Commercial convection ovens are a staple in restaurant kitchens since they quickly and efficiently cook a wide variety of foods. The oven’s cavity features fans that circulate heated air that’s capable of cooking food 35% faster than conventional ovens. Because of this, convection ovens are one of the preferred cooking methods among operators.
The avg. cost for a commercial convection oven can range anywhere from $2,000 – $20,000–depending on the model and brand you choose.
Chefs utilize convection ovens for roasting and baking large batches of rolls, cookies, vegetables, chicken breasts, 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. Improper oven cleaning can also increase the risk of smoke and fire, or cause heating inefficiencies. By following these simple guidelines for commercial convection oven cleaning, you can help ensure that food tastes better, kitchen staff stays safer, and equipment lasts longer.
Note: these are basic guidelines for how to clean a convection oven. Follow manufacturer guidelines for additional steps for cleaning your kitchen’s specific unit.
Cleaning a Convection Oven Daily
Shifts go long. People can be rude. There are other pieces of equipment that need to be cleaned. It’s easy to make excuses in order to avoid cleaning cooking equipment at the end of the day. However, it is essential to clean your commercial convection oven daily to optimize its performance and improve your food’s quality. 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 of doing so with staff. We recommend cleaning after the last shift so that the oven doors can be left open overnight to dry. There are three main areas to focus on daily: crumbs, oven racks, and interior walls.
CRUMBS: Throughout the day, stay on top of any crumbs that accumulate in and around the oven. This can seem tedious and unnecessary, but allowing the crumbs to build up can impact the flavor of your food and even cause smoke and fires. Avoid these risks by clearing away all food debris from the convection oven’s interior over the course of your shift.
OVEN RACKS: It’s practically inevitable that grease and crumbs will also get on your oven racks. Combat this by removing the racks and washing them separately in hot, soapy water. Scrub the racks with a scouring pad or wire brush if you spot any excessive grime.
INTERIOR WALLS: Wash the convection oven’s interior while the racks are out so you’ll have easier access to the full cavity. Use a damp, warm towel to wipe the interior walls and doors. If you follow a routine cleaning regimen, warm water will be enough to wash the interior. Otherwise, use an oven cleaner to remove tough grease and debris. Be sure to clean around the fans to ensure proper airflow and maximize efficiency, as well. When the convection oven’s interior is glistening, replace the racks and leave the doors open overnight to fully dry.
How to Clean a Convection Oven
Click to download a printable version of our guide to commercial convection oven cleaning.
Steps for Weekly Oven Cleaning
The exterior of your convection oven should be cleaned at least once a week. Use a soft brush or sponge and mild detergent (abrasive products can damage the finish) to gently clean the outside. Since most commercial convection ovens have stainless steel exteriors, it’s also important that you wipe in the same direction as the steel grain. This helps avoid scratching the finish and leaving unsightly smudges. Discover more tips for proper cleaning in our guide to disinfecting stainless steel surfaces.
While you’re focused on the exterior, make sure to check the kitchen floors, too! If the convection oven is on casters, carefully pull the unit away from the wall and clean the floors underneath it. (Tip: Gently move the oven to avoid disconnecting or damaging cords and hoses!). Performing this task weekly will prevent grease and grime buildup and keep your kitchen as clean as possible.
Convection Oven Cleaning Tips
If you perform the daily and weekly cleaning tasks mentioned above, your commercial convection oven will operate effectively and efficiently for years to come. In addition to the previous tips, here are a few more recommendations for convection oven cleaning:
Grab your cleaning supplies and wipe down the interior of the oven daily. Doing so from the get-go will make the entire cleaning process easier down the road.
Perform the full cleaning routine after your kitchen’s final daily shift so you can leave the oven doors open overnight to dry. This prevents bacteria from growing in the interior.
If you prefer to avoid harsh cleaning chemicals, lemon juice and vinegar are great natural alternatives.
And now you’re finally ready to reap the rewards of a thoroughly clean commercial convection oven! For more information on cleaning your commercial cooking equipment, visit our restaurant cleaning checklist.
Convection Cleaning FAQ’s
What is the Best Way to Clean the Inside of a Convection Oven?
The best way to clean the inside of your commercial convection oven is:
- Start by removing all removable components, such as racks and trays.
- Scrape off loose debris using a plastic or metal scraper.
- Apply a mild detergent, following the manufacturer’s instructions, and allow it to sit for the recommended time.
- Gently scrub the interior with a non-abrasive pad or brush, rinse thoroughly with clean water, and ensure it’s completely dry before use.
Is it Safe to Use Oven Cleaner in a Convection Oven?
It is best to use a mild soap and water to clean your convection oven, as opposed to harsher cleaners.
Can You Use Easy-Off to Clean a Convection Oven?
Although it won’t impact the performance of your convection oven, harsh cleaners such as Easy-Off can harm the surface of your convection oven. It is advised to not use Easy-Off to clean a convection oven.
How Often Should You Clean a Convection Oven?
What Not to Do With a Convection Oven…
Here’s a short list of things you should NOT do with a convection oven to ensure its safe and proper use, along with the longevity of your product:
- Do Not Use Abrasive Cleaners: Avoid using abrasive scouring pads, steel wool, or harsh chemicals to clean the oven’s interior, as they can damage the surfaces and the oven’s coatings.
- Do Not Overload: Avoid overcrowding the oven with too many baking sheets or trays, as this can obstruct airflow and lead to uneven cooking.
- Do Not Block Air Vents: Keep the oven’s air vents and fans unobstructed to ensure proper air circulation. Blocking vents can affect the oven’s performance.
- Do Not Ignore Maintenance: Regularly clean the oven’s interior after each use and perform routine maintenance. Ignoring cleaning and maintenance can lead to excessive buildup and reduced efficiency.
- Do Not Use Aluminum Foil on the Bottom: Avoid placing aluminum foil directly on the oven’s bottom, as it can disrupt airflow and cause uneven cooking. Instead, use baking sheets or trays.
- Do Not Ignore User Manual: Always refer to the manufacturer’s user manual for specific instructions and guidelines for your convection oven model. Ignoring these recommendations may lead to issues or safety hazards.
- Do Not Leave Unattended: Never leave the convection oven unattended while it’s in use, as it can cause accidents or overcooking.
- Do Not Use Incompatible Cookware: Ensure that you use oven-safe cookware that can withstand the convection oven’s temperature and airflow. Using inappropriate materials may lead to damage or fires.
- Do Not Use Metal Utensils: Avoid using metal utensils to remove food from the oven, as they can scratch the interior surfaces. Instead, use wooden or silicone utensils.
- Do Not Neglect Ventilation: Maintain proper ventilation in your kitchen while using the convection oven, especially when cooking at high temperatures or for an extended period, to prevent smoke or fumes buildup.
MacKenzie joined the Hubert team in September of 2022 as a Content Developer, bringing with her over a decade of experience in various creative roles—including, a professional book reviewer, PR writer, a contributing writer for various Fortune 500 companies, the editor of a USA Para-Triathlete’s memoir, a university journal’s editor, and a blog writer.
She uses her uncanny ability to capture the voice of her clients and company, and her experience as a bartender and server many moons ago, to craft a wide variety of marketing collateral for Hubert and Central Restaurant Products. MacKenzie believes breakfast food is appropriate at all times of day, physical books are superior to e-readers, and two shots of espresso are always better than one.