Cooker And Oven Buying Guide
Advice on which Oven or Cooker to Buy
The first thing you need to decide before you start your search for a new oven or cooker is the style you are after:
- Built-in double oven
- Free standing double oven
- Under the counter double oven
- Single ovens in the same formats as above
- Range style cooker
Once you know the style you want, you need to check the size you are looking for, as some kitchen designers don’t always use the same size cabinets. It is fair to say that most do, but it really is worth checking.
You should also understand how much you wish to pay for your new appliance, and the implications of the price limit you have set.
Very importantly, you should carry out as much research as possible into the ovens and/or cookers available in your price range. There is a huge choice out there and some of the appliances in your price range will be a complete waste of money, and give you hours of disappointment rather than hours of happy cooking and eating. There is plenty of information and advice available on the internet.
What to look for:
Whatever your budget you should check for the following points when selecting your preferred appliance:
- Good door seal – it is imperative that you have a good tight seal when the door closes otherwise heat will escape from the oven when you are trying to cook your food, whether you are cooking a roast or baking a cake, you will end up with an uneven result. Also the hot air escaping from the oven will make the door and handles very hot to touch. Make sure you have a very good look at the ovens available when in the salesroom.
- Door hinges – as with the door seal inspection detailed above, you should also check the quality of the hinges and that they operate smoothly. If they are juddering, a bit squeaky or flimsy, look for a different make and model
- Insulation inside oven – you are looking for an oven with the thickest insulation you can get, this not only avoids heat escaping from the oven, but it will cook your food much better as it will have a more even temperature. Don’t be afraid to ask for these technical details when you are shopping around. If that particular store does not have qualified sales people you should go somewhere else. A further benefit from good insulation is that it will cost you less to run, as you won’t be paying for the heat that is escaping.
- Outside panels – please check that they feel sturdy, if they are very thin you will have very poor results. The thinner the panels, the poorer the quality.
- Cooling fan – check which models are available with a cooling fan, again your sales person should be able to help you. If you buy an oven without a cooling fan, the outside of the oven will be very hot and they take forever to cool down to a safe level. The cooling fan will come on at the end of cooking, and it is designed to dissipate the heat and avoid you being burnt from touching the outside of the oven. They are sometimes a little bit noisy, but still worthwhile. Depending on the make and model of the appliance these fans can run for up to an hour, but as long as they do what they’re supposed to, you shouldn’t worry about this.
So-called Free AppliancesIf you are purchasing a brand new designer kitchen or, even more exciting, a new house, you will quite commonly be offered free appliances, including your preferred style of oven or cooker. Be very careful to check out exactly what you are getting as, even though the appliance looks the same, it can quite commonly be a much cheaper option. You may well be able to come to some sort of compromise with the builder or kitchen supplier and by paying a little more, you will get an oven you will be happy with. It is false economy to accept what they offer as you may have to replace the appliance after a short time as it is so shoddy.
Making your purchase
Even if you have decided to purchase your oven or cooker on line, you should still go and actually see the product in store as it will help you to make your decision. Go through the checklist above and be absolutely certain that you have selected the best appliance for your needs and your budget.
When you are searching for the best deal on line, don’t forget to look into both the leadtime and the delivery charges. You may think you have saved yourself £40-50 but when you take into account the delivery charge, you may well be paying more than you wanted to.