Finally, after THREE MONTHS of living here, I stumbled upon how to remove my electric stove burners and clean and line them with foil!
We use gas stoves in Malaysia so this was a real challenge, and since I feared embarassing myself so much by asking other mommies how to clean my own damn stove, I decided to the very best thing that's ever happened to Johnny-Come-Lately cooks like me: Google.
Well, I didn't really get what I needed but some articles seemed to hint that the darn things COULD be removed. And so, armed with this bit of knowledge, I went to my stove (which was beginning to smell from the bits of sauce/food stuck on the metal plate beneath the coil) and voila! I did it!
Ain't that ridiculous? Told you I was a N00B Cook!
Anyway, for those as N00B as me, you want to lift up the metal dish, NOT THE COIL. I believe most electric stoves let you do that.
To get old burnt stains/grease off, soak your metal dishes in bleach or baking soda for a bit.
To do away with these sorts of cleaning exercises in the future, line the dish with aluminium foil, like so:
Using a flat screwdriver, slip it under the metal dish and gently lift it. The metal prongs of the coil go into 'ports' where the electricty comes from to heat it, so make sure you don't break them. In any case, they aren't THAT easy to break.
See how clean and shiny my stove is now. Yay!