A Guide To Buying The Best Oven
Ovens – we all need one to enjoy our favourite dishes. So with such a demand, it’s no surprise that there are hundreds of models to choose from on today’s market. But how on earth do you work out which one is right for you?
That’s why we’re here to go through the differences between types of ovens, their advantages and disadvantages, and their running costs. Repair Aid has spent years repairing ovens, so it’s only natural that we’ve come to know a thing or two about what separates a good oven from a bad one.
So, with that in mind, let’s start by walking you through the different brands – from budget to premium ranges.
Best Oven Brands
When we think of ovens, there are certainly a number of brands that can come to mind. The likes of Bosch, Miele, Electrolux and LG are household names, and with good reason.
According to ranker.com, a website where brands are ranked by users, they are amongst the top 10 favourite brands of ovens. We wholeheartedly agree, and it’s why we work with all of the above brands – and more – to be best placed to repair them when needed.
Also amongst the highest rated oven brands are Neff and Zanussi. While slightly less recognisable than their aforementioned competitors, these brands are growing on account of their quality output. Neff ovens, for example, are a regular fixture on the Great British Bake Off.
The Cost of Ovens
When we talk about ‘cost‘, we’re not just talking about the initial payment – but the running costs and installation too. Whilst other types of energy-hungry appliances can wildly vary when it comes to these running costs, ovens generally tend to add roughly the same amount to your annual energy bills.
It’s thought that the average electric oven costs about £37 per year, and that most models only tend to deviate from this number by about £5 either way. The major change comes in the way of gas ovens. Due to the cost of gas, these appliances tend to run for just £20 per year.
When it comes to installation, costs tend to vary by location and by the quality of service. At Repair Aid, we are excellent oven installers of the above brands – as well as any other brand of oven from AEG to Zanussi – and serve the whole of London with competitive pricing.
With that shameless plug out of the way, it’s onto the most important factor when it comes to the cost of ovens – the initial price.
It’s possible to find the most basic of ovens for under £150; however, if you want all of the features, you’re looking at splashing out on over £1,000 on your new toy.
In order to get a decent oven, that has a good amount of features for everyday cooking needs, you’re probably looking to spend something above £250 for single ovens, and above £350 for a decent double oven.
Within this range, you’ll find a variety of respectable options from brands such as Beko, Indesit and New World. For more premium ovens that come in at a higher pricepoint, you’re looking at the likes of Miele, AEG, Bosch, Neff and Smeg.
Remember: while cost is often a good indicator of quality, it is not the only indicator. In fact, it’s possible to find ovens close to that £1,000 mark that can’t even offer the quality of cooking of a £500 oven.
Types of Ovens
For our penultimate category, let’s run through the various types of ovens that are available.
First thing’s first, do you want an electric or a gas oven?
Whilst electric ovens have become the increasingly popular choice over gas ovens, that’s not to say that gas ovens don’t have their advantages.
Electric ovens do tend to slightly edge out their gas counterparts when it comes to heat distribution (i.e. how evenly your food will be cooked). However, gas ovens are cheaper to run and buy, and some models can hold their own against – and even better – good electric ovens.
With your preferred energy-type decided, it’s time to move onto whether you want a single or a double oven.
In total, there are four types of built-in ovens: the double built-in (90cm in height, 60cm in width), the double built-under (70×60), the single (60×60) and the compact (45×60).
If you’re wondering what ‘built-under‘ means, this is meant for models that will go under the hob. A double built-in, on the other hand, is built to be at eye level for ease of use.
Single ovens don’t require these labels as they are smaller and more flexible – able to suit eye level or being under a hob. Finally, compact models are great for those with limited space, or can be combined with a single to allow for a gap between the two ovens for storage.
Now onto size or capacity. Ranging from about 50 to 75 litres, most single ovens clock in at about the 65 litre mark; whereas double ovens are just above 60 litres for the main oven, and 35 litres for the secondary oven.
Capacity, however, can be a bit of a non-issue. This is because capacity listed by manufacturers is for the whole volume of the oven. Due to food tending not to be shaped like a rectangle (our regards to pâté and tofu), most of this space is going to be useless. In fact, the layout of shelves, and the ability to reposition them, is a more important factor than overall capacity.
You’ll also find conventional ovens (heated from top and bottom, non-fan and best for cakes, flans, soufflés and casseroles), fan ovens (more even distribution of heat throughout) and multi-function ovens (all of the above in one package, plus a grill).
Lastly, let’s cover some of the most sought after features when it comes to ovens:
- Self-cleaning: cleans your oven out so you barely have to
- Timer: a programmable timer that allows you to time your food, with some premium models even switching off by themselves
- Digital control: increasingly preferred as offer digital precision over regular dials
- Steam: great for creating crispiness. A favourite of Sunday night roast lovers and bread loavers (sorry…)
- Telescopic runners: smoother way to pull in and push out shelves
- Smart ovens: Wi-Fi functionality allowing you to control functions, and even cooking, via a smartphone or tablet app
- Quadruple glazed doors: Triple or quadruple glazing allows for preserving heat and energy loss
- Automatic cooking: simply select the dish, and the oven will set the exact time, the right temperature and the correct moisture levels
Now that you know what to look for in an oven, you should be better placed to find the right model for your property and lifestyle.