Let’s face it, we all need that extra pocket of time to do other things, and the oven lets us do just that. From roasting huge slabs of meat to churning out cakes and pastries, you can cook an entire meal in this trusty kitchen equipment without breaking a sweat.
The sentiment is clear: it’s hard to find a kitchen appliance that’s as useful and versatile as the oven. It is a must for multitasking people who are always on-the-go (that would be you and me).
Cleaning the oven after cooking is another matter, however. That behemoth of a task looms everytime, one we can only hope to delay! I must admit that there was a time when I even refused to cook simply because I wanted to avoid scrubbing and cleaning my oven trays.
It’s a good thing it’s not like that anymore. Thanks to these super simple and fun hacks I discovered, removing dirt and stains from my baking trays has never been easier.
What are the uses of oven trays?
Oven trays are metal cookware used for baking desserts or roasting meats and vegetables. Oven trays come in many shapes and sizes, and are usually made of steel or aluminium. Choosing the right tray to use depends on what dish you’ll cook.
Non-stick oven trays are popular for baking desserts, while uncoated aluminium trays are recommended for low to medium heat cooking. When it comes to removing dirt and grease from their surface, non-stick oven trays are much easier to clean than uncoated trays.
Best tips on how to clean oven trays
A roasting pan with burnt food bits is the ultimate kitchen nightmare. Cleaning oven trays, especially those with charred food debris, requires time and effort. When you’re as pressed for time as I am, compromising your other priorities for cleaning is not the answer.
While ‘stick to non-stick cookware’ is a good preventive measure against tedious kitchen cleanups, there’s another way to tackle those dirty oven trays and oven racks. Don’t let grease and grime stop you from baking that cheesy chicken parm and those award-winning brownies. Check out our best hacks on how to clean baking trays. We promise, you won’t be spending hours scrubbing in the kitchen.
How to clean grease from oven trays
The drippings from last night’s pot roast dinner and the melted butter you doused on your prime rib will leave a film of fat on your oven tray. When your oven trays feel slimy to the touch, there may still be grease left on the surface.
Some oils and fats are harder to remove than others, but who’s counting. This no-sweat method is so effective in making your oven trays squeaky clean, you may just find yourself volunteering to cook dinner everyday.
- Using strong paper towels, wipe off remaining food bits and extra grease from the surface of your oven tray.
- Fill the sink with hot water, then add dishwashing liquid.
- Soak the greasy oven tray in the solution for 30 minutes. Let the hot soapy water do the work for you.
- Scrub the tray with a sponge.
- Rinse with hot water until there’s no remaining soap on the surface.
- Dry with a microfibre cloth. Your oven tray should be squeaky clean by now!
How to clean stubborn stains from oven trays
Remember the last time you baked fish on your aluminium oven tray, only to have bits of the fish skin stick stubbornly to the tray? Some types of food are just more prone to sticking to your baking trays, no matter how much butter or olive oil you use. Don’t abandon your pescatarian diet just yet.
With this tried-and-tested cleaning method, you’ll find that removing stubborn grime from your oven tray is actually simple and easy to do.
- Wipe off extra grease and food debris from the surface of your oven tray.
- Fill the sink with hot water, then add half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of white vinegar.
- Leave the tray in the solution for an hour or so.
- When you’re done soaking the tray, scrub the surface with a non-abrasive scourer. Add a drop of dishwashing liquid to the scouring pad for an extra layer of clean. You’ll find that the grease and grime will easily slide off.
- Rinse your oven tray with hot water.
- Dry with a piece of microfibre cloth. Your oven tray is as sparkling as if it were brand new!
Easy hack on how to clean your oven rack
Leftover grease and food on your oven rack will attract bacteria and pests to your kitchen. Unless you’re willing to live with funky food odours, you’ll definitely want to take out those oven racks and start cleaning them.
There’s no need to buy special chemicals for this one. You just need good old baking soda and white vinegar. Don’t forget to wear gloves to protect your hands. With these fun and easy tips, cleaning oven racks will become a regular thing in your home, for sure.
- Sprinkle baking soda generously on the oven racks, taking care to coat all of the grills. You may want to do this in a sink or basin big enough to soak the racks.
- Pour vinegar onto the racks and watch the baking soda bubble. Let them happily sizzle away.
- Pour hot water on the oven racks as soon as you see the bubbles die down.
- Fill the sink or basin with hot water enough to submerge the oven racks. Let them soak there for at least 4 hours.
- When the 4 hours are up, scrub away any remaining food bits clinging to the grills. Add a drop of dishwashing liquid to thoroughly clean the grills. For hard-to-remove bits, you may need to use the rough side of the scourer or a brush.
- Rinse the oven racks with hot water.
- Dry with a microfibre cloth. Your oven racks are now clean and shiny for your next use!
Caring for your oven
Over time, daily wear and tear can affect your oven’s performance. Spots of grease, oil droplets, and burnt grime can block heat and air vents and cause your appliance to malfunction.
Cleaning your oven trays and oven racks regularly is important in ensuring that your oven is in tiptop shape. On top of their daily maintenance, a thorough scrubbing and polishing will help prolong the life of your cookware and kitchen appliances. Every once in a while, it’s a great idea to get an oven cleaning from professional cleaners to make your oven’s glass door, trays, and racks spotless again.
With professional cleaning services at the helm of your kitchen equipment care, you’ll be spending less time scrubbing and more time doing the things you like. Go ahead and enjoy that glass of wine or go back to that book you’ve been eyeing to read. You can even try that new fitness app everyone’s been buzzing about. You totally deserve it after you nailed that baked barramundi.