How to Care For Your Oven!
A Self-Cleaning Oven
Bet you’re thinking where can I get one?
Oven cleaning has got to be one of the most hated jobs in the kitchen. Food spillages and burnt-on food all build-up, leaving you with a grimy oven,
which can take hours to clean!
General Electric claims to have invented the first self-cleaning oven (the P-7) in the year 1963 (according to their website at www.geappliances.com).
Regardless of who or when it was invented, they have been around now for 50 years and yet the idea is still not perfected. So we have put this article together to explain the differences and a few pros and cons.
There are three main categories of self-cleaning ovens, each working in a slightly different way and each have their own pros and cons.
Most people have heard of enamel liners which are the standard in cookers and ovens and need to be manually cleaned. The tiny bumps in the (easy clean enamel) surface are a lot closer together and a lot less pronounced than found in standard enamel, preventing grease and cooking debris from penetrating the liner so deeply.
Pros: Affordable, Simple to Use, Simple to Maintain, Reliable.
Cons: Clean as you go, Deep Cleaning will be required at some point
Pyrolytic Ground Coat Enamel
Ovens equipped with a pyrolytic ground coat utilize a very high temperature (about 500°C) to actually burn food that has dripped or splattered onto the sides of the inside of the oven. The leftover food matter ends up as a pile of ash at the bottom when the self-clean cycle is finished, which needs to be manually cleaned.
These ovens have extra insulation to protect the appliance from the incredibly high heat, it also serves to reduce the amount of energy needed for normal cooking.
For peace of mind, the oven door is locked at 300 degrees and the oven doors remain cool to the touch throughout the process.
Pros: Cuts down Cleaning, Superior Build quality, Higher Energy Efficiency (during cooking time), Multi-Functional.
Cons: Higher Purchasing Cost, Additional / Prolonged Energy Consumption (during clean), Shortened Life span and Higher Repair Bills, Periodical
Deep Cleaning Required.
Catalytic Continuous Clean Coatings
The type of coating acts as a catalyst for the burning of foodstuff at regular cooking temperatures. Instead of using a cleaning cycle, ovens with this coating continually burn off matter through normal use. Catalytic coatings are usually a grey to black in colour sometimes with white specs, the texture resembling a sandpaper-like roughness, the cavity of the oven is often partly coated with the catalyst coating other kinds have removable liners or liners that are fixed in position by screws.
Pros: Cuts down on Cleaning, Superior Build quality, Multi-Functional
Cons: Mid-High Purchasing Cost, Replacement panel cost high, Deep Cleaning Required at some point
The oven shelves in your oven aren’t coated in any enamel so these need to be cleaned manually, although some can be put in your dishwasher check your manufacturer’s guidelines as dishwasher powder can be abrasive and spoils the coating and the shelves themselves will rust.
So where does OvenMagic comes in? Even with a self-clean oven periodic deep cleans may be required, we can clean the oven panels without causing damage to them as well as cleaning the exterior, the shelves and the hob all of which are not touched by this self-cleaning oven.
Why not get someone in to give your oven a clean? We don’t use high amounts of electricity, our products are eco-friendly and fume free and we even clean up after ourselves. Now doesn’t that sound better?
Oven Temperatures and Why They Vary
As cooks, we all know that heat rises and the hottest place in an oven is the top. This is why we have fans in some models of ovens, to help distribute the heat more evenly around the oven allowing meals to be cooked thoroughly.
But as well as variations in your own oven’s temperature there are variations between models, for example, did you know that 200°C isn’t necessarily the same in any two ovens, this is due to a number of issues. The following may affect the accuracy of the temperature in the oven:
- The position of the thermostats varies in different makes of oven, the higher it is or nearer to the door may make the reading read higher or lower than other areas of the oven.
- The quality of the thermostat. The cheaper units are generally less accurate.
- Dirty oven.
- The door seal integrity.
- The heat retention of the oven, (insulation).
Any of the above can vary the temperature it’s no surprise that no two ovens temperatures are not exactly the same.
The normal accepted variance in the temperature is around 10-15%, so if you set your oven at 200°C, with a 10% variance this means that the oven’s temperature could really be anywhere between 180°C and 220°C. This could explain why some of your meals aren’t as well cooked as they should be, or even if they appear overcooked even though you follow the cooking
directions to the letter.
So other than learning how your cooker works, through trial and error, getting to know hot spots, if you need to cook for longer or less than the recommend timing etc. what else you can do about the temperature in your oven:
- Cheaper ovens, with cheaper thermostats, are more likely to be inaccurate so if possible as with most things buy the best,
the quality oven you can afford.
- Keep your oven well maintained, ensure the oven doors seal is in good repair
- Clean your oven, a clean oven not only looks nicer but also aids more effective cooking.
- Buy an oven thermometer to get a true picture of how hot your oven really is.