When it comes to choosing a new oven for your kitchen there are a lot of factors to take into account for ensuring the best oven for you and your home. This includes:-
• Choosing the best oven to meet the needs of you and your family
• Choosing the best oven to suits your preferred cooking style
• Choosing a model to suit your existing, or intended space
• Choosing a model within the right price range for your needs
Choose the best oven for your needs and tastes
When considering a new oven, your personal circumstances should prove your starting point and largely influence your decision-making. Firstly, the size of your family/household is really important.
For example, a compact oven is a great fit for small kitchen spaces but not the best oven for a family of six… (just think of big Sunday dinners or for many people, that all-important Christmas turkey!) Also remember that families can grow and change over time, that there might be more than one cook in your house, and also that family or household members can have very different cooking preferences. For example, some people are totally anti-microwave, where others can’t live without one!
Choose a model to suit the style of your space
The type of oven you choose must fit your family’s needs, but must also fit the space you have available (or plan to have available), including the style of your home. An example of this is the Aga cooker, which is widely recognised as the perfect complement for a country kitchen style.
When thinking about the best oven for your home you need to decide if you want a freestanding appliance or integrated model (the difference is freestanding or standalone models have sides, whereas integrated models are built into the kitchen’s walls). Most people now opt for an integrated or built-in model and these are great if you are short on space. But they are also extremely popular for their sleek kitchen look. Here are the main types of integrated ovens you can choose from:-
Single built-under ovens
Traditionally, the most popular type of oven has been the arrangement of a single 60cm oven with cooktop above. This is a simple, affordable and efficient option, and suits simple cooking needs and preferences. But the close proximity of oven and hob is quite limiting if two people want to cook simultaneously. Instead, separating the oven from the hob allows you to set up two different cook zones. This can make it easier for more people to get involved in prepping a meal.
Single built-in ovens
Yet people are also moving away from the former built-under arrangement in favour of ovens integrated within tall units at eye level.
This elevation facilitates cooking as it makes the oven safer to use, easier to see, and you don’t have to bend to reach it. This is better for everyone, but is particularly accommodating if you experience back problems, or else are at risk of back and joint problems associated with age. Whilst still very much equipped for baking, roasting or grilling food, single ovens are generally better accompanied by a freestanding or wall-integrated microwave. And for very small kitchens, single ovens such as Neff’s Slide and Hide oven with its disappearing door makes an excellent yet highly functional space saver.
Double built-in Ovens
Built in double ovens feature two separate cooking cavities, one above the other. This gives the flexibility to cook different foods at different temperatures simultaneously.
But, fitted at eye level, integrated double ovens are typically 90cm tall, so you need to consider this carefully if your kitchen is on the smaller side, as it will utilise more physical space than some other models. Alternatively, rather than two full-size ovens, there is an option for a full size oven with a smaller half oven on top (though this is limited in terms of functionality and has only one shelf). It is also worth noting that the popularity of double built-in ovens is waning, and instead homeowners are moving away from them in favour of the two cavities offered via a single oven and a compact oven. These allow for a much more varied, flexible and creative cooking experience.
And if space is really limited you have the option of reduced sized appliances. At 45cm rather than the standard 60cm, compact appliances include compact ovens, steam ovens, microwaves and coffee machines.
Whilst small in size, many compact oven versions still maintain the same advanced cooking features and functionality of full sized ovens. They are convenient and maintain a sleek kitchen aesthetic, but of course the drawback is they have a smaller oven cavity( 38-45 Ltr. Avg. ) so aren’t ideal for catering for large numbers (again, just think of the Christmas turkey!)
Pair it up
…For the best of both worlds, homeowners are now preferring to pair up a single oven with a complimenting appliance such as a steam oven or microwave. Typically these appliances are arranged either one above the other, or else side-by side. In terms of the look, this creates a sleek aesthetic of seamless matching appliances. This arrangement can also extend to a tall unit bank of appliances containing a centred square of four matching appliances, or else an in-line series of them. But aside from their impressive look, the appeal of combining appliances is the enhanced cooking functionality this brings. I’ll look in detail at cooking functions in Part 2, but essentially, combining your appliances enhances the speed, options, and variety of what you can cook. For those with a real passion for cooking you can also incorporate a warming drawer underneath your oven(s). A bit like a modern day hostess trolley (but much better-looking and without the wheels), warming drawers are perfect for simplifying a dinner party where you’re preparing and serving up many dishes at once!
Choose an oven at the right price for your needs
Ultimately the best oven for you is not necessarily the most expensive, or the one with the most advanced cooking technology (after all, why pay more for this if you’re someone who never cooks?!)…But your oven has to be the right size, style and capability to meet your wants and needs. That said, for the latter, you need to understand the different oven functionalities available, in order to make an informed decision. So in Part 2 (coming soon!) we will cover the various cook functions and oven programs, helping you understand the differences, and ultimately make the best oven choice for you and your home.
In the meantime if you need any help with planning your kitchen (including choosing your oven) please contact one of our expert designers who will be more than happy to help:
020 7536 9266