Some of the sleekest kitchens of the last half-century have been outfitted with the modern, lux JennAir cooktops and wall ovens. And with appliances that look so good, cleaning is crucial for keeping those looks alive.
But when it comes to grates and burner caps, neglecting grease and cooked-on food can impact your cooking experience. Following JennAir range cleaning instructions isn't just about staying sleek-looking, it's about ensuring your stove operates as best it can.
How Cleaning Helps
Cooked-on food and grease on cast-iron grates won't hurt the grates or even the stovetop, but it can make your pots or pans sit unevenly. Or, it can catch fire briefly and cause hotspots or scorching on the pot or pan.
It's the burner cap where dirt can cause poor performance or malfunctions, by preventing proper gas dispersal and even making ignition too effective.
When cleaning the rest of the stovetop, Affresh cooktop cleaner is a JennAir-approved product. But on its website, JennAir does state quite clearly that for grates and burner caps, "soap, water and a soft cloth or sponge are suggested first unless otherwise noted." Microfiber cleaning cloths can do wonders in these instances.
A scrubbing brush can help get rid of stubborn bits, but make sure it's a light or medium, non-scouring bristle.
Cleaning JennAir Cast Iron Grates
You can put a cold cast iron grate into hot water, but never, ever put a hot grate into cold water. Always let your stovetop cool down before cleaning it.
A good grease-lifting soap in a sink of hot water is great for soaking your grates if they're suffering buildup. Let your iron grates soak for 30 minutes or so, until everything loosens and softens. However, never soak the burner caps and grates at the same time, as the caps are fragile and can chip or break if they bump against the grates.
Clean the grates with a light soap, brushing if it's residue that's been cooked on for a while. Lighter soiling can be remedied with a sponge or dishcloth. Once they're clean, dry them.
Your grates may be dishwasher safe, but you'll need to check the model's Use and Care Guide to see if it's recommended. Use the "aggressive" mode, if so, but JennAir still recommends soaking them first. Soak long enough to loosen things, about an hour, but don't go much longer as they're cast iron. If not enameled, it's recommended you protect them after drying by applying a thin, light coat of olive or vegetable oil with paper towel or a soft cloth.
Helpful Tips & Cautions
Never put the burner caps or cast-iron grates in an oven for a "self-clean" mode.
For acidic foods, like tomato or vinegar-based, clean up spills as soon as possible, even when it's on the burners or grates.
Never wash burner caps in the dishwasher. You can, however, soak them in warm soapy water and wash them with a sponge. Be sure to remove any particles or chunks along the cap edges, and underneath, to make the flame as even and full as possible.
Always dry the cap completely before returning it to the burner. Then, position it on the alignment pins and nudge it back into its snug seat.
Steffani Cameron is the daughter of a realtor and interior decorator mother and a home contractor father. Steffani is a professional writer with over five years' experience writing about the home for BuildDirect and Bob Vila. Raised with a mad love for decorating, Steffani gave up her Art Deco apartment to travel and work remotely for five years. She's in love with experiencing traditional decor around the world, including stays in Thai teak plantations on the Mekong River and cave homes in Turkey.