Although some products feature self-cleaning linings, these will add to the cost of a product, and the familiar wipe-clean enamel is still a standard feature on many range cookers.
The key to avoiding turning the cleaning of your enamelled oven into a big and rather unpleasant job is to ensure that you adopt a "clean as you go" habit, and perhaps keep a baking tray on the floor of the cavity to catch any spillages.
If excessive splashing does occur in the oven, wait for the oven to cool down and then wipe the affected enameled area with a damp cloth wrung out in warm water and a mild detergent.
Any obstinate marks can be removed using a paste or cream cleaner or a well moistened soap impregnated steel wool pad rubbed gently so as not to damage the surface.
Pristine® Enamel is an award-winning finish developed by and exclusive to the Stoves brand, but similar enamels can be found on other brands. Rather than opt for a self-cleaning lining, Stoves have chosen to adopt this less costly but very effective solution, with an exceptionally hard and smooth surface which is very difficult for stains to cling to.
Following exhaustive tests* involving a variety of ovens, Stoves were able to ascertain that Pristine enamel is three times easier to clean than standard enamel. Because the structure of the enamel is more compact, the absorption of food residue is greatly reduced, making it possible to just wipe it clean. In addition, Pristine’s unique formulation also offers inherent antibacterial qualities.
*The Vitreous Enamel Association has endorsed these tests and findings.
If excessive splashing does occur in the oven, wipe the affected enameled area with a damp cloth wrung out in warm water and a mild detergent. Any obstinate marks can be removed using a paste or cream cleaner or a well moistened soap impregnated steel wool pad rubbed gently so as not to damage the surface.
Variously referred to as Self-clean, Stay-clean, or Cook & Clean, these liners are included on many ranges, or may be available as an optional extra. They can often be recognised by their rough-textured grey surface. The liners normally fit to the sides and rear of the oven, but are sometimes available for the roof of the cavity too. Usually both oven cavities will be lined, but sometimes they will be found only in the main oven.
Catalytic liners are coated with fat-hungry micro-porous enamel and help absorb and eliminate the splashes that occur during cooking. This does not stop all marks on the lining, but helps to reduce the amount of manual cleaning needed. The panels work better above 200°C so if you do most of your cooking below this temperature, at the end of cooking (especially after roasting) leave the oven on its maximum setting for a further 15 minutes to allow the stay-clean process to do its work.
If a lot of liquid or fat has splashed the oven interior, wait until the oven has cooled down, then clean the splashes with a damp sponge. Then heat the oven for 2 hours on maximum. Repeat the cycle if certain difficult marks have not been eliminated. Periodically, it is advisable to remove the panels from the oven and wash them with lukewarm soapy water and dry them with a soft lint free cloth. The panels should then be dried and replaced and the oven heated at 200°C for about one hour. This will ensure the liners are working effectively.
• Don’t use steel wool (Brillo) or any other materials that will scratch the surface.
• Don’t use oven-cleaning pads.
• Never use abrasives, alkaline or acid detergents to clean the oven.
The holy grail of oven cleaning, pyrolytic ovens use heat to thoroughly clean the interior of the oven, leaving it looking like new. When the oven needs cleaning, the oven can be set to a very high temperate (the door is locked for safety), and all food residues are reduced to ash, which you simply brush from the oven floor once cool. This is an impressively effective process, but is a rare feature found mostly on top-end built-in ovens. On range cookers, pyrolytic ovens can currently be found on Rosières, Smeg, Rangemaster FX and Falcon 900S models, but hopefully more will appear as demand rises.