Thankfully, the kind folk at Oven Pride, the UK’s number one Oven Cleaner, heard about how bad our oven was and came to our rescue. But first they set us a challenge, would we cook one Christmas dinner in our filthy oven and another after it had been cleaned, and compare the two. Always up for a challenge - and a good meal - we got stuck in.
The first thing to mention, dear reader, was the smell. Oh gosh, it was awful. Somehow we had failed to notice how bad our dirty oven smelt when cooking, but putting deliciously smelling goodies in there, like a veggie roast, trays of slowly roasting vegetables, yummy Yorkshires and scrummy stuffing just made the smell all the more apparent. A sort of acrid burning smell permeated the kitchen and sitting room, and - yuck! - you could even taste it in the food. Revolting.
I don't know if it was because we had just got used to the smell and didn't really think about it, or if the smell had got markedly worse because the oven was turned up high to roast, but it was awful. That evening, we quickly set to with the Oven Pride cleaning system.
First you pop the oven racks into the plastic bag provided with about half of the solution and squidge it around to coat the rack. Then pour the remainder onto the floor of the oven and apply it to all surfaces with a cloth. Leave both racks and interior to soak in the solution overnight, before rinsing with hot soapy water. Minimal effort really, but just you wait for the results...
The 'new' oven gleamed and shone, eliciting oohs and aahs from the girls, although I suspect their primary motivation was the prospect of another delicious lunch, this time with guests too. I certainly wouldn't have been happy about cooking for people pre-oven clean, but thanks to Oven Clean, we were ready to take them on!
Not only did the newly clean oven not smell, but it also left no weird aftertaste on our food, and if anything everyone tucked into Christmas dinner version two with even more gusto than version one. It's amazing what horrors you can get used to, without really noticing how negatively such a filthy oven can impact on both the smell and flavour of our food. We will certainly be adopting better oven cleaning habits from now on!
To be perfectly honest, I couldn't believe how straightforward cleaning the oven with Oven Pride was, and I'm almost tempted to say we should have done it sooner (far sooner!). We will certainly be trying to keep our gorgeous oven clean from now on, and I will be welcoming, and cooking for, visitors with pride this Christmas. No wonder Oven Pride has been approved by the Good Housekeeping Institute and is a winner of the Loved by Parents awards. Oven Pride is available form all good retailers and major supermarkets, including Asda, Booths, Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Waitrose, priced £4.00.