If the kitchen is the heart of the home, the oven is what keeps it beating. It’s one of the biggest kitchen investments you’ll make, and one of the most frequently used and hardest working appliances, so you want to be confident in your selection. Need help finding the right Oven? Follow our guide to buying the right oven for your kitchen, lifestyle and budget.
What To Look For When Buying An Oven
Today’s ovens are capable of everything from air-frying to cleaning themselves, and some are even equipped with built-in temperature probes for precise cooking. With so much to choose from, here’s everything you need to know to find the right oven for your kitchen.
Types Of Ovens
Finding the right Oven starts with understanding which type of Oven will suit your kitchen layout, along with your cooking style. Let's begin by exploring the main types of Ovens.
Start your search for your dream oven by deciding on the fuel type: gas or electricity. Both options have their own benefits, and it all comes down to the personal preference of the home cook, as well as what energy connection is available in your home.
While the “cooking with gas” phrase may have been coined by the natural gas industry for advertising purposes, there’s a few reasons it’s managed to stick around. To start with, gas models give you an instant flame and therefore heat faster than their electric counterparts, so there’s no need to wait around for preheating. “Gas ovens also cook with more moisture in the air, which means foods like roasts and cakes will retain more moisture,” explains Geraldine Gillespie, Cooking, Dishwashers and Kitchenware Buyer at The Good Guys.
While they can be more expensive to purchase and install, gas ovens are generally more cost-effective to run, saving money in the long term. Choosing gas early in your search will also help to narrow down your final selection faster, as there are fewer brands and models to choose from.
Electric ovens are more common, and typically more affordable to buy and install. Given electricity prices, however, they are more expensive to run. The air is dryer (all the better for breads and pizzas) and they heat more evenly than gas ovens. Depending on the make and model, electric ovens also feature a greater variety of settings. “Electric ovens have more cooking modes, to give you more accurate results,” says Geraldine Gillespie. The variety in size, make and model is far greater for electric ovens, and many people agree that they are the more user-friendly option.
The most common oven sizes are either 60cm or 90cm in width, while height will vary depending on capacity. Ask yourself how much space you have available, and how much cooking you’ll be doing – large families and big entertainers may opt for a double oven. The capacity of your oven refers to the usable size of the internal cavity (measured in litres), which helps to work out how much food can be cooked at one time.
Combining your cooktop and oven in a single unit, a freestanding cooker is a popular choice for modern and contemporary kitchens alike. Freestanding ovens offer a number of benefits and make a strong style statement as the focal point of your space. “These units are easier to install and easier to switch out if you are thinking of moving, switching or upgrading,” says Geraldine Gillespie. There are both gas and electric models, as well as dual-fuel freestanding cookers that can give you combinations like a gas-powered cooktop with an electric oven for the best of both worlds. They’ll never sit perfectly flush with your cabinetry and will eat up a little more space than wall ovens, but offer convenience and style.
For a modern, minimalist and space-saving solution, opt for a built-in oven. These units need to be installed into oven housing, which can be built into a wall of cabinetry or under-bench. “Built-in ovens offer a lot more versatility in terms of placement and kitchen design,” explains Geraldine Gillespie. Sizes typically vary from 60cm to 120cm and the capacity will vary accordingly.
Innovation and advancing technology in kitchen appliances has introduced a vast array of new cooking features and oven varieties that have never been so easily accessible in the home kitchen. While many of these new makes and models are not sufficient to serve as the stand-alone oven of a kitchen, they make for a handy supplement.
Steam cooking has traditionally been confined to the commercial kitchen, but you can now reap the benefits of this healthy method from home. They use steam combined with hot air to cook, retaining natural flavours, colours and textures, while also reducing the need for oils and preserving the nutrients. Steam ovens will also reduce cooking time, as steam transfers heat much more efficiently than air. Most models are wall ovens, and the standard size is 60cm.
How many times have you used the microwave to reheat your leftovers in a hurry, only to lament the texture your food is left with? Combination microwave ovens offer microwave, grill and convection functions, and allow you to use two at once – so you can microwave and grill at the same time. Combi ovens can be built-in or bench-top models, and are a great support to your main act.
While ovens aren’t bound by the same Energy Rating system as dishwashers, fridges and freezers, it’s still worth keeping energy efficiency in mind when making a new appliance purchase. Gas ovens use little fuel, heat instantly and provide accurate temperature control, which makes them more efficient than electricity fuelled models. Convection gas ovens (where a fan and exhaust system circulate the hot air inside the oven) are the way to go for optimal energy efficiency. If you do opt for an electric model, you can still choose convection – a fan-forced oven will always be more efficient than a fan less alternative.
Must have Oven Features
“Fan-forced or convection cooking functionality is a non-negotiable for most people looking for a new oven,” says Geraldine Gillespie, Cooking, Dishwashers and Kitchenware Buyer at The Good Guys. “The fan circulates the air and allows for faster and more even cooking when compared to a conventional oven, which uses no fan.” Other noteworthy features of modern ovens include:
Cool-to-touch doors with multiple layers to keep small hands safe in family homes.
Pyrolytic self-cleaning technology using high temperatures and air pressure to turn grime to ashes.
Moisture settings keeps moisture in the air within the oven to prevent food drying out as it cooks.
Temperature probe to ensure your food is cooked with precision.
Timer and delayed-start to time your meals perfectly, saving reheating.
“Gas ovens also cook with more moisture in the air, which means foods like roasts and cakes will retain more moisture,” — Geraldine Gillespie, Cooking, Dishwashers and Kitchenware Buyer at The Good Guys.
Starting prices for an entry-level oven can be as low as $415, which will get you a built-in electric convection oven without any of the bells and whistles. A standard electric, pyrolytic oven with grilling features will cost you between $900 to $1500, with prices going up according to size, brand and capabilities. Expect to pay $10,000 and upwards for the most premium and multi-functioning models.
Some ovens are required to be installed by a licensed electrician. The Good Guys Home Services has the expertise to install your oven and get it up and running for you. We’ll even clean up and take away all the rubbish, so you don’t have to. The Good Guys Home Services Oven Installation Services includes installation, a demonstration and clean-up. We also offer installation and removal, which means we’ll not only install and show you how to use your new oven, we’ll take your old oven when we leave. Plus all The Good Guys Home Services are covered by a 12-month warranty.
Find out more about our Oven Installation Services here.
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