Anna Cottrell looks at which type of oven you should choose.
Single ovens at W60cm are a good option for small kitchen designs, either integrated or freestanding. You can’t use both the oven and the grill at the same time with these basic models.
Double ovens give family kitchens more flexible cooking choices, with a main oven plus a smaller second oven/grill option. They come as built-in or freestanding, the latter models being slightly smaller.
Multifunction ovens allow you to use their various options – from fan to grill – separately or together for different methods of cooking; some include a defrost setting, too.
Range ovens, whether traditional heat storage (think Aga) or modern cooking-only options, create fabulous focal points in large or open-plan kitchen-diners. Traditionally equipped with one wide oven with grill side-by-side with a smaller oven, it might also have a pan storage or warming drawer, plus a hob. Externally, range cookers are larger than double ovens, but usable oven space internally is often the same as that of a double oven.
If you regularly steam foods, a combi-steam oven may be a useful choice.
WHICH FUEL TYPE IS BEST?
From electricity and gas to oil, wood and even solid fuel, what you choose will depend on how you like to cook and where/how you live. Many cookers can be dual fuel – ideal if you love the speed of a fan oven but like to cook on a gas hob.
Electric ovens come as either conventional or fan-operated models. The former tend to be hot at the top, cooler at the bottom, and are less popular than fan ovens, where the heat is circulated to give you more even results.
Gas ovens are slightly hotter at the top than the bottom, so are good in a small kitchen with a single oven, as you can get different results for foods by choosing the right shelf. They’re preferred for baking as they create a moist atmosphere.