If you have been using a gas stove or a built-in hob in your kitchen, it’s time to explore the common accessories. In this article, I am going to talk about spill trays, also known as drip trays or drip pans.
What Is A Spill Tray On The Gas Stove?
As the name suggests, a spill tray is a gas stove accessory that collects the spillage during cooking and helps to keep the kitchen significantly cleaner. If you are boiling milk on the gas stove, and you might have spilled sometimes. But, you wouldn’t like to mess up your beautiful countertops, right? This is where spill trays come in handy.
Being a chef, I got myself familiarized with these gas stove accessories around a decade back or so. Over the years, I have witnessed an increasing number of Indian pantries embracing these accessories. A drip tray goes a long way in decluttering your kitchen and keeping potential accidents at bay.
I highly recommend to use a removable drip pan that always helped me easing up the cleaning process. Some of these accessories come with an inbuilt scraper that would help you deal with stubborn stains.
So, if you haven’t been using a spill tray for so long, it’s time to get one for your gas stove. I will discuss the different types, sizes, and materials of spill trays in this article.
What Are Spill Trays Made Of?
The two most common materials that manufacturers use to make spill trays include polyethylene and stainless steel. Between these two, I would definitely recommend stainless steel, considering its durability and value for your money.
Remember, when you cook on your gas stove, spills might be frequent on your countertops. Although the prices of stainless steel drip trays tend to be slightly higher than the polyethylene ones, they tend to last longer.
In the first place, stainless steel won’t develop rust, even after continuous exposure to moisture and spills. Besides, they tend to have high tensile strength.
Plastic or polyethylene spill trays, on the other hand, offer more customization options. Particularly, if you have a modular kitchen, you can complement the looks of the remaining accessories of your kitchen by choosing a specific color. While polyethylene spill trays look more attractive on the gas stove, the ones made from stainless steel tend to outlast them.
However, you may consider settling with a polyethylene spill tray. The branded manufacturers have come up with durable and UV-resistant spill trays. Even if you spill a bowl of hot soup, the material won’t melt.
To optimize the value of your investment, go for a spill tray made of stainless steel, which is eventually also a preferred material for gas stove grates or pan supports.
Different Sizes Of Spill Tray
Spill trays for gas stoves are available in different sizes. You need to make the purchase based on the design of your gas stove and the number of burners.
The smallest size of drip trays is 7 inches in diameter, in case you settle for a circular one.
If you look out for larger ones, you can choose the 10 inches drip trays.
Even larger drip trays are available in the market. You simply need to get them customized as per your needs.
In case you decide to go for a rectangular drip tray rather than a circular one, the standard measurement would be 7 inches by 8 inches. You can get them in smaller or larger dimensions as well.
Now, if you have a 2 burner, 3 burner, or 4 burner gas stove, you need to get larger drip trays. It all depends on the overall size of the kitchen appliance.
Which Is Better- Detachable Or Non-detachable Spill Tray?
As the names suggest, drip trays can be of two types: detachable and non-detachable. While the latter remains attached to the gas burner, you can remove the spill tray from your gas stove if it is detachable.
Some manufacturers come with inbuilt spill trays. This ensures that the container automatically collects the spilled materials during cooking. However, you won’t be able to remove these pans for cleaning. You can clean them while they remain attached to the gas stove.
On the other hand, it is easy to clean a detachable spill tray. You can completely remove this accessory from your stove and clean it in the recommended process. Butterfly Smart Glass Top 2 Burner Gas Stove is one such gas stove with detachable spill trays.
Comparing both the options, I would particularly advise to settle with a detachable drip pan, so that you can regularly remove this accessory from your gas stove for cleaning. Given that the space under your gas burners is difficult to access, removing the trays and cleaning them would be wise.
Ideally, you need to get your drip trays cleaned each time you cook something on your stovetop. Therefore, you need to clean these accessories every day. Would it be easy if you had to find your way right below the gas oven every time while cleaning?
Can You Use A Gas Stove Without Spill Trays?
Yes, but I recommend not using your gas stove without proper spill trays. Of course, you have the option of going without this accessory. However, would you like to see ugly and stained countertops in your kitchen?
Regardless of all your efforts, spills will continue to haunt your beautiful countertops. So, even if you can use your gas stove without a spill tray, it is advisable not to do so.
How To Replace Spill Trays On The Gas Stove?
Replacing your gas stove spill tray is easy. If you have stained the old one to such an extent that you don’t feel like using it anymore, look out for the best spill trays. You can choose one of these accessories from the available sizes, customizing it for your gas stove.
At times, your spill trays might even sustain damage. So, it’s ideal for replacing them, so your countertops do not get messed up.
The replacement process for detachable spill trays is very easy- simply remove the old tray and fit the new one which takes less than one minute. But in case of a non-detachable spill trays, they are often screwed to the body of the stove. So, use a screw driver to unfasten and remove the trays.
If you cannot remove the trays with any of these methods, contacting the customer care of the gas stove brand is the best option. You can also follow this video for a detailed step-by-step guide to replace the spill trays on the stove:
How To Clean Gas Stove Spill Trays?
While having a spill tray on the gas stove or hob is a necessity, you might find it frustrating to clean them every time you prepare a meal. Of course, they go a long way in keeping your countertops clean by catching the overflowing gravy from your pots.
However, you still need to deal with the residue sticking to the surface of the drip tray. You might find it challenging to even scrape them off when they harden.
In the first place, I would recommend you using aluminum foils on the trays. Although a part of the spill will make its way to the tray’s surface, you can still prevent a significant amount of mess on the tray.
Now, I will explain three ways that I have found most effective to clean the spill pans.
1. Using Dishwashing Detergent
Most households use dishwashing detergent as a mild cleaning agent for their kitchen appliances. It is safe to use on your gas stove spill trays.
If you have just spilled gravy or soup on the tray and it is yet to harden, you can use a non-abrasive dishwasher detergent to clean it. Here’s how you should proceed.
- Firstly, detach the spill trays from the gas stove and remove the rings.
- Now, pour hot water into your sink and pour some dishwashing liquid into it.
- Insert the drip pans in the soapy water and let them soak for at least 15 minutes.
- If the grime is severe, you may soak it even longer.
- Use a sponge or soft cloth to wipe the tray. This should dislodge the grime.
- Consider using a commercial cleaning agent if the grime is too tough to remove.
2. Using Baking Soda And Vinegar
Well, this is another homemade cleaning process I usually recommend for the safe and fast cleaning of your drip pan. In case dishwater fails to make a difference, you should use a solution of baking soda and vinegar.
- Firstly, do away with the drip pans from the gas stove and let them cool.
- Use a dry paper towel to scrape the metal surface. The food particles would become loose and fall off.
- Now take enough hot water in your sink or a bucket. Add dishwashing liquid and let the pan soak for 15 minutes.
- Now empty your sink and refill it with distilled white vinegar. Immerse the drip pan in this vinegar for half an hour, allowing the grime to soak the liquid.
- Now that it’s time to scrub, use adequate baking soda. You will notice a little fizz while the acidic content of the vinegar reacts with the baking soda.
- Leave the tray for another 15 minutes, and use a hard plastic scrubber to scrape the pan. You may also use extra baking soda to treat the areas where the stains are stubborn.
- Next, use hot water to rinse the drip pans and use a microfiber cloth to rinse off the water. Lastly, you need to attach this accessory to your gas stove.
3. Using Household Ammonia
You must have heard of the immense cleaning power of household ammonia. This method may take some time, and you would be able to deep clean the drip trays in a well-ventilated space.
If you have a challenging time dealing with stubborn stains on the gas stove, especially on the spill trays, household ammonia would be the best cleaning agent. However, this is a harsh chemical, so don’t forget to put on your rubber gloves.
- Allow the drip pans to cool down, and put each of them in a plastic bag (one gallon).
- Take a quarter cup of household ammonia and pour it into each bag. Even if you don’t cover the entire surface of the pans with the chemical, it should work. The fumes are powerful enough to dislodge any grime or grease on the pan.
- The ammonia should take around 12 hours to do its work. So, seal the bags and keep them in an open space.
- When you open the bags, take care not to expose your face to them. Ammonia releases strong fumes that might affect your breathing. Now remove the plastic bags safely and drain the ammonia down the drain.
- Make sure your tap is on to dilute the harsh chemical. Also, don’t put the plastic bag into your regular trash bin since the fumes can combine with other materials and react.
- Lastly, drop a little dishwashing liquid into your sink full of hot water. Using a plastic scrubber or sponge, work on the stubborn areas.
By now, most of the spots should have gone. Use a microfiber cloth or towel to wipe off the water and put your spill tray back to place.
Tip: If you have a glass top gas stove, follow this method with caution as ammonia can leave permanent stain marks on the glass top. Know the correct way to clean glass top stove safely.
Now that you know the benefits of spill trays for your gas stove or hob, it’s time to find a quality accessory. In the first place, decide whether you would settle for elegant drip trays made from stainless steel, or go for the fancy polyethylene accessories. Next, check out the size of your gas stove and decide how big your spill tray should be.
When you explore different spill tray sizes online, you can choose them for one, two, three, four, or even five-burner gas stoves. Lastly, check out the reputation of the brand and the price of these spill trays for your gas stove. This way, you can get these accessories personalized for your kitchen.