You don’t have to be a mega chef to want a decent oven in your kitchen. But, you will want something that will let you cook something quick and easy, but lets you be adventurous when the mood takes you. Here is our guide on how to buy an oven.
There are a few features that you will find on modern ovens, some are quite obvious, but some may not be.
Before you buy an oven
There are few things you need to consider before you take the plunge in buying a new oven for your home kitchen.
1. The kind of cook you are
Are you an ambitious cook that likes to entertain lots of people, or do you just like to shove a pizza in the oven? Whichever you are, you need to be realistic about what features you want from an oven. If you just want it for basic cooking, there is no point spending extra money on an oven with 4D heating, a plate warmer and a built in rotisserie.
2. How it will fit in to your kitchen
Does your kitchen allow for a built-in wall oven and separate hob? You may only have space for a small stand alone oven. you really need to make sure that it will fit into your current setup, unless you are going for a remodelling of your kitchen.
3. Gas or Electric?
If you buy a gas oven and don’t have a gas supply, you are going to feel pretty silly.
You can spend some serious money on new ovens, with lots of fancy features. This is where you need to be realistic about what you are going to buy. Your new oven needs to be in keeping with the current aesthetic of your kitchen, have sufficient features for your needs and not break the bank. Fortunately, there is something for every budget out there.
£500 to £1000 – This kind of money will get you a basic oven with basic cooking functions. There won’t be much of a choice in how it will look. Ovens in this price range are usually black or white and occasionally stainless steel.
£1000 – £3000 – Lots more options are available at this price. You will also find more choices of finish.
£3000 – £6000 – When you get to this point, you can start to get fancy with the features.
£6000 – above – Paying over £6000 you get something that emulates the kind of oven you will fond in commercial kitchens. You can expect all-stainless-steel large ovens with many features. You can still spend over £10,000 for some ovens, but you will be able to customise them with features, colours and finishes.
Features Available on Modern Ovens
It is quite common to need to cook two things at the same time that require different cooking temperatures. When using the same oven to do this, there will always be a compromise. Therefore, a duel oven is a great idea.
Each oven has its own set of temperature controls. This means you don’t have to compromise and it is more efficient. For a small meal quick you don’t have to waste energy by warming up the big oven, just can just use the small one.
Instead of using radiant heat like a conventional oven, convection ovens circulate the hot air with a fan. This distributes heat faster and evenly. This saves you time and reduces energy bills.
This has nothing to do with Ozzy Osborne, but it is a helpful feature to have on your oven. It is effectively a “hold” mode, that keeps your food warm for a long time without over cooking it.
Being able to see how your food is cooking may see like a small thing, but it is very useful. In fact is essential for some dishes, such as soufflés and chocolate fondants. With these, you will ruin the outcome if you open the oven door.
Timer and Delay Start
Having a timer on your oven is a handy feature, this is because it will automatically switch off after the set time. This is ideal if you need to go out or have a habit of forgetting to switch off your oven.
A delay start is also a nice feature, as you can prepare your ingredients in advance, put the food in the oven and set the time for when you want it to start cooking. This gives you the ability to have food perfectly cooked for when you get home from work.
When you start to spend more money on your new oven, you can upgrade it with some various options. When choosing these options, you need to be realistic about how often you will use them relevant to their cost.
Oven manufacturers now offering wireless connectivity, unlocking a lot of potential in their products. You can expect Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and near-field communication (NFC) to control your oven from your phone.. For example, you could begin to preheat your Wi-Fi-enabled oven on your way home from work, so it it is ready for you to put in your jacket potatoes.
There are ovens now that connect with your Alexa, so you can use voice commands to control them.
Special Cooking Modes
Basic ovens can bake and broil. But, when you spend more on ovens, you will find that you can have lots more more cooking options. Some ovens have smart modes for specific foods, such as pizza or turkey. There are also ovens that have modes for preparing food, such as like dehydration or bread proofing.
Temperature probes allow you to monitor the cooking temperature perfectly. They simply to keep an eye on the internal temperature of meat as it cooks. The temperature displays on the control panel of your oven, so you don’t have to open the door to see if your dish is done.
Freestanding ovens are designed to go anywhere in your kitchen. These are usually electric (but not always). These are often the cheapest style of oven.
This type of oven doesn’t have a back panel and they are designed to fit in flush with the surrounding kitchen worktops. These are usually more expensive than freestanding models, as it is more difficult to put the controls on the front of the oven.
Final thoughts on how to buy an oven
Buying a new oven is a personal experience. You have to pick the stove or oven that works best for you and your needs. It is very easy to get carried away with all the fancy features, but you need to be realistic about how often you will use them. These extra features will add more cost to your oven.
Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.