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Apr 28, 2008 11:40 AM

Very silly topic, maybe: can you use the self cleaning oven cycle for cooking?

It occured to me when reading a thread on crispy chicken skin when roasting, that, say, tandoori cooking is often around 800-900 degrees Fahenheit. To my read, it's similar to the self-clean cycles in ovens today, temperature-wise. So, does anyone ever bite the "let's-try-this" bullet and see if you can cook and clean the oven at the same time? (Yeah, I know...covered pot, to keep all the icky ash from falling in, and times are important, i.e., can you abort the cycle and restart if the food is finished?) I'm tempted. Anyone with thoughts?

So curious,

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  1. Do you have any cookware that can withstand those temps?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Sally599

      Cast iron Dutch ovens, would be my bet, if one cannot abort the cycle and restart. Otherwise...well, what's the inside of the oven made of? Enameled steel? I'm guessing it would survive.

      But still - who knows until we hear from someone who done this :-).


      1. re: cayjohan

        I'd worry some about the seasoning of cast iron being burned away. Of course, food inside the dutch oven could mitigate that some.

        I'm remembering a rock-salt encased roast my m-i-l once made. If I remember correctly there was an initial exposure to very high heat to sorta galvanize the moist salt casing and then a long slow roast overnight. I wonder if the salt insulation would allow a roast to withstand the extreme clean cycle heat (for just how long that cycle is, I'm not sure). And then the long cool down during which the salt retained its heat might act as a carry over to roast the meat through.

        'Course a roast is an expensive way to experiment. But if the meat were overcooked, it might still be shredded and braised in gravy/jus to be useable making me think that pork might be the thing to experiment with.

        1. re: cayjohan

          I think it is counterproductive to think about an oven locked in a cleaning cycle.... what could survive at those temps for that length of time? What would you even consider cooking at these elevated temperatures for very long?
          Pizza is the only thing I know of that requies 800 degrees or more and you cook it for 2-3 minutes, it appears.
          If there were a purpose, like cooking a roast or chicken, I would not use cast iron, for the very reason that it was seasoned; I would use my AllClad.

      2. Cay,

        From what I understand (which admittedly is not much), self-cleaning ovens heat the inside of the oven to temps exceeding 900F and do so for about 3 hours. The oven is self-locking during the clean cycle and the latch on the oven won't open until the oven cools to about 600F.

        Now, if you have something that needs to be cooked at 900F for approxmiatley 3.5 hours, yeah, by all means, go for it!

        And if you try it ... let us know just HOW crispy that bird turns out to be. :-)

        1 Reply
        1. OMG.. I'd be too afraid to use that function to cook anything. Please let us know if you do - but I really want to say - Please don't.

            1. re: grampart

              Yeah, this guy clipped the lock off his oven using garden shears so he could run it on the cleaning cycle. Not that I'm endorsing the idea - nor does he:

              1. re: trentyzan

                Thanks for posting that. I was trying to find it.


              2. re: grampart

                I was going to post this same thread, but you beat me to it. Ive never tried it at home, but I wanted to, just once.

              3. I have a vague memory of having heard of this but I believe it was tricky to do and involved overriding some mechanisms, as hinted at below....