Should I try the oven’s self-clean or use a little elbow grease?
It’s a terrible irony but using the self-clean feature on your range may significantly shorten its life span. Simply put, the electronics in today’s ranges often can’t handle the high temps reached (upwards of 1,000 degrees) during the cleaning cycle and the motherboard burns out or a fuse blows.
Most ranges today utilize hidden bake elements which compound the issue by trapping heat and limiting circulation. Using the self-clean feature does not guarantee mayhem will ensue but it increases the likelihood. It could happen the first time the feature is used, the tenth time, or it may never happen at all. However, that the self-clean feature is leading to more service calls on ranges cannot be denied.
Though consumers are not willing to purchase manual clean ovens, this isn’t exactly a catch 22. For example, you can still clean your self-breaking using LG’s “Easy Clean” feature, which takes advantage of LG’s new oven cavity enamel to help lift drops of cheese or light splatter using water for a 20 minute cycle, which loosens soils before hand-cleaning.
KitchenAid’s “Steam Clean” feature also removes light food spills and saves time and energy compared to a traditional self-clean feature. Similarly, 10 ounces of water is added to the base of the oven for a 20 minute cleaning cycle before it’s advised that a sponge be used to wipe the interior clean.
The “Easy” and steam cleans of the world are effective, but do require a little more of that elbow grease than simply wiping out ash, but it’s not much more. The real trick is not letting food spills build up in the first place. It’s funny – how many of us bought a self-cleaning range and have yet to use that feature anyway? Guilty.