It’s important that you properly maintain your oven to ensure its longevity and function. A faulty seal on your oven door can result in undercooked food, wasted energy, and gas leaks.
Properly Cleaning Your Oven
To make oven cleaning easier, clean up spills as they happen. Food material that has fallen onto oven racks or dripped onto the bottom of your oven should be wiped up as soon as the oven cools down.
Your oven door seal is very delicate. When using an oven cleaner, check the label to see if it is safe to apply to the door of your oven. If the bottle or can doesn’t explicitly state that it’s safe for your oven door’s seal, err on the side of caution and do not apply it.
These cleaners contain chemical abrasives that break down stuck-on food and grime. The material making up your oven door’s seal can handle extremely high temperatures but is easily broken down by harsh chemicals.
The best way to clean the seal on your oven door is with a sponge soaked in hydrogen peroxide. Apply the soaked sponge to the area that needs cleaning and let it sit for approximately twenty minutes. After this, you should be able to easily wipe away the mess.
If the spot does not lift easily, soak with a sponge again. Do not scrub the oven gasket seal. Scrubbing the seal could break down the material of the seal, causing holes and defects, but it can also move the seal out of its position. Without your seal in the proper place, the seal will be compromised.
Checking Your Oven Door Seal
When cleaning the oven, routinely inspect your oven door for damage to its seal. Looking closely, notice if there are any holes or damage to the seal itself. Does the seal appear as if it has changed position recently? This can appear as warping in one area of the seal or an uneven shape to the seal.
With the oven on, place your hand immediately outside the oven door along the seam. It’s normal for your oven to radiate heat but if you feel an excessive amount of heat emitting from around the door of the oven, your seal may be damaged.
This can also be identified as leaking or sucking air for convection ovens. Uneven or incomplete cooking of food can be an indicator of a fault oven seal as well. As heat and air leak out of the oven, less heat is circulated within. This drop in heat will cause your oven to work harder for longer to cook the same food as before.
A handy way to check the seal of your oven door is to open the door, place a $5 note along the seal, and shut the oven door. Gently tug on the bill. You should feel a lot of resistance as you pull on the note. Repeat this process all along the seal, moving in small sections. If you find areas of weakness, your seal is compromised.