CLEANING AND SELF-CLEANING FUNCTIONS
Keeping an oven spotlessly clean can seem like an impossible task. But these days, there’s no need for hours of scrubbing or harsh chemicals, as modern ovens are designed to make things easy.
Features like wipe-clean enamel surfaces, self-cleaning technology, and steam modes all help. Some brands offer their own cleaning features like the Beko Nano-cleaning function, so you should look out for these too.
They might sound like something from the future, but lots of brands currently offer self-cleaning ovens.
These models do the hard work for you, without any need for chemicals or elbow grease. There are two main options you can pick from: pyrolytic ovens or models with catalytic linings.
Both types reduce grease, grime, and spilt food to ash at high temperatures. While catalytic liners work while you’re cooking, pyrolytic models use a special mode at super-high temperatures.
CATALYTIC OVEN LINERS
A catalytic lining absorbs any grease and food residue, turning it into fine ash once the oven temperature reaches around 200°C. Then, all you have to do is wipe the oven down. The big benefit here is that you can cook and clean at the same time.
This feature is available on affordable mid-range models, and if used correctly can last the lifetime of your oven – although you can buy replacement linings too if needed. You should never use any cleaning chemicals on the liners, or rub them with anything abrasive, as this can cause damage and prevent them from working as they should.
Self-cleaning ovens do the hard work for you, without any need for chemicals or elbow grease.
Pyrolytic ovens work by running a cycle at very high temperatures, around 500°C. At these high temperatures, any grease or food inside the oven turns to ash without the aid of special liners, chemicals, or a scouring pad.
Due to the high temperatures involved, pyrolytic ovens come with some extra safety features. These include improved insulation, and a door that automatically locks when the oven is at very high temperatures. The insulation helps keep the exterior of the oven much cooler and has the extra benefit of making the appliance more efficient.
The pyrolytic process has to be run with nothing inside the oven because of the high temperatures. So, you’ll have to remove any food, shelves, and shelf supports before starting the programme.
As you can’t use the oven while this cycle is running, don’t start the programme just before you plan to cook. Once the cycle is finished, simply wipe away the ash with a damp cloth. Pyrolytic ovens are only available as electric models, so if this sounds like a feature you want, you should prioritise looking at this type.
Due to the high temperatures involved, pyrolytic ovens come with some extra safety features.
If you’re thinking of upgrading to a steam oven, it’s worth noting you can use this feature for cleaning too.
Some gas and electric models feature a steam clean cycle that loosens burnt-on food and grease, so you’ll just need to give it a quick wipe with a soapy cloth afterwards. While not usually described as self-cleaning, steam does make the process a lot easier.
Even if your oven doesn’t have a steam clean cycle, cooking with steam will help loosen stubborn food residue.
Enamel oven linings are available on many entry-level ovens, and provide a smooth surface which makes it more difficult for spillages to stick. It’s worth noting that enamel surfaces vary in quality. More expensive models from well-known brands may have improved technology or design, which may be easier to keep clean.
Occasionally, you may want to give your oven a really deep clean, including the door. If you buy a model with a removable door, you’ll be able to give it a good wash with soapy water in the sink.
FINGERPRINT-PROOF STAINLESS STEEL
If you love the contemporary appearance of stainless steel, try and find an oven with a fingerprint or smudge resistant finish. This way, you won’t have to constantly polish your oven to maintain its appearance.
Ovens with flush controls and touch-control panels don’t only look great – they’re practical too.
Dials and buttons provide extra surfaces for dirt to build-up, where flush ones can be wiped over in seconds. Touch-control panels also create a modern, sleek finish for your oven.