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 section of our guide explains key features to help you choose the perfect appliance for your kitchen.
WHY CHOOSE ELECTRIC OVER GAS?
Electric ovens typically have a more even heat distribution than gas models. Although they may take longer to heat up, they can cook food in less time. Electric models also offer a wider range of features, with models offering programmable features and self-cleaning functions too.
Conventional electric ovens tend to have slightly hotter temperatures at the top of the oven. This is ideal for cooking roasts or any meal which requires multiple foods to be cooked at different temperatures.
For more even and faster cooking, choose a fan oven. These have a heating element on the fan, which circulates the air for a quicker cooking time. Some models will even allow you to pick from using the top or bottom fan for different results. Multifunction ovens combine both 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 as you won’t need oil or fat, and the food keeps more of its natural nutrients. Steam-only ovens won’t brown or crisp food, but some conventional or fan ovens offer steaming as an additional feature.
Some electric ovens feature 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, while double ovens are ideal for bigger families and keen cooks. A single oven can be placed under the worktop, but a double might require more space. If you’re worried about losing the grill space found in standalone cookers, it may be best to choose an electric double oven.
For kitchens with limited space, a single compact design is perfect.
WHAT FEATURES COULD I CHOOSE?
Programmable timers let you set your oven to start and stop when you’re not around. This is ideal for cooking a meal ready for when you get home from work. This feature is found on middle to higher-end models, as the most simple of ovens will only have a simple countdown timer.
You also may find a digital display clearer to read and select programmes, so it’s worth looking out for this feature.
Like other appliances, ovens are rated on an energy efficiency scale between A+++ and D. However, electric ovens are now required to have a rating of at least B. But, you may still find older machines with a lower rating still available as shops sell their old stock.
Efficient appliances are kinder on the environment and save you money on your electricity bill, so it’s worth buying at least an A rated oven.
Programmable timers let you set your oven to start and stop when you’re not around.
Catalytic liners remove the need for scrubbing down the oven walls. When the oven is at high temperatures, the liners break down any food spillages.
Pyrolytic ovens can reach temperatures of around 500°C to burn off any spillages or grease. You can then simply wipe away the leftover ashes to keep your oven sparkling clean.
Some high-end brands now have models available which you can control from an app. Set the programme, adjust the settings, and start cooking wherever you are. A selection of ovens even have a built-in camera so you can check up on your food from the sofa.
Some high-end brands now have models available which you can control from an app.