by Daisy Dao
Cooking is a skill that takes years to perfect and that is as useful as it is interesting.
That said, over these years, no matter how good you’re starting to get, chances are – you’re going to have quite a few cases of overcooked milk, undercooked stakes, and plenty of grease everywhere in your kitchen.
Of course, to become good at any given thing in this world, you have to be bad at it first and then make progress and become better through exercise.
Now, as far as cooking is concerned, the fact remains that you will have to deal with a lot of mess in your kitchen before you can confidently approach every cooking task knowing you won’t mess it up. Heck, sometimes even if you do everything right you will still have a lot of mess to get rid of – simply because of the nature of recipe for the dish you’re preparing.
Foods like fried chicken, pureed soups, cakes, and other recipes that involve either lots of sugar, or lots of grease, or having to deal with plenty of wet ingredients and pour the contents of one bowl into another – all have a certain messiness to them that you cannot escape no matter how good you are.
In this article, we’re going to talk about a special sort of mess that many chefs and rookie cooks alike have to deal with at some point – greasy stoves. The thing is, every once in a while, the grease you use to prepare different meals will escape the container it’s in and spread all over the heaters, as well as over the remainder of the stove. Here, we will show you how to get rid of these smelly and stubborn stains quickly and easily.
This is how it goes.
For electric stoves, the first step to ‘de-greasing’ them would be to remove the heating coils, as well as any special grease-catching grids that serve as a protection.
Of course, you will have to clean these too, so removing them before you clean everything else will be easier. This is mostly due to the shape of these protective metal grates – if you don’t remove them, you’ll have to use toothbrushes or similar thin cleaning utensils to get to the grease, which can be annoying and inefficient.
In case you own a gas stove, the procedure is fairly similar. The first step would be to remove the metal covers, or similar electronic grill-like structures, to be able to easily approach the stove surface. An important thing to keep in mind when gas stoves are in question, however, would be to cover the gas heaters with newspapers and protect them well.
This is important because if you don’t do this, some of the cleaning agent you are going to use can get stuck in the tiny holes the gas comes out of, which can lead to decreased function of the burners.
While there are many chemical formulas nowadays that can be a great solution to tackle grease stains from stovetops, the traditional ones often work just as well and don’t cost nearly as much.
Here, we will give you an example of one of these traditional concoctions and how to make it. (Of course, if you don’t feel like preparing this yourself, you can always buy the professional formulas at the local store.)
There a several ways of preparing a grease-tackling mixture. This is one that has vinegar as the basis.
What you do is take some white vinegar and some lemon juice and mix these two up. The ration should be 1:1, but you add water to make more of it. Of course, the more water you add, the weaker the mixture will be, so don’t go overboard with it.
Also, the quantity of this mixture depends on how big the surface it is that you need to clean. If it’s just one or two stoves, half a liter or so will be more than enough to do the job. What you can do is take a spray bottle and pour the mixture into it. Then you can simply spray some of it on the greasy spots and wait for the acid in the lemon & vinegar mixture to take effect.
After about a minute or so of waiting for the mixture to take effect (you may want to wait a bit longer to make sure the acid’s penetrated the grease well – especially if the layer of grease is fairly thick), take a damp rag you’ve prepared previously and slowly start scrubbing off the grease.
It would be a good idea to prepare some sort of container with a little bit of water, so you can clean the rag periodically before re-engaging the grease spots on the stove, so to speak.
In case the stains are so thick that going over it with the rag doesn’t remove all the grease, you can sprinkle some more of the mixture and then repeat the procedure until the entire stain has been completely removed.
Sometimes grease stains can be so tough to remove that even the strong acidic mixture we described above will not be able to do the job entirely.
In such situations, what you can do is remove as much of the stain as you can, using the mixture and the damp rag. Once you’ve done this, sprinkle some baking soda onto the grease stain and wait about five minutes for it to take full effect.
You can also try to same thing, but instead of using baking soda, you use Coca Cola instead. (You also need to wait for 5 minutes if you’re using Coca Cola, by the way.)
Once the five minutes have elapsed, take the damp rag and remove the remainder of the grease from off the stove’s surface. In the rare situation where this doesn’t work either, you may want to consider getting some other scrubbing tool, instead.
The lemon + vinegar mixture, as well as the Coca Cola and baking soda solutions should be strong enough to penetrate the grease itself. That said, the texture of the grease stain can be such, that you need a tougher approach when it comes to scrubbing, so to speak.
So, in case you can’t remove the stain with a rag, get a scrubber sponge or a steel wool pad. Steel wool, in particular, can do a great job of removing stains, because its texture is rough enough to go through any sort of grease with ease.
All in all, cleaning up burnt-up grease from your stove probably isn’t the most fun errand to run in your household, but it can be tackled fairly easily if you know what you’re doing. We hope this article helped you learn about how to remove grease from your stove and we wish you prepare many more delicious meals with no annoying grease on the stove in the future.
About Daisy Dao
Daisy grew up on the beautiful Honolulu island where she often found herself spending most of her day enjoying the ocean scent in sea waves. As such, Daisy came to appreciate the art of cooking seafood. She has experimented with baking, roasting, broiling, poaching, grilling (and every other cooking technique you can think of); and with all kinds of spices too. Now she is ready to present her experience: the art of cooking healthy food without any pre-packaged ingredients; food product recommendations for people who need a bit more guidance on what goes into their bodies; how to maintain an active lifestyle without having to give up your favorite foods!