A self cleaning oven uses high temperatures of approximately 900 degrees Fahrenheit (500 degrees Celsius) to clean itself an burn away any spilled food. Of course, at first a machine that cleans itself sounds like a dream come true, but there is a downside to anything, and the self cleaning oven has both advantages and disadvantages. Whether the pros outweigh the cons depends on your personal preference.
Self Cleaning Oven: Pros and Cons Picture
Convenience is the biggest plus of a self cleaning oven. All the time you used to spend scrubbing to remove leftovers can be put to good use. Now you can relax or do other chores while running a cleaning cycle. However, some parts of the oven need to be cleaned before, including the seal, the door frame and the edge of the door. Moreover, the racks and any wet spills or large pieced of food must be removed by hand before running the cleaning cycle.
The heavy insulation that helps the self cleaning over reach such high temperatures during a cycle also keeps the heat inside during cooking, thus the amount of energy used is reduced. If at first this may not seem such a good deal, in the long run it can result in major energy savings. However, the oven can save energy only if you use the self cleaning function six times or less during a year. You can save even more energy if you run the cleaning cycle right after cooking, when the oven is still hot.
Avoiding oven cleaners
Another great advantage of the self cleaning oven is that you no longer have to use toxic oven cleaners that contain solvents and lye. If you use them, the residues can release dangerous fumes when they are heated. All you need to clean the oven is a damp cloth and some baking soda, or a mix of lemon juice and water for the areas around the doors.
Even if some manual say that you can leave the racks inside, in order to avoid damage you must remove them from the oven before a self cleaning cycle. Moreover, you must clean them by hand as you would for a regular oven.
Dangerous for children and pets
While running a self cleaning cycle, you must not leave the oven completely unattended, as it is very hot on the outside and children or pets can touch it. Birds are particularly sensitive to the smoke and toxic gases, so make sure you put them in another room while the oven is cleaning.
If you fail to remove heavy food debris from the self cleaning oven before running the cycle, excessive smoke may fill your kitchen and set off the smoke detectors. Furthermore, stuck on pieces will bake even harder during the self clean cycle and you will have a hard time cleaning them after. The foods that are especially prone to release excessive smoke are sugary foods and those with a high amount of carbohydrates.