The Preheating Trick You Need For Easier Oven Cleaning

Open oven with food roasting
Open oven with food roasting - Mitchellpictures/Getty Images

Let's be honest, even the most enthusiastic home cooks don't exactly look forward to deep-cleaning their kitchens and appliances. But as tedious as the task may be, we all know it's a necessary one, especially when it comes to the oft-used oven. You can create a beautifully roasted bird or perfectly baked cake, but pulling it out of a gunky, grease-caked oven can instantly give you (or your guests) the ick. Beyond that of course, keeping the pricey appliance clean and well-maintained is one of the best ways to ensure its longevity. Thankfully, there are quite a few tips out there to make cleaning your oven somewhat less difficult -- and, therefore, less dreaded. (Hey, we're not above taking shortcuts if it means we get to spend less time scrubbing.)

For one thing, you can take this ingenious trick for a spin: Instead of going straight into your oven with a rag and spray bottle in hand, you should try cranking up the heat in it first. Yep, just as you preheat your oven before cooking, you'll want to preheat it before cleaning. Why? Well, the higher temperatures will help to loosen up all the stuck-on grease, grime, and charred carbon deposits along the oven's surfaces, making the accumulated mess way easier to remove than it would be if you went in cold. However, the heat itself isn't the only reason this method works like a charm.

Read more: Hacks That Will Make Boiling Your Eggs So Much Easier

The Condensation Of The Cool-Down Also Makes For Easy Cleaning

Cleaning interior of an oven
Cleaning interior of an oven - Elena Gurova/Getty Images

After preheating the oven, you will, of course, need to wait for it to cool down before you actually get in there to start scrubbing. The process of preheating and cooling lets condensation form on the inside of the appliance, which will also aid in softening and loosening the buildup on the walls and floor of the oven. Just keep in mind that you'll want to keep the door closed while it cools down to let the liquids develop. Once the oven is cool enough, you can open the door, apply your preferred cleaning solution, and start wiping down the interior using a whole lot less elbow grease than you would have before.

If you want to take your cleaning prep a step further, you can also try incorporating a quick vinegar steam to tackle any particularly pesky oven residue. The acidic pantry staple and nontoxic cleaning agent can work wonders to break down layers of greasy gunk, and, combined with the high heat, can make the chore easier than ever.

Simply mix a one-to-one ratio of water and white vinegar in an oven-safe pot or bowl, place it inside the oven, and heat it up to 450 degrees. Once the solution starts steaming, shut off the oven and let it steam for about another 30 minutes. In this case, the steam quickens the formation of condensation, while the added enzymes of the vinegar start getting to work on the grime before you even have to lift a finger.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.