Everyone knows that cleaning an oven is far from an enjoyable task, and most homeowners would jump at a feasible alternative that eliminates laborious scrubbing of their oven’s interior. And this is where Pyrolytic ovens, or ‘self-cleaning ovens’ come into play!
Pyrolytic or ‘Pyroclean’ ovens are not new onto the market, having now been around for a few years. Yet the concept is frequently met with scepticism, fuelling much debate over whether self-cleaning ovens really work?!…Or are they simply too good to be true?
How does a self-cleaning oven work?
To answer the question of if they work, it first pays to understand how a pyrolytic oven works. Essentially self-cleaning ovens have a built in function which 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.
What do homeowners think of self-clean ovens?
At LWK Kitchens, pyrolytic ovens are fast becoming some of our best-selling oven models, and we have never once received a complaint about them. Conversely, 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, here are the before and after photos sent to us by a client, who had this to say about his Siemens IQ500 oven (HB75GB550B) with ActiveClean function:
‘Now we have it we couldn’t do without the self cleaning function.
It is an essential if you are going to have ovens at eye level!’
What about any drawbacks of Pyrolytic ovens?
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. The only operable cost is electricity. Yet 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).
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. LWK Kitchens have never 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 should not ever experience this problem.
So are self-cleaning ovens worth the additional cost?
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 wondrous products. So if looking to buy one, it is worthwhile spending the additional cost to achieve 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!
Please note that LWK Kitchens do not supply appliances separate from kitchen furniture. If you are looking to purchase individual appliances then please seek professional advice, and/or research your intended product’s specification carefully before making any commitment to buy.