How to Get Your Stove Ready for the Holidays

By Lyle Weischwill | Nov. 14, 2023 8:23 am PST

Getting the stove ready for holiday cooking image.

Getting your stove ready for the holidays is an essential step in preparing for festive meals and gatherings. Whether you have an electric stove or a gas range, it will need thorough cleaning and maintenance to keep it working properly and efficiently.

Here are expert tips to get your stove ready for holiday cooking.

Clean and Maintain the Oven

Oven cleaning is typically the same for gas and electric ranges.

When your oven has a self-clean cycle, you’ll want to run a cleaning cycle as the first step in cleaning the oven. Follow the instructions in the owner’s manual for your oven to use the self-clean cycle.

If your oven doesn’t have a self-clean option, use an oven cleaner to remove spills and residue from the oven cavity. Follow the directions on the oven cleaner and in the owner’s manual for your oven to safely clean the oven.

Clean the Oven Door

The self-clean cycle won’t clean the outside (and some parts of the inside) of your oven’s door. In a manual-clean oven, you can use oven cleaner to clean metal parts of the inner oven door. Use glass cleaner or follow the directions in the owner’s manual for your oven to clean the door glass.

Clean the outside metal panel of your oven door according to the instructions in your owner’s manual. If your oven has a stainless steel outer panel, clean the panel using the tips in our How to clean stainless steel appliances video.

You may see streaks of grease or residue on the inner oven door glass because a spill dripped down through the vent and inside the door. This DIY video shows you how to clean inner oven door glass stains:

If you’re not confident that you can clean inside the oven door yourself, schedule a Sears Technician to visit your home and clean the oven door.

Check the Oven Door Gasket

In most stoves, the door seal is located around the oven cavity opening on the frame of the oven. Make certain that this door seal is soft and pliable to the touch. If it’s hard, brittle or torn, excessive heat will escape through the oven door. Fluctuating temperatures and poor baking results will occur in the oven.

Replace the oven door gasket if it’s worn out or damaged.

Clean the Oven Racks

You can clean your oven’s racks using a number of different methods—depending on how dirty the racks are. The simplest way to clean them is to wipe them down with oven cleaner or a non-abrasive cleanser such as Bar Keepers Friend.

To clean off extensive baked-on spill from oven racks, soak the rack overnight in a large container such as the bathtub. Add plenty of dish soap to the bath water to loosen the spills. Wipe down the racks and rinse them with water after soaking. Use the oven cleaner or non-abrasive cleanser to clean the racks more thoroughly if soaking doesn’t remove all the spills.

Check the Oven Burner in a Gas Stove

Follow these steps to check the oven burner in your stove.

Note: Have a service technician complete this task by scheduling Clean & Maintain service for your stove if you’re not confident that you can complete this maintenance task yourself.

  1. At the breaker panel, shut off power to the stove. Turn the gas shut-off valve to the off position. You can also unplug the stove to disconnect electrical power.
  2. With the oven completely cool, remove or release the thumb screws at the back of the bottom oven cavity panel. 3 Lift the back of the panel slightly and push back to release the bottom oven panel from the retaining lip. Push down on a front corner of the bottom panel so it tips enough that you can grasp the sides of the panel. Work the bottom oven panel up and out of the oven.
  3. Check the oven burner for damage or spills. Clean or replace the oven burner or have a service technician replace the burner if necessary.
  4. Replace the bottom oven cavity panel.
  5. Restore electrical power and the gas supply to the stove.

Image of Homeowner Cleaning a Glass Cooktop

Clean the Cooktop

The steps for cleaning the cooktop depends on the type of range that you have. Follow the procedure below to clean the type of cooktop that your stove has.

How to Clean a Gas Cooktop

When you’ve got burnt-on spills across grates and burners on your gas cooktop, you’ll need special cleaners to cut through the grime without harming the metal surfaces. Cleaning slots and ports in gas burner heads also requires some extra effort. Here’s a list of supplies that can help you clean the grates and burner heads on a gas cooktop:

Follow the steps shown in this video to clean a gas cooktop:

How to Clean an Electric Cooktop

Many electric ranges have a ceramic glass cooktop. Keep in mind that glass cooktops can scratch easily if you use the wrong type of cleaner or if you clean them incorrectly.

Here are some effective tools and supplies for cleaning a glass cooktop:

Many electric ranges have a ceramic glass cooktop. Keep in mind that glass cooktops can scratch easily if you use the wrong type of cleaner or if you clean them incorrectly.

Here are some effective tools and supplies for cleaning a glass cooktop:

Once you have your supplies ready, follow the steps in our How to clean a glass cooktop video to clean and polish the glass cooktop on your range.

Schedule Professional Maintenance

To keep your range operating efficiently and safely, schedule a Sears Technician to perform a Clean & Maintain yearly.

During Range Cleaning & Maintenance Service by Sears, the tech will complete these tasks:

  • Check control operation. Range controls are checked for accurate temperature control of the oven and stove top burners. Faulty controls can cause the range to waste energy when overheating occurs.
  • Examine oven door sealing and clean the oven door gasket. A loose door gasket or bent door hinges can prevent the oven door from sealing shut — allowing heat to escape during baking. You’ll wind up paying higher energy bills if heat constantly escapes the oven during baking because the burner will need to ignite more often and stay burning longer to heat the oven. The technician adjusts and cleans the oven door gasket to make sure it seals the oven door properly.
  • Test oven self-cleaning operation. Some ranges have self-cleaning ovens. During the self-cleaning operation, the oven burners heat the oven to extremely high temperatures to burn spills and residue inside the oven to ash. To prevent fires, the oven door must remain shut and locked during self-cleaning. If you were to open the door during self-cleaning, a sudden rush of air into the extremely hot oven can cause a serious fire. The service technician checks the control and oven door lock to make sure it stays shut during the self-cleaning cycle.
  • Check and clean the stove top burners. The Electric ranges use strong current to activate stove top elements to heat food. The technician cleans and checks electric elements to make sure they’re operating properly and safely. A short circuit in an electric stove top burner can cause a serious electrocution risk. An element on a glass-top range that overheats can damage the glass top. If you have a gas range, the technician cleans, checks and adjusts the gas surface burners. A dirty gas surface burner can fail to ignite – posing a serious safety risk. Gas surface burners need to be professionally checked and cleaned regularly.
  • Check oven burners or elements. The tech examines and adjusts oven burners in a gas range or electric elements in an electric range. Gas oven burners that aren’t adjusted properly can fail to heat the oven properly and may emit excessive carbon monoxide. Electric elements that aren’t heating properly will fail to heat the oven properly. A shorted electric element can pose a serious electrocution risk.
  • Inspect readily accessible electrical wiring. Whether you have a gas or an electric range, wiring needs to be periodically checked for insulation damage, proper grounding and secure connections. Damaged wiring can short to the metal in the range – causing an electrocution risk. Risk of electrocution is elevated if the ground connection of the range isn’t secure. The ground connection dissipates an electrical short to prevent you from getting an electric shock if a loose wire touches metal in the range. Having your range wiring checked by a technician helps ensure your safety.
  • Level the range and check the anti-tip device. Leveling the range helps reduce the risk that a pot or pan will accidentally slide off a gas surface burner. Leveling also helps items bake properly in the oven. The anti-tip device is an essential bracket that prevents the range from tipping forward when you open the oven door and extend an oven rack out of the range with a dish on the rack.

Having your range professionally serviced every year will help prevent unexpected breakdowns during the holidays.

The time and effort that you spend maintaining stove will pay off. You’ll enjoy using your range during the holidays when it’s clean and in top shape.

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