Buying an oven is pretty complicated these days as there are endless options and styles available. There are many factors to consider when choosing an oven for your kitchen, including price point, whether to opt for built in or standalone, gas or electric as well as any special options or features you want in the appliance. With so many available options it is easy to make a bad investment and purchase a model ill suited to your needs. This can be avoided by having a good understanding of what it is you are looking for in an oven and knowing as much as you can about the different styles and varieties available.
Types of Oven Available
There are four types of traditional ovens to choose from, single ovens, double ovens, double built under and compact ovens. Described below are the main characteristics of each oven type but do remember that whichever type of oven you select, it will require professional installation.
Single ovens average around 60cm tall and can essentially fit anywhere in the kitchen, under a counter or even at eye level. They only have one oven space for baking and roasting but are large enough to accommodate almost any meal. Some people will feel limited by only having one oven to cook in, especially if they are avid bakers or cook large meals often.
Double ovens come in two varieties – a double built in and the smaller in size double built under. Double built under ovens fit conveniently on the floor under the countertops, or between them, whereas double built ins need to be slotted into the existing cabinetry. Your choice will depend on how visible you want the oven to be and how much space you have available.
Double ovens always feature a grill in one, and on high end appliances can be found in both oven cavities. Double ovens allow for two separate items to be cooked independently at varying temperatures – ideal if you tend to cook complex meals, or handy if you have kids that you need to cook separately for.
When a space is at a premium in your kitchen than a compact oven might offer the solution you are looking for. Compact ovens are approximately the same size as a large microwave so will fit easily into even the smallest of spaces. Some families opt for a compact oven in addition to a larger one to accommodate more food preparation. The trade off for the convenience of a compact oven in it’s space restrictions, so it is not likely any huge meals will be cooked in one, but they do generally come outfitted with a grill and an oven so everyday cooking can easily be accommodated.
Electric vs Gas Ovens
The type of fuel used to cook with is very much a personal preference although sometimes there may not be a choice in the matter depending on how the home is outfitted. For those that do have the choice there are benefits and drawbacks to each fuel type and these are described below.
Cooking with gas has some benefits that should be considered including cost efficiency, as it is the cheapest type of fuel to cook with. Users of gas ovens will notice a nice consistent heat, and that often cooking time is reduced when comparing it to using an electric oven, making it even more energy efficient. A drawback to using gas to cook is that built in options are limited, there are far more choices available in electric versions.
Electric ovens offer fantastic heat distribution, especially in oven models that are outfitted with a fan. They also are available in a wider range of options and maintain very accurate temperatures making cooking in them easy and predictable. Electric powered single ovens are the most common ovens found in homes. The higher cost of operating is the only considerable drawback.
Making the Choice
Once you’ve chosen the type of oven you want, it’s time to consider various features that you may find useful. Common oven features include steamers, self-cleaning settings, timers and other useful options to make cooking more convenient – so take your time and think about what you’d like your cooker to do for you – the possibilities are endless.
Article supplied by Kitchen Finesse – now offering a wide range of Ovens and kitchen appliance from leading manufactures, Neff