I'm a handywoman – how you're using your oven grill wrong and the damage it can cause

IT'S an appliance we think we know inside out, and we use it almost everyday when cooking meals – but are you using your oven and its grill correctly?

Possibly not, if you grill your bacon or toast with the oven door open.

While exactly how you use it depends on how old your oven is, this is often an error that can cause hundreds of pounds worth of damage if not careful.

Homehow's Natalie Mitchell has been a handywoman for 16 years, and often sees people using their oven grill incorrectly in this way.

She says: "Many people use their oven grill with the door open.

"Often people will do this on the grill section of an oven when cooking bacon or grilling bread to prevent burning.


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"However, most modern appliances are designed to be used with the door shut.

"This can actually cause the cooking time to increase and it should only be opened slightly if your oven is powerful and prone to burning easily."

Expensive mistake

The damage this can cause can rack up into the hundreds to fix.

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Natalie says: "If you leave the door open on the oven this will result in an excessive amount of heat escaping, which can cause damage to the fascia and may melt the oven knobs. 

"As well as being inefficient and dangerous around children, leaving the door open can actually melt the front of the appliance and the control panel.

"The cost to replace these fixtures will depend on the type of materials you have, however small oven repairs typically cost around £50 to £200.

"Always check your appliance manual to see how the grill should be operated."

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Another mistake people often also make is to remove the oven knobs when cleaning it, to get into all the nooks and crannies.

Natalie says: "Not only can this cause the knobs to break, but it can also put you at risk of electrocution.

"Instead, turn your oven off and clean around them.

"If there is any stubborn dirt in hard to reach areas you should try to clean it with a toothbrush or a cotton swab."

Cleaning up

To get the most out of your oven and the grill, it's important to think carefully about its maintenance.

"To ensure you oven is long-lasting, you should try to clean it thoroughly at least once a year.

"Also, if your oven has a self-cleaning function, you should try to use this as often as possible.

"To avoid damage, you should refer to your manual before switching on the self-cleaning setting.

"You should also make sure that you turn off your oven when you are cleaning, as this will prevent the risk of electrocution if you have an electric oven."

One cleaning expert has come up with a clever and cost-effective way to get rid of burnt-on stains in just 10 minutes – a lifesaver when neglecting cleaning the oven can create a fire risk.

"Black carbon stains are best tackled with heat and an oven scraper," Lucy, who regularly shares hacks on her Cleaning with Lucy account on TikTok, told Express.co.uk.

"Turn the oven on full heat for 10 minutes turn off and scrape.

"Repeat until clear."

To get the oven sparkling clean, a two-pronged approach is the best method, using heat to get rid of carbon stains and a cleaning product to remove grease.

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As for what product she'd recommend, the Elbow Grease All Purpose Degreaser is always top of Lucy's top choice.

Using Fairy Easy Spray on your dirty oven glass door is also another time-saving cleaning hack.

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