Image: Miele

Oven essentials: Things you need to know


5 things you need to consider before purchasing your next oven

It’s so important to do your consider all your options before committing to an oven; this isn’t just any old kitchen appliance that can be replaced every few years, it’s a long-term investment, one that needs to suit your culinary needs and your kitchen’s aesthetic. So, to assist you in making this all-important decision, we’ve rounded up the main features you need to consider when choosing your perfect oven.

Image: Miele

1. Gas vs electric

Electric ovens are commonly preferred in contemporary kitchens, perhaps because they eliminate the need for a gas connection. They offer versatility and a myriad of functions including top, bottom, rear and grill elements as well as a fan to optimise cooking, baking and grilling. Modern electric oven pre-heating times are generally on par with those of gas ovens. On the flip side, however, while most brands offer less choice in gas varieties, these ovens do retain moisture in food better than their fan-forced electric counterparts so are ideal for roasting and baking enthusiasts. If opting for a gas oven, it’s important to choose a model with a fan to ensure heat is circulated evenly. Otherwise, the food must be rotated manually to ensure your culinary masterpieces are cooked to perfection, as gas ovens usually heat more at the top.

2. Built-in vs freestanding

Built-in ovens allow for greater flexibility as they can be installed in wall cavities, under benches — wherever there is space for an oven. However, a freestanding models complete with a cooktop may be more preferable if your kitchen is smaller.

3. Size matters

Ovens generally come at a width of 60cm. However, it is quite easy to source a 90cm option if you’re after a larger oven. Make sure to measure the size of the area your oven will occupy before finalising this decision.

4. Cleaning methods

Many ovens currently on the market come with the capacity to self-clean. Pyrolytic ovens heat up to about 500°C and burn residue to ash, which can be wiped away easily, whereas catalytic oven liners absorb grease when the oven is heated to 250°C.

5. Cost

As with all kitchen appliances, the cost of ovens varies depending on a range of factors — for example, brand, features, size, style etc. Larger ovens will usually cost more than their smaller counterparts. Think about which features you require and which you can live without when deciding on your budget.

Ready to start looking into the best oven’s on the market? Check out our roundup here.