Self cleaning oven - dumb questions
OK, I've never used the self cleaning function on my oven and it's way past due for a cleaning.
Take the racks out and lock the door, set it to "clean", right?
About how long does a cycle take? It's a 10+ year old GE Monogram oven (gas).
Figured I better run it while it is still cool out.
More or less right. I leave my racks in (but mine's electric); do you have instructions? Always safer to leave the racks out if you don't know. In mine, the only downside of the racks being in is that they aren't quite as "smooth" afterward. But they're clean! Usually there's a time setting on it as well. Standard cleaning time is 4 hours on mine; I do 5 if it's really really dirty, 3 if it's not so. Usually the locking of the door happens automatically but maybe not on yours.
Take the racks out. If you do leave them in and they are hard to move afterward just coat the sides with a bit of cooking oil and they'll be as smooth as new. The cycle can take 3 hours. My oven had a way you could set the time for 2 hours. You can always stop it during the cycle though. Mine is electric so not sure if there is a difference with gas models.
Like DGresh said, many racks can be left in the oven, but few are not. To some extend, it also depends on your preference. Many ovens has a timer for self-cleaning. In other words, it will stop after a set time. If yours does not have a countdown, then set it for 3-4 hours. That should be sufficient in most cases.
Yep, take the racks out. Also open a few windows and don't panic when you smell that awful burning smell. It's normal--the oven superheats and literally burns the crud off the walls and floor of your oven. The more crud there is, the worse the smell. Since you've never cleaned it, set it for the full time, usu. 4-5 hours. Also keep plastics and paper away from the surrounding area, as it can get pretty warm.