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Cleaning the Stove Top


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I used to be one of those cooks who cleaned the stove-top after every cooking session. Well, at least at the end of the day. I learned that in a restaurant kitchen, while catering, and in school...leave the kitchen ready to work first thing the next day. And I always did it at home.

Now, not so much any more. I can go...gasp...2 or 3 days before I have to clean the stove top.

You?

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Ugh, the white enameled stovetop is the bane of my kitchen. I try to keep it pretty clean, but I have roommates who aren't as good about it. It's incredibly hard to clean that surface one everything is baked on. Is Easy-Off safe for that kind of stuff?

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I used to be one of those cooks who cleaned the stove-top after every cooking session. Well, at least at the end of the day. I learned that in a restaurant kitchen, while catering, and in school...leave the kitchen ready to work first thing the next day. And I always did it at home.

Now, not so much any more. I can go...gasp...2 or 3 days before I have to clean the stove top.

You?

And your wife puts up with that shmuts?

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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I keep it pretty clean, if things get really bad I just go with the Baking Soda/vinegar combination which destroys anything. My wife is an environmental engineer so if I bought easy-off I might end up on the couch...

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We use the cleaning wipes on a daily basis especially to cut any grease or spills and then break the whole thing down on the weekends and put all in the dishwasher. After the years on this stove some new grates and trays are in order soon.

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You call it "filth," I call it "patina."

:raz:

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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Easy-Off Heavy Duty is exactly the thing for that.

David, I'm shocked. The most I ever have to use, no matter how much crap is all over my stove top, is Bon Ami. I am actually surprised at how much I can remove with just a scrubbie and water.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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When we moved into our current apartment, the stovetop was covered with carbonized grease. A 30-minute soak in Heavy Duty Easy Off, and it wiped clean with a sponge, no scrubbing required. Since then, I've been a devotee.

Easy Off is basically sprayable foaming lye. Lye is a very hazardous substance to come in contact with, so one should always wear gloves, and eye protection would be a good idea, but it breaks down quite readily and doesn't stick around in the environment.

It's also great for enameled cast iron and bare cast iron, but not for copper, which it discolors.

Edited by David A. Goldfarb (log)
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Speaking as a former professional housecleaner here: For the most part, plain water works just fine. I will drip water on the cooktop wherever there's anything stuck on and then just let it soak -- usually 5-10 minutes is enough -- so that I can take a paper towel and wipe everything up. Very rarely does this not work. If I had a stove that hadn't been cleaned in awhile, I would put lots of water on the cooktop first thing, then after letting it soak for maybe half an hour, do the same thing: wipe it up with a paper towel. A bit of Bon Ami and water and a paper towel could shine it up. Even really greasy surfaces clean up really well with just water and soaking and then maybe a little Bon Ami. I'm not speaking of professional kitchens, mind you.

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I used to let it go a bit but then it sort of bakes on. Now I just do water and a paper towel with a bit of cleanser if needed at the end of the day. It bugs me when there are splatters on it. The beige stone floor that hides all manner of dirt is another story :wink:

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Glass cooktop means even the most infinitesimal spritz of aerosolized grease makes it look like I haven't cleaned for a month. I love my range, but criminy, between the glass and the stainless steel I've barely enough energy left to fry myself an egg. After which I've got to wipe again.

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Maybe I just do a lot of things on the stovetop that involve oil and high heat (wok, stovetop grilling in a cast iron grill pan, double-sided griddle where grease always is going to leach out of the bottom side) or stovetop braising or simmering stock for hours at low heat, all of which tend to leave a glaze that isn't easily removed.

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I used to have a stainless steel Jen-Air downdraft cooktop. It was a breeze to clean, or scrub down with a stainless steel scrubbie. It is from 1982 and was 1992 when we bought the house.

The fan finally died last winter. I made do until thid winter when I couldn't open the window beside me for ventilation( it's usually -25-30C around supper time). Just before Xmas, I got a new one - black as the stainless steel was no longer avaiable. :sad: There's no problem in getting the guck off, but I can't seem to get it smudge free no matter what I use. I use Mr. Clean kitchen cleaner for the initail clean up, then Windex...nope...Oh well, I'll only polish when company's coming.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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If I've been frying, or doing anything else mega-splattery, I clean after I'm done, when I'm putting away stuff and putting dishes in the dishwasher. If I haven't been making heavy-duty grease slicks, then I hit it once every couple of weeks, or when I notice it looks scuzzy. I alternate between using Lysol All Purpose Cleaner spray and a paper towel, or a Lysol or Clorox wipe. Both cut through the grease really well, it just depends on which one clicks into my brain on a given day.

About once every couple of months, I run the drip pans and grates through the dishwasher, and give the rest of the top and back a good cleaning with the Lysol AP and several rags. I may even break out a brush to get into the nasty little grooves. Who the hell thought grooves on a range was a good decorative feature? Clearly no one who cooks.....

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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Glass cooktop means even the most infinitesimal spritz of aerosolized grease makes it look like I haven't cleaned for a month. . .

Same here. Except I let it go longer than I should, because of this. We also have really hard water, so even plain water spots practically look like soup stains. Soaking isn't much of an option (most of the dirt is grease), so I have to use the scraper, and then scrub over the entire surface; even a fingermark shows up on these things.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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And your wife puts up with that shmuts?

That's a good one. Didn't you read our blog last week?

I read a lot of it but don't recall anything pertaining to cleaning stove tops or wives. You obviously have a stove top but a wife, I'm not sure.

I have a wife AND a stove top. She just doesn't handle the kitchen; I do :laugh: .

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I gotta say - having the Big Green Egg has meant that my stove stop has stayed considerably more splatter free than usual. Stir frying no longer has to happen on the stove stop (a serious splatter issue), anything that would have been cooked in cast iron in fat can go outside too. Bacon as well! I'll have to look into cooking tomato sauce on it.

That being said - it probably gets cleaned when I'd be ashamed to have anyone see it - so not that often - certainly not after every cooking session. It's a Russell gas cooktop, 4 burners. I do try to deal with the major splatters when they happen. Cleaning it involves lifting the CI grills, removing and cleaning the bowls under the grills (that's several hours of soaking and a fair bit of bar keepers friend), removing and cleaning the 2 stainless panels and of course all the stainless and knob pulls along the sides.

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At least once or twice a summer, I take the enameled grates outside, put them in a black plastic bag, spray them down with oven cleaner, and leave them in the sun for a few hours. I also use the oven cleaner on the porcelain top when it is horrible, but generally scrubbing with salt and a green nylon scrubby gets most of the stuff off.

I do wipe up almost every time after cooking. My mama says I am a little persnickety. :laugh:

sparrowgrass
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The environmentalist in me has to say you guys really should stop using awful harsh chemicals and disposable wipes. Try mixing 1 part baking soda with 1 part water so you get a nice paste. Use a cloth to spread it all over the stove, then hit it with vinegar (I keep vinegar in a spray bottle for cleaning). The vinegar and baking soda react just like in the science fair volcanoe, its actually pretty cool and makes cleaning the stove kinda fun. Then you just wipe it off and all the grease comes with it, it is really crazy how well it works.

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