Never scrub the oven again – that’s what self-cleaning ovens promise. It’s expensive and its effectiveness disappointed the testers. What to look out for when buying.

Never remove burnt-on crusts of fat from the oven again – ovens with pyrolysis lure their customers with this promise. A dream! You no longer have to fiddle with pads, degreaser and oven spray and scoot around on your knees in front of the oven, you just have to start the self-cleaning program. Then the oven turns into a dirt crematorium. It heats up powerfully and becomes much warmer than when baking. In this way, already burnt-in food and grease residues are turned into ashes. After the heat treatment, the interior only needs to be wiped with a damp cloth to absorb the ash and it will shine like new. Customers are willing to pay a lot of money for this promise, an oven with self-cleaning is far more expensive than one without.

The big disappointment

The product testers have now examined eleven ovens. Their prices start at 465 euros and go up to 1080 euros. For a pure oven without a hob, mind you. The promises of the manufacturers are big – effortless cleanliness without chemicals is promised. The fact that “once burning off” causes electricity costs between 1.50 and 3 euros is less emphasized. But the meager result weighs more heavily than the electricity costs: “The hoped-for reduction in workload when cleaning turns out to be meager,” the testers summarize. The dirt just doesn’t completely crumble to ashes, in many ovens dirt is left behind. Cleaning that leaves the most stubborn residue is of little use in the long run.

For the test, the interior was first “soiled” with jam, cake batter and gravy. This crust was then baked for 90 minutes with 200 degrees Celsius top and bottom heat. That sounds tough, but the reality is often even tougher. In practice, less mass sticks when used, but there is another problem. Nobody cleans their oven after every use. Splashes and leftovers are therefore not just burned in once, but several times.

To improve the result, the testers manually pre-cleaned the interior. But even then, there are still leftovers after the program. The programs heat the oven to over 500 degrees and last between 90 and 180 minutes. With some providers, the outside of the oven door gets so hot that you can burn yourself. Problematic when there are children in the apartment.

The tips from the product testers are also sobering. They boil down to not soiling the oven in the first place by using baking paper and sufficiently large pots and roasters. And, in the event that there is a mess, you can quickly remove the dirt yourself.

Expensive gimmicks

In addition to pyrolysis, there were other innovations in the industry that also failed to convince the product testers. Two ovens include a roasting thermometer. However, the useful accessories are far more expensive than if you would buy them separately. The savings programs also advertised usually only lead to minimal electricity savings. Even more absurd: “Some devices consume even more electricity than in the normal program.”

The cooking chamber of an oven can be divided for small portions. But half the space does not mean half the electricity costs. The testers judged that the savings are not worth the high purchase price.

Even if cleaning plays a major and rather disappointing role in the text of the test, it only accounts for 10 percent of the rating. After all, an oven is primarily intended for preparing food. Baking is just as important. It counts for 35 percent, grilling for 5. 10 percent was for the time required to heat up, 20 for handling and 10 percent for safety.

More heat – more cleanliness

The test result is paradoxical. Only three devices performed well. The Bosch HBG579BS0 (700 euros), Constructa CF4M98062 (705 euros) and Siemens HB578ABS0 (690 euros). Rating and prices of the three are close together. When it comes to cleaning, however, the overall winners only manage a sad sufficient – ​​everyone got a grade of 3.7. Unfortunately, the three devices that scored slightly better in cleaning with a satisfactory (3.3) did not get more than a satisfactory mark in the overall rating. So the AEG oven BPS33102ZM for 560 euros. Your problem is related to the better cleaning, the front heats up a lot. When it comes to baking and grilling, they are no worse than the better-placed ovens. So you have to decide whether you want it hot or dirty.

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