Choosing the best oven for your kitchen
Ovens Buyers Guide
The oven is one of the most important features in any kitchen, and so it is vital to choose the right one to meet your needs. Whether you’re looking for the best built-in double oven or the perfect standalone single oven, the choice you make will not only complement the design of your kitchen but will also reflect your lifestyle. So, what do you need to consider when choosing the best oven for your home?
Here at Knees Home & Electrical, we stock a full range of ovens from big names such as Miele, Smeg, Zanussi, Bosch, AEG, and NEFF, covering both gas and electric models. Whether you are considering a single oven or a double oven, the fuel type you choose will depend upon a range of factors, such as fuel type availability at your home and your personal preferences.
Electric ovens remain enduringly popular and for good reason. It is hard to match the degree of temperature control and even heat distribution afforded by electrically-powered ovens. However, gas-powered models retain a loyal following because of a widely-held view that they are more economical to run. In addition, certain traditional cooking styles require top-heavy heat distribution and a degree of moisture retention that can be hard to achieve with an electric oven.
Size and fit
One of the biggest decisions you will have to make is the fit you want. You’ll need to consider the built-in oven, built-under, or freestanding option. Built-in ovens are specifically designed to be placed within column cabinets. This obviates the need to bend down in order to check on the progress of your dishes. This can be particularly valuable where hefty cookware is involved or mobility is an issue. Built-under versions go beneath a worktop and will fit alongside your kitchen cabinets, creating a seamless look in your kitchen.
When it comes to sizing, all of the Knees’ single oven choices will fit in a 60cm x 60cm housing unit, while compact ovens will fit in a 45cm x 60cm housing unit. If you are in the market for a built-in double oven, these all fit in a 60cm x 90cm housing, while built-under doubles all fit in 60cm x 72cm units.
Compact ovens can be a good choice if you are very tight on space in your kitchen. They can offer both grill and oven functions and are a popular choice for couples and single people.
You will need to decide how many ovens you would like (or have space for) and what combinations of these you would like. Perhaps you would like one of the overs to be a microwave or have steam functions, for example.
When considering the best double oven or single option, you will need to consider the capacity you want and need. This is measured in litres, and choices typically range from 35 litres to mammoth 82-litre options.
There are probably more grill options than you thought. There are simple grills that allow you to put your dishes inside, variable grills offering increased temperature control, and double grills that offer more space for larger dishes and bigger portions.
You will wish to consider where you will position your oven. Most people want their oven at eye-level and this is why built-in options are so popular. Having your oven at the most convenient height makes it as easy and safe as possible to handle dishes when cooking. You may, however, want your oven to be more of an eye-catching feature in your kitchen and may wish to consider a range cooker.
You can spend from £200 to £3,800 on a new oven and your exact budget will depend on everything from the size of the oven you want to the features you require.
Controls are another feature to consider as there are all sorts of options out there. Perhaps you are a traditionalist who likes the solid touch of classic-style rotary controls or you want the ergonomic attraction of a good rocker switch? Or maybe, you’d prefer more contemporary control options in the form of digital displays and menus with touch or swipe controls.
Do you want particular features to make your life easier or to fulfil specific requirements? There are all sorts of these available – and some are specific to particular manufacturers.
- NEFF ovens, for example, can offer unique Slide&Hide® doors, which allow you to get close to your oven without the need for awkward bending. These are the doors you may have seen on ovens on TV programmes such as Masterchef and the Great British Bake Off. The doors open up and slide underneath and out of the way.
- Hot air CircoTherm systems enable you to roast and bake dishes simultaneously on up to four different levels.
- Full or Variosteam options provide extensive support for steam cooking.
- Pyrolytic self-cleaning is another popular choice, as are easy-clean enamel and catalytic versions. More people than ever before want to do away with the need to scrub away burnt-on grease and grime using harsh chemicals and far too much time and energy. Oven cleaning today can be as simple as turning on the self-clean function and allowing the oven to disintegrate the dirt, leaving nothing more than an ash-like residue that you can simply brush away.
There are three main cleaning types. These are:
- Pyrolytic : The oven is heated to around 500C, burning off grease and leaving you just ash to wipe away
- Catalytic : Lined surfaces are there to absorb grease. Cooking at temperatures over 200 degrees Centigrade will break down the grease.
- Easy-clean enamel : This is the simplest option and essentially means that the oven is created using easy-clean enamel, which is simple to wipe over.
You may also want to consider options such as Neff Home Connect and other remote systems which allow you to control and monitor your appliances wherever you happen to be. Who doesn’t like the idea of being able to preheat your oven on the way home from work and receiving a notification to say your dinner is almost done?
Another choice you will need to make is whether you want fan-assisted or conventional capabilities. Fan assisted ovens distribute heat evenly with no need for pre-heating, while conventional ovens have lower and upper heating elements from which heat radiates. There are also steam ovens that can cook food up to 30 per cent faster and lock in beneficial nutrients.
If you require any advice or assistance in choosing an oven, our friendly team will be happy to help you find the perfect model to suit your needs.