How to choose an oven and cooktop
Family traditions, cooking preferences and changes in technology all weigh in on the best choice for you
QI’m in the market for a new stove as part of a kitchen renovation but how do I choose the right one?
AIt’s not surprising that many people have trouble choosing a stove given the amount of choice on offer, says national marketing manager for Ilve, Daniel
Bertuccio (pictured). “We have as many brands here as they do in Europe,” Daniel says. “We are spoiled for choice but it also makes it more confusing.
“You can’t just walk into the store and say ‘I need an oven’.”
What stove you choose will vary ary depending on the size of your kitchen, the needs of your household and even your family traditions.
Sizing it up
In this instance, Daniel says size doesn’t matter — most of the time.
“A lot of people want to go bigger and we do make ovens right ght up to 1.5m wide,” he says. “But these days usually a 60cm model will do just about everything you want to do.”
Improvements in technology mean oven cavities are bigger, even on 60cm models, although it may not necessarily suit your needs all year round.
“You might struggle at Christmas or Easter but most of the time, it’s perfectly fine,” Daniel says. “My in-laws put in a 90cm oven that they don’t need but they have the room for it and they’re looking at hosting those bigger celebrations more often.”
While many people still love the traditional upright stove, Daniel says having a built-in cooktop and separate oven can offer greater flexibility in the kitchen.
“If you do more cooktop-based cooking, you definitely don’t need a bigger oven,” he says. “So if you are going with a built-in model, you can get a bigger cooktop and a smaller oven.”
Understanding whether your family is more into Asian-style wok-based cooking, or slow-cooked roasts are more your thing will also impact on the kind of oven and cooktop combination you choose.
While some prefer the real flame of gas, others are embracing induction cooking, an electromagnetic technology that only heats the pots and pans it comes into contact with.
So while the pot heats up super fast, the glass cooktop remains cool to the touch.
Daniel says buyers are often also won over because induction cooktops are so easy to keep clean. On the downside, induction cooking relies on compatible cookware. Buying new cookware may add significantly to the co cost of the cooktop. If you can’t decide, Ilve has just re released a combination induction a and gas cooktop to offer the best of both worlds.
Given it’s a substantial p purchase, Daniel says you need to feel comfortable with the oven and cooktop you choose. “People come in with their favourite baking dishes and we encourage them to do that,” he says. “If you are buying an oven, you want to know that your favourite dish is going to fit inside it.”
For many people, he says it’s a matter of familiarity.
“Some people need to feel comfortable with the style of cooking that they’re used to or their old family recipes are ruined,” Daniel says. “With my mother’s minestrone recipe, she will not change it for anyone — if you don’t like it, don’t eat it.”
Daniel suggests looking for a kitchen appliance retailer that offers convenient after sales service.
“You want to make sure the brand you are buying has offices in every state so that you have a point of contact in your state,” he says.
“We offer free cooking classes for after purchase customers with cooking demonstrations with the appliance, as well as how to clean and maintain it so that you get the best life out of your oven.
“You should expect that level of service.”
Bring your favourite baking dishes and trays with you when you shop so that you know they’ll fit in the oven.
Oven cavities are bigger without affecting the overall width.
Your cooking style will impact on your choice.