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Old 08-26-2013, 09:35 PM   #1
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Cleaning my new Wolf L-series oven

model SO30FS - 30" single oven

I've only had it a few weeks, and lightly used, of course it didn't need cleaning, but I was curious about the "self clean" cycle, and what the heck it was a hot day so why not make my house totally uncomfortable? (This stated in retrospect. I should'a done it at night, maybe upon settling into bed?)

So after reading the owners manual I discovered that before a self clean cycle you should remove everything from the oven, the racks, the rack holding brackets, everything!!!

(see attachment 1)

I was amazed at the beauty of the blue porcelain interior of the oven. The owners manual says don't use ANYTHING to clean it, maybe a rag and warm water. You can use a razor to scrape off deposits.

So I hit the button and committed to a 4 hour clean cycle, 3 hours at probably hot enough to cremate, and an hour cool down.

After the clean cycle I reinserted the side brackets. (They just hook in, no tools required:

(see attachment 2)

Then you reinsert all the racks:

(see attachment 3)

They slide in and out like any ordinary stove. The bottom rack has some sort of easy slide arrangement.

The control panel has a "disappear" function, it turns a blind stainless steel surface. There's a small tab below the control panel that toggles it to open or close:

(see attachment 4)

So this was the easiest stove I ever cleaned. The black deposits turned into white ash as the manual promised. A few wipes with a damp paper towel disposed of them. (I did spend a bit of prep work with a single edge razor.)

The blue porcelain interior of the oven is beautiful, hypnotic. I've never had such a beautiful and practical oven, although of course I paid 10x what i'm used to paying for a stand alone range, so of course you would expect the best you ever got.

I'm pleased with my new Wolf electric convection oven. Probably if I bought the Viking I would have been equally pleased. I met one of my best friends' brother and wife this weekend and they had just purchased Viking. I was similarly pleased looking at their gear. I'm not so sure it's that important feature wise at this level; I compared the brands and both had almost identical features.

I hope to take a closer look at Diana's Viking oven and cooktop soon!

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Old 08-26-2013, 11:47 PM   #2
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We have a gas 36" Wolf purchased to go into our remodeled kitchen in our old house. When we built the new house, the kitchen had to accommodate that work horse,the Wolf stove, not self cleaning but a great stove for 28 years. I have two sisters and a niece with the identical stoves.
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:53 AM   #3
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I'm willing to bet that you didn't need to do any prep work with the razor. Mine, I just remove the racks and let it go, just a little ash in the bottom after the cycle is done!
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:16 AM   #4
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:41 AM   #5
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First of all, I would never set the self clean and then go to bed. I hate waking up to the sound of firefighters kicking down my door.

When I do a self-clean, I take out the racks, but I put my pizza stone and the stainless steel tank from my deep fryer inside.
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:52 AM   #6
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Definitely do not need to pre-scrape. My 13 YO GE self cleans the worst messes (remember the banana bread that overflowed?) with no pre-cleaning. Set it and forget it. Granted, you get a bit of smoke but an exhaust fan/hood should deal with that. Then just wipe out the ash and you're done.

I don't understand why some folks fear self-cleaning ovens. The technology has been around for decades and works without a hitch.

As an aside, I try to clean the oven when it's already hot to save a bit on gas.
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:23 PM   #7
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Man, that's sparkling clean!! The auto clean feature is nice....but not on hot, humid days like what we've been having these past few days...:)
Anyway, that's a beautiful oven and am glad you're enjoying it!

Incidently, I was at my daughter's over the weekend and while she was preheating her Wolf range oven for some baked potatoes I noticed some smoke so I asked her when was the last time she cleaned the oven. Well apparently it has never been cleaned in the year and a half since she bought the house with this oven. It has the big red dial with no 'clean oven' selection. I assumed using easy off and following its direction was the way to go with her particular model so that's what I told her to do. I hope I gave her the correct advice.
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:59 PM   #8
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You don't have a lot of choices if the oven is not a self-cleaner.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldvine View Post
We have a gas 36" Wolf purchased to go into our remodeled kitchen in our old house. When we built the new house, the kitchen had to accommodate that work horse,the Wolf stove, not self cleaning but a great stove for 28 years. I have two sisters and a niece with the identical stoves.
Thanks for the reply! I'm sure my new Wolf will last 30+ years (given reasonable care), and I'll be lucky if I last 30 years (I'm trying to get the best care I can get). I'll be near 100 then, so it's safe to say that my Wolf is the last oven I'll ever own.

I hope my photos adequately communicated the beauty of this oven, the stainless steel racks and brackets (you can remove or install them all in 5 minutes or less) and the deep blue of the oven's beautiful interior surface.

It appears that my days of purchasing Easy Off oven cleaner are over. The manufacturer warns against using that stuff, and suggests to use a razor to scrape off the worst deposits, then just run a self clean cycle.

Well I was an idiot, I ran self clean during the heat of the afternoon. It has a function that you can preset a self clean for the early hours of the morning. I wish I knew how hot it got in there but I'm pretty sure it's safe to say it was way over 500F.

As advertised, it turned the splatters and deposits into a fine ash that wiped away with a damp paper towel. My oven is now showroom clean!

So far my opinion is that this wonderful oven was totally worth the price. And I'm pleased to know that this is the last oven I'll ever need.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:08 PM   #10
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I'm willing to bet that you didn't need to do any prep work with the razor. Mine, I just remove the racks and let it go, just a little ash in the bottom after the cycle is done!
I did do some initial cleaning but it appears it was unnecessary.

The Wolf manual advises "you should self clean your oven often." For sure the more often you do it the less the work will be and the more complete the cleaning you'll get.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Sir_Loin_of_Beef View Post
First of all, I would never set the self clean and then go to bed. I hate waking up to the sound of firefighters kicking down my door.

When I do a self-clean, I take out the racks, but I put my pizza stone and the stainless steel tank from my deep fryer inside.
Well at least I should have done it upon rising while drinking my morning coffee, when the heat wouldn't matter.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:14 PM   #12
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Man, that's sparkling clean!! The auto clean feature is nice....but not on hot, humid days like what we've been having these past few days...:)
Anyway, that's a beautiful oven and am glad you're enjoying it!

Incidently, I was at my daughter's over the weekend and while she was preheating her Wolf range oven for some baked potatoes I noticed some smoke so I asked her when was the last time she cleaned the oven. Well apparently it has never been cleaned in the year and a half since she bought the house with this oven. It has the big red dial with no 'clean oven' selection. I assumed using easy off and following its direction was the way to go with her particular model so that's what I told her to do. I hope I gave her the correct advice.
I don't know what model she has but she should try the self clean feature. I'm totally certain that my laborious oven cleaning days are over, except for taking a damp towel to wipe up the ash from the clean oven.

I was amazed that you can strip out the insides in 5 minutes, then put them back in 5 minutes. You could probably just leave them there, but the owner's manual says the stainless steel racks may discolor if left in during self clean.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:15 PM   #13
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You don't have a lot of choices if the oven is not a self-cleaner.
Sure you do. You can use Easy Off oven cleaner or one of the competing products.

Or you can just push a button...
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:20 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Greg Who Cooks View Post

I don't know what model she has but she should try the self clean feature. I'm totally certain that my laborious oven cleaning days are over, except for taking a damp towel to wipe up the ash from the clean oven.

I was amazed that you can strip out the insides in 5 minutes, then put them back in 5 minutes. You could probably just leave them there, but the owner's manual says the stainless steel racks may discolor if left in during self clean.
I'd definitely take them out. They not only discolor, but they also won't slide as smoothly. My range just has the metal contours holding in the racks so it is just a matter of sliding them out, but yours has the much nicer gliding racks.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:31 PM   #15
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...but the owner's manual says the stainless steel racks may discolor if left in during self clean.
Yes, they do but they are nice and clean! They also don't slide well after cleaning so I wipe them with a oiled paper towel per the owner's manual.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:06 PM   #16
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Well it takes 5 minutes to take the stainless steel racks, 5 minutes to put them back, and I prefer mine not stained, so I'll stick with the factory advice.

Gawd, as I stare into that stripped and cleaned oven, I think "staring into the abyss..."

This oven is so beautiful, but you'd expect that considering the ($4K) price. I'm sure you could get just as good (Viking) but I'm pretty sure the price and feature difference would be insignificant.

I just last weekend visited a BFF's brother and sister in law, and they had just bought Viking about the same time I bought my Wolf. We had a great talk! I'm sure the main differences are just appearance, not any functional differences.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:35 PM   #17
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Well it takes 5 minutes to take the stainless steel racks, 5 minutes to put them back, and I prefer mine not stained, so I'll stick with the factory advice...
I don't leave the shelves in because it's too much trouble to take them out. I can do that in about 10 seconds. I leave them in so they get cleaned along with the rest of the oven. There will be a time when you have a bad spill on the shelves and they will need cleaning. Hang on to that Easy-Off.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:44 PM   #18
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That's a good idea Andy, using Easy Off to clean the racks. I use it on pots and pans with difficult stains too.


One additional comment about my oven cleaning, I stupidly did it on a hot day and it does generate a lot of heat--my air conditioner kept the rest of the house fine but I spend most of my time in my family room (den)--with my family (4 footed kind, my sr. citizen 15 year old dog)--and I had to set up a fan (in addition to my ceiling fan) to keep my family room comfortable.

Also, the oven cleaning does generate a smell, not real unpleasant but not pleasant either, and I could still smell it this morning. I'm not blaming Wolf for this, if you incinerate dried fat spatters into dried powder any stove is going to generate the same smells. I don't blame the manufacturer or design for this, IMO it's just a fact of physics and chemistry and reality.

It's also possible since this is the first time I ran a cleaning cycle that it might have generated additional smells. The owner manual suggests before first using it you should run it at 350 for an hour (or something like that) to burn out any lubricating grease or other factory contaminants, which indicates to me that the factory never ran a cleaning cycle or otherwise that step wouldn't have been necessary.

Anyway its fun to have an oven that may be worth more than a few of my neighbor's (used) cars! Well to be truthful I spent all my money on my house (and my Wolf oven and cooktop) and I'm pretty sure I'm the poorest guy on my block, or at least near that.

But I am pretty sure few if any of them have better ovens or cook tops. I visited my best friend's brother and sister in law, and they'd just installed Viking about the same time I bought my Wolf. Diane had the 36" Viking cook top and Viking dual ovens. (Okay and Viking microwave convection oven.) Yeah I was outclassed but I don't feel too bad. I have better than I've ever had before, I probably don't need more than 4 burners, and I'm sure I don't need dual ovens.

My house doesn't have a built in microwave, possibly a good thing. I got a 1100 watt Hamilton Beach at Walmart for $65 and it works fine. And if it quits working I can just throw it away and get another MW oven.

Anyway I'm very pleased with my Wolf oven and cook top. It's the best I've ever had, its the best I'll ever have, and it's easily as good as I'll ever want or need.

Just for the record, I think Wolf and Viking are neck and neck, easily comparable on every feature and equivalent in price too. I think it's a coin toss which you get. I picked the Wolf mostly because the appearance appealed more for me.

The only serious feature difference between the Wolf and Viking ovens (for me) was that the Viking has traditional dial controls while the Wolf has a digital touch panel. In the two months I had my GE oven I did like the digital touch panel controls, and Wolf's digital control panel plus the appearance appealed more to me were the deciding factors that made me go Wolf not Viking. I also liked the appearance of the Wolf cook top vs. the Viking, for reasons I can't define. Personal preference.

Considering the negatives (heat, smell) I plan to schedule my next cleaning for early in the morning (6 a.m.?) and believe it's a good idea to do it frequently rather than let it build up.

Oh, and after my cleaning was finished my oven appeared as good as new! (After wiping it down with a wet paper towel.) I really love that deep blue porcelain interior and the shiny, easily removable racks.
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:36 PM   #19
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Greg, since you've had that oven for about five minutes , I don't think you really gave the self cleaning feature a true test. I'm sure it will do just as well if the oven is dirtier the next time.

My rule is, when I can smell the oven preheating, it's time for a cleaning.

I'm glad you're enjoying your new toys as much as you are.
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:40 PM   #20
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Thanks Andy! Truly, I've been fantasizing about having this setup for 2-5 years. I'm trilled, it was everything I expected, and more.

It may amuse you, when I sold my old house (2 years ago) the range was malfunctioning (the oven would often refuse to light) and I had to buy a cheap-o. Okay I didn't really cheap out but I bought the least expensive Kenmore--$350. It was nice... But heck, I just spent $2K for the cook top and $4 K for the oven, and there is just no way to compare $6K cook top and oven with a $350 range.

But I'm happy. I sold my old house to a young couple (with baby) who were thrilled to buy my old house, and they got a pretty good deal, and a new stove too. And picky as I am I fixed every damned thing in that house including fresh paint in every room (and I even filled and painted the holes my art left behind) and new carpet.

A year ago I used to drive by and cry, wishing I could have my old house back. I've been past there a few times in the last few months, and the old place is looking good, they've continued to improve it and I'm sure they'll love my old house as much as I did.

The only thing I really miss is my wood burning fireplace. I have a gas-only at my new place. I wanted real wood but I'll have to admit that the push button on/off and no ash cleaning is an advantage, even if it doesn't pop and crackle and emit the nice wood burning smells. (I can get some incense for that.)

But really, the Wolf was totally worth it, considering (as I've often repeated) that I expect to live in my new home about 30 years (until I kick or until I need assisted living). Assuming good luck and good health I'll enjoy this new cook top and oven for the next 30 years.

I'm still amazed at the 10-12 cooking modes in the oven, including a bread proof mode. I've already made focaccia once (not my best but I was too impatient to let it rise properly). With my new tools I'm sure I'll create some good content for our forum in the next few years.
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