Operating Hints for Your New Stove

Technology has changed dramatically over the years with cooking appliances. Whether it has been five years or twenty, it is important that you read your owner’s manual before trying to operate your appliance. This will help you to avoid unnecessary service calls for things that can be handled yourself. Here are some suggestions that you may find helpful:

1. In order to avoid fluctuations in temperature while using the oven, try to use the light and view through the window to check the progress of the food. The more often you open the door, the more heat escapes. This can dramatically increase the amount of time it takes to bake an item.

2. If you are replacing an older stove, you may find that you need to adjust the amount of time that you normally allow to bake items. You may find that it takes less time or a different temperature.

3. You should always preheat your oven before use. The oven should be at the recommended temperature before placing the item inside. Preheating also helps to avoid overcooking. If you place your item in the oven before it is preheated, it will take that much longer to bake.

4. If your food is too brown on the bottom, it may be the position of the oven rack. It may be also the type of cookware that you are using. If you use dark cookware, food, can brown unevenly. You may need to reduce the temperature or the amount of time baking.

5. You should never use foil to line the bottom of your stove or the oven racks. Aluminum foil can actually melt and reduce the cooking performance of the oven. You can also damage the heating element located on the bottom of the oven. If you need to catch drips from food, place a cookie sheet on the rack below the food.

6. If you feel that it is taking too long to preheat you oven, make sure that you are not opening the door during this process. Also, if you like to use cooking stones, this will also lengthen the preheating time. It is better to remove these items first.

7. If the cakes are coming out lopsided, make sure that you have put your racks in evenly. It is also possible that your actual oven is out of level. Check this using a level, and make adjustments if needed.

9. Streaks may appear between the inner surfaces of the glass. This can be caused by cleaning fluids entering through the vents. Steam or grease may also enter these vents. If using cleaning products, spray on your cloth instead of directly onto the oven. You may also notice a rainbow on your glass. This is a normal appearance and helps with temperature control.

10. If your gas range’s burners are working, but not the oven, check to make sure that the valve located behind your range is turned on. Sometimes, this can accidentally get turned off during installation.

11. With new ovens, you may notice a funny smell when first using it. This is normal on all appliances, and should decrease with use. If this makes you uncomfortable, you can set your oven to 350 degrees for 2-3 hours and this will “season” your oven and remove the smell.

12. Sometimes racks can be hard to remove. In order to preserve standard racks, you should remove them before using the self-cleaning feature. If you are lazy, like I am, and leave them in, sometimes using a piece of waxed paper or cooking oil on the racks will help them slide in and out more easily. If you have porcelain-coated racks, which are meant to stay in the oven during cleaning, they may get dried out from normal use. You can resolve this by using the waxed paper or cooking oil as well.

13. If you are using the convection feature of your oven, you may expect the fan to come on as soon as you start this feature. Actually, the fan will not come on until the temperature reaches a set point, just as it will turn off at that same point as the oven cools down.

14. If you are using the self-cleaning feature on your oven, and are not familiar with this feature, PLEASE read your book! You must be aware that ovens will reach 800 degrees when using this feature. Please do not put candles anywhere on your oven, even on the console, at any time. If you can wipe up large, greasy spills, you will have less smoke coming out of your oven. DO NOT CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT!

15. In order to avoid scratching the stove top when cleaning, avoid any harsh scrubbers. I recommend products such as the EasyOff Bam line. Also, the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser products now have sponges for all types of stoves. Both of these products will lessen the chance of scratching through the porcelain or damaging your smooth top.

16. If you have a ceramic cook top, make sure that you use a smooth top cleaner/conditioner once a day. This will keep the surface from drying out, and will also make it easier to clean. If your spill contains sugar, you should clean up the spill immediately with a cloth or paper towel, in order to avoid pitting of the surface. Never use a sponge, or any other item that can melt. Other spills can be cleaned up when cool. Never cook over a spill repeatedly.

You should be able to find all the information that you need in your owner’s manual for the care and operation of your stove, but I recommend that if you are not sure, to contact your salesperson for additional help. By familiarizing yourself before using your stove before using it, you will be able to get the most out of your new purchase!

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