We’ve recommended some great deals from across the UK’s biggest and most trustworthy brands, but before you commit to your big purchase, you may want to shop around further. If this sounds like you, feel free to use our buying guide to help you make the right decision.
Different Types Of Oven
Ovens are separated out into many subcategories that you may find confusing at first. The main categories you need to know are fuel and function, followed by design and dimensions.
Initially, you will have to make a choice between an oven that is fuelled by electricity or fuelled by gas.
Then you will have to make some decisions on what cooking functions you’d like best, and what sort of oven design will fit in with your existing kitchen design (built-in or standalone).
You will also have to consider how much space you have to devote to your oven, and how you will manage the installation process. Often you’ll need professional and qualified engineers to do the fitting – it’s not something you should be attempting on your own without any professional assistance.
Gas vs. electric ovens
- A gas oven is fuelled by gas, whereas an electric oven will be plugged into your main electricity supply
- Gas ovens and hobs are often seen as a more ‘authentic’ way of cooking, but electric ovens are increasingly the norm as they offer a more consistent temperature
- With gas, you may struggle to get a completely even cooking temperature inside, though gas ranges and hobs are favoured by the country’s top chefs as the best
- Gas ovens are slightly cheaper to run than electric ovens
- Electric ovens may be conventional electric ovens, or fan assisted ones. Fan assisted ones are usually preferable, as they keep energy costs and preheating times down
- Both electric and gas ovens will have different cooking functions like grill, fan, etc.
Different types offer different cooking functions. The oven type is the general category of oven, like conventional electric or fan-assisted electric. These types will then be broken down into functions like fan-assisted grill, electric grill, fan oven, fan-assisted gas oven, etc.
A function determines how the oven heats up and will influence your cooking results. Most setups offer a number of functions, with fan ovens and grills becoming increasingly standard. The benefit of fan-assisted cooking is a more economical way of cooking and a more even bake.
A combination oven has many different types of functions, like fan, electric grill, microwave etc. A combination oven may have the edge over a single function oven as it allows you to be more versatile. Most standard ovens these days come with a variety of oven functions, but only ones that offer microwaves are generally called combination ovens. This can be a great option, but you might have to trade off some oven power. Read our microwave and combination oven reviews here.
Different Oven Designs: Built In VS. Freestanding
A built in oven means that you can integrate your oven with the rest of you kitchen design, either fitting it under a worktop or at sitting it in a special eye-level cabinet. It depends really what you think looks best in your kitchen, but fitting an oven in an eye-level cabinet means that you will need to set your hob on a separate part of the kitchen worktop.
A standalone model is also a good option as it will make for less work during installation and is a popular choice in managed properties as it offers an easy ‘all in one’ solution. An oven range is pretty much always standalone, as it’s such a big bit of kitchen kit.
Designs also vary in terms of colour and design. A classic white enamel oven is joined by black, stainless steel and even mirrored glass ovens. It’s possible to have coloured and quirky ovens too, with red and cream being popular appliance colour choices.
Luxury vs. Basic
Luxury ovens come with an impressive array of features like pre-programmable cooking programmes, self-cleaning pyrolytic lining and even integrated pizza and flatbread features. A luxury oven from one of the best brands will look a lot more high end and will be finished off to a higher standard. More expensive choices are made from better materials and have longer warranty periods.
On the other hand, a basic oven is often good enough for standard kitchens and cooking, and you may not need all the bells and whistles that a fancy one offers. A budget oven can be a good purchase, but make sure you read lots of reviews before making a purchase decision. (Here are our reviews of cheap ovens).
Replacing an appliance is time-consuming and expensive, so it’s often best to aim for mid range ovens and cookers, and to sign up for any warranty periods. You don’t want anything going wrong with your appliance, as it will be a huge hassle to fix.
Single vs. Double
A single oven has one cavity, whereas a double oven will have two. Often double ovens have a main cavity that will roughly be the same size as a standard single oven, with a smaller oven sitting on top that will double up as grill.
A double is best if you’re planning on doing lots of complex cooking, or prefer a bit more space for your family meals. Often shared houses will have double setups.
Energy Efficient Ovens
Being more efficient with the energy you use is better for the environment, and best of all better for your purse strings. All cookers are rated on a universal EU energy efficiency scale, with A+++ being the highest energy efficiency standard. An energy scale like this makes it easy for you to tell at a glance how energy efficient your appliance is.
The Energy Saving Trust recommends that you look for A rated ovens as a “new A+ rated electric oven will consume 40 percent less energy than a B rated one”. Read more about energy efficient appliances on Energy Saving Trust’s website.
How To Choose The Right Oven
Deciding on what is best for you depends on your kitchen objectives and habits. Some people review ovens from a very functional perspective, others need a little more from their cookers in terms of design and brand.
Consider the following when purchasing:
- What’s your budget like? Don’t forget to factor in insurance and installation. Remember that scrimping now may not pay off in the long run
- Do you need a double or single?
- Have you measured your oven cavity? What dimensions are you going to need? (Not all ovens are the same size)
- Do you know how much oven space you actually need? (Remember, oven cavities are always measured in litres)
- What sort of features and programmes are you likely to need on a regular basis? Does it make sense to pay extra for them?
- How important is quality and design to you? What about the brand?
- Do you need any extra safety features?
- Have you read enough reviews to make your decision?
Compare oven ranges at different retailers – you’ll be surprised at the differences in pricing.
Kitchen Appliance Buying Best Tips
Here are our best tips for buying a kitchen appliance:
- Plan carefully before you make your appliance purchase by reading appliance reviews on different websites
- Beware of financing plans, they may be more costly in the long run as you’ll have to pay interest
- Shop around and don’t commit too soon – there may be a better model out there
- Make sure you are clear on what your priorities are in terms of safety, usability, price and design
- Look for a competitive warranty package
- Utilise combination deals for ovens and hobs wherever you can
- Don’t get blinded by a fancy brand, dig deeper and look at product specification and reviews to get a real picture of the best appliance for you.
Oven Care & Installation
Most ovens need to be installed by a professional and licensed engineer. You are dealing with complex parts of your home like the main gas or electricity supply and you really don’t want to mess either of those things up.
- If you don’t follow correct installation procedures, your insurance won’t be valid
- A wrongly installed oven is highly dangerous
- We’ve collated a lot of the manuals in our reviews so you can get the best out of your purchase, but don’t attempt to install your oven on your own
Ovens can be some of the dirtiest and hardest to clean appliances in our kitchens. Left to their own devices, they quickly become caked in dirt and grime. It’s important to stay on top of cleaning to best extend the lifetime and value of your appliance. Click here for our guide to cleaning appliances.
You will want to have frequent mini cleans, as well as deep cleans and scrubs. You won’t always need to resort to harsh chemical cleaners either, there are plenty of natural ways to remove grime and grease.