September 19, 2022

Don't wait until the last minute to get your stove ready for the holidays

By Lyle Weischwill
Introduction article for holiday range preparation.
Introduction article for holiday range preparation.

It happens – you put things off until the last minute all the time. But that’s not a good idea when it comes to getting your stove ready for the holidays.

When you depend on your range for holiday cooking, you’ll want to have it clean and working efficiently to avoid any holiday hiccups (or even disasters). Start early to avoid stress and have your cooking appliances in top shape for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

What should I do to get my oven ready for holiday baking?

A clean oven is always an inviting gesture for holiday guests. One of the first appliances that your company will look at when they walk into the kitchen is your oven. Make a good first impression by thoroughly cleaning your oven.

Oven cleaning tips

When your oven has a self-clean cycle, you’ll want to run a cleaning cycle as the first step to get your oven ready for the holidays. Follow the instructions in the owner’s manual for your oven to use the self-clean cycle.

Here are some important tips to follow when using the self-clean cycle on most ovens:

  • Don’t use oven cleaners inside the oven cavity of a self-cleaning oven. Using cleaners inside the oven will damage the coating inside the oven cavity

  • Wipe out heavy spills. High oven temperature will burn off any food residue remaining after you wipe out heavy spills. Leaving a pool of grease in the bottom of your oven will create a small, controlled burn that will go out within minutes due to lack of oxygen inside the oven because the oven door is locked shut. Still, you’ll want to avoid the flames by wiping out heavy residue—especially greasy spills.

  • Do not clean the oven door gasket. The door gasket is essential for a good seal. Take care not to rub, damage, or move the door gasket.

  • Before starting the self-clean cycle, remove the broiler pan, any utensils, and cookware from the oven.

  • Remove the oven racks unless otherwise instructed in the owner’s manual. Some oven racks can become discolored when exposed to the high temperatures used during the oven self-cleaning cycle.

  • Ventilate your home while running the oven self-cleaning cycle. Open windows to dissipate the smoke that will come out the oven vent. If you don’t wipe out heavy spills, the excessive smoke coming from the oven vent can trigger smoke alarms in your home.

  • Protect your pets. Ventilating your home goes a long way in helping protect pets. Birds are especially sensitive to smoke. Other pets can also be bothered by smoke even though you have all the windows open. For best protection of your pets, move them outside or to another location before starting the oven’s self-clean cycle.

If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven, use an oven cleaner to remove spills and residue from the oven cavity. Follow the directions on the oven cleaner and in the owner’s manual for your oven to safely clean the oven cavity.

Don’t be tempted to put aluminum foil at the bottom of the oven cavity after you’ve got the oven sparkling clean. Foil will stick to the base of the oven cavity and cause a mess.

Cleaning the oven door

The self-clean cycle won’t clean the outside (and some parts of the inside) of your oven’s door. In a manual-clean oven, you can use oven cleaner to clean metal parts of the inner oven door. Use glass cleaner or follow the directions in the owner’s manual for your oven to clean the door glass.

Clean the outside metal panel of your oven door according to the instructions in your owner’s manual. If your oven has a stainless steel outer panel, clean the panel using the tips in our How to clean stainless steel appliances video.

You may see streaks of dried food on the inner oven door glass because a cooktop spill dripped down through the vent and inside the door. This DIY video from our Sears PartsDirect YouTube channel shows how to clean the glass inside your oven door.

Symptoms for electric ranges

Main causes: impact from dropping an item on the glass surface, ceramic glass surface flaw, surface element temperature limiter failure
Main causes: faulty surface element, burner control switch failure, temperature limiter not working properly, loose wiring

Repair guides for electric ranges

How to replace a range hidden bake element

These step-by-step instructions guide you through replacing the oven hidden bake element in an electric range.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
How to replace an electric range oven door outer glass panel

Learn how to replace a damaged outer window panel on your oven door with these step-by-step instructions.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
March 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a range glass cooktop

These step-by-step instructions explain how to replace a damaged ceramic glass cooktop on an electric range.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less

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