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. 

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.

How to Clean 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.

Image Credit: Vulcan Equipment

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.

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 finishto 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.
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