What are Self Cleaning Ovens?

If you’ve done a bit of shopping around for cookers and ovens recently, you might have noticed that there’s a bit of a trend for self cleaning ovens. This is more than a trend! Self cleaning ovens have been around for decades. However, the way that they work has evolved massively over the years.

In this quick guide, we’re going to look at everything you need to know about self cleaning ovens, what a self cleaning cycle is, and how these systems actively clean themselves. We’ll also consider whether or not it’s an option you necessarily want to take!

How Does a Self Cleaning Oven Work?

Self cleaning, as a term, is a bit of a broad one. Self cleaning ovens will still need a little bit of a wipe or scrub down if you’re going to get the worst of burnt-on food and built-up grease off your oven door. However, the principle is really the same across all of these models. You set your oven to run a cleaning feature or cycle, close the door, and allow it to get up to a high temperature.

You’ll then be able to wipe it all down once it’s finished, saving you time and energy – as well as high amounts of elbow grease – in the bargain. These ovens will also remove the need for you to get in deep with any nasty chemicals or solutions, making it safer and altogether more beneficial to the environment.

What is a Pyrolytic Oven?

Pyrolytic ovens are the most common and most popular self cleaning oven systems on the market, and they clean themselves by heating up to over 500 degrees centigrade. That’s impossibly hot! Therefore, as you can imagine, it’s far too hot to cook anything – but it’s just hot enough to burn up and pulverise anything nasty and greasy left sticking to the insides of your oven cavity walls. It’s a great way for you to cut down on all the wiping time you’d normally need to exercise.


  • Convenience – set the program and walk away to do something more exciting…or relaxing!
  • Energy-saving – Running the cycle directly after you finish cooking (the heat has already built up taking less time to reach the cleaning temperature)


  • Smoke & Odors – As you would imagine, if you are burning food & built on grease it’s going to smell & possibly activate smoke alarms, however, this is easily avoided if you regularly wipe your oven down to remove any visible fats/ solids. 

How to Clean a Self Cleaning Oven

Yes – believe it or not, there is always going to be a bit of cleaning involved, even if it’s not the energy drain that is deep scrubbing you might already be used to! You’re going to need to give a self cleaning pyrolytic oven a bit of a wipe down beforehand, and, of course, afterwards. Rest assured, there won’t be that much for you to do.

What’s more, you’ll have saved yourself some serious time and effort when it comes to getting into the nitty gritty. There’s minimal wiping needed, and once you set your oven to a high energy cleaning cycle, you can leave it to work its magic over several hours.

Is a Self Cleaning Oven Right for You?

If you use your cavities regularly and struggle to get the burnt-on and greasy bits up and out, then yes – a self cleaner is definitely a good option. At WhichCooker we’ve done the hard work for you and reviewed and listed what we think are the best self cleaning ovens now. You can read this review here, and if you need any help in measuring for your new oven you can read our guide ‘How to Measure for a Built in Oven’



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