There are so many ovens on the market, it can be hard to know where to start. So we’ve taken a look at five very different types of oven, and explained how they could meet your culinary needs, and match your lifestyle.
The Cuisinemaster Range
A range will be the focal point of your kitchen, and Leisure’s Cuisinemaster 100 is no exception. Combining really useful functions with sleek, modern good looks, and a well-made, professional feel, it’s a pleasure to cook on – and it yields fantastic results.
Who for? A Cuisinemaster range cooker will suit people who regularly cook for four or more, big families, and committed foodies
Range Pros: The Cuisinemaster offers an exceptionally flexible cooking space. It has two large ovens, and one low- capacity, energy efficient oven for smaller dishes and plate warming. The five burner gas hob also means you aren’t going to run out of rings to do the gravy. The clincher is the integrated griddle pan, to make searing steak, fish, and vegetables a breeze. Plus it looks Ah-mazing. This oven is the culinary equivalent of prince charming. It’s got the whole package.
Range Cons: The Cuisinemaster is available in a width of 100 or 110cm, but if you have a teeny-tiny kitchen, this may still be too large. If you have your heart set on a range, you can check out the Cookmaster 90cm range, which offers the same quality in a more compact, colourful package.
How much will it set me back? Due to an explosion in popularity, ranges are now available at exceptional value. The Cuisinemaster 100 is priced at a very reasonable £1090.
Strictly speaking, an AGA is also a range, but it’s a totally different beast from duel fuel range cookers. Once you’ve powered up an AGA, you leave it on all the time - it becomes the warm heart of your home, and can’t be beat for the cosy kitchen feel.
Who for? Large families, lovers of traditional cooking
AGA Pros: Available in a stunning array of colours, you can choose an AGA with between two and five ovens, each with varying heats to give you excellent results with whatever you’re cooking. Because the AGA is always on, you don’t have to wait for it to heat up before you use it.
AGA Cons: Because they are on all the time, AGAs are not cheap to run. If you’re at home most of the day, you might justify the expense. If you’re new to AGA you may also find it frustrating that you can’t control the exact temperature of the ovens or the hobs. AGA has addressed this by introducing heat controls and even gas and electric hob rings to some models.
How much will it set me back? You can spend anything between £800 on a reconditioned AGA, to £10 000 on a top-of-the-range new one.
Neff Series 3 Built-in Double Oven
The Neff Series 3 Double Oven is one of the best and most popular electric double ovens on the market. It’s a great choice for a small kitchen, as it’s economical on space, but enables you to bake two different dishes at the same time.
Double Oven Pros: The Neff has a whopping 102 litre total capacity, making it one of the largest integrated double ovens within its price range. It also has a triple glazed door, which means that children (and grown ups) don’t burn their fingers on outside. Our favourite feature is an exact temperature reading so you know exactly what’s going on in there, plus its forced air system means you don’t spend ages pre-heating.
Double Oven Cons: Double ovens often don’t come with a hob, so you’ll have to buy twice.
How much will it set me back? This model retails at £949, but it’s A rated energy-wise, which means you’ll save on your annual cooking costs.
Samsung Dual Cook Single Oven
The Samsung Dual Cook Single Oven offers a neat solution for those who only have space for a single oven, but need the flexibility of two.
Who for? Modern design lovers, families, owners of compact kitchens
Dual Cook Oven Pros: The big plus about this oven is that you can either use it as one big oven for a roast, or you can split the oven in two using a special shelf, effectively creating two ovens, each with variable temperature controls – so you cook your dinner and your cake at the same time. This model has a timer for each oven, and a pyrolytic clean function – so the oven effectively cleans itself.
Dual Cook Oven Cons: Although this oven offers a good 65 litre capacity, if you regularly cook for four or more, or you do a lot of baking, you will probably find that you are still short of space.
How much will it set me back? The Samsung Dual Cook is available for a very reasonable £529.
John Lewis Steam Oven
The curve ball of our top five oven recommendations is John Lewis Single Steam Oven. It offers all the regular features of an oven such as a fan oven setting and grill, plus a really effective steam function. With a huge 74L capacity, this could quickly become your favourite appliance, and utterly indispensible at Christmas.
Who for? Healthy eaters, Asian food lovers, cake-bakers and slow-cookers
Steam oven Pros: Roast dinner lovers can either use the slow cook steam function to get melt-in-the-mouth meat, or use the combination to get moist meat and beautiful crispy skin. Likewise, keen bakers can get enviably light, moist cake every time. You can also use it to defrost or reheat food safely, without getting the dryness or hotspots you might get in a microwave. It also has a grill, and a fast pre-heat setting.
Steam oven Cons: The steam oven needs to be wiped out after every use, to get rid of the water inside. As this is a single oven, you cannot use the grill and the oven at the same time.
How much will it set me back? For something that may not be your main oven, steam ovens are generally quite pricey. The John Lewis model is excellent value at £799.