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Buying a new oven? Get one that cleans itself

Which? reveals new Best Buy pyrolytic oven

Person cleaning an oven

Self-cleaning ovens can do the hard work for you

The latest Which? oven tests have uncovered a new Best Buy pyrolytic oven, which can clean itself. It scores over 80%, so you can be sure you’ll get top-notch cooking results as well as hassle-free cleaning.

Six pyrolytic models from brands including Bosch, Samsung, Siemens and Zanussi have just been tested, along with the first double oven with pyrolytic cleaning to pass through our test lab – the Smeg DOSP639OX. 

While most of the pyrolytic models we’ve tested cost more than £500, the Zanussi ZOP38903XD costs just £370. Can this cheap oven tick all the boxes, or do you need to pay a premium for a pristine oven? 

Find out which oven made it into our Best Buy list by heading to our round up of the best built-in ovens.

How pyrolytic ovens work

Pyrolytic ovens use high temperatures to break down the cooking spills and splashes that inevitably occur in day-to-day cooking.

The oven cavity is super-heated to around 500°C over the course of the pyrolytic cleaning program, with the aim of reducing any stuck-on grime to ash – which you can then sweep away or wipe off with a damp cloth.

The high heat works best on the ceramic insides of the oven, but isn’t effective on metal shelves so unfortunately these will still need hands-on cleaning. 

Are self-cleaning ovens worth it?

Pyrolytic ovens aren’t the only self-cleaning models around. Ovens with catalytic liners work to break down spills over time, while some ovens use steam to loosen dirt and grime.

But just because an oven says it’s self-cleaning doesn’t mean it does a brilliant job. That’s why we’ve made our oven cleaning tests tougher so that we recommend only the very best models.

We smear chicken fat around the inside of each oven and bake it at high heat to replicate the kind of burnt-on mess you’ll encounter at home, before testing how effective an oven’s cleaning program is.

The best pyrolytic ovens reduce any cooking splatters to ash that can be easily wiped away, making cleaning your oven a doddle. Poor models won’t get rid of all the grime, leaving you to deal with any stubborn patches.

See our latest pyrolytic oven reviews

More single and double oven reviews

We’ve just tested over 20 new models including single, double and built-under electric ovens. Models to look out for include a Miele oven that costs under £600, and several cheap double ovens costing £450 or less. 

One of the double ovens we tested scored just 55%. It did a poor job of distributing heat around the oven space, so it’s likely to leave you with patchy, underwhelming bakes. Others scored highly, turning out beautifully even cakes and sticking to the set temperature. 

Find out if any managed to bake their way to Best Buy status, and whether you can get away with a cheaper double oven, by clicking on the links below. Alternatively, head straight to our built-in oven reviews to compare models.

New double oven reviews

Prices correct as of 16 September 2016.

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