Catalytic ovens – what you need to know about self-cleaning

Catalytic ovens are part of the self-cleaning ovens – the highest magic of new technologies in the 21st century. Surely, having an oven that can save you the post-traumatic stress of cleaning it on occasion is an advantage for every cook with a grain of self-respect out there.

Catalytic ovens?

Oven on the inside This oven was censured black and white because it was too dirty for our blog.


Yes! The name comes from the catalysts they use as a coat material that helps turn any unwanted food mess to ash. We’ll get there in a second. Note that there are in fact more than one type of self cleaning ovens which include: catalytic and pyrolytic. The two will do the work…more or less. Worry not – this is why we’ve invested in people to write our blog posts – to inform you when it comes to such sensitive oven matters.

What is the difference?

Most important difference is in the self cleaning mechanisms of the oven.

Let us explain.

  1. Catalytic ovens use special enamels covering their insides that contain oxidation catalysts which force the food mess to turn into fine ash really easily(at baking temperatures). The coating is porous and scratch-protected. We could bore you with the names of the materials used for the coating but we won’t. Anyhow this is the fancy way of saying that whenever some grease finds itself on the wall/bottom of your oven you can simply wipe it away after you’re done cooking. No oven cleaning detergents, just a dry rag would be enough.
  2. Pyrolytic ovens kind of do the same but not really. Their cleaning ninja strategy is to also turn the food waste and debris in ashes. But for that they have their own cleaning cycle which can last up to 4 hours in some cases. In that time the protective pyrolytic porcelain enamels inside heat to up to 800 degrees Celsius. For obvious reasons during the infernal calamity happening there the ovens often smoke and might trigger fire alarms. Also you cannot use it in that time due to it literally burning your food waste enemies to ashes, unless you have a raw clay pot you want to finish, that is. These types of oven have enhanced insulation and reduced chance of fire.
Ashes from fire

Dirt getting what it deserves.

Why catalytic ovens?

This is not one of those articles where the author compares 2 products and in the end says “Well it’s up to you, really”. It’s not up to you. Having pointed out the ovens’ self-cleaning mechanisms we will now establish a winner. It’s the Catalytic ones by the way.

Pyrolytic self cleaning ovens:

  • Has a time-consuming cleaning cycle
  • Can’t be used while in said cycle, it is usually programmed to lock the doors during high temperatures
  • Smokes out the kitchen, may trigger fire alarm
  • Consumes more energy when cleaning (smart practice would be to put on the cleaning function right after you’ve finished using it to save some heat up electricity)
  • Fine insulation which means it reduces the normal cooking cost, for it speeds up the heating process.
  • Lower chance of fire, thanks to boosted insulation.
  • Keep pets away while cleaning function is on – heated Teflon parts may release odourless fumes that are highly toxic for birds.

Catalytic self cleaning ovens:

  • You need to look for the ones with catalytic liners on the bottom of the oven otherwise you’d have to clean it on your own
  • No cleaning cycle, self-cleans soils in normal cooking temperatures
  • No smoke or unpleasant odours
  • Lower prices than the pyrolytic ones
  • On very rare occasions the catalytic enamels may need to be changed

Having either will certainly improve the cooking experience but in our humble opinion the Catalytic ovens leads the competition by a mile. Note that this is only our conclusion and we do not take responsibility for your future oven blues with both.