An oven is presently an inevitable kitchen appliance for reheating, grilling, and baking. Knowing how to find the right one can be nerve-wracking. This oven buying guide will help you make the buying experience a peaceful one.
The new health restrictions against restaurants and hotels due to this global pandemic are frustrating to many people. This is especially true for those who love eating. Cooking is now even more important than before and thus the need for one to have a functioning oven. If you are wondering where to start, here is an oven buying guide that will help you in your quest.
First, let us familiarize ourselves with the vocabulary terms used for ovens.
- Oven – This is an appliance that can bake, grill, or roast. It can be part of a range or separate and thus be placed in a wall or counter. Typically, its capacity is 4 – 6 cubic feet.
- Range – This is an appliance that comprises both a stovetop and an oven. It is usually 30 inches wide.
- Stovetop – This comprises the burners where one cooks. It can be part of a range or be separate and be placed on a counter.
We shall focus on the oven; the range is a different conversation.
So, where do we start from in this quest?
Take a moment to ask yourself questions so that you can have a clear picture of what you want in an oven. This single step will guide you in narrowing down your search. It will also embolden your opinion of what you find important for your lifestyle or goals.
Who is going to use it?
You have to think of the oven that would suit whoever would need it. Are you buying the oven for your own personal use? Or you are probably buying it to furnish your home kitchen?
What type of cook are you?
Do you like challenging yourself by experimenting with the various cooking styles out there? Or maybe you are more functional in your approach to cooking. How often do you cook specific types of food? Are you aware of any common oven problems that you may encounter in the future?
Where are you going to use it?
Can your kitchen accommodate that oven? Will you be traveling and therefore need a portable one? Where in your vehicle will you place it for use? Will you be using a recreational vehicle (RV) or will you be camping? Or are you simply installing them right at the comfort of your kitchens?
What power source will you use?
Definitely, this will depend on where you will use your oven. What kind of power will be available easily: electricity, gas or firewood?
What is your budget?
Ovens vary in price and some can be quite expensive. This is understandable because you would want it to last and get value for your money’s worth. So you may want to pick the oven based on how much you have allotted it for.
Depending on the features present in the oven, the products may range from SGD480 up to SGD 3745. Of course, the more expensive ones have incorporated ranges with them while the cheaper ones are basically just ovens.
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Power source and consumption
There are 3 main power options for stovetops and ovens: electricity, gas and to a lesser degree wood.
Electric cooktops produce a heat output of at least 1200W (Watts). The output varies from burner to burner. The higher the voltage the more efficient the oven will be. You can select an electric cooktop from the different types available below.
b) Electric coil
c) Induction cooktop
d) Electric ovens
These ovens use a heating element. An advantage of these ovens is that they cook more evenly than the gas ovens. They are also safer, quicker and more efficient than the other oven types.
a) Gas cooktops
These cooktops are preferred because of the uniform heat they produce. However they are slightly slower than the other cooktops.
b) Gas ovens
The major disadvantage of these ovens is they produce uneven baking.
This means that the range uses a gas cooktop and an electric oven. This will help you benefit from the direct heat of the gas cooktop and the oven baking of the electric oven. Unfortunately, these ranges are more expensive than their single power source oven.
There are portable pizza ovens which can be useful in camping.
Special cooking modes
At the basic level, ovens are used to bake and broil. Regular ovens use a lot of energy to cook. The convection fans at the back of some ovens move hot air around the food. They are available in both gas and electric ovens. This is the principle behind the toaster ovens. According to Molly Price of CNET, they produce better tasting food when compared to air-fryers.
The new trendy air fryer ovens are quicker than toaster ovens because they move the hot air more rapidly but in a smaller chamber. Keep in mind they are considered healthier in cooking and produce crispy food.
These are probes which enable you to monitor the temperature in the chamber without having to open the oven.
Portable ovens are wonderful ingredient in road travel and camping. Mini ovens such as toaster ovens are valued for their compact design, lightweight, spacious interior and versatility such as the Kampa Freedom Camping travel gas cartridge oven., and the Camp Chef Portable oven.
Some mini ovens can even be powered by the car cigarette lighter socket such as the Travel Buddy 12 volt oven.
The purpose of this oven buying guide is only to help you make a personal decision. If you have considered factors such as budget, counter space, how often you cook certain foods, and the pros and cons of each appliance, you shall be better placed to make the right decision. Ultimately, the best choice is the one you’ll use the most.