The 6 Foods That Make Your Oven Hardest to Clean
There are some foods that just seem destined to destroy your oven, no matter what you do. Cooking these hissing, exploding dishes is a one-way ticket to needing a professional oven cleaner, but they’re so good, it’s a sacrifice we’re willing to make.
Bacon is the first big offender. High in fat and oils, and with a tendency to spit that fat everywhere when it gets hot, bacon is extremely good at spraying the interior of your oven with ready-to-char grease. This grease burns easily, giving off a lot of smoke and soot, and baking on to any unfortunate oven in which a lot of bacon is cooked. To help prevent this from taking its toll on your oven, try cooking bacon in foil, with a lid, or in small batches to reduce spitting.
Roast chicken is another high-grease dish that can easily get out of hand in your oven and make a mess. Less likely to spit than bacon, the long-term roasting a constant basting involved with roasting chicken is responsible for an even worse danger – evaporated grease and oils. Evaporating from the chicken, they condense again on the less hot parts of the over – joints, floors, anywhere that is less intensely hot than the chicken itself – and the even coating of grease can become a real hassle in trying to clean the oven. Left alone, this grease can give other dirt something to adhere to and make a bad situation much worse.
Lasagna – or anything with a lot of cheese
The trouble with lasagna, pizza, and other cheesy goodness comes not from the cheese evaporating or spitting, but from the risk of run-off or spilling. Most cheeses are solid at room temperature, but this quickly changes in the oven – meaning precariously-balanced cheeses and non-watertight containers quickly fall victim to the advancing cheesy flood, spilling over into the body of the oven to burn dry, adhere on, and char. Once burnt-on, cheese is almost impossible to remove, and will definitely test the mettle of any would-be cleaner!
Sausages are a similar hazard to bacon but are more capable of dirtying your oven, due to their secret weapon… Unlike bacon, sausages can explode everywhere.
If they are properly punctured, then they’re only a problem due to spitting grease and potential spills, which, while happening in greater quantities than bacon, are still not a huge problem. However, if they aren’t punctured properly (or you simply get a particularly vigorous sausage that needs above-average pressure release) then you and your oven are in for a world of hurt. After a certain amount of time, that sausage will explode, spraying grease further than you ever thought possible, in all directions and in impressive quantities.
Baked potatoes, unlike the other entries on this list, are not a greasy food, and will not cover your oven in slick, stubborn grease. However, like the sausages mentioned before, they are particularly likely to explode, and not always for any good reason. A baked potato, should it explode in your oven, will send pieces of starchy potato everywhere, some of which may be quite dry and powdery. The rogue bits of potato will then be dried out by the heat, and will eventually burn and begin to smoke. If embedded in the grease of an already dirty oven, this problem becomes even direr!
Sugar in the oven is the ultimate offender when it comes to dirt. Sugary dishes, particularly those that are honey-glazed or include molasses or other liquid sugars, always have the potential to lose some of that sugar inside the oven, where it will bake on. Once baked in, sugary liquids are next to impossible to remove and will burn for a long time, producing huge amounts of smoke if they get too hot. So while we all love honey-glazed roast veg or an oven-baked treacle pudding… Be very careful, or you’ll wind up cursing it at cleaning time!