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Advice on buying the right cooker, oven or range for your kitchen.

As we have said in our blogs before, buying a new appliance often happens when you least expect it! Wear and tear and breakages are the main reason while a kitchen refurbishment or remodelling project often requires multi appliance purchases all at one.

Our ‘Advice on …..’ series provides help when it comes choosing bigger ticket kitchen electricals. It is key to get these purchases right first time as they are expensive to replace. Last month we concentrated on the hob, this time cookers, ovens and ranges are under the spotlight!

What type?

Single ovens are perfect for those with a smaller kitchen or those who enjoy takeaways and eating out over entertaining or cooking for a family. Integrated or free-standing these can sit underneath the work top or at eye-level, however, the oven and grill can’t be used at the same time.

A double oven provides a larger or family kitchen with flexibility as it comes with a second, smaller oven which generally offers a separate grilling option while a multi-function oven allows even more flexibility from fan to grill, separately or together.

Even larger still is a range oven – more traditional heat storage style ranges or more contemporary ranges that are for cooking only. Range ovens always create impact in a kitchen and are a real focal point in an open plan kitchen diner. A range usually, though not always, comprises of a wide oven and grill with a smaller oven by its side, pan storage or warming drawer, plus hob.

Which fuel?

There is plenty of choice when it comes to fuel – however, this can depend on where/how you live and your cooking preference. Electricity, gas, oil, wood, and solid fuel are all options. Some cookers even offer a dual fuel option incorporating a fan oven but a gas hob … so, do look around.

A conventional electric oven tends to be hotter at the top and cooler at the bottom, while a fan oven circulates the heat evenly throughout – once again, personal choice.

Gas ovens also tend to be slightly hotter at the top than the bottom which is useful depending on what food you are cooking at any one time. You may wish to crisp some foods at the top, while simply cook meat through lower down, all within the one meal.

So, what are the key features to consider when buying a cooker, oven, or range:

  • Automatic cooking controls set the temperature, heat source and moisture levels, plus cooking time, once you've selected the food you're cooking.
  • Clear door-viewing panel: to see how your cooking is coming along without opening the door.
  • Digital controls: more precise than dials.
  • Self-clean: different features such as easy-clean enamel – simply wipe clean and go; pyrolytic ovens, which heat to 500°C to incinerate spilt food; catalytic liners, which absorb fat and break down baked-on food when you heat the oven to more than 200°C; steam cleaning, which loosens burnt-on food.
  • Slide-away doors: which slide underneath the oven when open – ideal for small kitchens.
  • Storage drawers: and plate-warming racks for warming serving dishes and keeping cooked food hot.

For those finishing touches why not consider installing a beautiful yet highly practical splashback behind your oven or range. That extra step will ensure that your walls are protected from all the stains, splashes and steam that are so easily created when cooking. Glass splashbacks are particularly practical as they are so easy to clean and maintain, do not require grout, and are super-hygienic plus they look sensational … making a real feature out of one of your most extensively used appliances.

8th Mar 2021