What grease/lube can I use to make my oven rack slide better?
November 30, 2016 6:42 PM   Subscribe

We have a relatively cheap oven model with a wire rack that slides into the oven against the porcelain walls of the oven; no bearings or anything. It's always stuck a little bit, pulling it in and out — but since we did a self-clean cycle last week, there seems to be even more friction. Is there a food-safe high-temperature grease or other lubricant that I can use to make the rack slide better?
posted by mboszko to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
Have you checked to ensure there's no burnt char or rust that's causing the friction?
Has a coating worn away? My understanding is these racks aren't meant to be frequently removed.
posted by FallowKing at 6:48 PM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

I do not know if this would work, but here's something that you may not know exists: graphite lubricant.
posted by amtho at 6:52 PM on November 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

Food-grade silicone spray maybe
posted by zippy at 6:59 PM on November 30, 2016

It's why appliance makers recommend removing the racks before self cleaning. This page has suggestions for relubricating the racks.
posted by cecic at 7:02 PM on November 30, 2016 [5 favorites]

I would remove them and wipe down the supports with a wet rag, then do the same with the bottoms of the tracks themselves. I'd also, per cecic's link, give them a rubbing with fine steel wool, followed by another wipe down with a rag.

I would hesitate to use vegetable oil or anything like that, however. Seems like something that gunk up the track, rather than make it behave like seasoned cast iron.
posted by Caxton1476 at 3:26 AM on December 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

Don't use Silicone, your oven can get above the breakdown temperature of Silicone. Don't use Graphite, you're going to have a really hard time finding something that's food safe.

I would wash the racks, maybe use a bit of steel wool to clean the rack slides, and put a thin coat of oil (canola or other cooking oil) on the racks. Set your oven to 325F wait an hour, let it cool down, and repeat a few times. Basically you're seasoning your oven racks like you would season a cast iron pan.
posted by gregr at 7:04 AM on December 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

If the above suggestions don't work, look for "food machinery grease." (After all, commercial ovens with rollers and latches and such need grease.) You can certainly get food-grade (USDA H1, incidental contact) greases that will work up past 800 degF, but you'll likely have trouble getting small amounts of them. Expect to buy a whole grease gun cartridge. :(
posted by introp at 8:23 PM on December 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

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