There are several kinds of liners in ovens. These liners are intended to protect the elements and make it much easier to clean. Some oven liners are extremely smooth, so food and grease have a hard time sticking to them.
Other liners, like catalytic liners, absorb food and grease, which is then burnt off at higher cooking temperatures.
But what about Vitreous Enamel liners? Well, let’s take a close look, shall we?
What Is Vitreous Enamel?
Vitreous enamel is a glass coating. It is chemically bonded to the metal liners of your oven at incredibly high temperatures.
This coating is very durable and has high heat resistance, so it will comfortably last the lifetime of your oven. It also won’t scratch, as long as you are careful.
Vitreous enamel is used in lots of cooking products. Many baking trays have this coating on them. The tell-tale sign of this enamel coating is the smooth, black surface.
How Is Vitreous Enamel made?
This glass coating is chemically bonded to the substrate at high temperatures in a furnace. A lot of heat is needed—around 850 degrees Celsius in fact.
A coating of the enamel is sprayed onto the surface of your oven liners. These are then placed into a furnace and heated up to create a permanent bond with the metal oven liners. Once this bond is achieved, it is incredibly difficult to remove the enamel.
Benefits of Vitreous Enamel in an Oven
1. Some non-stick properties
While enamel isn’t the most non-stick coating found in the kitchen, it does do a brilliant job in your oven.
As long as you maintain a good oven cleaning routine, this coating is very easy to keep clean. And because this coating is nice and head wearing, it won’t degrade over time and get harder to clean as your cooker ages.
2. A smooth finish
Another thing that makes Vitreous Enamel great for oven liners is the smooth surface. Because the surface of this coating is glass, there are hardly any gaps in it. So, food has a hard time finding places to grab hold and get stuck.
Due to the extreme heat that enamel coatings are created in, the heat of your oven won’t affect this coating at all. Even through many years of use, this coating will stand up nicely.
Downsides of Vitreous Enamel in an Oven
The biggest downside to this enamel coating is that it’s brittle. If you have a baking tray with a vitreous enamel coating, you may notice that it degrades quite quickly. This is because when baking trays heat up, they warp and bend.
Vitreous enamel is a glass coating that doesn’t like to bend. So, when the tray does, it can create tiny cracks in the coating.
It doesn’t take long for these cracks to grow, and you’re left with a baking tray that has large cracks and scratches all over it. You can speed up this process if you use metal utensils as well.
Oven liners can be affected by this brittleness as well. However, a lot of the damage to baking trays occurs when we lift them and move around when they are warm. Dunking them into cold water also doesn’t help.
Oven liners are allowed to cool down naturally and return to their natural shape. So, if you avoid cleaning your enamel liners with heavy abrasives, the brittleness shouldn’t be much of an issue.
Cleaning Vitreous Enamel
Cleaning smooth oven liners is really simple. You don’t need harsh chemicals or heavy abrasives pads, even if your oven hasn’t been cleaned for some time.
To start cleaning your oven, place a bowl of water in the oven at a high temperature for about 20 minutes. You add vinegar to the water (a 3:1 ratio of water to vinegar is best), this will speed up the process.
This process produces steam and water vapour that is coating the inside of the oven and soaking all of the burnt-on food and grease. After 20 minutes, you can simply use a paper towel or microfibre cloth to remove the waste. It is very easy, and it’s gentle on the liners as well.
We hope this look at vitreous enamel coatings in ovens has been helpful. Enamel liners in ovens offer plenty of protection and will help you keep your oven clean.
The coating is brittle, but as long as you take care when cleaning the liners, they will last for the life of your oven.
Chef’s Pick has the latest and greatest ovens right here if you’re looking for a new oven. We also have loads of other oven cleaning articles and everything else a home chef needs to make the most out of their time in the kitchen.
Scott is a writer and a passionate home chef. His passion for cooking began when he was 10 years old. Scott has been writing professionally for over five years now and loves to combine his passion for cooking with his day job.