Cookers come in a wide range of styles and sizes, and this means they vary in terms of capacity too. The last thing you want when buying a new one is to find your favourite dishes won’t fit, or that you need to cook more things at once than you thought.
Future-proof your cooker purchase by reading our handy hints first. We outline some common cooker configurations and capacities to help you find exactly what you need.
There are two main influences on the capacity of a cooker’s oven – the size of the appliance and the number of oven and grill cavities.
A standard width, freestanding cooker with a single oven is likely to have a capacity of 50-60 litres. Should you choose a model with a double oven, this tends to increase to around 70-80 litres, spread between the two. It’s important to remember that, while a double oven usually offers more overall space and flexibility, the individual ovens may be smaller than an equivalent single oven model.
If you’re looking at range cookers with multiple oven zones, the capacity increases significantly. This is especially true when you consider that range cookers are frequently over 90 cm wide – much bigger than the standard 60 cm cooker.
Bear in mind that some range cookers comes with warming ovens or storage drawers which are not used for cooking. If you’ve decided you want a range cooker, it is worth checking the specification so you can be sure the oven configuration and capacity is what you need.
Space on the Hob
As with oven capacity, the number of cooking zones on a hob depends on the size of the appliance – a wider appliance has more room for more zones.
Standard 60 cm cookers, regardless of the fuel type, tend to have four cooking zones on the hob. The actual size of the burners tends to vary though – some cookers come with zones that are specifically meant for woks, for instance.
Hob burners also have different power levels, making some more suitable for rapid boiling or frying. It’s worth checking that the cooker has a hob that can take all the pans you need it too.
If you’re looking at range cookers, the number of zones can vary, and a larger appliance doesn’t always have more zones. Most 90 cm range cookers have five hob cooking areas, but some larger ones feature the same number.
Large models can have seven or eight burners – more than enough for the banquet you’re planning. As with regular cookers, the size, power and purpose of the zones can vary, so it is worth checking the hob does everything you want it too.
Other Things to Consider
An important aspect of oven capacity is the number of shelves you can have inside.
Most single ovens come with either one or two shelves included, while two cavity and double oven models either have one or two per oven. Spare shelves are readily available online.
Some cookers come with storage drawers or compartments for trays and other cookware. These are more often found on single oven models, where the drawer can be below the main cooking area, or range cookers that have lots of space. Double oven models tend not to have space for extra storage.