How to choose an oven and cook­top

Fam­ily tra­di­tions, cook­ing pref­er­ences and changes in tech­nol­ogy all weigh in on the best choice for you

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - ADVICE - Words Robyn Willis More

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.”

Sep­a­ra­tion anx­i­ety

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.

Com­fort food

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.

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