Choosing the appliances for a new kitchen can be difficult and no decision is more important than the oven. As more and more of us cook and bake at home, getting the oven that suits you is vital but the choice can be daunting. There is a huge range of ovens on the market in a wide variety of sizes and colours. With technology changing at an alarming pace it can be difficult to know where to start so here are a few pointers.
Things to consider
With so many stunning, high-performance ovens on the market it is easy to get carried away but it essential that you keep your feet on the ground and look realistically at the space you have to work with. Your kitchen designer should be your first port of call for advice about how to maximise your space and in order to get the oven of your dreams you might need to rearrange the overall design. There are a wide range of size options available and even the traditionally large range ovens now come in very compact sizes for smaller city kitchens. Do your research thoroughly and make sure you have all the key measurements with you when looking online or browsing in the shops.
Speak to your kitchen designer about the ideal configuration of your kitchen plan to ensure the oven is in its optimum space. They will advise you on where best to place the oven in relation to other appliances but remember to think about where you want to be cooking. Most people like to be social in the kitchen so you don’t want the oven to be hidden away from the rest of the room. Think carefully about the space you have and be governed by the reality of the size of your kitchen.
Make sure there is good standing space around the oven and that the doors can be opened easily. Be mindful of the sizes of tins and roasting dishes you use most often and be sure to have all these measurements with you when doing your research.
Type of cooking
Our kitchens are multi-functional spaces but cooking is still the essential activity that we all have to do in our kitchens. It is important to be honest with yourself and think about the amount and type of cooking you do. When choosing your oven, be realistic about what you need your oven to do. If you are a keen baker you may be interested in having a warming drawer. If you do lots of entertaining, double ovens will provide separate capacity for a range of different cooking activity at the same time. Be realistic about the type of features that are important to you to ensure that you get the most from your new oven and buy what suits you and your lifestyle.
Here is our guide to the types of ovens and cookers available today.
This is by far the most choice for those installing a modern fitted kitchen and they usually come in 60cm-wide single oven which is slotted beneath the hob or mounted at eye level. Built-in ovens come in either gas or electric fan and all the major brands offer a great range of these ever-popular ovens. They are a good choice for those seeking a modern, streamlined look and work well in very contemporary kitchens.
Freestanding or slot-in
Another incredibly popular option with a huge range on offer from all the main manufactures to suit a variety of budgets and size requirements with the smallest starting at 50cm where space is a premium. They are easy to install and work well in most kitchens. Offering great flexibility, they work well with a variety of kitchen styles.
An increasingly popular choice for those who love the country look of the range cooker once found in old farmhouse kitchens. Today, they come with all mod-cons, a choice of gas, dual fuel, multi-ring burners, warming zones and some have even combined traditional looks with touch-screen technology. Made in cast iron or stainless steel they are highly robust with unrivalled capacity which is a consideration if you cook for large numbers regularly. They provide a great focal point for the kitchen and your kitchen designer can show you how to build a design around these kitchen classics. Popular brands include Aga, Rangemaster, Britannia, Smeg and Bertazzoni.
The Aga – A Way of Life
With its iconic design and loyal following, the Aga has earned a unique place in British culture and after its invention in 1922, the Aga cooker remains highly sought-after. The cookers are made from cast iron which radiates heat and is said to make food taste its best. Today, the full range is extensive and they come in a beautiful range of colours with many modern features to fit in with our busy lifestyles and contemporary cooking habits. Agas used to be the preserve of those with large farmhouse kitchens but now they can be enjoyed in more modest sized kitchens with the Aga City60 a must-have for many style-conscious urbanites. There is an Aga to suit every kitchen and your kitchen designer can discuss your options.
Steam ovens have gained in popularity in recent years and they certainly provide a healthy way to cook, particularly for fish, meat and vegetables. They can be bought as a stand-alone oven or can work within an integrated system with other cooking appliances. They work by cooking food with continuous boiling water and are a good choice for those looking to cook as healthily as possible. Brands to consider are Bosch, Neff and Miele and most of the big brands include steam ovens in their ranges.
Combi or multifunction ovens
As their name suggests, these ovens provide a variety of cooking methods and are extremely versatile and are great for the keen cook as they provide an element of control and precision cooking for optimum results. With the appearance of a traditional oven, they have fan, grill, microwave and steam options and come with an array of settings and some can even weigh ingredients and calculate cooking time accordingly. These are technically advanced appliances and are great for those looking to get the maximum performance from their oven.
Cooking and cleaning up afterwards can be tiring and time-consuming so let the oven take the strain and opt for one the new generation of self-cleaning ovens, designed to make life easier. The two main systems when choosing a self-cleaning oven are
This facility involves a coating which is applied to the inside of the oven. The liners absorb all the grease and grime that is produced during the cooking process and makes cleaning the oven much more manageable.
This cleaning system uses high temperatures of 500 degrees centigrade and burns off grease and spills, reducing it to a pile of ash that can be wiped away with a damp cloth.
The range of ovens on offer today has never been greater so do your research, talk to us about what will work for your kitchen.