Are you on the hunt for a new oven? Are you looking for a single or double oven or a gas or electric oven? Do you not know where to start or how much to spend?
With so much choice available, it can be tough to determine which oven is best for you. If you need a great oven and you’re not sure what to buy, you’ve come to the right place!
Hopefully, this informative oven buying guide will help you find the perfect product for your kitchen.
What to look for in a new oven
If you’re buying an oven, you don’t want to find yourself in the same situation a couple of years down the line. A good oven should last around ten years, so look for ovens that will stand the test of time and those that are likely to suit your style for years to come.
When you’re looking for a new oven, it’s wise to think about how much you use your oven, the kinds of specifications and features you want or need and your budget.
There is a dazzling array of products on offer, and writing a list of priorities could help you to narrow down the options. The spectrum of ovens ranges from basic units that are inexpensive and unfussy to state of the art models that are packed with features.
It’s up to you to decide how much you want to spend and what you want to get for your money. If you’re a keen chef who uses your kitchen on a daily basis, you may want some of those built-in features, but if you rarely set foot within a few metres of the oven, there’s little point in paying over the odds.
In this case, look for reliable, functional ovens that will complement the style of your kitchen and cater for your needs.
Finding the best oven for your kitchen: which type of oven is best for me?
Perhaps the first thing to decide when you’re shopping for a new oven is the type of oven you’re looking for. Here are some of the most popular options to choose from:
Built-in or freestanding oven?
Built-in ovens are ideally suited to small kitchens, but they’re also a popular choice for people who are keen to have multiple ovens in their kitchen. Built-in ovens are compact, they don’t take up much space, and they’re usually very neat. The range of built-in ovens varies from basic to brilliant, and if you want to, you can take advantage of features like self-cleaning modes and a spectrum of cooking modes. Fan ovens are often recommended for those who cook frequently, as they tend to produce better results.
Freestanding ovens give you more flexibility when it comes to designing your kitchen and its layout, but they do tend to take up more room. If you’re renting a house, buying a freestanding oven may also be beneficial, especially if you plan to buy in the future.
Single or double oven?
Single ovens are usually smaller than double ovens and, as you can probably guess from the name, they feature just one oven. Single ovens are ideal for people who don’t tend to cook for large crowds. You can use different trays to prepare several things at the same time with a single oven, so if you don’t entertain much or you have a small family, a single oven may be sufficient for your needs. Single ovens also occupy less space, which makes them a viable option for those with limited room in the kitchen.
A double oven features two ovens. Most people can cope perfectly well with a single oven, but if you love to cook, you entertain on a regular basis, or you’re one of those chefs who like to experiment with different recipes, a double oven may be the choice for you. With a double oven, you can cook a wider range of foods at the same time, you can prepare meals for a large number of people, and you can use one oven to cook food and another to keep it warm if you don’t have a heated trolley. Double ovens are ideal for events like Christmas Day when you want your joint to be at one temperature and your roast potatoes at another. You can multi-task, and you’ll have plenty of oven space available. With some double ovens, you can also use the grill function. If you’re preparing brunch, for example, you can grill bacon and sausages in the top oven while you roast tomatoes and mushrooms in the bottom oven. There are different styles of double oven available, and it’s a good idea to have a look around and take some measurements to see which units and styles will suit your kitchen best.
Gas or electric oven?
When you’re shopping for ovens, you’ll probably come across gas and electric ovens. In some cases, you may not have a choice of fuel, and you may have to choose the fuel type that is viable for your home. However, if you do have an option, we’ve discussed the pros and cons below.
Gas ovens are less popular than electric ovens, but this doesn’t mean that they’re not the best option for you. Gas ovens tend to be cheaper than electric ovens, they cost less to run, and there is a wide range of products available. It’s increasingly rare to find a built-in gas oven, but there are plenty of freestanding options, most notably, ranges, to choose from. Gas will give you the power you need for a lower price, so if you’re on a budget, this could be an ideal choice for you.
Electric ovens are very popular, mainly due to the fact that they’re easy to use and there’s a huge range of styles available, including built-in and freestanding single and double ovens. Electric ovens are more expensive than gas ovens, but research suggests that they are marginally better when it comes to performance due to providing a more even spread of heat during cooking. If you’ve already got gas installed and you’re looking for a cheaper option, it’s probably not worth the hassle switching to electric, but if you haven’t got gas, electric is likely to be your best bet.
Fan or conventional oven?
Fan ovens contain a fan, which distributes heat around the entire oven. Fan ovens tend to cook food faster and more evenly. With a fan oven, you can often cook food at lower temperatures (usually around 20 degrees lower).
Conventional ovens use elements at the top and bottom of the oven to produce heat. They are usually cheaper than fan ovens, but they take longer and the heat isn’t distributed as evenly. Conventional ovens may be a better option if you like to cook food slowly.
Many people choose to buy multifunction ovens, which offer you the chance to use a fan or conventional setting. This gives you the best of both worlds.
How much should I be spending on an oven?
The cost of an oven can range from just over £100 to thousands of pounds. The amount you pay for a new oven will depend on numerous factors. When you’re shopping, you should have an idea of how much you can afford to spend. When you have a figure in mind, you can start looking for the make and model that offers the best value for money in a price range that you’re comfortable with.
Consider what you want and need from your oven. A buyer who cooks once a week and tends to use an oven to heat pizzas and cook jacket potatoes is likely to have a different remit to a passionate cook who makes meals from scratch every day or uses their oven for professional purposes.
The amount you pay will usually reflect the brand name, the level of sophistication and the features on offer. If you want all the bells and whistles, you’re probably looking at ovens that cost in excess of £1,000.
If you’re not really bothered about having all the mod cons, you can spend a lot less. Years of research and testing suggest that you probably need to spend more than £250 to get a decent single oven or £350 for a double that will stand the test of time, but there’s little point in spending much more than this if you don’t plan to use your oven on a regular basis.
Is it worth paying for extra features?
If you take a few moments to browse websites or have a look around a showroom packed with appliances, you’ll notice that there are certain features that come with more expensive models, but is it worth paying more?
Features such as self-cleaning capabilities, steam cooking, digital controls, smart connectivity and warming drawers, will carry an extra charge.
For some people, the idea of living without all the mod cons is inconceivable but if you don’t cook much, there’s no point in splashing out on features you’re not going to use frequently enough to justify the added expense.
Think about what you want and whether it makes financial sense to indulge in some extras. This is a matter of personal preference and it’s advisable to weigh up all the options before you make a decision.
If you’re shopping for a new oven, hopefully, this oven buying guide will help to make your life easier.