TYPES OF OVENS
Built-in ovens or wall ovens
Wall ovens are by far the most popular choice and specifically designed to fit into modern kitchen cabinetry. When replacing an oven in existing cabinetry, it will limit your choices based on what cut out size you have and what ovens on the market will fit that cavity. Those installing brand new kitchens have the choice and flexibility to find something that suits.
There are various types of built-in ovens, they fall into two main categories:
Single ovens – typically installed under the bench or at eye level.
- Single ovens come in what is referred to a “literage” and are generally big enough for most families’ roasting and baking needs. The most common width is the 60cm or 600m, however they also come in 90cm or 900mm. The Omega range features 90L ovens which are perfect for big families needs.
Double ovens – typically installed as eye-level units.
- Double ovens offer the convenience of having a separate small oven allowing for quicker heat up times and cooking. Usually the smaller oven houses the grill. They offer more cooking options as both ovens operate independently of each other.
All wall ovens will require a separate cooktop installed in your bench.
Freestander or freestanding ovens
Freestanding ovens are not built into any cabinets and sit independently on the floor. The advantage of a freestanding or upright oven is having the oven and cooktop combined into one unit. This is typically found in country and traditional styled home. In terms of size it will depend on how much space you have and how much cooking you do. Newest to the Omega range is the 90cm Freestander which features a extra generous 129 Litre Capacity and 5 gas burners.
This is where the choice becomes more difficult, it always comes down to a matter of preference, how much cooking and baking you do and the type of cooking you do.
Conventional vs Fan Forced
Fan forced or fan assisted technology allows heat to be distributed more evenly inside the oven as the fan pushes the air around. It makes for faster cooking times and even baking.
Conventional electric ovens distribute heat from the element, generally it is slightly hotter at the top than the bottom.
In terms of what to pick that will depend on your budget, cooking style and preferences. Someone who does not bake regularly and wants to save on budget would be a contender for the traditional conventional oven.
Things to consider:
- Multifunction – consider what sort of cooking will you do, by choosing a oven with only the functionality you will use you can save on costs. Question will a six function oven do everything you need or will you use the full eight.
- Timers – these can be extremely helpful to ensure that even if you forget about those muffins and the oven doesn’t and turn off after the specified time.
- Cavity size or literage – depending on the size of the wall liner the cavity size or literage will vary. Not all 60cm ovens are the same. Do you want to do a full Turducken at Christmas? – a 90L oven might be a requirement.
- Number of racks – some ovens come with 9 or more racks. Do you often need to cook dishes of different heights at the same level, one with more flexibility might suit your needs.
- Included accessories – does the oven include a baking tray? Whilst easily available consider if you want a tray that fits perfectly. Baking trays can retail for hundreds of dollars, an included tray might save you money plus the time and effort finding the perfect fit.
Consider what functions you will really use to avoid overspending on a model that has more functions than your smart phone or underspending and having your cooking feel a little lacklustre.
If you have some favourite baking trays or roasting trays that you like to use regularly simply take the measurements or even take them with you when you go shopping in order to get the size that suits you best.
Eye level or under-bench?
If you are lucky enough to be building you kitchen from scratch you will have to decide about whether to build your new oven in at eye level or under the bench. If you are retrofitting, you may have some flexibility in moving you oven depending on how much you want to change your existing cabinetry – it is best to consult an expert on what can and cannot be done.
Consider how much you use your oven, what types of dishes you typically cook and the amount of bending down you will have to do if your oven is under the benchtop, especially if you use heavy roasting dishes.
Under bench advantage
- This is by far the most common and best for space saving allowing you to have precious countertop space or cabinet space, rather than taking up a whole column.
- Aesthetically speaking placing the oven under the bench allows for clean lines. It is perfect for those that keep their baking to a minimum.
Eye level advantage
- It means that you don’t need to bend down to lift heavy dishes out of the oven.
- Looking through the over door and accessing the ovens controls are far easier. Allowing you to check on the ever-sensitive pavlova without having to open the door.
- Height also means little hands can’t open the door or change the controls.
Get some advice
If you are replacing an existing oven, you will need to carefully measure the cut-out space for your new oven to avoid unnecessary cabinet alterations and additional costs.
CLEANING – PYROLYTIC OVENS
There is no doubt about it – standard oven cleaner found on your supermarket shelf works a treat. However, there are ovens on the market called pyrolytic ovens, they are considered self-cleaning ovens.
Simply the oven is set to the cleaning cycle, the oven locks itself for safety and it heated super-high temperature setting. This burns the grime and food residue into ash, which you can vacuum up or wipe away. No elbow grease or harsh chemicals required.