When choosing an oven, there are several things to keep in mind. First, think about the size of oven you need. If you entertain often or cook large meals, you'll need a larger oven. But if you're mostly cooking for yourself or a small family, a smaller oven will suffice.
Choosing the Right Type of Oven for You
Ovens come in many different types – single, double, electric, gas, and dual-fuel – to name a few. Before making the investment, it’s worth taking the time to research the options available. Read on for everything you need to know so you can choose an oven that’s fit for you and your kitchen.
Gas, Electric or Dual-Fuel?
When you’re shopping for an oven, you’ll likely be tempted by familiar technology. If you’ve already owned a gas oven, then you might be reluctant to switch to an electric oven, and vice-versa.
That said, both gas and electric ovens have their advantages – and it might be that the sort you haven’t yet owned will make a better fit for your kitchen.
Gas and Electric Ovens: Energy Usage
In terms of energy used, electric and gas ovens are roughly equivalent. However, since gas is cheaper than electricity, a gas oven will cost less in the long run – with the most efficient models costing around £15 a year to run. The running costs of an electric oven can be as much as £50 annually.
What About Dual-Fuel?
A dual-fuel cooker combines the best of both worlds - a gas hob and an electric oven. They’re a popular choice, as they provide the instant-heat of a gas hob with the even cooking and multi-functionality of an electric oven.
Next, consider what type of oven would best suit your needs. There are many different types of ovens on the market, from traditional ovens to convection ovens. Each has its own set of pros and cons, so it's important to do your research before making a decision.
The Difference Between Ovens and Cookers
You might assume that the terms ‘cooker’ and ‘oven’ are interchangeable, but they actually refer to quite different things.
An oven is the compartment where you roast and bake.
A cooker is an appliance comprising both an oven and a hob in the same unit.
If you buy a separate oven, then you’ll need to buy a separate hob.
You might be surprised to learn that buying an oven and hob separately tends to work out cheaper, but you might have quite specific requirements of your kitchen – both practical and aesthetic. A hob that’s built into a worktop might look more at home in your kitchen, and you’ll have greater flexibility when it comes to deciding where to place it.
Do You Need a Fan Oven?
Oven food generally comes with two sets of instructions - one for ovens with a fan, and one for ovens without.
Fan ovens are able to cook the same food at a lower temperature in a shorter space of time - but how?
Why Fan-Assisted Ovens are More Efficient
Fan-assisted ovens work by blowing heat from the heating element away from the back of the oven, helping the entirety of the oven to quickly reach an even temperature. What’s more, since moving air will be unable to carry moisture, you’ll find that the oven produces less steam.
Are Fan-Assisted Ovens Always Better?
Some recipes, notably cakes and anything else which relies on moisture, might be better cooked in a non-fan oven, as the moving air will cause the foods to dry more quickly. Some fan ovens will allow you to turn the fan off, allowing you access to the best of both worlds.
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Should You Buy a Single or Double Oven?
Single ovens come with just one compartment, while double ovens come with two – each of which can be set to a different temperature. This means you can slow-cook a brisket of beef at 160°C while simultaneously roasting Yorkshire puddings at 200°C.
As such, double-ovens are ideal if you regularly cook roast dinners (or other, similarly complicated meals for large gatherings of people). For those that mostly cook for just one or two, a single-oven is probably all you will need.
Do Ovens Come in Standard Sizes?
While ovens come in several different sizes, theses sizes tend to fall into one of several fixed categories – which makes shopping for an oven relatively straightforward. The overwhelming majority of ovens are sixty centimetres wide. Provided you’ve got a space that matches, getting a new oven to physically fit into the space is therefore easy – though connecting it to your gas or electricity supply will almost certainly require expert help.
Finally, think about your budget. Ovens can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. It's important to find an oven that fits your needs and your budget.
How much will an oven cost?
Oven prices vary based on the type of oven, brand, size and features. Expect to pay between £149 and £2,000 for an oven.
How much does it cost to install an oven?
If you're not comfortable installing an oven yourself, hire a professional. Installation costs vary depending on the oven, but start at around £50.
Are electric ovens expensive to run?
Electric ovens are more expensive to run than gas ovens. The average electric oven costs about £58 per year to operate, while the average gas oven costs about £27 per year. But, with the rising cost fo fuel in the UK this could spiral on both electric and gas ovens.
Do electric ovens just plug in?
Most electric ovens need to be hardwired into your home's electrical system by a qualified electrician. Some ovens come with a plug, but you'll still need an outlet installed by an electrician.
Take your time when choosing an oven, and be sure to ask plenty of questions. With a little research, you can find the perfect oven for your home.
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when choosing an oven. But don't worry, we're here to help. Our oven buying guide will walk you through everything you need to know, from types of ovens to features and sizes. We'll also give you some tips on how to choose the best oven for your needs and budget.