MULTIFUNCTION OVEN MODES
Multifunction ovens combine several different cooking options, making them perfect for busy families. Whether you’re making a roast dinner, defrosting a leftover meal, 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
A fan oven option uses a heating element surrounding the fan, to help 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 the NEFF CircoTherm and the Zanussi ThermaFlow.
Baking fans will love an intensive bake mode found on brands like Belling and Miele. This function uses both the top and bottom heating elements to distribute the heat evenly in the oven. It also cuts out the need to blind bake your pastry – halving the overall cooking time.
Brands like Bosch also feature 3D and 4D Hotair technology. This provides an even temperature across several shelves without any flavour transfer, so you can easily cook multiple dishes at once.
A Rapid heat mode will reach the required temperature more quickly, cutting down the time you have to spend waiting. Once it has reached the desired temperature, you can then switch the oven to whichever function you need.
Dual Cook functions are a great way of cooking two dishes at once, each at its own temperature. This is perfect for when you’re cooking the main course and the dessert at the same time.
HEATING ELEMENT FUNCTIONS
Some ovens will allow you to choose your heating element for cooking.
To achieve 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. This style of cooking ensures the base is crisp but doesn’t overcook the 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 food out of the freezer the night before. It uses the fan to thaw your food safely and quickly.
Some ovens feature a grill and fan mode, which distributes the heat around the oven in a rotisserie effect.