Ranges, often known as ovens or stoves, are a versatile tool that can accommodate multiple approaches to cooking. The latest features and technology help boil liquids and heat faster, while multiple range configurations help make entertaining easy. For those cooks who often struggle to juggle multiple pans when preparing a large meal or entertaining, double ovens–both built-in and freestanding–can cook two dishes, such as a main course and dessert, simultaneously. Moreover, the top oven can act as a toaster oven, freeing up valuable counter space and keeping foods warm before they are served.
It’s not easy saving energy in the kitchen, but our experts can help. According to our experts for the Whirlpool Institute of Home Science, you should practice these tips for a more efficient kitchen:
- Use pots and pans with flat bottoms that fit the burners. A 6″ pot on an 8″ burner wastes over 40% of that burner’s heat. Using the right sized pot can save up to $36 annually for an electric range, and $18 for a gas range. Also try cooking food in as little water as possible to save energy preserve nutrients.
- Don’t open the oven door during cooking; each time you open the door, you can lose about 25°-30° of heat. Try cooking with a full oven too, and using the broiler when possible, which uses less energy and does not require preheating.
- Be sure to use the leftover heat as a food warmer, and turn off the oven immediately when you are finished cooking. An oven retains heat for up to 30 minutes after it has been turned off.
Keeping these kitchen workhorses clean can also be a challenge. Although many ranges offer dishwasher-safe grids, scratch- and fingerprint-resistant finishes and spill-resistant burners, ranges, and cooktops are dripped on, slopped over and baked on a daily basis. Here are some helpful tips to clean the range:
- To clean the control panel on your range or oven, spray a glass cleaner on a soft cloth or sponge–do not spray directly on the panel.
- To clean the control knobs, turn them to off and pull straight away from the control panel. Wash, rinse and dry thoroughly–do not soak the knobs or place them in a dishwasher.
- For stainless steel surfaces, if you don’t have stainless steel cleaner and polish on hand, a simple liquid detergent or all-purpose cleaner will do the trick. Use a lint-free cloth to dry.
- Remember to clean food spills containing acids, such as vinegar and tomato, as soon as the entire range is cool, as these spills may affect the finish.
- Be sure to check your Use & Care guide for tips on how to best clean your particular cooktop. For example, you will need a cooktop polishing cream on ceramic glass cooktops to maintain the surface and help prevent scratches, pitting and abrasions.
Cleaning the oven:
- When using the self-cleaning cycle, remove oven rack as they can discolor or become harder to slide. If this happens, place a light coating of vegetable oil on the rack guides to help them slide in.
- Be sure to remove the broiler pan and any other utensils inside the oven prior to starting the self-cleaning cycle.
- Many ovens now have a SteamClean feature that can spot clean the range in as little as 20 minutes compared to a traditional self-cleaning cycle.* Just add water to loosen residue in the oven and wipe clean. Use periodically to clean light spills on the bottom of the oven.
*Based on cycle time comparison of moderately soiled ovens.