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 OvensChoosing 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.
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 OvenThe 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 OvensWhen 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.