Saturday, 22 October 2011

Things to Think About When Looking for a New Oven

Things to think about when you buy a new oven - James Green

The Oven is possibly one of the most used appliances in the kitchen, you may use the sink, kettle and toaster more regularly but not for the same length of time as an oven.

The oven has one very specific function to cook or defrost food, so essentially to heat-up food. This is done in a manner of different ways: Heating, De-frosting, Baking, Broiling and Roasting.

There is generally speaking two different types of Oven - Electric Ovens, now becoming the most common and Gas Ovens which are begging to become less used. There are also convection ovens, the convection system is used by gas and electric ovens and blows hot air around the oven cavity with the use of a powerful fan. Then there are also Microwave ovens which use microwave radiation to pulse the food and cook it.

So that's already a good number of different types of oven available but when you consider that and then add into the mix extra features, manufacturers and designs that list becomes quite extensive! So as you can see, choosing a new oven might not be as easy as it first seems, never fear I'm here to inform and guide you along this tricky path!

First things first - Location. Will you be putting your new Oven in the same place that you will be removing the old one from? Or are you renovating the kitchen also? Will the Oven be Freestanding? Placed upon legs on the floor or will it be a wall oven? Mounted into the wall where one of your cupboards would go? Wall mounted is becoming increasingly more common.

The size or 'capacity' of Ovens is measured in Litres, (I have no idea why they just are) but generally its recommended that the more family members that you will be cooking for the more litres you will need. So for example if you only had two people using the oven then anything around or smaller than 30 litres is ok, and then you increase from there. You'll want to make sure that your biggest and best pans will fit inside too.

Controls, these are what you will be using to 'control' your new oven, if you don't know how it works you cannot use it is generally what'll happen. Make sure you read the instruction manual that'll come with the new oven. Oven controls are usually either Analogue or Digital. Analogue controls are the physical knobs, dials and switches that you'll find on a lot of older and more traditional ovens, useful to have for the less technologically minded. Digital controls are all buttons and pressure sensitive areas that you can control through touch and gesturing. These type of controls can give a better degree of accuracy but can be prone to breaking or malfunctioning although with the advancement in modern technology this is becoming a rarity. An oven that has digital controls is usually all-singing-all-dancing and is what I like to refer to as 'the-super-oven'.

Additional features like pull out telescopic racks are good and any extras that come with an oven can be used or not, it all depends on your cooking style. Some are safety features like a locking function, useful if you have small children so they cannot open the oven.
The largest influence will more than likely be the price, always something useful to take into consideration when purchasing a new oven.

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