Oven Tips:

Oven wont heat up?  While the oven did not heat when you tested it I strongly suggest, that, until you get this resolved, please make sure you leave all knobs and dials in the off positions when the oven is not in use. It is possible that the oven will actually still heat, so do not leave it on and walk away.

There is manual bake (the way everyone uses the oven) and there is auto bake (aka time bake). It is possible that your oven could be on auto bake. However since I cannot see how many knobs or dials there are on your oven I don’t know which one you need to change without coming to see it myself. Perhaps you can find it if there is still writing on the machine around the dials etc. I do know they sometimes have push/pull on one of the knobs/dials. It may say “push man” or “pull auto” written somewhere. They will have a start time and a stop time. So you may see those words. They indicate the time of day the oven will work/heat (well actually twice a day since its a 12 hour clock).

I have seen this many times on older style non-electronic ovens/ranges and in my opinion almost all the possible outcomes are vastly more desirable than buying a new oven. The older oven are build many times more solidly and durably build than anything you will find new. Also they tend to have lower priced parts and less frequent repair bills and lower labour costs (the old ones are most often more serviceable compared to most new designs).

Avoid putting tin foil underneath the bottom element. This reflects heat onto the element and can cause damage. It also throws off the temperature in the oven. The surface inside your oven is carefully designed. It must reflect and absorb heat in certain ways and at certain rates. That’s why you may notice all ovens look similar inside. Some may be more blue, grey or black, but they are always a similar shade. It is the walls which cook the food. The elements are just there to maintain the temperature (as ballast).

Temp off? Get a second opinion (but not the one you think). I end up testing ovens around turkey time but most often there is no problem with the machine. Often its the worn out thermometer that is broken/innaccurate. Get another thermometer (never hurts to have a spare or a pair) this is cheaper than having someone come to fix a machine thats not broken. If both agree then call the Doctor.

Self cleaning can be risky. The self clean cycles often go way above 500F. This produces lots of smoke, so open your windows. It turns the food to ash (which you then sweep out). Problem is many things are made using electronics today. Often high heat for such a prolonged time takes out the electronics. Most common complaint I hear with ovens is “I was using self clean when…” you fill in the blank, door wont open/close, display dead, error messages and beeping.

–Clean Naturally. Chemical cleaners can burn your skin and the left over residue it leaves in the oven is not safe to ingest. While oven is cool remove as much large debris as you can and sweep it out. Remove oven racks and leave one in the center to place a pan of water in the oven and set it to 250F. Keep the water topped up as time goes on. Spray the walls with water or vinegar and repeat as oven gets warmer to help soften the mess. Wear long sleeves and gloves to protect your skin when reaching inside a hot oven. Every hour or so try scraping the debris with a non-scratch scraper or scrubber. Focus spray on most soiled areas. Continue until clean of debris. For stains good old baking soda and small amounts of water are best. I use my household steam cleaner to clean my oven. It best to prevent spills in the first place by placing a cookie sheet under items that may bubble over and foil over items that may spatter.

Prevent spills: Use a baking sheet on the same rack or the one below. This will catch drips and shield the food from direct heat from the bake element (we want the four walls to heat the food evenly, not just the heat from the element).

Broiling not baking: Most ovens have a detente in the door hinge where the door rests slightly ajar (some newer models may beep and tell you to close the door, in which case unfortunately you will have to close it). This is so that you only get direct heat from the broil element/burner above, not baking heat from all around.

Buying a new oven? Try to find one with no electronics. It’s hard to do these days. But if you find one it will likely need fewer repairs and cost less when it does finally break. If you have one of these kind already, keep it.


Stove Tips:

Gas Stove burner won’t lite? If the surface burners are the sparking kind and won’t lite you could try the following **BUT MAKE SURE you unplug the machine or turn off power at the household breaker panel**. Then try rubbing fine grit sandpaper or steel wool over the little spark plug and around the burner where the spark would jump to on the burner. Only clean a little, just enough to see any debris or haze come off. Check for pieces of steel wool or cloth around the sparker and remove any big pieces.

Boil water and oil away from electronics. for cleaning use dry cloth, lightly spritzed ,but not oozing water/cleaner. Keep electronics dry.

Got a microwave above? Keep boiling/steaming stuff under the vent, not under the front of the micro. Turn on hood fan to make sure microwave stays dry. Moisture running up the front can damage the electronic control board and fan/light/door switches and makes things randomly turn on in the night while you sleep.

To clean burned on soils, follow these steps: Remove the grates from the cooktop and place in a large plastic bag or on newspapers. Very carefully spray the grates with commercial oven cleaner. Follow the manufacturer’s directions. Do not allow spray to contact any surface outside of the plastic bag or newspapers. Permanent damage will occur if oven cleaner is sprayed on any material other than porcelain. Allow grates to soak for several hours or overnight. Wearing rubber gloves, wash grates in hot soapy water. Rinse, dry and return grates to the cooktop.


Cleaning Gas Cooktop Surfaces

Use only a damp, not wet, cloth for cleaning. This will prevent water from entering the gas tube opening.

–When cleaning the surface burner, use care around the ignitor. If a cleaning cloth should catch the ignitor, it could damage it. The burner may not light if the ignitor is damaged, soiled or wet.

–Try to prevent the cleanser from seeping into the gas ports. If this happens, the gas ports may become blocked and it may affect the flame.

To clean the gas ports, use a straight pin rather than a toothpick. A toothpick may break off and clog the ports. Do not enlarge or distort the ports. Be especially aware of the gas port beneath the ignitor. If this port is blocked, the burner may not light.

Grates need to be cleaned frequently with hot soapy water. Grease and food spatters will be difficult to remove if the grate is not cleaned prior to heating.

Be sure to wait and clean the cooktop when it is cool. It is suggested that it be cleaned after each use. Clean with soap and water, mild liquid sprays or mild abrasive cleaners or baking soda. Do not use abrasive cleaning agents such as steel wool pads or powdered cleaning agents. These products will scratch cooktop surfaces.

For stubborn soils, use a plastic scouring pad and a nonabrasive cleaner. If soil is not removed, reapply Cooktop Cleaning Creme. Cover with damp paper towels and let stand 30 minutes. Scrub again. Rinse and dry.


Cleaning Your Glass-Ceramic Cooktop

Before using your cooktop for the first time, apply a cooktop cleaning product specially formulated for glass-ceramic cooktops. Apply with a non-abrasive pad, paper towel or clean cloth. This helps make future cleaning easier.

Various soil levels require different cleaning methods: Light to Moderate Soil: Apply cooktop cleaner with a non-abrasive pad, paper towel or clean cloth. Hand dishwashing detergent and water or a baking soda paste can also be used if cooktop is rinsed thoroughly and completely dried. Heavy Soil, Metal Markings: Gently scrub with cooktop cleaner using a clean cloth or paper towel. Reapply cleaner. Cover with damp paper towels to keep cleaner moist. Let stand for 30-45 minutes. Scrub to remove remaining stain. Do not use abrasive powders or pads since they may scratch the surface. Burned On, Crusty Soils: Hold a razor blade scraper at 30 degree angle and very carefully scrape off soil. Clean remaining soil with cooktop cleaner.

If plastic, sugar or foods with a high sugar content melt onto a hot cooktop, remove immediately. (If not removed, permanent damage may occur.) Scrape from hot surface using a razor blade scraper held carefully with a potholder or use a wood handled stainless steel spatula. Clean residue with cooktop cleaner when surface has cooled.

DO NOT use the following cleaning agents: Abrasives (metal scouring pads, cleansing powders, scouring cleaners or pads) will scratch the cooktop. Chemicals (oven cleaners, chlorine bleaches or ammonia) may damage the finish of the cooktop. Glass cleaners that contain ammonia may discolour the cooktop. Soiled cloths or sponges leave a film on the cooktop. Grit and soil in these items may also scratch the surface.

Protecting Ceramic Glass Cooking Surfaces:

Do not use glass, ceramic, earthenware, heatproof glass, or glazed pans; trivets or metal stands; or foil containers (crank-style popcorn poppers) — these can mark or etch the surface.

Do not use the glass-ceramic cooktop as a work surface, as a cutting board, or for cooking food directly on the cooktop without a pan.

–To prevent damage to the cooktop, do not slide metal or glass items across the cooktop.

Depending on the type of aluminum, moving cookware with aluminum bottoms across the cooktop may result in metal marks on the cooktop. Metal markings must be removed immediately after the cooktop is cool. If they are not removed, these marks may become permanent. Further efforts to remove them could cause chipping of the cooktop. Although the metal marks or the chipping may be visually undesirable, the performance of the cooktop will not be affected.

Careful what you store above. You don’t want to open the cupboard and have something jump out and break your cooktop (can cost hundreds to replace). So it is best to avoid putting heavy/solid stuff in the cupboard immediately above the stove top.