Betta Buying Guide - How to choose the right oven

Looking for a new oven? Before you start your search, there are some basic questions you should ask yourself, such as: How advanced a cook are you? How much cooking do you do and what type of dishes do you cook? Be honest with yourself because the type of oven that is right for you will depend on the answers!

Size and Style

It seems obvious but it’s surprising how many people start shopping for an oven, quickly set their heart on a certain model only to discover later that it’s the wrong size for their kitchen! Ovens come in 3 different widths - 600mm, 700mm and 900mm – so figure out beforehand which size will fit your kitchen space.

The other size consideration is the oven’s internal capacity. A 900mm oven is a great option if you frequently cook for large numbers of guests, but the different between a 600mm and a 900mm oven is not felt as much if you just used to for everyday cooking for around four people.  Some 900mm ovens can seem bigger than they actually but are not as tall as their 600mm and 700mm counterparts and therefore don’t offer much more space inside. Also, the larger the oven, the more you need to heat it up, which can be inefficient if you often just cook small dishes.  On the other hand, a 900mm oven width also means a bigger cooktop.

Next, consider your kitchen’s style. Ideally, your oven will fit the look of the rest of your kitchen. To achieve this, look for an oven that closely matches the materials and finishes featured throughout your kitchen and kitchen accessories.

Gas or Electric?

This is probably the biggest question facing those looking for a new oven.

Electric ovens are more versatile as they typically have a top and a bottom element, a grill, and a fan so you can cook, bake and grill a variety of foods. They are also quicker to cook with but some people think food tastes better cooked in gas ovens.  While electric ovens tend to be cheaper to purchase, a gas oven is a cheaper investment in the long-term because gas itself is cheaper than electricity.

Gas ovens can also be fan-assisted; fans are useful in gas ovens because otherwise the heat will naturally stay at the top therefore cooking your food unevenly! If there’s no fan in your gas oven, you will need to rotate food from the top to the bottom shelf to achieve even heat distribution.  On the other hand, gas ovens that are not fan-assisted are better at retaining moisture than electric ovens, so are ideal for cooking dishes like casseroles, roasts and cakes.

Built-in or Free-standing?

A freestanding oven doesn’t need to be attached to any structure in your kitchen so is a good choice if you see yourself moving house in the near future.

A built-in oven is one that is installed so that it is integrated into your kitchen. If style and design is especially important to you, you can’t go past the seamlessness of a built-in oven. Built-ins are also versatile in that you can combine electricity and gas, while a freestanding oven is usually limited to one or the other.  

One of the most interesting and exciting developments in kitchen appliances in recent years has been pyrolitic ovens. A pyrolitic oven is an otherwise normal oven that has a special, built-in self-cleaning system. The pyrolitic cleaning system uses very high heat to burn residual grease and dirt inside the oven into ash. The ash is then cleaned up with a moist cloth.

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