Is extra holiday cooking threatening to give your bakery box a heat stroke? It's time to give your oven some lovin' and celebrate Oven Appreciation Week.
Ovens are more likely to break down during the holiday season due to overuse, said Scott Nelson at Mr. Appliance of Oakley. Here are a few simple tips from Mr. Appliance to keep your oven warm all winter long:
1. Start spring cleaning early.
Wash oven racks by hand unless the owner's manual states they're dishwasher-safe.
Use non-abrasive cleaners.
Check for old food in the gas vents or on the heating element.
If you run your oven's self-cleaning cycle, ventilate by opening doors and windows.
2. Protect your oven and your pocketbook.
Leave the oven door closed while food is cooking.
If you're cooking a dish that requires a long cook time, such as a turkey, put the dish in as the oven is heating up. Then turn the oven off just before the dish is done.
3. Make sure your oven can take the heat.
To test for an accurate temperature, buy a basic white cake mix and follow the directions exactly. If the cake comes out dry or undercooked, your temperature isn't set correctly.
If moisture appears on the outside of your oven, it probably means you have a faulty gasket. Gaskets should be replaced at the first sign of leakage.
An oven that won't close all the way suggests bent or broken door hinges, which leads to poorly-cooked meals and a higher utility bill.
If you want to cut your oven some slack, give it a short vacation. Dust off your microwave or toaster oven or pull out your old crockpot recipes for a week.
For more information on appliance repair and maintenance, visit http://www.mrappliance.com and check out Mr. Appliance's online repair manual, which helps you solve common appliance problems. If the problem is more than you can handle, call a professional.