Multifunction Oven Modes
Multifunction ovens combine a number of cooking options, making them perfect for busy families. Whether you’re making a roast dinner, defrosting a cheesecake or striving for the perfect pizza base, a multifunction oven can do it all.
Most models combine a conventional oven, a fan oven and a grill, as well as more specialised modes such as defrost and rapid heat settings. Each model will have a different selection, so check out the specifications while you’re shopping around.
Baking and Roasting Functions
While shopping around for your new fridge you’re likely to see the words ‘built-in’, ‘integrated’ and ‘freestanding’. These refer to whether the appliance is visible or neatly hidden away behind a cupboard door.
The hot air rises naturally, which means the top of the oven is hotter than the bottom.
A fan oven option uses a heating element surrounding the fan, helping to circulate the heat evenly around the oven. This cooks the food quicker and is perfect for batch baking across multiple shelves, as it ensures they all reach the same temperature. Some manufacturers have their own variations of a fan setting, such as Neff CircoTherm and Zanussi ThermaFlow.
Baking fans can rejoice with an intensive bake mode. This is great for items such as bread or cheesecake that have a high moisture content. It also cuts out the need to blind bake your pastry – halving the overall cooking time.
Rapid heat mode reaches the required temperature more quickly, cutting down the time you spend waiting around. Once it’s reached the desired temperature, you can switch the oven to whichever function you need.
Baking fans can rejoice with an intensive bake mode. This is great for items with a high moisture content.
Heating Element Functions
For a delicate golden top and melted cheese on meals such as lasagne, an upper/top heat mode is ideal.
It’s gentler than using the grill and means you won’t have to move the dish around the oven.
If you love making pizzas at home, a lower/base heat function is perfect. It only uses the lower heating element, so you’ll be able to create a crispy pizza base as good as any Italian. Some models even have a dedicated pizza mode.
A lower/base heat and grill mode uses both heating methods and is great for foods like pie, quiche or pizza.
The lower/base heat with fan mode helps to cook open top dishes such as a tart or quiche from the bottom up, ensuring a crisp base but not an overcooked filling.
Some ovens feature a grill and fan mode, which distributes the heat around the oven in a rotisserie effect – perfect for cooking meat and poultry. You’ll only need to turn and baste the food once and the door can remain closed throughout – a much safer option if there are small children around.
A conventional grill option can be used at either full or half-grill settings to create crispy and browned food like toast or bacon. Using the full grill lets you cook more food at once, while the half grill will only cook food directly beneath the centre of the grill element.
A defrost mode is really useful if you’ve forgotten to take the meat out of the
freezer the night before. It uses the fan to safely and quickly thaw your food.