Oven Types and Styles
Ovens come in a range of styles and types, so you’re bound to find something that matches your kitchen and your cooking style perfectly. Whether you’re after a stylish steam oven or a gas model for baking, you’ll find all the information you need here.
Gas or Electric
Choosing between gas and electric is a bit like choosing between cats and dogs – everyone has a favourite, and there’s not really a right answer.
Some people love electric, while others swear by gas. In truth, there are pros and cons to both.
Gas ovens are cheaper to run than electric ones, so you’ll save money by purchasing one of these – usually around £20 a year depending on the model in question. For more information about oven energy efficiency, see below.
Most gas ovens suffer from inconsistent temperatures, with the top being noticeably hotter than the bottom. A fan can help distribute the heat more evenly, but if you understand your oven, you can make use of the difference in temperature to help you cook multiple elements of a meal at the same time.
The interior of a gas oven is often more humid than electric models, which reduces the risk of food drying out during cooking. This is one reason bakers often prefer gas.
It’s also worth mentioning that installation can be trickier, as a Gas Safe registered engineer will need to do the work.
If you locate your oven away from your gas hob, the cost can go up significantly.
Electric ovens are very common, so typically you’ll get more choice than you would picking between gas models.
As many come with a fan, they offer consistent, even temperatures that many people find easier to work with. Fan models also let you cook more quickly and at lower temperatures.
As electric ovens just need to be connected to the mains, they are quicker, simpler and cheaper to install.
Built In or Built Under
Another consideration is whether you want your oven to be built in or built under. Built-under ovens are convenient as they fit beneath your kitchen worktops. This means they are unobtrusive and will fit into most kitchens easily.
Built-in ovens are mounted in taller units at eye level. As we’ve mentioned, this is normally done with taller double ovens that wouldn’t fit beneath kitchen surfaces. Keeping your cooking at eye level does make things more convenient, but you’ll have to make sure you have the right size units to accommodate one. Many of the smaller ovens can be used in either way.
For kitchens where space is at a premium, compact ovens could be an option. These usually measure around 45 cm tall, significantly less than standard single ovens, and offer around the same capacity as a large microwave.
They usually have the same features as a conventional oven, including a grill, but you won’t fit a whole turkey inside.
Some ovens come with steaming capabilities. These contain a reservoir of water that evaporates as the appliance heats up. Steaming can be a great way of cooking as the food retains more moisture and nutrients. A steam oven will also be a conventional oven – you can’t buy them as a standalone appliance.
Steaming can be a great way of cooking as the food retains more moisture and nutrients.
Ovens are available in a great range of colours and finishes. Choose from modern and stylish stainless steel, or sleek black finishes for an understated look. Other colours are available, such as red or blue, but these can be difficult to find.