The Dangers Of Dirty Ovenware

By on 18th August 2014 (updated: 10th March 2020) in Cooking

Dirty Ovenware

In previous posts we have discussed the dangers associated when cooking with a dirty oven.

But did you know that even if you have a clean cooker, old and used baking trays, cooking dishes and grill sets can be just as detrimental to your health and safety?

When was the last time you changed your kitchen’s ovenware?

By using neglected baking trays, dishes and shelving that hasn’t been thoroughly cleaned or changed in some time; you could be imposing a significant risk to your health, incurring unnecessary costs, and severely undermining the overall working condition of your oven.

What Constitutes Ovenware?

In the modern kitchen, ovenware makes up the fundamental equipment used to prepare meals when cooking, and when well maintained, can last a long time.

The various types of ovenware are:

  • Glass – Perhaps the most common material used to create cooking dishes. Glassware allows the cook to observe the state of food whilst it is roasting, it can also retain heat for quite some time.
  • Earthenware – Perfect for slow-cooking, earthenware uses a protective coat that stops food from coming into contact with the clay used to make the equipment. The material has been used in culinary practices all over the world for centuries.
  • Metal – The most versatile choice of material among domestic cooks. Metal ovenware generally uses cast iron, stainless steel and aluminium.
  • Rubber/Silicone – Usually used in low-heat cooking, rubber lined dishes are generally employed by amateurs and the elderly in baking.


Ovenware is used to prepare meals either a gas or electric oven, and due to the materials used during manufacture, can sustain high temperatures for long periods of time.

That said, if the items are not cleaned both thoroughly and regularly, the condition of your equipment can swiftly degrade.

So what are the risks and negative effects involved in keeping unclean equipment?


Similar to cooking with a dirty oven, preparing food with filthy grills and baking trays can pose a significant risk to the quality of what you are making.

A dish that, no matter how many times you wash it, is caked in stuck-on, burnt grime, might impact on the flavour and quality of the meals that you’re ingesting.

This can also affect the ability of your ovenware to reach desired temperatures and cook food thoroughly, which means it is not good news if you are cooking fresh meat.

Condition Of The Oven

Dirty equipment can also contribute to an oven malfunction.

Smoke and grit that has collected on your ovenware can find its way to almost every corner of your oven, obstructing the fundamental components that keep your appliance in tip-top condition.

Fire/Smoke Hazard

Additionally, poorly maintained ovenware can, in some cases, lead to a kitchen fire, and more commonly, cause billows of smoke to emanate from your oven, rapidly filling your home.

What Should You Do?

To avoid all the risks and issues mentioned above, it is recommended that you either frequently clean your kitchen’s cooking equipment, or if it is too late, then replace them completely.

We hope you have found this post useful. If you have any thoughts, comments or questions about the risks associated with dirty ovenware, please head over to the Ovenu Facebook page and let us know.

Image Credits

Dirty ceramic dish courtesy of Bigstock

Rik Hellewell is the Founder & Managing Director of Ovenu and a member of the Approved Franchise Association. He established Ovenu in 1993, cleaning 4,000 ovens and proving his concept over five years before starting the franchise business. Since then he has helped over 200 franchisees achieve their dreams of running successful businesses of their own. Established for over 25 years, the Ovenu concept has proven successful across the UK, New Zealand, Australia and the USA.