Catalytic vs Pyrolytic: Oven Cleaning Functions Explained


If there’s one cleaning job which nearly everyone universally hates, it’s cleaning the oven. Normally you have use an array of pungent chemicals and some good old fashioned elbow grease to get your oven sparkling again. But now, there are an array of self-cleaning ovens on the market which means you will rarely need to don the marigolds again!

Self-cleaning ovens are normally split into two types: catalytic and pyrolytic.


A catalytic oven is when your oven is fitted with special catalytic liners inside the oven cavity. These liners are treated with special chemicals and materials which mean that they are fantastic at absorbing grease. All that is needed is for you to run the self-cleaning programme every month or so. During this cleaning cycle, the oven is heated to 200ºC or higher to burn off and soften excess grease deposits. You can then simply wipe away any residue with some soapy water.

You will rarely need to remove these liners for cleaning, but it is important that you heat your oven to high temperatures regularly in order for the liners to be effective. Rangemaster advise that if you rarely cook at temperatures above 200ºC, that once a month you should heat the oven to 220ºC for 30 minutes to keep the liners in good working order. The great thing about these liners is that, when used correctly, they will last for the lifetime of the oven.

Something to keep in mind though, is that the entire oven cavity may not fitted with catalytic liners. Often, you will find that just a few sides are fitted with the liners and the other sides will need to be cleaned in the same way as a standard oven.



The easiest and most effective oven cleaning system is by far pyrolytic cleaning. Pyrolytic cleaning is a lot tougher on food residue than catalytic. When you run a pyrolytic cleaning program the oven is heated to extreme temperatures of over 400ºC. This means that all food deposits are turned into ash for you to simply sweep away once the oven is cool. Worried about little hands opening an oven that’s over 400ºC? Don’t worry, when the pyrolytic function is turned on the oven door will lock. The door can then only be opened once the oven has reached a safe temperature.

Pyrolytic cleaning often takes a few hours to complete compared to 30 minutes for catalytic. However, you can often set the pyrolytic program to run at a later time, when you’re unlikely to need to use the oven, for example overnight.

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