The whole purpose of this blog is to celebrate food in all its glory. It should come as no surprise, then, that I spend a lot of my time cooking. What better way to develop content….and celebrate food! I can’t say for certain that I use my oven every day, but it sure feels like I do. So it has been pretty disconcerting to have one of my favourite tools of the trade put out of commission for the last couple of weeks through no fault of my own.
What I didn’t know when I bought my fancypants wall oven a few years ago is that I should never, ever use the self cleaning feature. It heats up to 800F+ and pretty much fries all the critical components in the oven. I first used the self clean cycle when the oven was still under warranty, then enjoyed not one but two visits from a gruff repairman who had to replace a whole bunch of parts. Unfortunately for me, he did not explain at that time that the failure had likely been caused by the self-clean cycle.
I’ve since learned that pretty much all ovens are the same now. Expensive or no, they contain a whole bunch of sensitive electronic components that don’t respond well to being overheated during the prolonged self cleaning cycle. I decided to do a little research and both online sources and my favourite appliance parts shop (I suspect they’re a bit tired of seeing me; in the past two weeks I have purchased and replaced 3 major, expensive components in my oven to try to fix it, all to no avail) confirmed my suspicions – that self cleaning cycles are extraordinarily hard on appliances.
So, while baking bread on the barbeque, as I was forced to do tonight, appeals to my pioneer spirit, I’d really rather use my oven. When I buy a new one this week, I will NOT use the self clean cycle. I’ve been told that putting a baking pan filled with water and a few lemon slices into a 300F oven and letting it steam for about 20 minutes will loosen a lot of stuck on stuff, making it easier to wipe the oven clean. I am definitely going to try this….as soon as I have a chance to test out my new oven.