Ask REC: Self-Cleaning Ovens

“Are any of your ovens self-cleaning?”

Actually, ours at home is. But none of the commercial ovens that we sell on the website are self-cleaning.

There are a few reasons for this, but probably the biggest one is that it’s just not a typical feature in commercial units. On top of that, we just don’t like ’em. Although it’s not impossible to find a self-cleaning commercial oven, they do come with a few caveats.Let’s consider the bottom line. Self-cleaning ovens will always be more expensive to purchase than standard units. Period. Buying a self-cleaning oven is like buying a car with leather interior: it brings the price up, it’s flashy, and it does pretty much nothing in terms of performance and long-term value.

“It does nothing for performance?” you ask. “But it’s self-cleaning! It cleans itself! It’s practically alive! That’s the ultimate performance!” We appreciate your passion, but self-cleaning just isn’t as useful in a commercial setting as you’d think. Also, this is the ultimate performance:

But really, even if your oven is capable of cleaning itself, you’re still going to need human hands to properly maintain the thing. Think of self-cleaning as being like cruise control. (Wow, lots of car analogies today.) If you put on cruise control, you’re still doing pretty much everything yourself. Self-cleaning will help, but to get an actual deep clean on your oven, you’re still going to need to take the wheel yourself.

And if you were to use a self-cleaning feature regularly and in lieu of proper cleaning? Well, first of all, on a commercial oven, that would be a tremendous output and would drive your energy bill up. Not to mention, that’s putting a lot of stress on the unit, and it’s more likely to need servicing over less time.

You just can’t beat good old fashioned elbow grease. For now, anyway. Maybe someday oven technology will advance to a point where self-cleaning is effective and efficient, but probably no sooner than those ovens will also be smart enough to run their own restaurants.


Posted in FAQ

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