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Adventures in Oven Cleaning

So, after going on a literal baking rampage in a not-so-fruitless attempt to use up a box of apples, I realized that it was time for a little oven-cleaning. I took out all of the pans that I hide in the oven—since my cupboard space is a little lacking—and put the oven cleaner on “Self-Clean” (which sounds like something out of the Jetson’s. I wish more household appliances had a Self-Clean feature.)

Not more than ten seconds later, I smelled smoke coming from the next room and ran back into the kitchen and turned on the overhead fan, opened the windows and doors in the kitchen, and closed the doors to the back room in the event of the smoke reaching the area where I sleep.

I didn’t know what to do next, so turned to the Internet for a lesson in oven-cleaning. The first site that I found was eHow where I learned which steps I had missed in the oven-cleaning process. 

First, I forgot to take out the oven racks. Duh. That should have been my first move.  Rookie mistake for sure.

Second. I didn’t put the oven racks in soapy water. (Of course, this would have been much more difficult had the oven racks been in the oven where I left them.) Luckily, the racks weren’t too bad, so I think I’ll be able to wipe them off without that much trouble.

Third. I didn’t know beforehand that the Self-Cleaning was going to automatically char everything in my oven to high hell and make my place smell like a B-B-Q gone wrong, so I didn’t prepare anything beforehand.

Fourth. I didn’t buy any oven-cleaner. I still don’t know—can I use a different cleaning solution or is it really necessary to stick to a cleaner that is totally dedicated just to oven-cleaning? Does anyone know? Can you help me?

Fortunately, that’s about all of the mistakes I made in my Oven-Cleaning adventure. One of the lessons that I am learning a little too slowly in the kitchen is that the more you cook, the more cleanup you have to do and the more cupboard space is devoted to food, dishes, and the ever-handy Tupperware. (Thankfully, I’ve never had to go to a Tupperware party—I like to store my left-overs, but I don’t think I could get all excited about pieces of interlocking plastic unless they were Legos.)