Catalytic oven cleaning: what it is, how it works

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Clean­ing the oven of greasy stains and soot after cook­ing is a labo­ri­ous task. Mod­ern ovens solve this prob­lem with a cat­alyt­ic (low tem­per­a­ture) self-clean­ing sys­tem. What is it and how it dif­fers from pyrolyt­ic high-tem­per­a­ture clean­ing, we will con­sid­er fur­ther.

What does catalytic oven cleaning mean?

Catal­y­sis is a process that speeds up chem­i­cal reac­tions, and in the case of oven clean­ing, this means the accel­er­at­ed con­ver­sion of fats released dur­ing cook­ing and set­tling on the walls into water and soot (car­bon). This process occurs due to the fact that the inner sur­face of the oven, name­ly the back and side walls, and some­times the con­vec­tor blades, are coat­ed with the fol­low­ing com­po­si­tion:

  • Porous fat-absorb­ing enam­el.
  • Cat­a­lyst in the form of oxide of man­ganese, ceri­um, cobalt or cop­per. Its par­ti­cles, which fill the pores of the enam­el, help accel­er­ate the break­down of fat adher­ing to the walls of the cab­i­net, split­ting it into car­bon, organ­ic residues and water.
  • Absorbent con­tain­ing nano-par­ti­cles.

Catalytic oven cleaning

Cat­alyt­ic clean­ing is car­ried out auto­mat­i­cal­ly dur­ing the max­i­mum heat­ing of the oven — at tem­per­a­tures of 200–250 ° C. So, it hap­pens dur­ing the bak­ing of the dish, and you will not need to wait for extra time or turn on a spe­cial mode. After the cooked food has been removed, all that remains is to wipe the back and side walls of the cab­i­net.

If it is nec­es­sary to remove com­plex con­t­a­m­i­nants remain­ing after cat­alyt­ic clean­ing, then a liq­uid deter­gent or pow­der with­out abra­sive par­ti­cles is used. Learn more about which tool to choose here.

Features of ovens with catalytic cleaning

The bot­tom of the cab­i­net has a reg­u­lar sur­face. This is due to the fact that self-clean­ing enam­el is afraid of sug­ar, and when bak­ing pies or oth­er prod­ucts with a sweet fill­ing, the risk of leak­age is very like­ly. Also, sur­faces with such enam­el do not tol­er­ate dairy prod­ucts. So, the bot­tom of the cab­i­net from dirt should be cleaned with a soft sponge with any deter­gent.

Man­u­fac­tur­ers of such ovens rec­om­mend pur­chas­ing an addi­tion­al grease fil­ter. After instal­la­tion, it needs to be cleaned peri­od­i­cal­ly, and you can even wash it in the dish­wash­er, you just need to make sure that there are no oth­er dish­es and food debris in it, as they can get into the fil­ter cells and it will stop work­ing.

The fat-absorb­ing coat­ing of ovens wears off over time, so after about 5 years the side walls will need to be replaced. The instruc­tions for this house­hold appli­ance have a sec­tion explain­ing how to do it your­self, you can also call a spe­cial­ist from the ser­vice. In some mod­els of ovens, the side pan­els come with dou­ble-sided enam­el­ing for self-clean­ing, after abra­sion of one side they only need to be attached with the back side, so you do not need to pur­chase new walls.

Recommendations for operating the oven with catalytic cleaning

So that over time, cat­alyt­ic clean­ing does not lose its speed and effi­cien­cy in break­ing down fats, you should fol­low the fol­low­ing rec­om­men­da­tions:

  • take care of the cat­alyt­ic sur­face, refus­ing to use hard sponges to clean fat after oxi­da­tion;
  • if sug­ar acci­den­tal­ly gets on the cat­alyt­ic sur­face dur­ing cook­ing, it should be cleaned in the clas­si­cal way, that is, using a gen­tle deter­gent and a soft sponge;
  • when man­u­al clean­ing, abra­sive deter­gents should be com­plete­ly aban­doned, as they will destroy the enam­el.

It should be not­ed that abun­dant fat is com­plete­ly burned off after sev­er­al clean­ing cycles, so after the first catal­y­sis, do not imme­di­ate­ly grab a rag to man­u­al­ly remove fat.

Advantages and disadvantages

Cat­alyt­ic purifi­ca­tion has the fol­low­ing strengths:

  • all chem­i­cal process­es take place auto­mat­i­cal­ly under the influ­ence of high tem­per­a­ture and cat­a­lysts in the pores of the enam­el;
  • it is pos­si­ble to reduce ener­gy con­sump­tion, since clean­ing takes place direct­ly dur­ing cook­ing;
  • for the human body, cat­alyt­ic purifi­ca­tion is absolute­ly harm­less;
  • slight­ly increas­es the cost of the oven.

As for the cons, they are as fol­lows:

  • it is nec­es­sary to man­u­al­ly wash the bak­ing sheets, grill, lat­tice guides;
  • the bot­tom and the inner sur­face are not treat­ed with enam­el, so they will also have to be cleaned man­u­al­ly;
  • sweet and dairy prod­ucts quick­ly destroy the pro­tec­tive coat­ing on the side walls;
  • effec­tive­ly breaks down fat only with con­stant use;
  • there is a need to replace the plates after 4–5 years of oper­a­tion, as they lose their prop­er­ties.

Pyrolytic, catalytic or steam cleaning — which is better?

Pyrolyt­ic clean­ing, in con­trast to the cat­alyt­ic method, is more aggres­sive, and dur­ing it the com­bus­tion of food residues occurs at a tem­per­a­ture of 500 ° C. Dur­ing the clean­ing process, the door is blocked, accu­mu­lat­ed fats and dirt are com­plete­ly removed from the inside of the oven. This can­not be said about the cat­alyt­ic method, in which if dur­ing cook­ing there are many large stains of fat on the walls of the oven, after one clean­ing they may remain, and they will need to be removed man­u­al­ly.

But ovens with cat­alyt­ic clean­ing do not con­sume elec­tric­i­ty, since it is pro­duced simul­ta­ne­ous­ly with the prepa­ra­tion of the dish, and the front wall of the cab­i­net does not heat up to high tem­per­a­tures.

When using pyrolyt­ic clean­ing, make sure that chil­dren and ani­mals do not come close to the appli­ance, oth­er­wise they may get burned. In this regard, the cat­alyt­ic sys­tem is absolute­ly safe.

Steam clean­ing (hydrol­y­sis) can­not be called auto­mat­ic, since it is car­ried out accord­ing to the fol­low­ing scheme:

  1. After the cook­ing process is com­plet­ed, water is poured into a spe­cial­ly pro­vid­ed tray togeth­er with hydrol­y­sis-enhanc­ing agents.
  2. The device turns on for a cer­tain peri­od of time spec­i­fied in the instruc­tions.
  3. After heat­ing the cab­i­net, the water turns into steam, which affects the fat­ty accu­mu­la­tions locat­ed on the walls of the appli­ance, they split and drain into the pan, tak­ing the place of the evap­o­rat­ed mois­ture. If the cab­i­net is very dirty, then man­u­al clean­ing after this method can­not be avoid­ed.

Catalytic oven cleaning

So, every­one choos­es on their own, the oven with which clean­ing is prefer­able for him. How­ev­er, it can be said for sure that if you need a self-clean­ing oven, which at the same time con­sumes elec­tric­i­ty eco­nom­i­cal­ly, mod­els with cat­alyt­ic clean­ing are the best option for you.

Cat­alyt­ic clean­ing can be used in elec­tri­cal and gas cab­i­nets. This is a con­ve­nient way to keep the appli­ance clean, how­ev­er, it is as effec­tive on heavy soil­ing as the pyrolyt­ic method, but not as aggres­sive. This sys­tem does not increase the cost of the select­ed oven, but after pur­chas­ing it, it saves ener­gy and time for clean­ing the kitchen.


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