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After spending long hours in the kitchen, I came to learn one thing: accidents happen. Even the most celebrated chefs forget their food sometimes. Only when smoke starts to come out of it do they realize their mistake. And how difficult to clean it will be…
Experiencing and dealing with a fire in your kitchen can be scary and even put you off cooking for a while. It can also cost you; if your appliances get ruined in the process. Even in the best-case scenario, you will have to spend quite some time cleaning such a mess.
In this article, I will share with you how to clean an oven after a fire. Not only will this help you get back in the mood for cooking, but it will also be an excellent way to assess the damage.
How to Clean an Oven After a Fire
After your oven has caught fire, you can still use it to prepare delicious recipes for your family. All you have to do is to clean it.
- Wear a face mask and rubber gloves before you touch anything. This will protect you from touching or inhaling any fire extinguisher residue.
- Use a brush and dustpan to collect any burned food.
- Use a vacuum cleaner to collect any residue inside the oven.
- After collecting all the solid particles, use a damp sponge to wipe the interior of the oven. Rinse the sponge frequently.
- Using a strong oven cleaner is recommended. It will wipe out any residue. I will also break any residual grease that might start another fire in the future.
- Make sure that you have rinsed all the cleaner residue before using the oven again. You will probably have to rinse and wipe several times to make sure that the oven is spotless.
- Have a technician check the oven. In most small-scale oven fires, you won’t have to do that. But if it was a big on you need to hire a professional to see if there are any damaged parts that need to be replaced.
How to Remove Oven Cleaner Residue
Oven cleaners are quite potent and useful. Not only do they help you keep your oven squeaky clean, but they also offer several benefits.
Using an oven cleaner saves time when you’re trying to clean the oven. It gets rid of all the food and grease residue. Removing food residue takes a lot of scrubbing and may damage the coating inside the oven. But the oven cleaner will help break the food and grease particles and protect the coating.
An oven cleaner guarantees better heat conductivity. This means that you will be using less energy to reach the same temperature. All the grime and grease that accumulate inside the oven create an insulation layer. This slows down the heating process.
A spotless oven door will allow you to check on the food while it’s cooking. You won’t have to open the door to see your food or open it while the heat is on. When you open the door, some heat will escape, which might affect the cooking process. Which is a waste of energy.
Grime and grease can affect the way heat is distributed inside the oven. Some of the grime might accumulate on a single side of the oven, affecting the overall food’s quality.
Old grime and grease can be a safety hazard. The grease affects the internal fan’s function and can start a grease fire in the oven. Using an oven cleaner regularly will help get rid of any food particles that might catch fire.
However, although an oven cleaner is an excellent cleaning solution to use in your kitchen, you shouldn’t use it on other surfaces in the kitchen. It contains strong chemicals and shouldn’t get in contact with your food. Moreover, you should remove all the remains of the cleaning solution before using the oven one more time. Here is how to clean the residue of the oven cleaner after using it.
- After following all the cleaning instructions, you should use a clean, dry cloth to get rid of all the residue. If you haven’t used too much of the cleaning process, you won’t have to repeat this process multiple times.
- Use a damp cloth or sponge to get rid of any excess residue. Too much water can make the solution spread even more and fall through the holes at the bottom of the oven.
- Mix equal amounts of water and white vinegar in a bowl. This solution will help remove any soapy residue and is safe to use around food.
- Use a clean sponge and soak it with the solution and squeeze until it’s not dripping. Use the sponge all over the internal walls of the oven. Wiping the walls once or twice is enough.
- You can leave the door open for a few minutes until the oven is completely dry.
What Can Cause a Fire in the Oven?
Not setting the timer while cooking. In some cases, you might get caught up with other house chores or work. It’s not uncommon for someone to finish their cooking while working or studying.
Not cleaning your oven regularly can be the culprit. Food scraps, grease, and even pieces of parchment paper or foil can easily catch fire from the flame in the oven. Even without catching fire, grease and grime will affect the odor and ruin the flavor of the food you’re cooking. The burnt particles will lower the quality and affect the aroma of the food you’ve worked so hard to prepare.
If you’re using too much grease in the food you’re cooking; your oven will be at a higher risk of catching fire. Grease splatter can catch fire pretty fast and can be a real hazard. When you add too much butter or oil, the splatter will increase when you set your oven at a high temperature.
When baking, overfilling your baking tray with batter can start a fire. The batter falls through the tiny holes at the bottom of your oven. They eventually catch fire when the batter gets in contact with the flames.
While baking with parchment paper, you might be leaving most of it outside the baking tray. If the edges of the parchment paper are close to the heating element of the oven, they will catch fire fast.
How to Prevent a Grease Fire in the Oven
Just like most things in life, preventing a fire is always easier and better than putting it off and cleaning the afterward mess. You don’t need any special tools to prevent a grease fire in your oven. You simply need to be a little careful. Here are a few things to take into consideration.
- Make sure that your oven is always clean. Clean up any grease spills and food splatters as soon as they happen once the oven is cold.
- Keep a spare baking tray at the bottom of the oven. Any food spills won’t get into the holes that lead to the flames.
- If you’re baking a special kind of food that splatters, keep it covered if possible.
- Stick to the right ingredients as adding too much grease or liquid can cause accidental spills.
- Don’t overfill your baking tray or container.
- Always have your oven checked by a professional. This way, you can prevent hazardous accidents.
How to Put Out a Grease Fire in the Oven?
Grease fires happen when the grease residue and the splatter in the oven catch fire due to the high temperature. Although these fires don’t happen every day, it’s crucial to know how to act when one happens. Here is what you need to do.
- Don’t panic and stay calm. This will help you think carefully.
- If there are kids in the house, make sure that they’re away from the kitchen. Remember that your attitude will affect theirs.
- It’s a good idea to disconnect electricity from the house or at least from the kitchen.
- If the door of the oven is perfectly sealed, it’s a good idea to wait until the fire dies out. In most cases, this will happen, as fire needs oxygen to spread. After the oxygen is consumed, the fire will weaken and eventually die out.
- Don’t open the door of the oven, no matter how tempting this feels. The minute you do this, the flames will grow stronger, and you will end up burning your face, hair, and hands. The reason behind this is that opening the door provides the flame with access to oxygen, making them stronger.
- If you have a small fire at the bottom of the oven, it will probably die out on its own. When you see the flames dying out, you can sprinkle some salt to help control the fire.
- Call for help. You should have the number of fire brigade on the speed dial, so you can easily contact them in case of an emergency. Grease fires aren’t usually that serious, but you might not be able to use a fire extinguisher to put the fire out. Let the professionals deal with the problem, and they will do a better job.
- Don’t try to use water to put out the fire, even if it’s on a small scale. Water will only cause the grease and oil to splatter even more, causing the fire to spread.
- In case you’re unable to contact the fire brigade, you should use a fire extinguisher to put out the flames. It’s crucial to keep one in the kitchen for emergencies.
Can an Oven Catch a Fire if You Leave it Unattended?
As a homeowner, you probably need to take care of lots of things around the house. So, do you have to stick around in the kitchen close to the oven if you’re baking a dish for dinner? Can leaving the oven on cause a fire that might subject you and your family to danger?
In a perfect world, you would never leave an oven unattended. But you have tens of other responsibilities. Putting everything on hold until your baked dish is ready and it’s time to turn the oven off doesn’t seem practical.
Not being in the kitchen while you’re using the oven isn’t wrong per see. Nevertheless, there are several factors to consider.
If you don’t clean the oven regularly, you will end up with food splatter and grease residue that could catch fire. The drippings from the food can fall through the holes at the bottom of the oven to ignite the flame.
Using very high temperatures can be hazardous while you’re cooking. Even the slightest grease splatter is dangerous. This can happen even if the oven is empty as old splatter can start a fire.
The best way to avoid a fire is to clean your oven regularly. Make sure that there is no residue that might start a fire. That way you can leave the kitchen while you’re using the oven, and there should be no issues.
Can a Self-Cleaning Oven Catch Fire?
A self-cleaning oven is an excellent investment because it gets rid of food leftovers and grease splatter. This oven uses high temperatures to burn off all the food residue.
The oven walls are coated with a unique finish that is resistant to heat and harsh chemicals. The door is also designed to stay closed while and after the cleaning cycle is done. Once it’s done and left to cool off, you will be able to wipe off the remains easily without having to scrape off the food remains.
So, can a self-cleaning oven catch fire during the cleaning cycle? As a matter of fact, it’s possible.
If you don’t clean the oven regularly, the exceptionally high heat can set the grease and food remains on fire. With too much grease pooling at the bottom of the oven, the high heat can actually start a fire, especially if you’re not paying attention.
n order to avoid that, you should try to remove any big parts of food and wipe any grease pools before activating the self-cleaning feature. Or use a specialized product before you do.
Before turning the self-cleaning feature on, you should also examine the sides and bottom of the oven. Any cracks in the special coating can lead to a fire, so it should be replaced.
The door should seal completely in case a small fire starts. This will help you contain the fire as it limits the amount of oxygen inside the oven, and the rest of your kitchen will be safe. In most cases, the fire will just be put out on its own.
Grease fires are common, and most of them are easy to deal with. Food residue, grease splatter, and drippings can easily catch a fire that spreads in your often. However, cleaning the oven regularly and having it checked by a professional can help you avoid fire hazards.
If a fire happens, you can simply leave it to die out. If things go out of control, you need to ask for professional help. Once the fire has been put out, you need to collect all the residue from the fire extinguisher.
You can also use an oven cleaning solution to make sure that your oven is clean and ready for the next baking batch. It’s always recommended to have your oven inspected after a fire to replace any damaged parts that might affect its performance.