5 things to think about before buying a new cooker
What size oven do I need? Gas or electric? Should I get a self-cleaning one? Find your perfect cooker with our checklist…
1. What’s the difference between free-standing, range and built-in cookers?
There are 3 main types of cooker to choose from:
This is an all-in-one cooker that stands on its own. It’s got a hob on top, oven space below and sometimes a separate grill. Main advantage: flexibility. You can find a freestanding cooker to fit the space in your kitchen and you can move it around if you fancy a kitchen remodel in a couple of years.
This cooker is literally built-in to your kitchen units. They’re usually 60cm wide, which is the same as standard kitchen units. Main advantage: aesthetic. Built-in cookers are nice and neat, plus you can choose to have yours higher up for less bending down.
This is technically a type of free-standing cooker, but range cookers are much bigger, with more hob space, bigger ovens and fancy additions like griddle plates and storage drawers. Main advantage: more space. The standard widths are 90cm, 100cm and 110cm wide which can accommodate up to 8 burners and 4 ovens.
Get the best of tradition and innovation with the Rangemaster Kitchener
The Kitchener was first launched in 1830, so knows a thing or 2 about range cooking. It also packs latest tech such as self-cleaning liners, while dual fuel delivers the best of both worlds – gas hobs with an electric oven.
2. Should I go for gas or electric? Or both?
If you’re buying your first cooker, your existing fuel supply will probably make this an easy decision. If you’re refitting your kitchen and want to make a conscious decision, here are the pros and cons for each:
- Immediate heat
- Hob heat is easy to turn up and down
- Cheaper than electricity
- Uneven oven heat (hotter at the top)
- Hob is harder to clean
- Easy to clean
- Even spread of heat (and multiple functions available)
- Smooth hob
- More expensive to run
- Hob takes a while to heat
Dual fuel advantages:
- Best of both
- Responsive gas hob
- Even heat from electric oven
Dual fuel disadvantages:
- Hob is harder to clean
- Installation slightly more complicated
3. Hobs – what are the options?
You can get electric ceramic or induction hobs and normal gas or gas on glass hobs.
Ceramic hobs are usually standard for electric ovens – they have a ceramic glass surface which makes them easy to clean and look sleek, but they don’t transfer heat to pans very well.
Induction hobs use a copper coil under the glass top and magnetic pans to transfer heat directly to the pan, so none is wasted. You can cook up a storm in no time at all with the induction hob on this AEG Induction cooker
Use your fingertips to adjust the heat on these high-tech hobs with quick and accurate touch control. Gas on glass hobs are a gas version of ceramic hobs, with a ceramic glass top around the gas burners, making it easier to clean.
4. What size oven do I need?
This really depends on how much space you have in your kitchen and how many people you cook for. A single oven is about 60cm by 60cm, but if you have more space, you could you go for a double oven. This will be about 90cm tall and has a smaller top oven. There’s also a compact oven which is 45cm tall – great for small kitchens but not for big families. If you’ve got the space and enjoy feeding the five thousand at the weekend, why not go for a 4 oven range cooker?
Top tip: You’ll need to leave 5mm around the cooker for ventilation.
5. Do you want an auto-clean oven?
Yes, you really can buy an oven that cleans itself! An auto-clean oven has what’s called a pyrolytic cleaning cycle. It heats up to 500° and burns off all the grease and dried-on food. All you have to do is sweep away the ash.
As well as saving you a horrible job, an auto-clean oven saves you money because it is so well insulated it improves efficiency. Find out how an auto clean oven can save you time.
Checklist competed? Find your perfect cooker