So I cleaned the oven last night.

You might wonder why this warrants a blog post.  It’s true that I done plenty of oven cleaning before in my life, but this time I used the oven’s self-cleaning feature.

And yes, if you’re wondering, I have never used the self-clean feature before.  Not on this or any other oven.  There were plenty of times in the past the oven we had was not self-cleaning, and I’ve never liked the idea of using the caustic spray-on cleaners, so I’ve always cleaned the oven by getting in there and scrubbing, often with a soapy steel wool pad.  It does the trick, but takes a bunch of work.

We decided recently that we really ought to try this self-clean thing (heck, the technology has only been around for 3 decades or so).  Not having done it before, I wanted to make sure I knew what to expect.  I read the manual for the range, which warned that the area around the stove should be well ventilated, and that fumes could pose a danger to pet birds if they were too close to the kitchen.  I also did some Googling of the process, and found a lot of people who love self-cleaning ovens and swear by it.  I also found a few people who said that they or their children had gotten really sick from the fumes.  So, I was a little trepid about it.

I plunged forward and did it last night, though.  It was a good time to do so, as a bunch of stuff dripped from apple pies on Thanksgiving, and the stuff burnt on the bottom of the oven.  The manual said it would take about 4 hours, and it ended up taking a bit more than that before the indicator said it was done.  The vent fan was running on high speed most of the time, and while there were some unpleasant smelling fumes for the first hour or two, it wasn’t too strong (we didn’t need to open a window or anything).  It was pretty late when it finished, so we turned it off and went to bed, letting it cool overnight.

This morning I opened up the oven and, as promised, there was just a bit of ash in the bottom:

I wiped it up, then cleaned the racks and put them back in.  It may be a bit odd that it took me so long to give this technology a try, given how my work and home life have often involved using lots of high-tech items, but there you go.  I’m certainly a convert to this method, and will use it again.