Best Self-Cleaning Oven: Pyrolytic, Catalytic or Steam?

To take another job off your list, consider a self-cleaning oven…

Best Self-Cleaning Oven

by Piper Huxley |
Updated on

If cleaning your cooker is your least favourite household chore, perhaps a self-cleaning oven would suit your lifestyle. After all, we use our ovens for just about anything, from prepping a mighty roast dinner to a classic pizza night-in. Where would we be without oven chips? With that comes a responsibility to clean our cooking appliances, as burnt-on food and grease can cause issues down the line. It’s best to keep your oven clean and in tip-top shape for that even cooking we all dream of.

But, what is a self-cleaning oven, we hear you ask… Well, A Modern Kitchen has deep-dived into the world of pyrolytic, catalytic and steam cleaning for this guide. Each type of auto (or assisted) cleaning enables you to worry less about the state of your built-in oven and instead guides you towards relaxation. Here, we hope to answer some of your biggest questions about self-cleaning ovens and offer up our favourite picks at all price points – and all oven types, from single to double ovens.

Best Self-Cleaning Oven At A Glance

Best premium double oven with self-cleaning: Neff N50 U2GCH7ANOB in Stainless Steel – View Offer at Currys
Best budget built-in self-cleaning oven: Beko BBAIF22300X in Stainless Steel – View on John Lewis
Best mid-range cooker with self-cleaning: Hotpoint Multiflow HDM67V9DCX/UK in Stainless Steel – View on Currys
Best air fryer self-cleaning oven: BEKO AeroPerfect AirFry BBIFA12300AC Electric Oven - View on Currys

So, the next time you’re elbows-deep in your oven, covered in burnt-on food and grime, and scrubbing away with a cloth, consider a self-cleaning or assisted-cleaning oven for ease. Generally, there are three types of self (or assisted) cleaning types: pyrolytic – which is by far the coolest and requires minimal effort, catalytic –ideal for those of us who prefer popping greasy food onto our baking trays for tea, and steam-cleaning – which is less common, but simple and far more natural. Whichever method you choose, this will be down to your preferences and cooking habits.

Our list consists of quite a few different types of self-cleaning ovens, all depending on your budget and the look of your kitchen. If your kitchen is seamlessly integrated, you will have no use for a freestanding cooker. Again, it’s all down to your lifestyle, cooking habits and how much space you need. Finding the right cooker to fit your home is easier than ever with our informative oven buyer’s guide, written by Ellen Kinsey. Now, let’s find the best self-cleaning oven for your kitchen…

Best Self-Cleaning Oven

Best mid-range built-in self-cleaning oven

Bosch Series 4 HBS573BS0B Built In Electric Self Cleaning Single Oven, Stainless SteelJohn Lewis/ Bosch

With AutoPilot 10, you can cook your meal to perfection, this Bosch Series 4 HBS573BS0B in Stainless Steel has plenty of options to cook your meals. The AutoPilot can take over and determine your cooking mode, temperature and duration. It takes the guesswork out of cooking, how cool is that? This mid-rang Bosch model has pyrolytic cleaning, which is very effective, meaning you won't be cleaning anything up but a pile of ash. User-friendly and smart.

Customer review: "I purchased this oven about six months ago and can't find anything to complain about. The cooking results are great, and the self-cleaning function is unbelievable. I would highly recommend this product. It is true, you definitely do get what you pay for."


  • Pyrolytic is efficient and requires little clean-up
  • The oven calculates the cooking from the weight
  • Smart, stainless steel finish with modern controls


  • Some customers report that the timer is a little fiddly to set

Best budget cooker with self-cleaning

Kenwood KDC66SS22 in SilverCurrys/Kenwood

Looking for a budget cooker with a handy cleaning programme? We recommend this Kenwood KDC66SS22 in Silver, which is surprisingly good value - and will help keep your grime in check. With easy-to-wipe enamel and catalytic liners, you'll have little to no trouble getting your oven looking brand-spanking new. With four ceramic hob zones and a large capacity oven, you're well on your way to success at mealtimes. For experienced chefs or newbies, it's perfect.

Customer review: "Looks really nice, and very easy to use; I'm very happy with my purchase."


  • Easy enamel and catalytic lining making it easy to clean
  • Large capacity oven with grill and four-zone ceramic hob
  • Easy heat up in just minutes with durable glass doors


  • Some customers found the dials to be flimsy

Best mid-range cooker with self-cleaning

Hotpoint Multiflow HDM67V9DCX/UK in Stainless SteelCurrys/Hotpoint

If you're looking to replace your cooker with something a little more impressive, consider the Hotpoint Multiflow HDM67V9DCX/UK in Stainless Steel. We love the Mutiflow Technology, which prevents any issues with burnt edges or raw middles. With a double display for easy setting and a removable door for easy cleaning, we're very impressed with this electric cooker, complete with four ceramic hobs for simmering, frying and more. It's spacious and of great value.

Customer review: "The ceramic hob has a big size ring at the back, great for wok cooking, overall a nice design. Very well insulated oven compared to my last Hotpoint, if there was anything that bothered me: when I first used the bottom oven I found the door catch a bit stiff to open, I applied a spot of cooking oil on the catch, problem solved."


  • Catalytic cleaning is useful, easy to maintain
  • Multiflow Technology ensures great results
  • The XL cavity means you can cook a lot of food


  • Some customers reported small issues with the door stiffness and quiet timer

Best premium cooker with self-cleaning

AEG 60cm Electric Double Oven Induction Cooker with Multifunction Oven - Stainless SteelAppliances Direct/AEG

Adjustable and totally convenient, the AEG CIB6742ACM in Stainless Steel is a great choice for any modern kitchen. Not only is the induction hob extremely responsive, but the cleaning is Catalytic, meaning you can wipe away any excess grime. This double cooker is decked out with OptiFlex - to accommodate all oven dishes and Turbo Grilling, for an even distribution of heat - so no raw middles and burnt edges. It's packed with features to help you along your way.

Customer review: "There is a lot to like about this cooker, I love the design, the oven space is great, the shelves work well and the temp control is excellent, Never had an induction hob before and I am impressed with that."


  • Catalytic cleaning is useful, easy to maintain
  • TurboGrilling circulates heat for even cooking
  • Responsive induction hob for precision


  • Some customers say that the hob markings are tricky to see

Best budget double oven with self-cleaning

BEKO Pro RecycledNet BBXDF22300S Electric Double Oven - SilverCurrys/BEKO

The Beko Pro RecycledNet BBXDF223OOS in Silver features True Fan cooking in the main oven, allowing a gorgeous roast or bake for those fantastic results we dream of. Complete with Steam Cleaning, this appliance takes the hassle out of cleaning, loosening all the burnt-on food and grease inside the oven. Easy peasy! User-friendly, this double oven is a great option for its price, boasting a removable oven door, providing easy access to the interior.

Customer review: "Easy to use, looks good. Bakes a good cake! Gaps between doors."


  • Steam Cleaning is an energy-efficient method
  • Removable glass doors for easy interior access
  • Great value double oven and is user-friendly


  • Grill trays and racks are tricky to adjust

Best budget built-in self-cleaning oven

Beko BBAIF22300X Built In Single Electric Oven, Stainless SteelMarks Electrical/BEKO
Price: £236.95 (was £258.12)

First on our list - the Beko BBAIF22300X in Stainless Steel; this built-in, single-electric oven is of great value. With a decent capacity, super easy Steam Cleaning and a digital timer, you're all set for meal times. Beko's made cooking your favourite food easy with the features packed into this model. Not only does it have a grill for perfectly cooked bites, but this oven is made from some recycled materials in Beko's effort to be a little greener. We're impressed.

Customer review: "Great product at a great price and as always great service. The oven looks great, is easy to use, cooks evenly and is extremely accurate, all at great value."


  • Steam cleaning is smart, eco-friendly and cost-effective
  • Guarantees evenly-cooked results with AeroPerfect
  • Great value for money with an easy-to-use LED display


  • Some customers wish the timer was louder

Best mid-range double oven with self-cleaning

Bosch MHA133BROB Built In Double Electric Oven - S Steel859/0952Argos/Bosch

Mid-range and packed with extras for a supreme cooking experience, the Bosch Series 2 MHA133BR0B in Stainless Steel is an electric, built-in wonder. Not only does the 3D Hot Air help achieve amazing baking and roasting results, but the electronic programmable timer saves you energy with an auto-turn-off. Plus, with the EcoClean, you're well-equipped for an easy clean, as the steam is energy and time-saving. Easy to use and program, this oven is a winner.

Customer review: "Very simple to use and works a dream. Food cooks beautifully. Don't like the positioning of the product number and production number, I couldn't see it easily so had to take a photo. Otherwise, I am delighted with the performance of my new oven and it looks good, too."


  • Catalytic cleaning is useful, easy to maintain
  • 3D Hot Air system evenly baked results
  • Automatic shut-off to save on energy


  • Some customers report a quiet timer

Best premium double oven with self-cleaning

NEFF N50 U2GCH7AN0B Electric Double Pyrolytic Oven - Stainless SteelCurrys/Neff

Finally, we have an impressive electric, built-in double oven from Neff. The Neff N50 U2GCH7ANOB in Stainless Steel is great for tackling multiple dishes or a big Sunday feast. With a generous capacity, this oven has a great amount of space for your meals. The CircoTherm spreads heat around, so you can cook without any worries. Thanks to the LCD display, it's never been easier to use an oven. When you're done, rely on the two efficient programs at your disposal.

Customer review: "Both top and bottom ovens heat up so quickly. Had a Neff oven before, no trouble over 10. Built a new kitchen, getting a bit too old to work the undercounted oven, for the eye level ovens. Just brilliant, love cooking in both ovens, no hard cleaning either."


  • Choose between Pyrolytic or EasyClean programmes
  • Easy to use and program with the LCD display
  • CircoTherm spreads hear around for even cooking


  • Pyrolytic is only in the main oven

Best retro range cooker with self-cleaning

Leisure Chefmaster CC100F521C in CreamCurrys/Leisure

Create incredible meals with Leisure's cream range cooker, featuring 4 cavities: 3 ovens and a grill for versatile cooking. The main electric fan oven ensures even cooking, while the second conventional oven is perfect for desserts. With a 6-burner gas hob and cast iron pan supports, you'll have ample cooking space, including a wok burner for stir fries. When it comes to clean-up, the catalytic lining and easy-to-clean enamel will make this process a breeze.

Customer review: "It looks really stylish and is very easy to use, we bought it to replace our old range style cooker and this new one seems a lot more solid. However, the hinges on the lid squeak a bit but I'm sure that can be sorted with a bit of spray."


  • Oven cleaning is made easy with catalytic liners
  • Complete with a slow-cooking oven function
  • Cook enough for a dinner party with three ovens


  • Some minor issues with the dials, hob burners and lid

Best air fryer self-cleaning oven

BEKO AeroPerfect AirFry BBIFA12300AC Electric OvenCurrys/Beko
Price: £229 (was £259)

Who doesn't love the convenience of an air fryer? Stand out with this BEKO AeroPerfect AirFry BBIFA12300AC Electric Oven. With a dedicated AirFry tray and AeroPerfect system, it delivers crispy, oil-free results. The touch control LED display, True Fan cooking, and 72L capacity elevate your culinary journey, ensuring perfect dishes every time - big enough for family dinners and get-togethers. If there's any burnt-on food, you can just use SimplySteam to soften it for easy wiping. Plus, RecycledNet means Beko used recycled fishing nets, so this is greener than your average oven

Customer review: "Great oven works perfectly saves on energy."


  • SimplySteam to soften it for easy wiping
  • Grilled meat or veggies from its full-width fan grill
  • Capacity is big enough for family dinners


  • A customer review felt that the air fry feature was gimmicky

Best range cooker with self-cleaning

SMEG C92IMAN9 90 cm Electric Induction Range Cooker - AnthraciteEbay/Smeg

Discover culinary excellence with the Smeg C92IMAN9 in Anthracite. Effortlessly blend modern technology and classic design with its spacious induction hob and ovens, offering precise cooking control and versatile culinary options for your kitchen. Elevate your cooking experience with this stylish and efficient range cooker. Not only that, but it has a smart Steam Clean oven, saving you time on that grime. Perfect for batch cooking, this oven is large and in charge.

Customer review: "Lovely looking cooker. Five areas on the hob, including the facility to "merge" two areas for when using a very large pan. The storage at the bottom of the cooker is really useful for storing baking trays. However, the instructions are minimal and you have to download the full instructions using a QR code."


  • LED digital display, touch and dial controls
  • Large capacity oven and five induction hobs
  • Steam Cleaning is an energy-efficient method


  • Not enough shelves in the small oven

Verdict: Which Is The Best self-Cleaning Oven?

By far, the best self-cleaning oven is the Neff N50 U2GCH7ANOB in Stainless Steel. Pricey, we know, but this smart cooker gives you a choice between Steam Cleaning for a small mess and Pyrolytic for a deep, thorough clean. Equipped with plenty of features to cook your food quickly, evenly and to perfection, we love this choice.


What is the difference between pyrolytic, catalytic and steam?

These are three different methods used for cleaning ovens. Each method has its own unique approach to removing grease, food residue and other built-up stains from your oven’s interior. Thanks to My Appliances, we have a breakdown of the differences between pyrolytic, catalytic and steam cleaning ovens.


Pyrolytic cleaning is a self-cleaning method that uses extremely high temperatures to burn off and disintegrate food residues and grease in the oven, “ensuring a thorough clean for your oven.”

How does pyrolytic technology work?

Well, the “oven temperature soars to 500°C”, says My Appliances, for a specific period of time, often a few hours. During this process, food residues are reduced simply to ash, which can be easily wiped away with a cloth once your oven has cooled. Simple and garnering immaculate results, we can’t help but love this method. Plus, you can program it during off-peak hours to save energy.

Though it has the “ability to tackle even the most persistent grime” with minimal effort, pyrolytic technology can consume a significant amount of energy during the cleaning cycle. Not only that, but ovens with pyrolytic cleaning also tend to be pricier than catalytic models “due to the need for additional insulation and stronger heating elements,” says My Appliances.

Finally, there is an issue with safety, also – as the temperatures can get very hot. There is minimal risk, as the door stays locked until the appliance has cooled down. Moreover, we recommend “enhanced insulation and a cooling fan [to] further protect your kitchen units.”


Next, catalytic cleaning involves using special catalytic liners inside the oven’s walls to help break down and absorb food grease, though it “may not effectively address residues such as food spills.”

What is catalytic oven cleaning?

As for the liners, they are designed to have a porous surface that absorbs grease and other food residues. When the oven is heated to normal cooking temperatures, the absorbed residues begin to break down and oxidise. Luckily for you, this method reduces the need for frequent cleaning. Over time, this process reduces the built-up stains, and the oven becomes easier to clean.

So, by simply “activating the oven at maximum temperature for 10 to 15 minutes after each use”, you’re maintaining the cleanliness of your oven. Plus, it’s more cost-effective than pyrolytic cleaning. However, there are some drawbacks: some manual cleaning is required to ensure a thorough cleaning, unlike the former, which reduces the food to ash, you will need to put a little work in to help.

Finally, we should mention the catalytic walls. Unfortunately, the walls have a limited lifespan, needing to “be replaced approximately every five years,” says My Appliances. Plus, the use of any abrasive oven cleaning products, such as scourers and foil, can cause some damage, too.


Lastly, steam cleaning is a far gentler method that uses – you guessed it – steam, as well as heat to loosen grime and residues in the oven. My Appliances says it creates a “steam bath effect”.

What is oven steam cleaning?

For this method, the oven is preheated to a moderate temperature. Water is poured into a designated reservoir in the oven, which is then heated to produce steam. My Appliances describes this method as “harnesses[ing] the combined effects of evaporation and condensation” to loosen and soften food residues. After this method, this can all be wiped away with a sponge. Easy.

Steam cleaning is effective for regular maintenance and lighter cleaning tasks, running for around 30 minutes to achieve some gentle results. This way, it stays cost-effective and environmentally friendly, consuming “minimal energy making it an economical and eco-conscious choice.” However, we do have some reservations about steam, as it may not be as effective as the former cleaning methods.

Further, it’s recommended to run this steam-cleaning programme and manually clean each time after use, which may not suit all of our lifestyles. After all, steam cleaning alone “may not address heavy or stubborn stains effectively,” says My Appliances. Steam-cleaning ovens need a little extra support.

What is the best cleaner for a self-cleaning oven?

Our recommendation is to keep it simple and natural.

After all, you don’t want to cause any damage to the catalytic liners with an abrasive oven cleaner.

So, for catalytic and steam-cleaning ovens, you may need to implement some manual cleaning to make your appliance really shine. We have a method below that could help. After all, it’s no secret that bicarbonate of soda is a great way to help you with your oven.

If you fancy giving it a go, check out our step-by-step below:

1. Firstly, mix half a cup (about 65g) of bicarb with water to create a thick paste.

2. Then, use an old paintbrush or cloth to spread the paste all over the inside of your oven, from the door to the bottom to the inside walls, but avoid heating fixtures.

3. Leave the paste to do its work overnight – or a minimum of two hours.

4. After, in a spray bottle, mix equal parts white vinegar and water. Spray onto the paste to create a foaming action. We all know what happens next. Lots of fizzing.

5. The fizzing reaction will lift away stubborn dirt and grease particles, then wipe away with a cloth.

Do I need to take out the racks out for a pyrolytic clean?

According to Bosch and Neff, you should always remove any racks, rails and trays from the oven before you begin a pyrolytic cleaning process. They will get damaged if they are left inside.

Piper Huxley is a Homes, Gardens and Wellness Product Writer for A Modern Kitchen, specialising in cookware. When she’s not cooking up a storm in the kitchen, Piper is re-watching a TV show or listening to a podcast.

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