Whether you are an avid cake baker and meat griller or chicken nugget connoisseur, your kitchen is not complete without an oven.
The oven is a staple of a modern home, and when it comes to choosing one there are more choices then you may realise. They come in a variety of different sizes with options on how they are installed, how they look and even how they work. Since this is likely an investment purchase you will have and use for years, it is important that you understand all of your choices and pick the electric oven that has the features you want.
What are some common electric oven sizes?
If you are upgrading your current electric oven in your kitchen, you are likely restricted in choosing a size due to the space it occupies. The standard found in most homes is a 60 cm oven but if space allows or you are building a kitchen from scratch, you could opt for a larger 70 cm or 90 cm double oven.
A double oven is exactly how it sounds. Two ovens, each with their own controls, are stacked on top of one another. This type of electric oven is desirable to a household where entertaining is important as it allows for you to cook separate dishes and desserts at the same time. Or one can be used to keep foods warm while the other is grilling or baking.
There is also a smaller double oven where one is not quite as large and does not perform all of the functions that a normal electric oven does. A family may find this useful for days when they only need the oven for a small meal or to heat up food.
How do I install and electric oven?
An Australian home owner can choose a free standing unit that is installed underneath the countertop, a freestanding cooker or a wall oven that is installed at your height. The wall oven gives you more versatility in your kitchen as it takes up little space. These come in the standard size, double oven or even extra wide to allow you to cook larger dishes or even two dishes at the same time.
A freestanding cooker is an oven and a cooktop combination. This type of oven is installed along with your kitchen cabinets. You will find this type of oven offered in various sizes with features such as glass cooking surfaces and self-cleaning ovens.
What features do I look for when buying an electric oven?
Even once you decide whether you want a wall oven or a freestanding type, you will still have other options that need to be considered. Before you begin making comparisons, you should know what the possible features are and how they can enhance your electric oven:
- Self-cleaning. Having an oven that can clean itself saves a lot of time and effort. There are two different types of self-cleaning ovens to consider. The first is known as pyrolytic cleaner, where intense heat is applied that turns any leftover food pieces into ash. Once completed you will need to wipe away the ash. The second type uses catalytic liners. These are installed along the sides and back of the electric oven and absorb splatters of fat. The oven needs to be heated to 250 degrees regularly for an hour to burn the splatters off of the liners, which need to be replaced after prolonged use. You can extend the life of the liners by regularly running the oven empty to clean them.
- Fan forced oven. This function can reduce cooking time by blowing the heat around the inside of the oven cavity. You can even find some models using dual fans for better performance.
- Electric convection oven. A convection oven has a separate heating element that also uses a fan to blow the hot air around the cavity. This option can reduce cooking times dramatically.
- Steam oven. These work at keeping baked and roasted foods moist by introducing steam during the cooking process.
- Multiple cooking options. Elements in a conventional oven can be found on the top and/or bottom. You will also find some electric ovens that have specific settings designed to grill, make pizzas and bake.
- Grill tray. This is a feature that allows you to grill foods in the oven without excessive smoke.
Consider your cooking needs carefully, and choose an electric oven that has features you desire. Many offer combinations of features, giving you even more functionality.
Top six electric ovens in Australia
The following electric ovens have gotten numerous positive reviews from Australians who have purchased them. A number of different brands are represented as well as both free-standing and in the wall models.
Freestanding Westinghouse Electric Oven/Stove WFE946SA
600mm/60cm Bosch Electric Wall Oven HBA13B254A
Freestanding Euromaid Electric Oven/Stove CUF54
600mm/60cm Fisher & Paykel Electric Wall Oven OB60SL11DEPX1
Electric ovens can vary dramatically not only in the features, but in pricing. These are not inexpensive kitchen appliances, making it even more important that you are purchasing one that is high in quality and with all of the functions you will need. Compare the different electric ovens side by side to assist you in finding one that you will be happy with for many years.