How Does a Self-cleaning Oven Work and is it Worth it? - Modern Homes

by Tina Riley
5 years ago

There are many jobs that we love to hate, and in the home this is likely to include cleaning the oven. There are many reasons why your oven will need a darn good clean, including everything from leftover grease to the oven chip that made a bid for freedom and got lodged and then cremated at the back and now smokes whenever you turn it on.

Self-cleaning ovens are a wonderful idea and they sound like the perfect answer to having to clean your oven regularly. Oven cleaning is a smelly and messy job. But are self-cleaning ovens actually any good?

Self-cleaning ovens, also known as pyrolytic ovens, have a built-in function that switches on at the touch of a button, causing the fan element to heat the oven up to 480 degrees.

This intense heat will incinerate any grease, bacteria and grime that has attached to the oven’s components, including grill tray sides, quartz grill top, fan elements, and every other square inch of the oven’s internal cavity!

Following the clean you will find a thin layer of ash, which can be easily wiped away with a sponge or dustpan and brush. The end result of this self-cleaning is an immaculate and hygienic oven, all set for its next use.

Crucially, pyrolytic ovens also have a built-in safety feature that locks the oven door after reaching 300 degrees. This ensures you can’t open it at any point during the cleaning cycle as this wouldn’t be a great idea for you or your family.

What do homeowners think of self-clean ovens?

Here at Modern Homes pyrolytic ovens are fast becoming some of our best-selling oven models, and we have never once received a complaint about them. In fact, all of the feedback we have had is very positive and reinforces our industry knowledge and understanding of self-clean ovens as highly effective and useful products.

Indeed, a testimonial sent to us by a client, who had this to say about her oven:

“Now we have it we couldn’t do without the self-cleaning function. It is an essential purchase for a modern busy family. Our old oven was an embarrassment to behold and now it is just so easy to keep the new one looking brand new!”

Are there any drawbacks to having a Pyrolytic oven?

Whilst they certainly work, a perceivable downside is that the initial cost of a self-cleaning oven is approximately 30% more than that of a standard oven. Yet long-term, the difference in cost can be recouped in the monthly savings on oven cleaning products, as none are required. And many people choose to have specialist oven cleaning people to carry out the job they hate to do, which will add to the overall cost. The only operable cost for a self-clean oven is electricity.

Many self-clean oven models have additional insulation and tight-fit door gaskets and hinges, ensuring they are more energy efficient for cooking than non self-cleaning ovens.

The electricity cost is also minimal for the oven’s cleaning cycle.  Many clients even report they save on energy use because the heat generated during a cleaning cycle is sufficient to negate the central heating being switched on during winter! (Please note whilst the oven exterior feels warm during a cycle, it is absolutely not hot enough to cause injury).

Some oven and grill trays should be removed prior to a cleaning cycle so always check the oven’s specification before use to prevent discoloration or damage.

For some self-cleaning oven models it is recommended that you remove the chrome shelf supports and wire trays ahead of a cleaning cycle, otherwise they can discolour and lose their shine. You should check the specification of your individual appliance ahead of leaving your trays inside during the cleaning cycle.

Another perceived drawback is that the calrod element in an electric self-cleaning oven can ‘burn out’ and need replacing at a cost to the homeowner.  We have not received any reports of this happening for models we have supplied, and on this basis strongly advise that anyone looking to purchase a self-cleaning oven should fully research their intended model, and only buy branded products from a reputable supplier.

In short, buy a quality product and you shouldn’t ever experience this problem.


So, are self-cleaning ovens worth the additional cost?

As well as functional and time-saving, a quality self-cleaning oven will perfectly fit the aesthetic of your kitchen design.

For such a regularly used kitchen appliance it definitely pays to spend a little more and afford yourself a luxury that will save you the time and displeasure of scrubbing at an oven!

Self-cleaning ovens do work, and have proven time and again to be a true delight for many homeowners, as well as assuming a sleek kitchen aesthetic.

But it is the frequent problems associated with poor quality and inferior models that are damaging the reputation of these wonderful products.

So, if you’re looking to buy one, it’s worthwhile spending the additional cost to get a high quality model from a reputable supplier.

Do this, and you can happily reap the benefits that a choice self-cleaning oven can offer. This includes throwing away those marigolds for good, and spending more time enjoying your kitchen!





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