You have a large-ish family that live at home? You like cooking (or have to like it)? Are you considering upgrading to a better oven? If so, then read on, because here we have a quick run through the five cookers one of which is likely to meet your individual needs.
1. The Cuisinemaster 100.
This is a range cooker that is sleek, modern-looking, robust, and a pleasure to cook on. Oh, and it yields superb results. Range cookers don’t need to be big bulky ugly things that take up a complete kitchen wall! This range cooker will suit people who regularly cook for four or more, big families, and those who like to cook in bulk and freeze. It has two large ovens, and one low- capacity, energy efficient oven for smaller dishes and plate warming. It has a five burner gas hob plus an integrated griddle pan- essentially for fish and steaks. It comes in widths of 100 or 110cm and sells for just over a grand (£1000). Not bad at all for a quality range cooker.
An AGA is also a range, but it operates on an “on-all-the-time” basis. Once you’ve fired up an AGA, you leave it on all the time – it becomes the warm heart of your kitchen and your home. It’s cosy, re-assuring, and you can cook for anyone, anytime. It really suits the larger family with people coming and going all the time, and those who love traditional cooking. They come with 2-5 ovens and in a variety of colours. The big plus- being on all the time is also a drawback. Whilst you never have to wait for the ovens to warm up, and you always have a nice warmth in the kitchen, they can be expensive in terms of fuel consumption. However AGA has addressed this to some extent by introducing heat controls and even gas and electric hob rings to some models. They don’t come cheap. Anything up to £10,000 for a top of the range model. But once you’ve experienced one, many say you’ll never want to cook on anything else!
3. Neff Series 3 Built-in Double Oven
Quite simply this is one of the best and most popular electric double ovens on the market. It combines flexibility (two ovens) with being economical in terms of space. Consequently it’s a great choice for a small kitchen. It features a huge capacity of oven space for its relatively small size, and has precise temperature controls. The downside is that it doesn’t have a hob. So you’ll have to buy that separately. It costs around £950
4. Samsung Dual Cook Single Oven
The big selling point for this oven is that you can either use it as one big oven (eg for a Sunday roast) or you can split the oven in two using a special shelf, effectively creating two ovens, each with variable temperature controls – so you cook your dinner and perhaps bake biscuits at the same time. It’s also a self-clean oven which is a great boon. It costs a little over £500. The only downside is if you have 6 people come to dinner, you may struggle a bit to get everything done at the same time.
5. John Lewis Steam Oven
This oven offers all the regular features of an oven such as a fan oven setting and grill, plus a really good steam function. This oven has a massive 74L capacity and so can cook for the whole plus-size family- brilliant at Christmas. It costs around £800. Those (like me) who are into roast dinners and not just on Sundays, can either use the slow cook steam function to get meat cooked to a mouth-watering treat, or use the combination to get moist meat but with that beautiful crispy skin. You can also use it to defrost or reheat food safely, without getting the dryness or hotspots that some people complain about when using in a microwave. It has a grill, and a fast pre-heat setting too. However it is not self-clean; the steam oven needs to be wiped out after every use, to remove the water inside. Also this is a single oven so you cannot use the grill and the oven at the same time.