Do Self Cleaning Ovens Really Work

Integrated oven in a modern kitchen

These appliances have been around since the nineteen-sixties, so it’s surprising that you’ll still find people asking do self cleaning ovens really work. The answer is yes, but there are some things to be aware of.

How Self Cleaning Ovens Function

How does a self cleaning oven work – There are in fact two major variants on the market. The most recently developed method uses a combination of heat and steam, but many reviews suggest this isn’t terribly effective. The more established technique depends on what’s referred to as a pyrolytic ground coat applied to the inside of the oven. When this is heated to very high temperatures of around 500°C dirt is reduced to ash which falls to the base of the oven and can be wiped away.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Before deciding whether or not to buy one, you need to consider self cleaning ovens pros and cons.

Advantages

Double oven in a kitchenLess cleaning – With a self-cleaning oven, you’ll have far less manual work to do. You’ll still have to wipe off spills and loose residue, and also wipe up the ash at the end of the cleaning cycle, but these are minor things compared to the scouring that’s required to cleanse a non self cleaning oven.

More energy efficient for cooking – Because the oven is designed to withstand high temperatures it has far more insulation, so less heat is lost while baking meaning that the oven uses less energy while cooking.

Lower external temperatures – Another result of the greater insulation is that the external side walls of the oven stay cooler while cooking. Some experts consider that this makes these ovens preferable in fitted kitchen where the appliance sides are right next to kitchen units.

You can discard toxic and dangerous oven cleaners – Some of the most toxic chemicals in your kitchen are likely to be the ones you use to scrub the cooker. They tend to be smelly, can cause chemical burns if allowed to come into contact with skin, and are generally not very nice to use. Being able to throw them away has to be a good thing, surely. Well maybe!

Disadvantages

Energy efficiency classesHigh energy use – Self-cleaning ovens may use less energy when running as a cooking appliance, but the energy required to get them to cleaning temperature is considerable and typically the cycle takes around three hours

Self-cleaning is smelly – At best this is unpleasant, at worst there are concerns that the fumes produced may be unhealthy. It’s generally recommenced that you remove yourself and your pets well away from the oven before running the self-clean feature, especially on the first few cycles. The general opinion is that if the feature is run regularly and you scrape away all loose debris with a plastic spatula before stating the self clean, this problem lessens over time

Self-cleaning may wear out your oven – The very hot temperatures and long cleaning cycle is tough on components and they may, quite literally burn out! Oven repairs London technicians report that it’s common to receive calls from customers needing help just after they’ve used the self clean feature.

Conclusion

As ever, it comes down to individual choice. If you hate oven cleaning, you may decide the benefits of self cleaning outweigh the problems. If it’s important that you get the maximum lifespan out of your appliance it’s probably best to avoid a self cleaning oven. One piece of advice that always holds good is not to use the self-clean cycle just before a big event or holiday, as that’s exactly when you don’t want your oven to let you down.