you should or when you shouldn’t use the oven convection setting, so unless there is an indication on the recipe, you should use the regular bake setting.
6. Leaving The Shelves Inside Your Self-Cleaning Oven
The high temperatures your oven can reach are great when trying to get rid of sticky grime and grease that are glued to your oven. However, leaving the shelves inside can be a mistake, since there is the risk of losing the coating that allows them to slide in and out easily.
Unless there is a clear indication from the manufacturer saying you should leave the shelves inside, you should always opt to scrub them by hand.
7. Not Cleaning The Corners And The Cracks
If you want to know how to clean your oven properly, you should be aware that the spills and the grease will get inside every small crack, and this is enough to invite all types of unwanted pests.
To take care of this issue, grab a butter knife and wrap it using a moist washcloth and then proceed to insert it in the crack and rub it over. If the debris from the cracks happens to fall on the floor, be sure to wipe it.
9. Leaving The Oven Knob Grimy
If you are handling food and cooking it in your oven, it’s only natural that you will touch the oven’s doorknob repeatedly. And even though you wash your hands, there is always some dirt that will get attached to it.
Pop the oven knob off and clean it thoroughly, making sure that you scrub every little bit of it. If you can, soak it in warm water and add ¼ cup of some disinfectant cleaning product to loosen the grime and the grease.
10. Using Wax Paper To Cook
Do not mistake parchment paper for wax paper. Even though the two types of paper look-alike, wax paper can be quite hazardous inside an oven – it might melt, or it can even catch on fire, which can be deadly since there might be an explosion. Learn to tell these two types of paper apart and be safe.
11. Put Items Directly On The Heating Element
The heating element is what is responsible for heating your oven, and it is, of course, the hottest part of the oven. And even though it’s highly unlikely for something to go up in flames inside an electric oven, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
That being said, avoid letting the items inside your oven touch the heating elements. Thin items, like parchment paper, could catch fire by touching the heating element.