Let's Get Cooking ...
We see a LOT of questions about ovens. There are two subjects that come up on a fairly regular basis, burning in new ovens and cleaning old ones, so here's a blog for easy reference.
New Ovens ...
Any time you get a new oven you will want to make sure to prepare it before bringing it into the house and using it. No matter what type of oven you have, the first thing you should do is remove any zip or twist ties. Then use warm, soapy water and a washcloth to wipe down any racks and the insides of the oven.
Once you have wiped down all the surfaces inside the oven, it's time to start the burn-in. Doing this outside of the house is a great idea, just make sure you have the necessary electrical or gas connections and also that nothing is venting into the living space. If you can get the retailer to do this for you that’s better yet but CHECK before you bring it into your home and use it around your birds.
While instructions may vary from one manufacturer to the next, the premise of every "burn-in" process is the same:
Turn on the fan in the ventilation hood and, if possible, open a few nearby windows. (Not needed if you’re are doing this outside the home. If you’re doing it IN your home, you must remove the bird from the home and open all the windows)
Set the oven to high heat, between 400 to 550 degrees Fahrenheit (204 to 288 degrees Celsius).
Let the oven run at this temperature for between 30 minutes and an hour.
If the smell persists after the cycle, repeat the process once or twice more. Once you no longer smell oil or a burning odor, allow the oven to fully cool and use a warm, soapy wash cloth to wipe down the inside of the oven a final time.
Cleaning your Oven ...
Whether Electric or Gas you should never use the self cleaning feature even if there is no teflon in your oven. There are several reasons for this and all of these will prove deadly to your bird.
Baked-on and charred foods commonly found on the bottom of the oven that can lead to the creation of carbon monoxide. This reaction happens as these leftover foods start to heat up and burn during the cleaning cycle.
The fumes created during the oven’s cleaning cycle can be especially hazardous to the health of any pets you have in your home. Fumes from polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) are especially dangerous to birds. A bird’s respiratory system is designed to send immense amounts of oxygen to their flight muscles. The downside is that their efficient system quickly and easily send toxins straight through their bodies and endangers their lives.
There are plenty of natural and safe ways to clean your oven...
For lightly soiled ovens, make a thick paste of water and baking soda. Put the mixture on the tough spots and use a nylon scrubbing pad.
For greasy ovens use liquid dishwashing soap and hot water.
To remove those really tough spots, use very fine steel wool.
Non-toxic commercial oven cleaners are available, just make sure they don't contain lye and read the label carefully.
Regularly wiping up spills as they happen makes the job much easier since spills don't build up and burn on.