Cookies, casseroles, and biscuits are some of the most savory and comforting foods known to man. Thanks to having an oven, most consumers can enjoy these dishes whenever they desire. However, most consumers take their oven for granted and don’t consider oven maintenance until they notice a problem, which is too late. Luckily for you, we’ve answered four of the most frequently asked questions about oven maintenance.

How Often Should I Clean My Oven

A good reminder for oven cleaning is that it should occur with the changing of the seasons, so every 3-5 months. The benefit of oven cleaning is the prevention of grime and buildup, which can be a fire hazard. Grease overflow and drippings are especially dangerous.

What Does the “Self-Clean” Function on My Oven Mean

The majority of ovens manufactured after 2002 have a self-cleaning function, making life a little easier for consumers. The self-cleaning cycle works by heating the oven to over 800°F with the oven door locked. The intense temperatures burn excess debris and grime to ash throughout the cycle. The ash is then easily wiped out using a washcloth or paper towel.

On older units, the self-cleaning cycle can cause damage to the sensors. If a sensor is damaged the oven will not work until it’s repaired. Be wary of self-cleaning the oven the day before you need it for your big holiday gathering. On an older unit, it’s best to wait until after your big baking day to clean it.

How Do I Know I Should Clean My Oven

As a general rule of thumb—if you see smoke coming out of your oven when you open the door, then your oven needs a cleaning immediately. Again, grease is usually the biggest smoke and fire danger, but all food debris can lead to a fire or uneven fire heating. Some people also report their food tasting chalky or like charcoal after baking in the oven. Many consider this a tell-tale sign of a dirty appliance.

How Long Should My Oven Last

The life expectancy of kitchen appliances is one of the trickiest questions. Generally speaking, most oven/stove appliances should last 10-15 years.  Even if your oven is still working after 15 years, it’s probably a good idea to get it checked out by a technician or search for what newer oven models contain, as technology and heating elements may have evolved.  Often, newer appliances use energy more efficiently and can decrease heating or gas costs.  Typically, the most temperamental part of an oven to need maintenance is the bake element.

Your oven is a crucial part of your kitchen, and not just around the holiday baking season. Whether the members of your family are casserole connoisseurs, or crave cake regularly, keeping your oven in top shape is in your best interest.  If you have concerns about oven maintenance, you can always call Doc’s Appliance Service.  If you have any questions or need any service repairs, give our professionals a call today at 800-726-7130.