With the holidays around the corner, it’s important that your kitchen appliances are in their best working order. An over- or undercooked holiday meal could really make or break your day. With all the wear and tear we put on our ovens, it’s unsurprising that little mishaps occur, often at the most inopportune times. But there are ways to avoid unnecessary headaches on a big day.

Maintenance is the key to making sure your oven enjoys a long and happy life. Here are just few things to keep in mind:

  1. Clean your oven. Be sure to clean your oven at least twice a year. Clean your racks because burnt food will continue to burn if it’s not addressed. Be sure to unplug your oven while cleaning with water or squirt cleaner to avoid possible shocks.
  1. Use the self-cleaning feature if available. Make sure to wipe down the inside of the oven after cooled for 6 hours. Never leave your home when using this feature.
  1. Care for your Stovetop. Clean your stovetop after each use. Check the burner coils for spots. If one spot on the coil is redder than the rest when heated that could mean it’s ready to short out. This can cause tremendous damage to your oven and burners.
  1. Leave the knobs alone. As tempting as it may be when cleaning the outside of your oven, DON’T remove or clean under your oven knobs. You run the risk of getting your electrical system wet, which could cause it to short out.
  1. Double check your door gaskets. Gaskets are the rubber pieces that run along the oven door and help to keep in the heat. If the gaskets have started to deteriorate, heat will seep through, which means your oven won’t keep its temperature.
  1. Avoid spills. When baking anything that could drip (like pies or casseroles), place a cookie sheet underneath to collect any spillage.
  1. Check the line. Make sure your gas line or electrical is secure and in good condition. Check for wear and tear and possible leaks or cord damage or pinching.
  1. Check behind. For good measure, make sure to clean behind and around your oven. Debris, dust, and pieces of food can disrupt air flow.

While many of these tips can increase the longevity of your oven, it’s important to leave the big projects to the experts. Contact a Mister Sparky expert today to make sure your holiday runs smoothly!