Buying Guide

CDA Buying Advice – Oven Types: Which Oven Type Do I Need?

When you’re looking to buy a new oven, you might be surprised by how many options there are out there.

How many types of ovens are there?

There are almost 20 different types of oven when considering all the combinations. This includes different energy sources (electric ovens, gas ovens), oven sizes (single oven or double oven) and cooking methods (convection ovens, fan ovens, steam ovens). It also covers ovens classed by the features they provide – like self-cleaning ovens, or the way they fit in the kitchen, like freestanding ovens or built-in ovens.

When it comes to the question of which type of oven is best, the answer will always be down to the individual. It will depend on what your cooking needs are. How often do you cook? How many people do you cook for? Do you like to labour on elaborate feasts or throw together simple, tasty one-pot meals?

Oven Capacity: Single Vs Double Ovens

Choosing between a double or single oven might seem like a straight-up oven capacity question. If you only really cook for yourself, or a small family, then a single oven will make sense. Anyone who loves cooking for crowds, whether that’s big families or extensive dinner parties will probably need the space of a

double oven


But it is about more than just how much food you cook – your cooking style will also play a part. Do you like cooking dishes that need different temperatures? A fast blast of heat on a Yorkshire pudding while your roast potatoes are gently being browned? This can’t be done in one oven – you need a completely separate cooking space.

Fuel Types: Gas Vs Electric Oven

The choice between a gas oven or an eclectic oven isn’t always in your hands. The energy of services available in your home may dictate what oven fuel type you can use.

If you are able to choose though, this can be an important decision. Some gas-powered ovens have their heat source firmly in the bottom, meaning that the cavity of conventional gas ovens can have quite a wide range of temperatures in them. This can be great if you need to cook food at slightly different temperatures in one oven.

Electric ovens will warm quicker, and their heating elements allow for much more specific thermostatic control of the oven temperature, making them easier to use. This makes them great for busy cooks with many mouths waiting who can’t risk an unexpected ten minutes to finish off their food.

When it comes to conventional ovens (also known as convection ovens) you will have plenty of options whether you go for an electric or a gas oven. However, if you do have a choice when it comes to oven fuel types, you are best going for an electric fan assisted oven rather than gas one. Though fan-assisted gas ovens are available, they are a lot less common.

Heating Method: Fan vs Convection Ovens

When you’re buying a new oven the heating method should always be considered – choosing between a fan assisted oven and a conventional oven.

With a traditional oven, the heating element sits at the bottom and the hot air rises to fill the cavity. This can create hot and cold spots in different parts of the oven. This can make it hard to cook different foods that need the same, even heat, or to achieve the same bake quality across multiple items placed in the oven at the same time. Anything placed towards the top of a conventional oven will usually receive a higher temperature (and have a shorter cooking time) than something at the bottom.

However, for certain foods, especially baked goods like cakes, souffles and certain pastries, this can actually be useful and some bakers choose a convection oven for this exact reason.

Fan cooking is always popular because it offers a stable temperature throughout the oven. It doesn’t have any more heating elements, but hot air evenly distributes due to the fan.

In a fan-assisted oven, food will cook at the same speed no matter where it is placed. This is great if you are looking to cook a lot of dishes at the same temperature, or if you need to cook one large item (like a whole chicken or casserole) evenly. With a convection oven, you are more likely to get a burnt top or uneven bake.

Some compact ovens combine a microwave oven function with a convection oven or fan oven. These multifunctional ovens can be a great addition to your standard oven set-up, though most people would find them too small to rely on entirely.

Oven Features

Many modern ovens have a range of additional features that it’s always worth factoring these in why buying.

One of the first things to consider is how to clean an oven. However careful you are when cooking, spills and splatter happen, and scrubbing out the charred remains is never an appealing job. 

Investing in a self-cleaning oven (or pyrolytic oven as it’s technically known) will take the stress out of the cleaning process. These ovens have a function that heats them to over 400 degrees, burning any dirt or grease on your oven walls or door to ash, which can then be easily swept up. No rubber gloves or relentless scrubbing is needed.

Another rather basic function to think about is the oven door. Depending on where you plan to install your oven, a door that opens downwards could cause an obstruction. If you go for a side opening door, many ovens will actually let you choose which side it hinges open. This can be great if you have a compact kitchen and limited space. There are also a range of multifunction ovens to consider. These can come with a heap of additional functions, such as grills, optional fan settings or defrost settings, though they will vary between models.

Oven Styles

Style is really important when planning your new kitchen design. Built-in ovens are normally a focal point in the layout, so you have to be sure that it will complement the look that you are going for. Choose between touch controls, for a seamless all-glass finish, or select one of the models with ergonomic controls for a more dimensional look.

Stainless steel strips on our built-in oven range can pick out other details in your kitchen, like the extractor hood, other built-in appliances, refrigeration or even your kitchen tap; this pulls the whole design together.

Single oven vs double ovenscoffee-machine-compressor

Pairing Your Oven With Additional Appliances

When you’re looking for a new oven, you may choose to add other cooking appliances such as warming drawers, microwave ovens or even a compact steam oven – which may help you determine the type of oven you need.

If you have a household filled with dawdlers, a warming drawer will keep your carefully cooked meals hot until the last person reaches the table. It’s also perfect for passionate bread bakers, a quiet, suitably heated spot to hide your bread while it proves leading to better loaf and a cleaner kitchen.

And while a steam oven might seem like a luxury, steam cooking is such a healthy way of heating food that the benefits far outweigh the cost. With a steam oven, you can maximise the nutrients you get from your food and use less fats, sugar and unhealthy additives while still making tasty meals. 

Adding other appliances may mean that you don’t need the cooking capacity you’d get from a double oven for example, or you might find that a multifunction oven isn’t necessary as you have the functions you need already. 

Which type of oven is best for the home?

If you want to cook functional food quickly and without too much fiddling, a fan assisted electric oven is a great choice. A single oven with a large capacity should fit enough dishes in to feed a whole family, without taking up too much precious space in a compact kitchen. 

But if you do have enough space then a double oven will give you the freedom to cook at different temperatures, in different ways at the same time, and allow you to add a couple of extra dishes to make your meals extra special.

Which oven will suit my kitchen?

There are no hard and fast rules on ovens, when it comes to kitchen style modern design often combines traditional elements with modern convenience.

In general, you are more likely to see ovens at a built-in eye-level in modern kitchen layouts. Double or single ovens, combined with built-in microwaves, coffee machines or warming drawers are installed at an easy to access level and their smooth lines go well with modern cabinetry.

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