Pyrolytic Ovens: Worth the Extra Money?

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Are pyrolytic ovens worth the extra money? Do they do their job to maintain our ovens in a clean condition? We answer these questions, and more, including how they work, the history behind them, and if they are energy efficient.

About pyrolytic ovens

  • Pyrolytic ovens heat up to 400 to 500°C, which burns off any baked-on residue
  • This particular function leaves only ash, which can be vacuumed or wiped out with a damp cloth.
  • Although they are more costly than regular ovens, they are becoming more common and affordable

Apart from a package of your favorite chocolate that never runs low, a self-cleaning oven is possibly the most important thing you can have in your kitchen. If you think it sounds too good to be true, it is not. Pyrolytic ovens do actually clean themselves with very little human intervention.

A pyrolytic oven may be right for you, regardless of whether you are allergic to cleaning products or cleaning itself.

Here are the details about how they work and what you should know.

How does a pyrolytic oven even work?

Every time you cook in the oven, fat splatters, juices from meat, and all manner of grease and grime end up covering the walls, ceiling, and doors. These baked-on stains can be very difficult to remove. This is why you need to use highly acidic oven cleaning products to make your oven sparkle again.

Pyrolytic ovens use fire to burn the grime. The oven heats up to 400 to 500°C, heating the baked-on pieces until they carbonize and become ash. This process is called pyrolysis.

How much do pyrolytic ovens cost?

There are several pyrolytic wall ovens, which range from $999 for a simple Beko model to $8,299 for a fully equipped Miele oven (with all the bells and whistles).

Comparatively, the cost of a DeLonghi catalytic wall oven (an explanation about the differences between these and pyrolytic ovens will be given later) ranges from $999 to $2,499

Regular wall ovens, on the other hand, range from $599 to $1,300.

What’s the difference between pyrolytic ovens and catalytic ovens?

Catalytic ovens are another type of ‘self-cleaning’ oven. The catalytic liners used in this type of oven contain chemicals and minerals that absorb fat splatters to keep the oven clean.

Catalytic liners should provide adequate coverage, ideally covering the entire roof, both sides, and the back. However, some only have liners to cover the back wall, while others are limited to the sides. You don’t need to clean the area where the liner is!

To burn off any splatters, heat the catalytic oven at 250°C for an hour. After the oven has cooled, wipe the catalytic liner with a damp cloth. If you normally use your oven regularly at temperatures about 200°C, the liners will stay in good shape and will not get clogged with grease and dirt.

While the liners are durable, you may need to replace them sooner or later at an additional cost.

Does a pyrolytic oven do all the cleaning itself?

Pyrolytic ovens can be called self-cleaning, but they won’t do all of the work. The good news, however, is that they will take care of the majority of the work.

Depending on the oven you have, you will need to take out the side runners and shelves. Then, wipe down the inside of the door before performing a pyrolytic cycling.

It is also a good idea to get rid of any large baked-on debris before you use the pyrolytic function. Then, clean the exterior glass door thoroughly, as any marks left will bake on and become hard to remove.

There are several models with accessories that you can leave in your oven while cleaning, including side runners and roasting racks. It saves you the hassle of having to take them out and clean them separately. Some models might include pyrolytic accessories such as shelf supports.

After the pyrolytic cleaning process is complete, you will need to vacuum up or wipe off the ash. That’s it.

Are pyrolytic ovens safe to use?

Yes, but it is still important to take some precautions.

First, the oven’s exterior will heat up faster than usual, regardless of whether the door has extra insulation. Therefore, it’s best to keep your tea towels off the door and the children away from the oven during cleaning cycles.

Second, pyrolytic ovens can also produce smoke if there is a lot of residue that needs to be burned. So, proper ventilation is essential.

The oven door locks automatically during a cleaning cycle to stop anyone from accidentally opening it. It will remain locked until the temperature drops to a safe level.

Is a pyrolytic oven worth spending money on?

It actually all depends on how much you dislike cleaning your oven. Pyrolytic ovens are more expensive than regular ovens, but you can’t put a price tag on never having to clean your oven again.

Pyrolytic cleaning is a thorough oven cleaning process, especially in difficult-to-reach areas. It will save you time and effort, as well as negate the need to use caustic oven cleaners. Also, it might do a better job than you could.

How long does pyrolytic cleaning take?

Depending on your oven settings, a pyrolytic cleaning cycle can take anywhere from one to three hours. And, depending on the state of your oven (how dirty or clean it is), many models offer a variety of cleaning options.

How often do you need to do a pyrolytic clean?

This entirely depends on how frequently you cook; you will need to perform a pyrolytic cleaning every two months. It’s also a good idea not to wait for large bits of food to get baked on. So, clean them as soon as you can.

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