Maintenance of brick ovens requires a few steps that differ from that of most appliances.
While these units include few parts that fail or wear out, improper cleaning causes problems. Operators should use a long-handled brush to sweep away food particles that accumulate on the oven floor during use. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the cooking deck surface every day to keep carbon from building up. Use warm, soapy water to regularly clean the oven tools, mantle, night doors and doorway. In addition to cleaning the ash, regularly clean the ductwork above the oven.
The intense heat and high temperatures these ovens generate largely preclude the need for cleaning of the interior walls and cavity top. When end users operate units at lower temperatures, however, a buildup on the interior walls and/or cavity top of ovens can occur. Depending on wood quality, clean ovens monthly or every other month, on average.
Flue pipes need to be cleaned by a chimney sweep or hood cleaner that specializes in solid fuel cleaning about four times a year. The residue from solid fuels, along with greasy vapors from product, can cause flue fires if this is not done regularly.
Most ovens have both gas burners and solid fuel. Regularly clean gas orifices and check gas pressures. If inexperienced cooks scrape the deck and push food debris to the back and into the burner chamber, this will clog the burners and ignition system. Remove the debris.
Ash mitigation is a factor with brick ovens since wood ash and coals stay hot for a long time. Using a shop vacuum for cleaning could start a fire. For this reason, embers need to be scooped into a fireproof container. For gas-only-fired ovens, a shop vac can be used to remove debris when cleaning out the cooking chamber, but the oven needs to be cool. Care needs to be taken around igniters and burners as to not damage these fragile components.