Convection ovens are a staple in commercial kitchens to quickly and efficiently cook a wide variety of foods. The cooking cavity features fans that circulate heated air and cook foods as much as 35% faster than conventional ovens. Because of this, convection ovens are one of the preferred cooking methods among operators.
Chefs utilize convection ovens for large batches of dry heat roasting and baking operations such as rolls, cookies, vegetables, chicken breast, and so much more. Because of their versatility and high level of use in any kitchen, it is extremely important to regularly clean a commercial oven. Without proper care, crumbs, grease, and other debris can accumulate and cause issues with flavor profiles, increase the risk of smoke and fire, or cause heating inefficiencies. With simple guidelines for cleaning your commercial convection oven, foods will taste better, kitchen staff is safer, and equipment will last longer.
Note: the following are basic guidelines to cleaning a commercial oven. Follow manufacturer guidelines for additional, specific steps to cleaning.
Shifts go long. People were rude. There are other pieces of equipment that need to be cleaned. It is easy to make excuses in order to avoid cleaning the cooking equipment at the end of the day. However, it is essential to the performance of the oven and the quality of your food to clean your commercial convection oven daily after use. To aid in the process, plan a routine scheduled cleaning of each piece of equipment at the end of the night and stress the importance with staff. We recommend cleaning after the last shift so that doors can be left open overnight to dry. There are three main areas to focus on daily: crumbs, oven racks, interior walls.
CRUMBS: Throughout the day, stay on top of the crumbs. This can seem tedious and unnecessary, however, allowing the crumbs to accumulate can impact the flavor of your food and even cause smoke and fires. Avoid these risks by clearing away all food debris from the oven interior throughout the day.
OVEN RACKS: It is inevitable that grease and crumbs will also get on oven racks. Remove the racks and wash separately in hot, soapy water and scrub with a scouring pad or wire brush if necessary.
Image Credit: Vulcan Equipment
INTERIOR WALLS: Wash the oven interior while the racks are removed for easier access to the full cavity. Use a damp, warm towel to wipe the full interior walls and doors. If regular cleaning is maintained, warm water is enough to wash the interior. Otherwise, use an oven cleaner to remove grease and debris.
While cleaning the interior, be sure to clean around the fans to ensure proper airflow and to maximize efficiency.
Return the oven racks after cleaning the interior and leave the doors open overnight to fully dry.
At least once a week, the exterior of the oven should be cleaned. Use a mild soap and soft brush (abrasive cleaners and brushes can damage the finish) to gently clean along the grain of the finish. Using the brush against the grain can also cause scratches.
Check the floors as well! If on casters, carefully pull the oven away from the wall and clean the floors (gently move the oven to avoid disconnecting or damaging cords and hoses!). Doing so will avoid grease and grime build-up and keep your kitchen as clean as possible.
- Clean the interior of the oven daily. Doing so from the beginning will make cleaning easier down the road.
- Perform the full daily cleaning in the evening after the dinner shift so you can leave the oven doors open overnight for the interior to fully dry.
- Lemon Juice and Vinegar are great “natural” staples to help remove grime before resorting to cleaning chemicals.
Ready for your commercial kitchen to reap the benefits of a clean convection oven? Follow these steps and enjoy the full flavor of your foods, a safe working environment, and efficiently operating equipment! For more information on cleaning your commercial kitchen and equipment, visit our Restaurant Cleaning Checklist!
Hope has been a Content Specialist since November 2015, where she brings to the table years of experience in the food service industry in a variety of roles. Throughout her time with Central, Hope has focused on learning all things possible about everything from cooking equipment to concession and specialty products in order to empower operators with education on commercial equipment and supplies. Hope is a wife, new mom, avid crafter, and food lover (french fries please!).