Heat up your Holiday Meals. . . and avoid psychotherapy

ovenwcowpieHere’s a great tip to make you less nervous about your holiday meals:

If you are having guests for a holiday meal, or some other big gig, you may get a little stressed (I know my wife does).  She is always running around, making every detail perfect for our guests.  Even for those relatives that we only see occasionally due to familial obligation, or the friends who have the kids that like hanging from the ceiling fans and squirting whipped cream at the dogs.

I have a fabulous tip:  DON’T SELF CLEAN YOUR OVEN!!!!!

At least, not in the week or two prior to your big event.  The basic way self-cleaning works, is to heat the oven up to about 800 degrees, and burn the old food off of everything.  We see all to many problems associated with self-cleaning mechanisms, and if something goes wrong in the week or so before your signature souffle, you may not have time to get it repaired.

One common  error that customers make, is to forget that you cannot open the oven for a number of hours AFTER the self-cleaning is finished. The door can’t be opened until the oven senses that the temperature is low enough to be safe.  Many chefs panic after self-cleaning the oven (they have to get that roast in NOW!), and try to force the dang thing open.  The next thing heard is “Call Peoples Choice!”.  The next thing heard (right after a little cussing) is “Go ask the neighbor if we can use their oven”.  This scenario can also lead to additional repairs, caused by trying to force the door open.  If you ‘forgot’ about having to wait for it to cool down, and you have some kind of fan, set it facing the oven, and turn it on.  It could help speed the cooling down period.

It’s also good to know that Self Cleaning doesn’t handle that big ol’ pile of unidentifiable gook on the floor of your oven.  You need to wipe out the big droppings prior to starting self-clean.  If you don’t, you can figure on the smoke alarm being tripped, and your kitchen possibly being smoked up.  Another tip is to not leave the racks in the oven.  The high temperatures can ruin the shiny look of the chrome on the racks.  By the way. .  . all this stuff is in the Owner’s Manual, that’s in the bottom of your junk drawer, or maybe behind the refrigerator, or in that special place so you will be able to find it…but can’t remember that oh so special place.

Now, just a set of child restraints (call ’em seat belts if you prefer), hide the whipped cream, and you’re ready to party!

Rich Johnson

October 3, 2016