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Jan 31, 2010 01:05 PM

Self cleaning oven: racks in or out?

Do you take your racks out of the oven during self clean?

My manual (Bosch) says if I leave them in they will no longer be shiny. But I roast a lot, so they are already browned and scrubbing doesn't really clean them up much. Is there any harm to leaving them in other than aesthetics? Would they actually get cleaner that way?

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  1. I've always left them in. Now they're dark -- but they're clean.

    1. They will not slide as nice afterwards. I have foind the best thing is stick thme in a garbage bag overnight, sealed with a small dish of ammonia, they clean up beautifully after that.

      5 Replies
      1. re: WaWa

        Will this work for cleaning an old iron skillet?

        1. re: rshanna

          I don't know but I recently read a really cool article about how to strip and reseason a cast iron skillet that worked well for a friend.

          Option 1: Use oven cleaner on the cast iron skillet
          Option 2: Put the cast iron skillet in the oven on the self-clean cycle

          Here's the article. I haven't had a chance to try this myself but would love to know your results:

          1. re: JetLaggedChef

            Personally, I would use option 2 and completely avoid option 1...yes, the oven cleaner is in the oven too so it seems moot but the cast iron is porous and not at all like the interior of the oven. The heat may burn off any risk but being that it is so porous(this is why seasoning is important), I wouldn't risk it.

            Per the cleaning cycle, if you remove the racks, sit the cast iron on a coffee mug because you don't want the iron sitting on the coil. At the end of the day, you'll see the bare iron after wiping off ash and have a clean oven as well. I used this method to remove the factory seasoning on a Lodge skillet. This was after doing a little research and a brief failure with power tools...the oven was so much easier.

            1. re: JetLaggedChef

              Put the cast iron pot in a fire, it will burn off the old built up stuff on it, then use a scraper gently on it, I once put a skillet inside our wood heater came out very very clean.

          2. re: WaWa

            ^ This. I'm on my 6th house now and all have started with brand new ovens. In my experience, the above has been exactly true for all makes and models.

          3. I used to take them out because the manual says to, but I hate the dark, baked on crud that's so hard to take off, so I leave them in now and they're cleaner. I'm sure the finish will wear with time, but as long as it's not rusted, I'm fine with it. So far, no harm done over a few cleaning cycles of 4 hours apiece.

              1. I like shiny racks so I always take them out and clean them manually with SOS's a pain but I don't like what they look like after the self clean cycle.