How to buy an oven
If home is where the heart is, then do not underestimate the role of your oven. Whether baking a cake or roasting a duck, this central piece of kitchen equipment will be called upon daily to meet the hungry needs of your family and friends. So research properly and invest wisely – or forever serve charred food remnants and hold your peace.
Slot–in vs built–in
If you are lucky enough to be designing your kitchen from scratch you may want to consider installing a separate oven and hob. Avoid awkward bending by positioning a wall–fitted oven at your preferred height; maximise workspace by having the flexibility to fit the hob where you choose. If you’re working with an existing layout and haven’t much space, slot–in cookers are available in widths as narrow as 50cm.
Electricity vs gas: oven
Electric ovens are no–longer the slow–starters they were. Most are multifunction and so, accommodate different cooking needs. In this respect electric ovens are more versatile than gas. But gas ovens don’t dry out food in the same way electric ones do. So, if you are into baking cakes, cooking casseroles and roasts, gas is the one for you. Choose fan–assisted to circulate the heat and create an even temperature throughout the oven. For the ultimate in versatility, look out for microwave ovens with built–in oven function like the Framtid built–in (£449) from IKEA which is neat and contemporary.
Electricity vs gas: hob
Traditionally, chefs have opted for gas over electric hobs for their ‘controllability’ but halogen burners’ accelerated response times is shifting attitudes. Additional electrical features include touch controls, timers and heat sensors, and their wipeable glass top means easier cleaning than clumsy gas–burners. Halogen has been hailed by some as electricity’s answer to gas, but it still can’t match it for speed and control. Read more »