Break Your Oven

I broke my oven.

I didn’t think it was possible, but I did.

How, you ask?

It all started with procrastination.  I had put off cleaning the inside of my oven for several months.  The splatters on the inside didn’t bother me.  I mean really, if the inside of your oven is dirty, does it really hurt anyone?  Most people aren’t going to see the inside of the oven.  The food that comes out of a dirty oven doesn’t taste any better or worse than when it’s clean.

The oven in question is a 2006 smoothtop Kenmore oven.  At the time Consumer Reports said this was a “recommended” model.  It has a warming drawer, glass in the oven door so you can spy on your food while it’s cooking, 5-burners, a power element, a special “simmer” option that never seems to work I expect and a self cleaning option.

When I hear “self cleaning” I think of the movie Mary Poppins where she and the kids tidy up their rooms just by pointing and singing.

Anticipating a gorgeous, sparkling oven interior, I set about getting the self cleaning mode started.

It was a miracle that I figured out how to turn the self cleaning feature on, which involves locking the cooktop and the oven so you can’t use it during the cleaning process.  I even discovered that I had a choice between a 3-hour cleaning and a 4-hour cleaning.

This was a no-brainer.  Since it was exceptionally dirty, I needed the 4-hour cleaning.  Heck, I probably needed the 8-hour cleaning but that wasn’t an option.

I learned that the 4-hour time was a lie.  It took far longer than 4-hours.  The oven beeped after 4-hours to let me know, “I’m done!” but then it didn’t unlock.  Instead, it remained locked for another hour while it cooled down.

Finally, I heard the oven unlock.  Filled with anticipation, I opened the oven door expecting my sparkling clean oven interior.


It didn’t turn out as I expected.  All the splatters were still there.

No matter, I would just take my wet sponge and wipe down the surface.

I started with the inset glass on the oven door.





Several thoughts followed:

  • Maybe I can still use the oven.  It’s double paned glass and it’s only the interior glass that has cracked in three places.
  • Did we buy an extended warranty?
  • Well, hey, I have always hated this oven.  What oven takes 30 minutes to preheat to 350 degrees?!
  • How am I going to cook the coffee cake that’s sitting over there on the counter?
  • Could I borrow my neighbor’s oven for 50 minutes?
  • How much time do I have before the stores close tonight?
  • How quickly can I get a working oven installed?
  • Looks like it’s pizza night!

Breaking the glass in the oven door has taught me:

  • To rethink using the self-cleaning feature on my next oven.
  • That if the oven had been designed to unlock when it was safe to wipe down, I wouldn’t be in this mess.
  • How many meals you can make without using your oven.
  • Even if I had all the time in the world to research which oven I should buy, the end result would have been the same.
  • Sears changes the manufacturing codes just slightly so they don’t match Consumer Reports.  This gets them out of their price match guarantee.  How can you get a better deal elsewhere if you can’t match the manufacturing code to any other store?  Brilliant.
  • No matter how positive a review Consumer Reports gives a Kenmore oven, I’ll probably never buy one again because I will always remember this one.
  • There is not a lot of sanctification buying something expensive when you have to versus buying something expensive when you want to.

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