Thread Number: 45571
Self cleaning ovens with hidden bake element
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Post# 667045   3/19/2013 at 12:25 (1,863 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        

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Though I think this article is poppycock, there is an element that rings of truth.
One I think, why would manufacturers build something that you shouldn't use, then I think, because consumers demand it, and if it causes more repairs--all the better.
I am remembering the Corvair.

Having just had my first self-cleaner with hidden bake element delivered this last Saturday I ask: any problems with the hidden bake element burning out more often?

We had a GE range from 1979 until 1993, no repairs ever, self-cleaned about ever two or three months.

Maytag range, Self-cleaned about the same amount every two to three months, had to replace the exposed bake element every three or four years.

Any more than usual repairs experienced by the members her with this type of range?
RCD, this is a good time to give your two cents.


This post was last edited 03/19/2013 at 12:49

Post# 667047 , Reply# 1   3/19/2013 at 12:34 (1,863 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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GE Profile JB968S0H1SS, dates to approx April 2004.  I'm not a heavy oven user and I run self-clean maybe once per year, but no trouble thus far.

Post# 667049 , Reply# 2   3/19/2013 at 12:36 (1,863 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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Two of my neighbors have newer Kenmore electrics with the hidden bake element and their biggest complaint is the length of time it takes to pre-heat the oven compared to their old GE models with the exposed bake element. Neither has had any issue with elements burning out yet.

Post# 667050 , Reply# 3   3/19/2013 at 12:48 (1,863 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
Pre Heat times

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I have only used my oven twice since Saturday, but I notice the broil element and the convection fan comes on during pre-heat. Once the oven is up to temp, the convection fan shuts off and I don't notice the broil element.

Preheat time to 375 was 12 minutes on Sunday when I baked biscuits. It took about 18 minutes to get to 425 when I baked cornbread.

Post# 667051 , Reply# 4   3/19/2013 at 13:02 (1,863 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Some manufacturers first tried these in the late 40s, early 50s. Hotpoint, WH & Thermador are ones I have seen. Not only do you have to force the heat through the oven bottom, which makes it slower, it subjects the oven bottom to hideous heat stress. I commented on this at a WP-KA new product meeting in the 90s, I think. They said that would not be an issue with new porcelain made to withstand self-cleaning temps--HA. In a regular, exposed bake element oven, the oven floor is cooler than the air just above it. In these ovens with the element under the floor, anything that drips on it not only sort of fuses to the porcelain, but also, if there is sugar or acid involved, like a fruit pie, instantly takes the glaze off the porcelain leaving a dull spot after cleaning. While many of the new ovens have convection capabilities so that you don't HAVE to use the hidden bake element, the old ones did not and while the stove was still good everywhere, the oven bottoms rusted out. Replacing a bake element in one of these means going in from the back, which is one thing in a free standing range, but it can mean a two man job for a double built-in wall oven which has to be pulled out of the wall. It is normally a quick job when the bake element is exposed at the bottom of the oven, but not so when it is hidden. You also can't put foil on the floor to catch splatters because it will fuse to the porcelain.

Post# 667056 , Reply# 5   3/19/2013 at 13:48 (1,863 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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In the city we have a 2002 Whirlpool Gold self-cleaner with the hidden bake element and we've never had any trouble with it so far... For a 10-year old modern appliance that is a miracle... LOL

The oven in town gets very gentle use, however. We use the self-clean cycle no more than once a year, believe it or not!

The REAL baking gets done down in Ogden in the 56 turquoise GE (and I dutifully scrub it out each and every time I use it!)

Post# 667057 , Reply# 6   3/19/2013 at 14:07 (1,863 days old) by Kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        

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Recent family experience with a 27-inch double GE convection oven would lend me to think that the article is not off-base at all.

My parent's house was built in 1987 and came new to us with a 27-inch GE in wall oven with microwave above it. My Mom bakes and roasts a lot, especially on weekends and when my sister and I were at home. At about the 10-11 year mark on the original GE, the bake element burned out, and I replaced it in a matter of minutes - easy enough. That element lasted about another 10-11 years and it burned out around 2008/2009, which I replaced again, but this sparked the mood to replace the unit.

My Mom had wanted double ovens since we had a wonderfully successful 1977 GE 27-inch unit in our house in Denver. That was not a top of the line unit, with the top oven self-cleaning but the lower one not. I think this was very common for the 1970s however.

We decided to make the cabinet modifications to fit the slightly taller GE units, and Mom bought herself the absolute best model GE offered. She has always bought upper MOL, and decided to treat herself. Again, her model is the top of the line --- last time I looked it was still on GE's website as current, maybe six months ago.

I never liked the hidden bake element idea due to heat build-up, and slowness of preheats, but I didn't say much during the shopping process. As all our GE oven appliances, the broil elements do come on in these units to speed preheating, and they are used at a low output level to maintain oven heat. Preheating though is a ridiculously slow process even with the broiler, especially for the non-convection lower oven. They look nice and uncluttered with no exposed elements, but I would not buy one of these for myself, ever. My freestanding GE range will pre-heat in less than half the time Mom's fastest smaller oven.

The unit has an internal fan to cool itself due to the enclosed elements. The whole surrounding cabinet gets warm, VERY warm during prolonged use or cleaning but it didn't with the original '87 GE. Sometimes those fans are on for 2+ hours after a period of long use. Close inspection on these when we got them yielded a "I won't be replacing these elements" statement from me, as it looks like the whole unit would have to come out to access the elements. If that is the case, its ridiculously stupid.

In addition, my mother, a very accomplished baker and chef, cannot find a zone in the top oven that doesn't either burn the bottoms of baked goods and even some meats, or burn the tops. Cookies baked in my 2003 GE Spectra with exposed element are much more evenly baked, and un-burned as compared to countless, countless experiments made by Mom to find the right zone or rack position and the right thermostat calibration to make the ovens acceptable.

Ever try a take and bake pizza in one of these? They suck. My oven nicely browns the lower crust of a fresh pizza. In order to do that in Mom's, it will dry-out or burn the tops before it browns the bottom, unless you move the pizza to the lowest rack setting. That get it away from the effects of the broil element, but is then too close to the bottom of the oven. We had none of these problems with any of the previous GEs.

We haven't had any self-cleaning problems yet, but I am so dissappointed for her, after more than 20 years of wanting a double oven, that I'd love to see a failure in this POS unit so I could buy her an MOL Whirlpool which at last check still had exposed elements.

They spent over $2600 on that oven set, and I'd say it is a barely passable success. I don't these ovens do anywhere near the job in heat management and distribution that the older GEs did, and I would not be at all surprised if this shortens the life of the elements. I sold the '87 GE oven set on Craigslist for $100 to a family who was really glad to get it. I'm not sure I'd be willing to sell this current oven without telling the prospective buyer that they are lousy units.

This post was last edited 03/19/2013 at 14:23
Post# 667073 , Reply# 7   3/19/2013 at 16:28 (1,863 days old) by redcarpetdrew (Concord, CA (But my heart will always be in sweet Nevada!))        

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I have seen issues with the hidden bake elements. Longer preheat times are common. They cannot run the bake element all the time, glowing red as it will damage the oven. So, the bake elements are pulsed. I've seen crazing of the inner oven liner finish and changing the element can be quite the pill. Most wall ovens with hidden bake elements do indeed need to come out as the elements are changed from the back. There are ranges where you have to remove the side panel (usually requiring removal of the main top first to reach a few hidden screws. Cute, huh?) and the element slides out from the side.

That being said, I've been dealing with them for a while. Maytag was really getting into them after the Amana line was folded in. Now, Kitchenaid and Jenn Air really has the hi stiff one for the design, ESP in wall ovens. I've only had to change two hidden elements in wall ovens and about the same in ranges. We'll see how it goes after the products in the field get a few more years in them.

The most common thing I see die after a self clean cycle is the oven sensor (or thermistor). I use the self clean feature on my JennAir convection range (JES series) regularly and have had no issues. I have never been a huge fan of foil on the oven floor. It can fuse to the floor with a hidden element but I feel it can reflect heat goofy sometimes and fool the oven sensor or make contact with the exposed element and cause a possible hot spot on it and result on element failure. IMHO.


Post# 667120 , Reply# 8   3/19/2013 at 20:13 (1,863 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Westinghouse Admiral and Hotpoint...

Tried this in the 50s, the result...Rusted out oven bottoms!!!Thumbs down on this idea!

Post# 667128 , Reply# 9   3/19/2013 at 20:29 (1,863 days old) by dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

We have an upper/MOL Kenmore in the basement of our church, from about 2005 or so. It serves as an overflow from the main kitchen, where there are 2 large commercial ovens. It has the hidden bake element, and it takes 30-45 minutes to preheat, and then takes forever to cook anything. At home we have an early 1990's Whirlpool, with exposed elements, and it takes a maximum of 5 minutes to get to 350. It bakes quickly and evenly, and self cleans very welli. about an hour and a half.

Post# 667133 , Reply# 10   3/19/2013 at 20:45 (1,863 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        
My Dad's Wife

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Has a Bosch Wall Oven and Range with the hidden element.

I HATE BOTH THOSE OVENS. You can't get a true preheat, the Preheat does take forever, and it's been serviced 5 times and will not hold a accurate Temperature.

I am a Chef and at 57 years old, I have cooked on many Home Ranges.

My Sears Kenmore I bought in 2004 was next up from the BOL. The Cooktop Heats(Open Elements, hate the Glass Tops) Beautiful and the Oven Bakes like a Dream I paid $299.00.

Oh Yeah, back to the sealed element.

Don't Like Them. For the remaining years of my life, I will buy Vintage Ranges should I need one. I should pick up a few more ranges while they are around. Lord knows I have enough Dishwashers and Washers to last the rest of my Life. LOL

Post# 667140 , Reply# 11   3/19/2013 at 21:23 (1,863 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Although gas ovens typically have the oven burner under the floor of the oven, there's plenty of air movement going on to spread the heat around, and of course a gas flame probably isn't as hot as an electric heating element going full blast. So it makes sense that modern mfg's are having to pulse the heating element to avoid damage. I imagine that they are also running the convection fan during pre-heat for the same goal.

Not a problem here. The 70's vintage GE P-7 wall oven heats to 375F in about five minutes. It's only a 24 inch wide model, with plenty of good insulation, but it does a fairly good job, with relatively even heating for things like pizza, bread, or cookies. For convection, a Cuisinart toaster oven.

IMHO, concealed heating elements are a great idea for dishwashers (ala Bosch). But maybe not so hot (no pun intended) for electric ovens.

Post# 667182 , Reply# 12   3/20/2013 at 07:21 (1,863 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        

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Thanks for the feedback from everyone. So far I haven't had any complaints from the performance of the oven, or cooktop (which is ceramic glass). I baked pork chops last night and was not dissatisfied. I am going to bake cookies tonight so that will be a test. Will be doing bread and cinnamon rolls this weekend. I think being a convection oven will help with some of the cons. The preheat times are not that far off from the Maytag that it replaced.

So far I do like the range and it was not cheap so I hope everything will be ok. I am glad I opted for the extended warranty never-the-less; so I have five years that it's their problem. I also have 30 days to return and exchange the range if there is something I don't like. I am just going to have to quit fretting and enjoy it.

This post was last edited 03/20/2013 at 08:47
Post# 667184 , Reply# 13   3/20/2013 at 07:30 (1,863 days old) by mitch (Atlanta)        
No problems here

My .02 cents worth--which is worth less :)! I put in a KA 27 inch electric wall oven about 8-10 years ago with the hidden element and so far have had no issues with it. As a matter of fact we liked this oven so much that when we did a kitchen remodel 2.5 years ago we went with a KA slide in range that is TOL--so we now have two ovens in the kitchen as we bake a lot. The little oven is not convection, but it gets to temp fast--of course this oven is small. The big oven does take longer to pre-heat. The baking results have been fantastic. Cakes come out beautifully as well as breads. We especially like the convection oven!

Now, the KA slide in does have that ceramic cook top in white that we absolutely despise! You can not boil water for tea without having to get cleanser and scrub pads out! God help you if you elect to use cast iron for cooking on the stove top! If I could do it over--gas cook top and an electric oven!!

Good luck with yours and I hope you like it!

Post# 667197 , Reply# 14   3/20/2013 at 08:51 (1,862 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        

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The new range is white on White and I actually don't think it shows dirt as badly as the previous range that was black on black. The black range showed every finger print, every speck of dust, every splatter etc.

Nice thing I like about the white top is you can tell which burner is hot. On the black top you had the indicator light that told you the surface was hot but not which burner. The white burners turn yellow when they are hot and back to white when they cool. This way you know which one is hot, of course, best practice is to place your hand above the burner and feel for heat before you touch.

Post# 667199 , Reply# 15   3/20/2013 at 09:00 (1,862 days old) by mitch (Atlanta)        
Like the look of the white

on white--that is what ours is. It does look nice when it is all cleaned up :). I also like the black appliances, but after having a black washing machine and a black fridge in the basement--I know exactly wat you mean about it showing everything!

If you can, post a pic of your new baby--would love to see it!!

Post# 667332 , Reply# 16   3/20/2013 at 19:37 (1,862 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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We have a 2008 Electrolux Icon 30" dual fuel range with hidden bake element.  I use the self-clean option no more than twice a year.


So far, there have been no problems with this system.  I just now mixed up some banana bread batter and pre-heating to 350 took seven whole minutes.  The oven was ready before I was.

Post# 667403 , Reply# 17   3/21/2013 at 07:33 (1,862 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        

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Made a batch of Oatmeal Scotchies last night. Started the oven before I began mixing. I didn't time it, but the temp was ready before I was. I baked four racks (four dozen cookies) on convection bake.

They did take longer than the 10-12 minutes the recipe called for about 18 minutes, but was not out of line for being a larger batch. The Maytag it replaced took about 15. This oven auto corrects and sets the temp 25 degrees cooler on convect, I used to set the oven at the temp called for and didn't correct for convection cooking, so this could be a difference in the speed. Cookies were perfectly and evenly browned.

I noticed after I was finished that I set the oven for Convection single rack baking instead of Convection multi-rack bake. I am not sure if it makes any difference, but there are two buttons that differentiate the two not sure what they do differently.

All ovens are different, so it is going to take getting used to so far I don't dislike it.

I will post pics when I get a chance.

**I had to add this**
The range originally only came with 3 racks. I was a bit disappointed because my previous range had four racks so you could do the entire batch of cookies at once. (I bake a lot of cookies for kid's school). The lady at Sear's told me when I bought it to try my old racks and if they didn't fit to call her. I called her Saturday after the range was delivered and told her they would not fit. She said that she would look for another rack, but was afraid the cost would stop my heart.

When I got home yesterday a brand new, original equipment made by GE rack was sitting on the front porch. She had ordered it for me at no charge. Now is that customer service or what?

This post was last edited 03/21/2013 at 08:35
Post# 667406 , Reply# 18   3/21/2013 at 07:53 (1,862 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Can't say about your unit ... my GE Profile on single-rack convection runs the regular lower bake element with the circulation fan. Multi-rack convection runs the convection element and fan, not the lower bake element.

Post# 667412 , Reply# 19   3/21/2013 at 08:13 (1,862 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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I have a Sears convection range. There are 2 options - convection bake and convection roast. On convection bake, the entered temperature is the temperature selected and the convection element on the back wall and fan operate. On convection roast, the entered temperature is lowered automatically by 25 degrees and the element on the bottom and fan operate. The lowest temperature that can be entered is 325 on convection roast.


Post# 667426 , Reply# 20   3/21/2013 at 10:51 (1,861 days old) by mitch (Atlanta)        

That was GREAT customer service from Sears--kudos to them! That is the way Sears used to do things. Glad they got you hooked up with 4 racks!

Glad to hear you are liking the new range--interesting about the different convect modes for multi-rack/single rack baking. I wonder if it affects the fan speed and/or does something with the temp.

I think I am going to time mine on how fast the big oven gets to 350-which seems like a long time. It may just be that I am used to the smaler oven being so fast.

Thanks for the additioinal info!

Post# 667429 , Reply# 21   3/21/2013 at 11:16 (1,861 days old) by redcarpetdrew (Concord, CA (But my heart will always be in sweet Nevada!))        

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Just remember that because it says 'preheated' doesn't mean it really is. The oven sensor will say 'I've reached, say, 350' but the actual metal oven cavity is still coming up to that temp. In the business, we let the oven actually cycle about 2-4 times before finally checking temps for a more accurate reading. I've noticed that the hidden bake element units will actually signal preheated about 25-50 or thereabouts below the desired temp then slowly coast up to it.


Post# 667432 , Reply# 22   3/21/2013 at 11:26 (1,861 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Drew makes a good point. Typically for most stuff (pizzas and such) I just wait until the P-7 lower element cycles off, which takes about five minutes. I keep a good oven thermometer hanging from the broil element (never use broil) and check that as well. But just because the thermometer says "375" and the bottom element has cycled off, doesn't mean that all parts of the oven are up to temp. For baking bread or cakes I'd probably also wait until the element had cycled on and off a few more times before loading the oven with product. For frozen pizza, or a tray of fish sticks, who cares?

Post# 667479 , Reply# 23   3/21/2013 at 15:28 (1,861 days old) by jerrod6 (United States of America)        

I've had a Bosch Gas range with an electric oven since 2005. So far no problem with the concealed element. Although I do many things on the convection bake setting which doesn't use the lower element as it instead blows heat out of the back of the oven over the food.

No problem during self cleaning. I am not sure what elements are in use, but there is no fan sound so I don't think the convection part is being used.

Still no problems.

Post# 667482 , Reply# 24   3/21/2013 at 15:57 (1,861 days old) by mitch (Atlanta)        
Well I tried it

Drew--that is something I did not know---thank you for bringing that to my attention. I started the big oven preheating at 4:25 PM EDT, using standard bake (no convection) with 350 as the target temp. At 4:41 is chimed that it was up to temp. So, yeah, I think it is slower to preheat as opposed to a regular element--basing this on ovens we have had in the past.

Post# 667483 , Reply# 25   3/21/2013 at 15:59 (1,861 days old) by mitch (Atlanta)        
And ready

4:41 350 degrees

Post# 667484 , Reply# 26   3/21/2013 at 16:02 (1,861 days old) by mitch (Atlanta)        
No element

Interior showing the floor--plus it is one of the few times it is sort of clean :)

Post# 667624 , Reply# 27   3/22/2013 at 11:20 (1,860 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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Seems to be a contradiction to have a self-cleaning oven & never use (and yes, I'm way behind on cleaning the oven in my dad's range; mom refused to use the very feature she'd prided herself on buying a new range for in 1982 & by 2006 had gone through one more to get that one that is there now!) at least according to what I've read in the article, while the feedback in terms of comments are the usual variety of agreement, disagreement, support, non-support, like & dislike...

My gas range I merely used the pre-set 3 hours for to get a fair job & only wonder if setting it to the "Hi" setting to obtain 4 hours would have made a difference in a cleaner oven?

("Lo" makes a 2 hour cleaning, of which w/ a little more use of the oven & more frequent use of the S/C feature would break the same results, though my GE P-& electric way back in the days of my apt., set to similarity would really have beaten it...!)

-- Dave

Post# 667643 , Reply# 28   3/22/2013 at 13:36 (1,860 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        
Time to Temp

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I've been following this thread with some interest. I have a KitchenAid Convection range that is about 10 years old. It has an exposed bake element. I was unaware that some ovens will reduce the set temp if you are using the convection mode, I wonder if mine is like that.

I have a few decent data gathering instruments so last night I ran a time to temp. I set the oven to 350 F standard Bake cycle. The oven signaled being at temp in 8:57. I attached a photo of the meter.

I'll export the data and create a better graph to share. I'll also run a convection mode test and overlay that too. It would be really interesting to see one of the hidden element ovens time to temp graphed like this. I'll have to see if I know of one I can test. I'll probably post results in a new thread so as not to hijack.

Post# 667662 , Reply# 29   3/22/2013 at 14:53 (1,860 days old) by redcarpetdrew (Concord, CA (But my heart will always be in sweet Nevada!))        

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As a tech, ohhhh the fun I could have with that meter... Fun fun fun!


Post# 667728 , Reply# 30   3/22/2013 at 20:57 (1,860 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

My Farberware convection oven's use & care manual greatly ephasizes the necessity of reducing the baking temperature in the recipe by 25F unless the temperature is 300F, like for chocolate pound cake. With computerized oven controls, this is done automatically.

Post# 667739 , Reply# 31   3/22/2013 at 21:40 (1,860 days old) by jerrod6 (United States of America)        

I think the current models probably do the reduction automatically. Mine from year 2005 does not. Instead the manual recommends you do the reduction manually. Sometimes I do, Sometimes I don't and just remove the contents when I see it's the right time.

Hard to believe my unit is this old but I have never had one problem with it.
For me It's one of those "this was a very good idea to purchase" items.

Post# 667740 , Reply# 32   3/22/2013 at 21:43 (1,860 days old) by jerrod6 (United States of America)        

So what is the temperature fluctuation on that screen? It almost looks like 50 degrees

Post# 667770 , Reply# 33   3/22/2013 at 23:00 (1,860 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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Indeed there is a wide variation in measured temperature due to the hysteresis in the control. Its not quite 50 deg F but close. I wonder if the radiation from the bake and broil elements was influencing the thermocouple which I had dead center in the oven cavity. I plan to re run the test but with some foil radiation shields above and below the thermocouple.

Post# 667874 , Reply# 34   3/23/2013 at 11:07 (1,859 days old) by mitch (Atlanta)        
I like the way this is going

That Fluke meter is cool--I inherited a Fluke Ohm meter from my dad that I love. It is interesting seeing all the feedback on these ovens and everyone's expereinces with them.

One other gripe with my KA range is the control panel is ubber sensitive--you can just brush up against it cleaning or leaning and before you know it you have set it to do "something" you did not want it to do! We usually lock it out. On the old oven you really have to press the pad to get it going--under most circumstances you would not accidently turn it on.

Post# 667876 , Reply# 35   3/23/2013 at 11:38 (1,859 days old) by magic_clean (Florida)        

desirable to have a certain amount of temperature swing to achieve good browning results when baking and roasting.

Post# 667880 , Reply# 36   3/23/2013 at 11:47 (1,859 days old) by redcarpetdrew (Concord, CA (But my heart will always be in sweet Nevada!))        
To be sensitive or not to be...

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They're designed to be that way for customers who have a hard time activating those keypads due to problems with their hands. Good or not, marketing rules the designs more than the engineers do. As for techs having a say in anything, well... we always get to sit outside in the waiting room.


Post# 667887 , Reply# 37   3/23/2013 at 12:14 (1,859 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Phil, it might be interesting to put the thermocouple inside a covered metal pan without it touching any surface to get an idea of the stability of the temperature during a period of oven operation without radiant heat from the elements affecting it. I'm thinking of when your brother first tried a freezer alarm in his frostless freezer. It would go off during defrost, but when the sensor was placed in a container of water, the ice did not vary in temperature during the defrost periods.

Post# 668650 , Reply# 38   3/27/2013 at 04:21 (1,856 days old) by foxchapel ()        
Seems to be a contradiction to have a self-cleaning oven & n

I agree completely. These new ovens are a joke. Hidden bake element in our new oven, so must pre-heat for 30 minutes. Such a waste of electricity, not to mention the nice fan that will blow the heat into an already warm kitchen in order to save the computer circuitry from frying. We can not use the self-cleaning system, or it will fry the computer circuits. And owner's manual says to use mild soap and water to clean the interior of the oven. As IF! Can not use oven cleaners or the oven paint finish is destroyed. They don't make 'em like they used to.

@mitch - I'm sorry you hate your glass top stove. We have an induction cooktop and absolutely love it. Spills clean up so easily, cast iron is not a problem. It is the best thing in our kitchen.

Post# 669205 , Reply# 39   3/30/2013 at 11:44 (1,852 days old) by mitch (Atlanta)        
Luck push

Well the weather is finally warm enough to open windows to allow the self-cleaning fumes to go outside. I am running the self-clean cycles on the little, old KA oven as it needs cleaning badly! I took the default cycle of 3.5 hours. Let's hope I do not burn up any boards or circuits!

Oh, I am trying the trick of placing the chrome racks covered in oven cleaner in a black trash bag sealed up in the sun. First time I have tried this--hope it works! I will reply back with the results if anyone is interested.


Post# 669207 , Reply# 40   3/30/2013 at 11:58 (1,852 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Of course we're interested! Looking forward to your report.

Post# 669271 , Reply# 41   3/30/2013 at 20:28 (1,852 days old) by mitch (Atlanta)        
Good news/bad news

Well, well. The results are a mixed bag. I have good news and bad news to report.

The good:

Placing the oven racks soaked in oven cleaner in a black plastic trash bag in the sun worked better than I ever imagined! I left the racks outside for about 4 hours and the grime literally just melted off leaving bright, shiny chrome!! Awesome way to do this-my new method!

The oven is a whole lot cleaner than it was! I did not even take a “before” picture as it would be too embarrassing to post for the world to see! I did have to get a scrub pad and my old school Bon Ami out to help when the cycle completed.

Electronics appear to be okay!!

The bad:

Oven did not come as clean as I would have liked. It was a 3.5 hour cycle and perhaps I should have gone longer or another cycle as a follow up.

The very bad! I have damage on the oven floor! There is a pitted section where the lining has chipped off—it is almost like a divot. The enamel is also cracking! Fine cracks in some sections—not sure if the camera will pick that up. I do not know if it was like that prior to running the self-clean cycle or if the damage was already in place. Not sure what to do about this, or if there is anything I could do for repair. The floor appears to be part of the entire liner.

I believe this oven is at least 10 years old and we use it all the time. We cook—I mean we cook! Ovens are used many times a week and long hours on a typical weekend. This little oven is always the “go to” oven as it cooks great and the temp is always spot on. I am not sure if the amount of use or this past cleaning cycle damaged it. We will use this oven until it is worn completely out! I probably share in the blame for letting it go so long without cleaning!

First picture shows what she looked like after completion of cycle.

Post# 669272 , Reply# 42   3/30/2013 at 20:30 (1,852 days old) by mitch (Atlanta)        
Showing the door--bad spot!

Down at the bottom center.

Post# 669275 , Reply# 43   3/30/2013 at 20:45 (1,852 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Thats the same problem...

Westinghouse and Hotpoint had in the 50s, the enamel would get so hot it would crack and craze and then you got rust next, Admiral kind of solved the problem with there oven by using a stainless steel oven bottom, but they all had dropped the feature by the late 50s.

Post# 669302 , Reply# 44   3/30/2013 at 21:58 (1,852 days old) by mitch (Atlanta)        
After scrubbing

Looks better!

Post# 669304 , Reply# 45   3/30/2013 at 22:01 (1,852 days old) by mitch (Atlanta)        
Showing the spot in the oven floor and hazing

not good! The spots that look like rust is where the porcelain is pitted :(

Post# 669305 , Reply# 46   3/30/2013 at 22:02 (1,852 days old) by mitch (Atlanta)        

with shiny racks!

Post# 669306 , Reply# 47   3/30/2013 at 22:06 (1,852 days old) by mitch (Atlanta)        
The end

what a day! 5 loads of laundry, cleaned oven, replaced headlight on car, trip to grocery store and cooked dinner, then a last minute trip to Wal-Mart He%&!! We are tired! Oh, --I cut my hand replacing the headlight then got oven cleaner in the cut and that smarted pretty darned bad!! :)

Post# 669324 , Reply# 48   3/30/2013 at 23:31 (1,852 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        
It looks very nice all cleaned up.

SC ovens no longer put the mullion element around the front of the liner to get the front part of the liner and the door clean. Note how the gasket ends at the bottom center of the oven to allow air to enter in a controlled fashion. That is why that portion does not get hot enough to clean without the mullion element. Now that you know what parts do not self clean, you can save yourself work by cleaning them before you start the SC process.

That damage probably happened to the floor long ago when something acid like a fruit pie dripped on it and of course, the intense heat over the years is damaging the porcelain. Even if the oven bottom gets so bad that you can see the heating element through the floor, you can just put a cookie sheet on the floor and use it for another decade or two.

Who's guarding the kitchen in the last picture?

Post# 669394 , Reply# 49   3/31/2013 at 10:28 (1,851 days old) by mitch (Atlanta)        

Hey Tom that is funny you said that about the cookie sheet or some other piece of metal to put in the oven floor--I was thinking about that and wondering if it would work when the time came :)

That is Smudge, a rescue cat. I have had cats all of my life and this one is the best cat I have ever had--he is sweet! He is one cool, laid back cat. He just doesn't care! He prefers to be held like a baby.

Eugene--thanks for the encouragement! I certainly enjoyed your post on the new Frigidaire washing machine!

Harley-thanks for starting this thread!

Foxchapel--I would like to "play" with an induction cooktop to see for myself. When we redid the kitchen several years ago the induction cooktops were WAY out of my budget!!

Happy Eater--and oh yeah--I am baking a ham in the newly cleaned oven and just pulled it out to do the glaze and spilled juice all over the oven floor!! Confound it!! :)

Post# 669404 , Reply# 50   3/31/2013 at 11:57 (1,851 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        
Happy cooking! Happy Holiday!

What is a holiday without cooking? It is just that sort of acidic spill that causes the etching of the gloss and eventual deeper "divots" you were mentioning. My mother used to save the juice and syrups of canned fruits to use in her ham glazes so they were acidic. Between hams, the glaze, by then a very dark color was stored in a jar in the downstairs refrigerator sealed under an inch of protective fat. I found out that many people in Atlanta used a glaze based on Coca Cola for ham. Will you try to do a bit of spot cleaning on the spill after the holiday?

Post# 669479 , Reply# 51   3/31/2013 at 19:35 (1,851 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
My new oven got a work out this weekend,

iheartmaytag's profile picture
And it performed flawlessly. From Cheesecake, to Carrot cake, Ham, sweet potatoes, hash brown casserole, hot rolls, and carrot souffle'. Did the carrot cake yesterday, and the cheese cake on Thuesday so it had time to age. Other than that it started at 7:00 this morning with the whole ham getting started at 325 convect roast.

Mixed the bread, and the carrot souffle' this at about 10:00 had prepped the casserole, sweet potatoes last night. Ham came out about 11:45 to sit covered while the oven got loaded with two racks of breads, bottom rack had the Hash brown casserole, sweet potatoes, and souffle'. Worked the stove top with Green beans, corn and potatoes to mash.

Sliced the Ham, and sent the tray to the warming drawer, as the breads came out. Dinner was served at 1:00 straight up.

Mitch, my Maytag oven got pitted and grazed and it wasn't a hidden element. My former GE never did that, but have always had to clean outside the gasket by hand.

I will steam the oven tonight, just as a touch-up, actually survived all that cooking without a mess. No I can't believe it either. I actually didn't even boil over the candied sweet potatoes this time, and got the marshmellows perfectly browned.

As for clean-up, The Kitchenaid performed beautifully. Thirteen place setting, with serving bowls, two of the baking dishes, Desert plates, glasses, coffee cups, coffee maker, flatware (A certifiable Bob Load). Everything clean and dried in under two hours.

Final verdict, They are both keepers.

Post# 669490 , Reply# 52   3/31/2013 at 20:04 (1,851 days old) by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        

mrb627's profile picture
Can you post a pic of your range?

And how about a before and after if the oven steam clean cycle.


Post# 669492 , Reply# 53   3/31/2013 at 20:32 (1,851 days old) by mitch (Atlanta)        

You went the full deal with your meal! That sounds so good!! We did cherry glazed ham, baked sweet potatoes, mac & cheese, asparagus wrapped with bacon and stuffed with feta cheese and yeast rolls. Yes, I will be eating salad the rest of the week! I did spray 409 on the oven floor once it cooled enough and scrubbed out the mess! Just my luck, pristine clean oven and first time out make a big mess :).

I know what you mean about Bob loads! The KA and the Kenmore have earned their keep today!

I have thoroughly enjoyed this thread! I am with Mr. B--would love to see a picture of your new oven!!

Post# 669518 , Reply# 54   3/31/2013 at 21:57 (1,851 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        

iheartmaytag's profile picture
Here are some pics. Sorry had to use phone camera. Here's the stove.

Post# 669520 , Reply# 55   3/31/2013 at 22:00 (1,851 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
Here's the oven

iheartmaytag's profile picture
I didn't take a before pic, but it was an great job. There were a few ham splatters that just curled up and wiped off. This was just a touch-up cleaning, but I am impressed.

I will try to get some better pics later.

Post# 669524 , Reply# 56   3/31/2013 at 22:26 (1,851 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
another pic

iheartmaytag's profile picture
This one of the warming drawer

Post# 669525 , Reply# 57   3/31/2013 at 22:27 (1,851 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
and another

iheartmaytag's profile picture
oven, sorry about the glair.

Post# 669566 , Reply# 58   4/1/2013 at 08:21 (1,850 days old) by mitch (Atlanta)        
Good looking range!

That is one nice looking range and appears to offer all sorts of nice features! Looks like the right front burner offers three different sized heating "zones". I also count 5 burners--with their own individual control! Sweet!! I would like that for sure!!

Do you find you use the warming drawer much? I insisted we get that on the KA range and we have used it--not as much as I thought, but it certainly comes in handy with parties and holiday baking. Most of the time it is used as a storage drawer for cookie sheets, muffin tins and metal baking pans. Everything stacks and nests nicely so it can be removed in one swoop when the use of a warming drawer is needed. I think this is a feature that I would want on future ranges.

Oh--I have good luck with cleaning the top with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser!! Of course for cooked on crud it is a different story :)

Thanks for posting your pictures!!

Post# 669579 , Reply# 59   4/1/2013 at 09:10 (1,850 days old) by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        
GE Ranges

mrb627's profile picture
I have been looking at the GE Ranges, myself. My Kenmore Elite is about on its last legs. Ideally, I would prefer to go the induction route and eliminate the gas. But that may not be cost effective.

Thanks for posting the pics and your impressions.


Post# 669592 , Reply# 60   4/1/2013 at 09:37 (1,850 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        

iheartmaytag's profile picture
Having only had it for two weeks I have not had much chance to use the warming drawer except yesterday.
It came in handy keeping things warm while others were baking, however, it is a little small to use for anything with any depth.

The two front burners are multi-sized. The one on the left has two sizes and has a power boil feature that gets water going quickly. It is supposed to allow the temperature to go higher for a certain amount of time longer before the thermal limiter kicks in. The one on the right has three rings 13, 8, 6, and is certified to handle a pressure canner up to 100 lbs.

Mrb--I wanted an induction burner too, but my checkbook said no as it was almost double the cost of this range. I am going get a counter top induction unit at a later date to use with my Iron cookware and deep frying, as you can precisely control the temp of the oil I've been told.

I have been very happy with the performance so far. I was a little worried at first, but the more I use it, the more at ease I become.

I always have used Cook's Smooth top cleaner, but this range was packaged with Crema Brite (I think that's how it was spelled). The cleaners are supposed to leave a protective coating that will help condition the top and prevent nasty spills from sticking. The black top left the house looking as good as it did the day it was new. So far the white top has cleaned up very well, but there haven't been any boil overs--Yet. Main thing with any smooth top, careful of sugary spills and acid spills. They will permanently damage the top.

Post# 669597 , Reply# 61   4/1/2013 at 09:54 (1,850 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        
Steam Clean Ovens

dadoes's profile picture
I've run across complaints that the steam clean process doesn't do anything useful but maybe that depends on the soiling level.

Post# 669610 , Reply# 62   4/1/2013 at 10:43 (1,850 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
depends on the soiling level.

iheartmaytag's profile picture
This is what I was told when purchasing as well. One reason for choosing this range over the Whirlpool sourced units (Maytag) was you have the option of High heat cleaning for severe messes. The aqua-lift units did not offer the high heat option.

I did the steam last night as a touch up hoping to prevent a massive cleaning. Let's see what happens the first time a cherry pie boils over.

Post# 669646 , Reply# 63   4/1/2013 at 13:49 (1,850 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
Ohhh.  Steam cleaning and AquaLift are different methods.  The complaints I've read apparently are targeted to the AquaLift models.

Post# 669665 , Reply# 64   4/1/2013 at 14:50 (1,850 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        

iheartmaytag's profile picture
GE's steam clean cycle is much like the Whirlpool system. You pour a cup of distilled water in the well at the bottom of the oven. Set the Steam cycle and 30 minutes later it tells you to wipe oven. You wipe up the excess water on the floor and I basically dried the oven with a towel.

Like I said the oven wasn't too bad, but had some ham splatters etc that just curled up and wiped right off.

The Aqua-lift system is similar but they have a propitiatory coating that is supposed to lift off the stains in the presence of water. They do not have the high heat option for bad stains.

I felt this was a devolution of the self-clean process, but do like the ability to touch up without having to heat up the kitchen and use the electricity.

Post# 669703 , Reply# 65   4/1/2013 at 17:29 (1,850 days old) by mitch (Atlanta)        
That is slick!

I would think the steam would help a lot!

Thanks for the recommendation on a stove top cleaner--will give that a try.

Post# 673615 , Reply# 66   4/17/2013 at 22:59 (1,834 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
It has been a month

iheartmaytag's profile picture
We made it through a holiday dinner, and I must say I love the new stove. Cooks perfectly, browns evenly, temperature is on point. Easy clean up.

I had my Maytag for 17 years and was never unhappy with it, however, the last few years it got to be a little hard to live with at times. But, the performance between the two is very noticeable , all in the GE's favor.

Only major getting used to point is the surface controls. The multi size burners on the front use a split control for the unit, if you are not careful and pay close attention you can edge it from low on the smaller size to high on the larger sized surface unit. There is a click when it makes the jump, but If you don't pay attention, as I did not, you can end up with scorched Good Friday Salmon Patties.

Did a batch of banana oatmeal cookies tonight, new recipe--next time I will cook a little longer. But did four racks at one time, all came out in about 15 minutes. Preheat time is a little slower as discussed, but is not a major show stopper.

One thing I must definitively mention, the wonderful, understanding people on GE's website. They took all the questions that a slightly neurotic, OCD person that just spent a lot of money could come up with, and answered them all completely, honestly, and welcomed you to ask more. My hats off to them and Dear Donna at Sear's Towne West for a great buying experience.

Post# 673679 , Reply# 67   4/18/2013 at 07:00 (1,834 days old) by mitch (Atlanta)        
Glad to hear you like it!

I know what you mean about those multi-sized burners and making sure you have the correct section selected :).


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