22 May Tips from Mom: How to Care for your Oven
If there is one thing that you would remember your kitchen by, it would be the range you’re your mom used to cook in. Growing up in the Philippines, you have spent countless hours just watching your mom cook or maybe even bake. You wanted to be her when you grow up, someone who juggles her career and her role as a wife and mother. And it there is something that reminds you of home, it would be the food she cooked using her stove and oven.
If there is one brand that would come to mind when you think of stoves and ovens it would be La Germania. Now that you are planning to live on your own, your first oven purchase would be a La Germania range. And why wouldn’t you, when the oven that you have in your house is still working at its best, well, with a little cleaning and tweak every now and then.
We’d like to share a few of the little-known tips that your mom did to your oven to ensure that your oven lasts as long as the one you and your mom made memories with.
Watch out for signs of excessive condensation. It’s natural for an oven door to have some moisture on it as food cooks, but watch out for excessive “sweat”. This usually indicates that your oven may have a faulty door gasket. A gasket is the mechanical component that regulates the proper temperature in your oven. If sweating occurs, you should have your oven checked, and probably have the gasket replaced as soon as you can.
Be gentle when cleaning your oven. Aside from a daily rubdown with a damp cloth, ovens rarely need cleaning, but when they do, opt for a gentle, organic cleanser and a non-abrasive scrubbing pad.
Here’s why: commercial cleansers and glass cleaners have abrasive components that can break down the finish of your oven. What’s more, they leave residue that could leach into the food that you cook, making it unsafe for you and your loved ones. Over the years, these chemicals can cause serious health problems.
To avoid this, clean your oven with eco-safe and natural cleansers, such as baking soda and vinegar. Start by wiping off any debris left in your oven once it has cooled. Take out the racks and pop in a pan of water, then turn on the oven and set the temperature to 250F. If there’s any baked-on debris, spray it with a mix of water and vinegar before the oven gets too hot.
Once the heat, water, and vinegar have done their job of loosening any dirt left over, scrub the warm – not hot – oven with a non-scratch scouring pad.
Safeguard against spills. Messes are kept to a minimum when you use a baking or large cookie sheet when cooking dishes that can potentially spill or splatter. It’s good practice to avoid potentially corrosive stains by simply preventing them in the first place.
Clean up spills as soon as you can when they do happen. Protect your oven from long-term damage by mopping up spills and stains before they have a chance to set. Taking a wet cloth to them as soon as they are cool enough to handle, or even doing the occasional spot cleaning, you will help your oven last longer rather than help it gather rust and damaged finish.
Leave your dials and switches alone. When cleaning, you may be tempted to wash under your dials and knobs, but that is actually a bad idea. Water could short-circuit all the internal electrical wiring on your oven. To clean these areas, simply wipe them with a damp cloth when cleaning, and never attempt to remove them.
Be careful when using aluminum foil to line the bottom of your oven. There aren’t many reasons to line the bottom of your oven with foil, but if you absolutely have to, exercise extreme caution. Not only does aluminum foil mess up your cooking by reflecting too much heat, but it also has the potential to damage your oven. According to experts, foil that is used to line the bottom of ovens can melt and cause damage, as well as become a fire hazard. In gas ovens, the careless application of aluminum foil can cover up vents and become the reason behind the buildup of carbon monoxide in your oven.
To ensure that this doesn’t happen, be extra careful when lining the bottom rack of your oven with foil. If you can, avoid doing it completely.