Feral Cooks are pigs in the kitchen, right? Well, we don’t want to be and we sometimes go to extraordinary lengths to clean. Read on . . .
I am not fond of electric ranges. I love electric ovens, especially my convection oven, but ranges….not so much. I particularly dislike the old-fashioned electric heating elements that are unresponsive to slight adjustments in temperature and get/remain dirty looking from the very start.
And then I gave myself a talking to.
I do enjoy a good piece of cast-iron cookware. Once you get them up to temperature, they hold at a consistent temperature very well, but are similarly unresponsive to slight adjustments in temperature. This has not stopped me from using it. In fact, it has forced me to think through my cooking methods and fully understand what I am trying to do. As with most things, it is a question of matching the equipment to the cooking method and technique.
I then began to realize that my ceramic range wasn’t so bad. I still need a lightweight pan to saute. It can be brought up to temperature very quickly and backed off by removing it from heat. Heavier pans, including cast-iron, work well where even consistent heat is necessary. Maybe a ceramic range is okay…
Have you tried cleaning one!
Anything that is left in the vicinity of the burner is then cremated and burnt into the cook-top surface. A brand-new range quickly looks just as bad as the old-fashioned element version. Yes, I know that vinegar and baking soda is the magical cleaner – but it isn’t. It simply is not efficient and it takes for ever to clean the damn cleaning assistant of the cook-top surface, only to find that the original, highly stubborn, offensive marks are still there.
Until I let go and trusted that my glass surface really is glass and is not going to be damaged by the judicious scraping of a razor-blade.
I have developed a seven-stage process. Each one is very quick and simple and the result takes so much less time than the Baking Soda bunch will spend.
- On a cool range top, scrape any obvious dirt with the razor blade. You can buy these at any hardware store for only a few bucks. I keep mine in a drawer beside the range.
- Dot the range top with small amounts of Ceramic Surface Cleaner. This happens to be Easy Off brand. So far they haven’t sent me any endorsement money, so you are free to use whichever brand you want!
- I suspect that these picture show me using way too much product. The less you use, the easier it is to “polish” it afterwards. Smear the cleaner over the range top sparingly. Do not throw away your (paper) towel.
- You should now polish off the dry residue. You will be able to see the stubborn marks that you did not get with the razor blade the first time around.
- Scrape off the remaining marks.
- Apply cleaner from the (paper) towel that you did not throw away from the first application to the newly scrapped areas.
- Buff the affected areas.Voila! Your range top is (almost) like new again.
Actually, it will never be new again, but it will be clean and shiny – at least until next time!