With so many brands and different types of ovens to choose from, knowing what to look for can be very complicated. We’ve a handy Buyer’s Guide for choosing your new oven along with some trusted recommendations, that will hopefully make your decisions a lot easier!
What Type of Oven do I need?
When deciding on your new oven, start off by considering what type of oven you are looking for that would be best suited to your needs and the space you’ve allocated for it. Would a Freestanding Oven/Cooker be the best fit? Do you have the space for a wall oven?
Do keep in mind that you should ideally have a minimum of 30cm of bench space on at least one (or preferably both) sides of your oven and cooktop. This allows you a safe space to rest hot dishes straight out of the oven without having to walk around the kitchen!
Or, are you wanting a built in oven to be installed under your separate cooktop? Making a decision about the type of oven you are looking for will immediately narrow down your choices, making it much easier to choose!
Gas or Electric?
Then of course, select between gas or electric: most ovens are electric these days however, if you do prefer gas, Westinghouse’s 60cm Gas Oven is an excellent choice (find out more here). We’ve specified this model in plenty of homes and have always received extremely positive feedback!
Some key points to consider when deciding between Gas or Electric Ovens are:
- Gas will keep your food moist rather than drying it out
- As the temperature within the oven is not consistent, you do have to rotate your food while cooking
- On that note, it is difficult or near impossible to achieve a steady temperature
- Most gas ovens do not have an internal grill
- As most ovens these days are electric, you don’t have many options in gas ovens
- Most ovens on the market are electric, meaning you have a huge amount options available. In fact, over 85% of ovens are electric!
- Most electric ovens offer you multiple functions: roast, bake, intensive bake, gentle bake, just to name a few.
- Extra features: Some electric ovens also include a built in grill which is ideal fro crisping and browning your cooking. Some even include a steamer attachment which is great for fish and veggies!
- Electric ovens offer you better temperature control, meaning you usually don’t need to rotate your dishes while cooking.
Next, consider the size of oven that will best suit your lifestyle. 60cm ovens are the standard size, and do suit most home chefs however, if you are a busy baker it may be worth considering a 70cm or even a 90cm wide oven, provided you have the space.
Also consider the internal usable space of your oven: it can get very annoying when you realise your baking trays won’t fit! Oven walls can often be quite thick so do make sure to see your selected oven in person prior to placing an order to make sure you happy with all dimensions.
Other options to consider that will give you more oven space while also providing you with more functions include: Microwave ovens or Double Ovens. These solutions not only provide you with added benefits but also double your oven space, allowing you to cook more dishes at once!
Functionality & Controls
Do you prefer baking , roasting or grilling? There are an enormous amount of functions available! Consider the way you usually cook and use that as your starting off point in narrowing down the functions you are looking for in an oven.
Do also ensure to take a look at the controls on the ovens: some are traditional dials whereas some offer touch screens and more electronic based controls. Make sure to test these out before purchasing to ensure you are happy with the way your new oven will function.
Pyrolytic or Catalytic Liner
Self cleaning features are fantastic and save you both time and effort in the kitchen.
What is a Pyrolytic Oven?
A pyrolytic oven is an oven that will in a sense, clean itself. When set to the pyrolytic function, the oven will lock itself and heat up to super high temperatures, usually around 500°C, burning off food residue which you are then able to easily wipe away once cool.
What is a Catalytic Liner?
Similar to a pyrolytic self cleaning scenario, catalytic liners line only the sides, back or all walls in your oven and absorb fat splatters. You will need to regularly heat the oven to around 250°C for a certain amount of time in order to burn away this residue, allowing you to easily wipe it all away once cool. These liners do however, require periodic replacement.
Some general things to keep in mind when shopping for an oven are:
- Price: The highest priced oven doesn’t always mean it is the best or the most suitable for you. Shop around to figure out what a realistic amount to spend is for the type of oven you need.
- Your oven should include the following items as standard: oven timer, internal light, two oven shelves and a baking tray
- Door seal: Look for a solid close when testing out display ovens in a showroom. If the door feels at all wobbly or flimsy, this is a sure sign that heat can escape.
- Do test out the controls and make sure you are happy with the functionality of your selected oven prior to purchase
Take note of how your existing oven is installed; if you are looking to replace only your existing oven, it would be easiest to stick with models that will be installed in the same fashion. Some ovens are simply ‘plug in’, whereas others require hardwiring. Always check with your retailer or manufacturer for the best guidance and do hire a professional and insured Plumber/Electrician where necessary to complete the work.