Being neurotic about oven grates?

kitchendetectiveFebruary 19, 2007

Am I being too neurotic about keeping my oven grates looking like new? I have a self-cleaning Dacor 36" oven. The oven directions say to remove the grates before running the self-clean cycle because the grates will warp under the high heat of the cleaning cycle. Two of the grates are normal and one is a telescoping one. I remove them and spray them down with Dawn Power Dissolver. It takes hours to get into the difficult to reach areas--especially in the telescoping mechanism, but I always want the grates to look perfect. Am I being nuts? Is there a better way?

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You are being nuts....your worth as a human being is not measured by the shine on the grates in your oven.
Leave them in while you clean the oven....they will lose their shine but be clean....and you will still be a "good person"
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 2:18PM
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Linda is right. Just keep the solid stuff knocked off the grates and put your efforts into things that are really important.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 4:47PM
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Okay. Will do.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 11:00PM
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Have to agree. I've used dozens of self-cleaning ranges over the years (am a home ec teacher) and we've always left the oven racks in when we clean the ranges--both at home and at school. They darken, but come out clean. And I've never had any that warped.

I even toss the enamelled burner grates in the oven when I run the self-cleaning cycle--they come out looking brand new. Also, if I have any cast iron that I want to clean and reseason, that goes in, too. I do keep an eye on the process and run the SCC only until the things inside are clean (you can still see through the door during the cleaning process on my range, so I use a flashlight and shine it on the floor of the oven, and anything I've got in there to clean). I find that it takes much less time to clean than a full cycle, usually.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 9:14AM
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Here are some additional ways to clean the oven racks, grates, and drip pans:

1. Place racks and drip pans in doubled, large garbage bags. Pour in 1/4 cup ammonia and tie off bag. Place outdoors or in garage overnight. The grease and grime will practically rinse off. Tough areas may need a little scrubbing, but not much.

2. Put old towel down in tub, put racks in, covering with hot water and handful of dishwasher powder. Let soak at least one hour, or as long as overnight. Next morning just wipe racks clean - no scrubbing.

3. You can also lay them on some newspaper and spray the oven racks with oven spray. Allow to sit one hour, then wash. If the build-up is bad, you may want to respray some hard-to-get-to areas. (Be careful using oven spray, if it gets on your floor, it can cause all kinds of problems, including making it very slippery.)


    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 11:18AM
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Besides turning the grates a dark metallic shade of chrome - yes I left the racks in on the old oven, and they were no longer a nice clean chrome color, I think there is something else you should consider. I am afraid if you leave them in during self-clean that your grates will sag, especially since you have a 36" wide oven.

I would not recommend it.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 2:58PM
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enameled gas burner grates in the oven during self clean?

Thank you. Ours have been a problem since we got the stove. We are not good cleaners and horrid about wiping up spills when they are wet and they burn on....our grates are awful.

I wanted a smooth top stove and DH wanted gas so I make him clean the grates but sticking them in the oven during the clean cycle would be so much easier. Now, if only I can remember how to use the clean cycle.....

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 4:14PM
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I have tried the ammonia technique and it did not work for me. I have been putting the dirty grates across sawhorses, with a plastic garbage/leaf bag underneath, outside on the concrete apron of the garage and then using Dawn Power Dissolver on them. I do a lot of very high heat roasting; while I love the crisp skin and moist meat, the technique wreaks havoc on oven grates. The directions for the oven, as I said, warn that leaving the grates in during self-clean will warp them and may result in damaging the telescoping mechanism on the sliding grate--a feature I like very much. I do not plan to use them on the cleaning cycle. I just don't think I have to get them brand new looking every time I clean them by hand. I was worried that if they weren't absolutely clean they would affect the cooking or cause smoking.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 5:49PM
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Last week I had the opportunity to go to a Dacor oven instruction/cooking class. I asked about putting the grates in for the self cleaning cycle and was told not to because they wouldn't slide any more.

I'd love to know if anyone with a Dacor has put their grates in. I've been afraid to do that.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 12:31AM
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Hi, I have a 30" Dacor self-cleaning oven and I use the self-cleaning cycle with the grates in all the time. The grates are now a mottled blue-ish chrome color due to the heat, but they still work perfectly and slide fine, no warping. I say go for it!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 3:41PM
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My Maytag stove manual told me not to keep the grates in while using the self clean feature. I lef them in anyway. And like they said in the manual, the trays turned a horrible ashy color and would not slide anymore. I was so disturbed by this, I went out and bought new trays that cost me $100! So don't do it.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 12:36AM
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I may be late jumping in on this, but couldn't you just put aluminum foil or a cookie tray under your roast to keep the grates clean in the first place, or does it splatter too much? I do more baking... but when I got tired of cleaning pie goo off the oven I finally foiled a swath under the pies (still leaving plenty of room for air circulation at the edges). No more mess.

If you are doing very high-temp cooking, like over 450, the drippings that get on your grates will carbonize in the heat. So as long as you knock off the solid stuff as someone said (or even not), what's left will become the same thing that coats cast iron cookware. It won't smoke after the first time or cause you any problems.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 10:10AM
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Lots of splatter and vaporized matter that later lands on the surfaces. Something I read advised against the aluminum lining idea as it alters the roasting properties of the oven. Also, I tend to avoid cooking with aluminum.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 4:54PM
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