Which kind of self-cleaning oven to get?
October 31, 2019 3:09 PM   Subscribe

There are two kinds: one gets REALLY hot and cleans better; the other kind doesn't get as hot and you put a pan of water in it but then you have to clean the sides and back. Which kind should I get??
posted by DMelanogaster to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Well, obviously A consumes more energy. All things being equal, I’d go with B for that reason.
posted by argybarg at 3:17 PM on October 31, 2019

The hot one.

It will reach cooking temp faster, and its insulation will be better
posted by jamjam at 4:04 PM on October 31, 2019 [2 favorites]

i had an oven repairman out at my house the other day, and we got to chatting, mostly about ovens. One of the things he said was "never use the self-cleaning cycle on your oven, its really just a scam to sell more ovens."

He said that none of the components of the oven are really engineered to withstand the heat of the self-clean cycles, and that its really common to find melted wires or failed ignitors that get burned out from the self-clean cycle. The other failure mode he cited was for ovens that have a control panel directly above the door, a lot of times there are control electronics mounted to the back of the buttons and clock and inevitably a lot of heat from the self-clean cycle gets dumped right into these electronics, which are not generally engineered for this much heat, and so failure of the control electronics is really common if you use self-cleaning.

In general, he said newer electronic ovens seem to have declining reliability and are less repairable, and some seemed to just have obvious design mistakes (he cited the placement of heat-sensitive components right above the main heat venting point as an example), but that in his experience, the best quality/price ratio was Bosch.

So, to actually answer your question, I'd choose the lower-temp one.
posted by jeb at 4:09 PM on October 31, 2019 [14 favorites]

Our oven repair man said exactly the same thing.
So I wouldn't recommend basing your decision on the self cleaning cycles.
posted by monotreme at 4:24 PM on October 31, 2019 [2 favorites]

Nthing self cleaning cycles will break your oven - source: My oven broke after a self cleaning cycle.
posted by smoke at 5:22 PM on October 31, 2019

Self cleaning also puts a ton of crap into the air. A friend once rendered their house uninhabitable for hours. Even if it doesn't get that bad, it's still extremely unpleasant.

IME, plastering the inside of the oven with a paste of baking soda, letting it sit overnight and wiping it out in the morning is much easier than self-cleaning.

The lower-temp steam-based oven will probably last longer and be less prone to smoking you out of your home? Unless maybe the electronics inside it get wet from the steam?
posted by Ahniya at 5:58 PM on October 31, 2019 [2 favorites]

(No clue but there’s also these sheet things that you put in the bottom of your oven and then literally just rinse off when they are dirty. They are life changers.)
posted by raccoon409 at 6:08 PM on October 31, 2019 [2 favorites]

I bought a Fisher & Paykel self cleaning oven and when I girded myself to use the self clean function I got seriously pissed off at all the pre-cleaning and faffing about required before pressing the on button. Like, pulling out all the racks and washing them by hand (or they’ll discolour, maybe I dunno, melt?) scrubbing and wiping the inside glass door. So for three hours of extreme heat, stink, wondering whether the house will catch fire, (and cleaning a bunch of shit I hate cleaning) I got clean oven walls and floor. Big whoop.

In conclusion, juice ain’t worth the squeeze.
posted by honey-barbara at 10:15 PM on October 31, 2019 [1 favorite]

You'd think no-one buys ovens often, but I do. I like my ovens to get really hot because I love pizza. And I've yet to find a (non-industrial) oven that can handle the heat. I still need to learn that it would be cheaper for me to buy that expensive professional pizza oven instead of trying different brands of oven and see them break down. So: nthing choose the less hot oven.
posted by mumimor at 6:07 AM on November 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I would get one of Cafe, GE, or Whirlpool, because those have the best reliability as reported by Consumer Reports. We never use the "self-cleaning" cycle, instead using a non-toxic cleaner that sits for a couple hours and then takes off all the baked-one grease. It's pretty amazing, wish I could remember it, but it has a bright blue cap.
posted by wnissen at 8:42 AM on November 1, 2019

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