Gas Ovens Buyers Guide
It’s important to know what to look for when buying any appliance, and a built-in gas oven is no different.
What are the advantages of choosing gas, why would you need a grill function and just what is a catalytic liner? This oven buyers guide answers all of these questions, helping you choose the right oven for your kitchen.
Why Choose Gas Over Electric?
The heat in electric ovens comes from elements which can take 15 to 20 minutes to heat up.
Gas ovens have flames which provide an immediate heat supply, meaning they reach the set temperature more quickly. The air also has a higher moisture content, helping meat stay succulent and preventing cakes and breads from drying out.
Gas is cheaper than electricity, so if your house has a gas supply you may want to make the most of it. You are still likely to require an electricity supply to the appliance though, as most have electric ignition.
Gas is more likely to create an uneven cooking temperature. If your oven isn’t fan powered you’ll find your oven hotter at the top than the bottom, but once you’re used to it, this can actually be an advantage when cooking different foods at the same time.
If you choose a fan assisted gas oven you won’t find this a problem at all. The fan is designed to circulate the hot air around the oven, creating an even cooking temperature.
Gas is cheaper than electricity, so if your house has a gas supply you may want to make the most of it.
What Are Built In Ovens?
Unlike freestanding cookers, built-in ovens are designed to be integrated into your kitchen units.
While this does mean fitting is slightly more complicated (particularly if your engineer has to re-route your existing gas supply), the overall finish is more sleek and minimalist.
Built-in designs can either be fitted under a counter or ‘in column’ – at eye level height within tall units. You need to measure the height, width and depth of your space and compare these to the measurements of potential models. Any gas oven will need to be fitted by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
What Features Are Important?
The size of oven you choose will largely depend on what you’re planning to use it for.
A single oven has more than enough space for most families, but built-in designs don’t have the separate grill space for keeping food warm when the oven is full. Single ovens have a height of around 60 cm, while a double oven has more cooking space but can measure from 90 to 120 cm tall (and will need to be fitted ‘in column’). The oven’s volume will give you an idea of how much cooking space you’ll have, and it’s a good idea to look at the number of shelves too.
Cooking, Grilling and Defrosting
Most ovens can do so much more than cook a great Sunday roast.
While a single oven won’t have a top grill like a freestanding cooker, modern models provide separate functions for grilling, fan-grilling and even defrosting. A grill function is perfect for making toast or browning dishes on top, and defrosting allows you to cook more foods from frozen.
Gas ovens with timers let you set the heat to turn off after a set amount of time, and advanced timers let you set both start and end times.
As well as meaning you never burn a dish again, these are great for cooking your meal so it’s ready when you get in from work. Digital displays are easy to read, even in low lighting.
Cleaning the oven has to be one of the most dreaded household chores.
Luckily, some gas ovens come with catalytic oven liners to take hassle out of cleaning the oven walls. They create a rough surface to break down and absorb food spillages, putting an end to scrubbing for good.
Each gas oven is given an energy efficiency rating between A and G, with A being the best rating.
Efficient appliances use less gas, saving you money on your bills. While a cheaper appliance may cost less initially, you may find a more energy efficient model saves you money in the long run.