Nothing is worse on Thanksgiving than opening up your oven door to place your turkey in the oven and seeing old baked-on spills and dirty oven walls. Head off this disaster by giving your oven a good cleaning before the big day. To help you with this project, here are some tips to make it easy.
Use rubber gloves when cleaning your oven. Remove the racks and soak them in hot soapy water. A great place to do this is in your bathtub, but be sure to line it first with towels to prevent scratching of the tub surface. Adding a handful of dishwasher powder to the soaking water helps loosen all the burned-on bits.
If your oven is a self-cleaning oven, follow the directions for cleaning your oven. Generally, you will simply need to set your oven to the clean cycle, which locks the door. The cleaning cycle usually takes several hours. When the oven has cooled, use a sponge or washcloth to wipe up the remaining residue. Do not use oven cleaner on a self-cleaning oven.
A simple trick to remove stains and spills is to place 1/2 cup of ammonia into a small glass bowl. Place the bowl in a cool oven, close the oven door, and leave the bowl in the oven overnight to loosen baked-on spills. Alternatively, you can use oven cleaner, following the directions on the bottle. Then use a sponge or washcloth and a solution of 1/2 cup vinegar to 1/2 cup hot water. Rub away any spills or greasy stains. Dry with a soft cloth.