I was baking a pecan pie for my sister-in-law when smoke suddenly started to fill the kitchen. When I looked in the oven, I noticed that some of the syrupy filling had spilled over onto the bottom of the oven, but the pie was done, so I took it out and didn’t think to even wipe up the sticky mess. It has since encrusted itself to the bottom of my oven and whenever I try to preheat the oven, it fills our home with smoke. In the oven’s user’s manual, it says not to run the self-clean cycle without cleaning up any spill-overs, because it’s a fire hazard. Their solution: clean up spillovers with a “warm, soapy cloth.” Well, a warm soapy cloth doesn’t do squat. It also states not to use abrasive cloths such as steel wool and not to use any oven cleaners. As a result, I’m on my third week with no oven and my poor husband even missed out on a birthday cake. I am desperate to use my oven again.
A razor blade will probably be your best bet to scrape away the sugar. Hardware stores typically carry these near the painting supplies and should run you in the neighborhood of three dollars. Sometimes they are called glass scrapers. Use this ONLY if you have smooth finish in your oven.
For those of you with what is referred to as a perpetually cleaning oven that has a rough finish, the sugar will eventually bake off, don’t leave the oven unattended until most of the residue is gone.
In the future place a baking sheet on the rack below any dishes likely to spill over. They are much easier to clean.
If you still find yourself with a spill, immediately and liberally soak the spill with salt. The residue should easily wipe away once the oven is cool.