How to clean and maintain your commercial oven

 

Commercial ovens play a crucial role in professional kitchens, serving various functions from heating dishes to preparing complete meals. Regardless of your industry, the oven is likely the most frequently used equipment in a commercial kitchen. Many food service establishments cannot risk oven malfunctions, hence why routine maintenance and cleaning are important. Maintaining the optimal performance of your commercial oven will also ensure it has a long lifespan.

How often should you deep clean your professional oven?

Commercial ovens typically require daily cleaning and wiping, with deeper cleans scheduled weekly or even monthly, depending on usage. Cleaning residues of food and fat at the end of each cooking cycle is crucial and can help prolong periods between deep cleanings. The frequency of oven deep cleaning is influenced by its usage. For restaurants with continuous oven operation, daily wiping is necessary, accompanied by weekly or twice-a-week deep cleans. Smaller establishments may find monthly deep cleans sufficient.

The type of food being cooked also influences cleaning frequency. Cooking items at a high temperature in grease or sauce that may spill requires more frequent cleaning. Any spills or crumbs left in the oven will continue to cook and affect other dishes. Maintaining your commercial oven properly ensures optimal performance, saving time and money. Although maintenance needs may vary by manufacturer or type, here are some general tips to enhance your oven's lifespan.

It’s also important to consult your oven's manual for more detailed maintenance and cleaning guidance.

Tips and advice for deep cleaning your oven

First, it’s important to know when to clean your oven. Signs suggesting the need for a thorough deep clean may include:

  • Persistent smells
  • Smoking
  • Heat loss

Remove your oven racks

Oven racks quickly accumulate grease and dirt during regular oven use. So, it’s vital to maintain their cleanliness. Start by taking them out and placing them on a suitable surface. Proceed to apply your preferred oven cleaning solution on the racks or soak them in warm soapy water if you prefer a more natural approach. Leave them for approximately 10 minutes before rinsing.

To get rid of any stubborn food residue, you can also scrub the grids with a soft brush after they’ve soaked. Avoid using sharp objects like steel wool, as this can damage your racks.

For easy cleaning, Maxima’s oven racks are made from stainless steel and can be placed in the dishwasher.

Choose an appropriate and safe professional oven cleaner

If you frequently use your oven, spills and splatters from cooking will likely occur. Opting for a heavy-duty oven cleaner as the quick fix may seem tempting, but it's not always the safest choice. We advise against using toxic commercial cleaners whenever possible.

It's crucial to note that numerous store-bought cleaning solutions may contain harmful chemicals such as sodium hydroxide. It's also important to avoid using solvents or petrol-based cleaning agents as these may leave harmful residues or cause damage to the machine. Instead, we suggest using a mild food-safe detergent or natural methods such as a baking soda and vinegar solution.

Clean the interior

After choosing a safe oven cleaner, distribute the solution evenly inside the oven (concentrating on tough stains) and let it sit. This will help to dissolve grease and food residue in your oven. Afterward, wipe the interior down with a non-abrasive sponge or soft wet cloth.

Tip: If opting for a natural cleaning approach, we suggest leaving the solution to sit for a few hours to lift all the stubborn dirt and grime effectively.

With Maxima’s convection ovens , you can also remove stubborn residue by placing a bowl of water in your oven and heating it to 200ºC. Let it cool down again and allow the steam to loosen the food residue. Afterward, you can wipe it off with a clean cloth.

Clean the exterior

All Maxima’s ovens are made from stainless steel which makes it easy to keep the outside of your oven clean. A soft cloth, warm water and a mild detergent can be used to wipe the smooth surfaces quickly and thoroughly. Avoid using abrasive sponges and harsh chemicals that can damage the inside of your oven. To clean the door glass, you can simply wipe it down with some warm water.

Inspect and clean the oven fan

Most commercial ovens come with a cooling fan and should also be cleaned daily, depending on how often you use your oven. Regular cleaning of the fan is essential to prevent the buildup of grease and fat on the blades. This buildup can diminish motor revolutions, resulting in decreased airflow and dangerous mechanical strain on the motor. You can easily clean the fan with a soft brush.

Lastly, check the oven door seal to make sure no heat is escaping. Then, make sure there are no food particles around the inside and outside of the oven that can prevent the door from closing. It’s also recommended to examine the ventilation and air circulation to ensure there are no obstructions.

Finally, replace your oven racks and other accessories in the oven before switching it on.

Day to day maintenance for your oven

While deep cleaning your oven regularly is crucial for maintaining its efficiency, daily cleaning is also important. This practice makes deep cleaning tasks easier and guarantees your oven functions optimally, promoting hygiene and safety. Various steps can be taken for general maintenance. Quickly cleaning spills instead of leaving them to accumulate is a good starting point. After the oven has cooled down, use a damp cloth to wipe away any residue.

Preventing spills from occurring in the first place by covering dishes or bakeware is advisable. Simply cover your oven dishes with foil or a lid to prevent any grease or liquid from splattering.

Cleaning tips for different types of ovens

Convection ovens: Remember to give priority to cleaning the intake fan in your convection oven. This fan can pose various challenges, such as a loose hinge or food particles getting stuck. It's advisable to clean the fan separately every week and ensure the hinge secures the fan correctly.

Pizza deck ovens: The stone plate of your pizza oven may accumulate ashy clumps and blotches from the dough. To clean it, simply use a dry cloth or a slightly damp sponge. You mustn't use too much water when cleaning so that water droplets don’t get into the stone plates. The housing of Maxima’s professional pizza ovens is made from stainless steel and can easily be wiped down.

Combination ovens: Combi steam ovens integrate a standard oven, convection oven and steamer functions into one unit, requiring maintenance for each function. Regularly remove and clean the fan, just like a convection oven. Daily cleaning of the oven racks is also necessary. It’s also important to regularly empty the steamer and descale it.

Tip: To avoid having to descale your equipment regularly, you can purchase a water softener. Water softeners help reduce limescale build-up in appliances and pipes. Limescale can cause appliances to become less efficient and can even cause damage to them over time. By using a water softener, you can reduce your maintenance costs and extend the lifespan of your equipment.

In the end, cleaning the oven may not be at the top of anyone's favourite tasks, yet it remains a crucial aspect of operating an efficient commercial kitchen. Remember to schedule regular cleaning on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to prevent any oversights in the cleaning process.

Following these practices for maintaining and cleaning commercial ovens will not just extend the lifespan of your equipment but also enhance the safety of your kitchen and food.

If you have any questions about how to look after your Maxima oven, our team of technical specialists is available to offer maintenance advice. They can guide how to properly care for your equipment, troubleshoot any issues that may arise and offer tips on extending the lifespan of your equipment.

Remember to also always refer to the manufacturer’s manual for accurate cleaning and maintenance details concerning your oven.

Looking for a high-quality oven that is easy to clean? Shop Maxima’s range of commercial ovens today!