Wednesday, November 15, 2017

5-Alarm Applesauce

Good news of the day: my house didn't burn down!

In case you ever wanted to know
what Instapot innards look like...

Bad news: I still have to figure out how to get dried melted plastic off the glass cook top of my stove.

I've gotten some of the big chunks off. But that white film?
It's all plastic and it's not budging.

Feel free to chime in with suggestions, because I've lost the capacity for rational thought at this point. I was counting on Larry to come up with something, but he came home from work in a rental car and explained that his car was in a body shop, getting repairs for some extensive rock damage incurred on his way to work that morning. All the poor man could do was stare at the stove as I explained - again - what happened and say, "Uh-huh, uh-huh" while attempting a knowing nod that looked weirdly off kilter. And then he went to the basement fridge and got a beer.

What happened? I was using the Instapot as a crockpot, simmering apples for sauce, and at one point I pushed it further back on the stove and then left the kitchen. I didn't realize it had somehow hit the stove knob in the back and turned the rear burner - the one it was sitting on - to Hi.

Fun fact: Burning plastic smells extremely poisonous. We had to open all the windows. By the time Larry got home, the house was down to 60 degrees and STILL smelled.

Another fun fact: You think you know what to do in case of smoke or fire, but you don't. Or I don't, anyway. It was Rachel who unplugged the Instapot, while I was still fussing around the stove, trying to figure out where the weird white smoke was coming from. And it was Rachel who reminded me that there were two other children upstairs in our house who should be alerted before things got worse.

My emergency response skills leave a lot to be desired, apparently.

So that was my day. How was yours?


  1. See, that's me with CPR. I have been trained and trained, but when someone passes out? I can't even find their pulse. I'm glad you had cool headed Rachel. And just what you need! Another appliance malfunction! Two for one even! So sorry.

  2. No experience with this problem, but maybe you can replace the glass top - easier than removing the plastic. But paying someone to replace it will probably be more expensive than buying a new stove.
    New rule - Nothing on the stovetop that's not a stovetop pot. Or a temporarily placed oven pan. trained Rachel to be aware of her younger siblings, as happens in larger families. So her success is your success. Your problem is you are from a small family and had no younger siblings. So you're not a good older sibling, but Rachel is.

  3. Wow. That's impressive.

    No advice here, just lots of condolences. Ugh.

  4. Wow! That is scary. And I'll take Harry's advice from now on. I hope you are all ok and the stovetop is not an expensive fix.

  5. Oh yikes! Even the parts peering out from the bottom look appalled. I have no helpful suggestions, but will share that I too freeze when something happens. Even the fire alarm going off when there is very obviously no fire makes me freeze up.

  6. Oh my!!! That is awful. Such a bummer AND the bad smell. Yuck! Good luck. I've got nothing to recommend but Google usually does. Um, my ambitious blogging friend . . . go with motts next time. They sell it at the grocery store!

  7. Yikes!! Google is recommending a dull knife or spoon and WD-40. It also cautions not to scratch the cooktop. I'm thinking WD-40 or Goo-Gone could possibly work.

    This is one of the many, many reasons my husband is lobbying hard for a gas range - he despises electric, but he especially despises the ceramic cooktops.

    Glad your house is still standing and all are ok.

  8. Yikes. I recommend store bought apple sauce. Have no clue what to do about the stove top. Good luck!

  9. Yikes. I recommend store bought apple sauce. Have no clue what to do about the stove top. Good luck!

  10. Found you through Murrmurrs. My first go-to tool when dealing with glass is single-edged safety razors. You could probably find a box of them at a hardware store, in the paint section. Do you dare trying to warm the stovetop just enough to soften the plastic again? Best of luck!

    1. I love the single edged safety razors. They come in handy for lots of home mishaps!

  11. Yeah, I read a few stories about house fires caused by stuff being left on the stovetop, and got paranoid about leaving non-metal things on top. Glad it wasn't worse! My instant pot and crockpot sit on a cutting board on the countertop when in use.

    You aren't the only one that's done this. I melted a plastic spatula onto a cookie sheet when we were selling out house - had shoved dirty stuff in the oven in case a buyer came through, then forgot when I turned on the oven for dinner. Smell was awful.

  12. I commented on Facebook but had to come here and read the full story. I still see a tragic-looking figure with wide eyes in that melted mess of InstaPot.
    Is it wrong that I'm sad about the loss of your applesauce, too? (I mean, really -- homemade applesauce, ruined! Argh!)

  13. ahh crap! people here have done that with a plastic place. We are have an old ugly stove though so it didn't hurt the stove lol

  14. That STINKS! I mean, I've burned plastic and that REALLY really stinks. You poor woman. With every good intention, too. I have no idea how you'd get that off--a razor to scrape it? Please follow up with what you did!

  15. I've been out of the loop on all the blogs (5!) I follow for about a year but I had a bit of time to do some catching up and I thought "hmmm, I wonder what the suburban correspondent's final verdict was on the instapot?" and came across this post. Soooooo, did you love it before you melted it, or was this some sort of subconscious accident to get rid of it? :) Your emergency skills are fine. You would have eventually notified the kids upstairs.......before succumbing to the fumes. I think we have all done a bit of plastic melting in the kitchen. Cooking is chemistry!! I used my favorite, enormous tupperware bowl to proof bread in the oven, forgot about it, turned the oven on to preheat, went outside, and came back in to the smell of burned, melted plastic and wheat. I left bowls of vinegar all over the house because someone once told me it absorbed smells. eh, maybe. I smelled it in the sofa cushions for days and had a headache for a week. Blech! I hope you got a new stove out of the debacle.