Ovens and Cookers Buying Guide
Responsible for cooking almost every meal in your home, the oven is arguably the most important tool in your kitchen. As such, it is crucial for you to choose a product that perfectly suits your cooking and meal preparation needs.
A single oven has only one cavity for cooking. While these models have several shelves which can accommodate two or more dishes, this only comes in handy when all of your meals have to be cooked at the same temperature. As such, single ovens are more suited to smaller households.
Double ovens feature two cavities, allowing you to cook two meals at once. The separate cavities allow you to cook at two different temperatures, and helps to prevent flavour transfer when cooking a particularly pungent dish.
A range cooker is a large freestanding appliance that features several oven cavities and a hob on top. These are perfect for homeowners that enjoy cooking a wide range of meals and require plenty of flexibility and space for preparation. They are more costly than single and double ovens, but they are known for contributing a stylish touch to your kitchen décor.
When considering the purchase of a gas oven, it is important to find out if your home is equipped for it. Most homes are readily equipped for the installation of an electric oven, so you may have to pay a professional to install a gas hook-up. Gas ovens heat up very quickly, so there is rarely the need to preheat before cooking. They are also considered a better option for baking.
Electric ovens are standard in most kitchens, as the majority of households are equipped for electric cookers. While they require time to preheat, they maintain an even temperature and are very easy to clean and maintain.
These models combine the best of both worlds. They offer the even heating of an electric oven with the wide range of benefits awarded by gas stoves. This option is only available as a freestanding cooker.
The majority of ovens feature a smooth enamel interior, which can be cleaned manually with a cloth and cleaning product. Self-cleaning ovens are lined with catalytic or pyrolytic liners that eliminate the need for manual cleaning – saving you valuable time. The cleaning cycle takes a few hours and must be carried out every few weeks in order to keep your oven in ideal condition.
Multifunction ovens come equipped with a wide range of settings to carry out various cooking tasks. Basic ovens only feature generic cooking options, but multifunction feature many different functions, including:
- Bottom heat only, which is ideal for pies
- Top heat only, which is ideal for browning
A relatively new innovation, steam ovens cook food using vaporised water for meals that are moist and juicy. They are also considered a healthier option because cooking with steam allows your food to retain more nutrients.
These are ovens that feature an energy rating of A or higher. They use less energy than other similar models, helping you to save money on your household bills in the long term. A-rated ovens may be more costly up front; however, the amount of money they save you over time should balance out.