Electric Ovens: A Buyers Guide
With a huge array of features, functions and styles available, it can be difficult to know what to look for in an electric oven. This buyers guide explains key features to help you choose the perfect appliance for your kitchen.
Why Choose Electric Over Gas?
Electric ovens generally benefit from more even heat distribution than gas.
And although they may take longer to heat up, they actually cook food more quickly. They offer a wider range of features, with models offering programmable features and the option to steam food for healthier cooking.
What Types and Sizes Are Available?
Conventional electric ovens tend to be slightly hotter at the top.
This makes them ideal for roasts or any meal which requires different foods being cooked at different temperatures. For more even, faster cooking, choose a fan oven. These have their heating element on the fan, which circulates air for 10% faster cooking. Multi function appliances combine conventional and fan cooking, giving you more flexibility.
Steam ovens steam your food using a built-in water reserve. This is a healthier cooking method; you won’t need oil or fat, and food keeps more of its natural nutrients. Steam only ovens won’t brown or crisp food, but some conventional or far ovens offer steaming as an additional feature.
Some electric ovens come with grill and defrost functions, giving you even more flexibility with how you cook.
Single or Double?
A single oven is large enough for most families, and double ovens are ideal for large families and keen cooks. While a single oven can be placed under the worktop, a double might require more space. If you’re worried about losing the grill space found in standalone cookers, however, it may be best to choose an electric double oven. For kitchens with limited space, a compact single design is perfect.
Standalone ovens are usually built-in, meaning they are placed in your units under the counter or at eye level. You’ll need a separate hob, but a built in design gives your kitchen a neater, more integrated look. Compare each oven’s height, width and depth to the space you have available.
Multi function appliances combine conventional and fan cooking, giving you more flexibility.
What Features Could I Choose?
Programmable auto timers let you set your oven to start and stop when you’re not around. These are ideal for cooking a meal ready for your return from being out of the house. You may find a digital display clearer to read and program.
Like other appliances, electric ovens are rated on an energy efficiency scale between A and G. Efficient appliances are kinder on the environment and save you money on your electricity bill, so it makes sense to look for an A rated oven.
Catalytic liners eliminate the need for scrubbing the oven walls; when the oven is on at higher temperatures they break down and eliminate food spillages.
The most advanced electric ovens have pyrolytic cleaning systems. These clean every part of the oven’s interior at very high temperatures, reducing any dirt to ash which can simply be brushed away. Even ovens without catalytic liners or pyrolytic systems benefit from smooth internal enamel which resists food, as well as fingerprint proof exteriors.