Common Types of Ovens – How To Choose An Oven

Common Types of Ovens – How To Choose An Oven

Ovens are kitchen cornerstones, the cookers of succulent roasts, cakes, frozen chips and you name it! But how do you know which oven is right for your home? Which oven will give you the best value with fewer problems?

An oven is a true investment, so you need to know your needs and be able to articulate them into the type of oven you’re looking for. Do you want electric or gas, convection or conventional, and are there any add-ons you desire? Our guide will help you navigate through the daunting task of figuring out what you want from an oven.

Having worked with most brands we have knowledge on the best oven types for different kitchen setups. At Isocool we do supply, installation, service and repair of all oven types in Gauteng and its surrounding areas. Continue reading to learn about the different oven types so as to make a good decision when purchasing one for your kitchen.

Oven Types

Even if you’re fairly new to the oven game, you should still know that there isn’t just one standard type. Like heat pumps or washing machines, there are multiple different types of ovens. We have compiled a list of 7 different oven types to guide you in your selection.

Wall ovens

Also known as built-in ovens, wall ovens are the most common type of oven. They are fitted either in a wall space or under a bench. Wall ovens give you a large degree of flexibility when it comes to your kitchen’s layout. You can also install them off the ground, so you don’t have to squat or bend down to use them. Below is an example of a wall oven:

Wall Oven
Wall Oven

Freestanding ovens

A freestanding cooker is a combination of both an oven and a hob. They are very similar to wall ovens in terms of appearance, but the key difference is that they do not have to be built in to a wall or cabinet. This can either be a good or bad thing: they are easier to install, but have less flexibility and are less convenient to use, as you have to bend down. As they come with built-in hobs, they are ideal for smaller spaces and kitchens with few fixed cabinets. Below is an example of a freestanding oven:

Free Standing Oven
Free Standing Oven

Toaster ovens

As the name suggests, a toaster oven is a counter-top appliance that is about the same size as a large toaster that can grill bread as well as bake food. They are much cheaper to buy than a large conventional oven, and simple to install, but generally do not offer the same bake quality as their bigger counterparts. Because of their size, the amount of food you can cook is also limited. Below is an example of a toaster oven.

Mueller Toaster
Mueller Toaster Oven

Steam ovens

As the name suggests, they use steam to cook food. Steam ovens can be either placed on a counter or installed in a kitchen, and are primarily used for cooking vegetables and certain kinds of meat. As well as reducing cooking time, steam methods of cooking can preserve the flavor of foods, as well as retain vitamins and nutrients. They are easier to clean, too, but generally steam cooks a smaller variety of dishes than other methods. Below is an example of a steam oven.

SMEG
SMEG Steam Oven

Bench-top convection ovens

Rather than letting hot-air circulate randomly, convection ovens use internal fans, like those found in most freestanding and wall ovens, to distribute the hot air evenly to create a constant temperature. They are more expensive than toaster ovens, but can cook faster, at lower temperatures and with better results. Below is an example of a bench-top convection oven.

Bench Top Convection Oven
Bench Top Convection Oven

Microwave ovens

This oven type is commonly referred to as microwaves, and most people know it by them by this name. Technically, your microwave is a form of oven, and they are great for heating food rapidly. However, for the most part, they are sub-par when it comes to cooking, as they cannot brown or crisp food and don’t cook evenly – hence the rotating table! Below is an example of a microwave oven.

Zilan Microwave Oven
Zilan Microwave Oven

We have exhausted the 6 different oven types but just knowing them is not enough in guiding you to make the best purchase. Let’s explore some other characteristics to consider when choosing an oven.

Self-cleaning ovens

You can’t go wrong with an oven that cleans itself, and there are two types of self-cleaning ovens:

  • Pyrolytic ovens: – These feature a self-cleaning mode that heats the oven to temperatures as high as 500°. This reduces food and fat residue to a thin white ash, which you can then wipe away easily.
  • Catalytic liners: – These are specially developed oven liners that absorb fats and food particles. These are then burned off by running a regular cleaning setting, leaving the oven looking spotless.

Cleaning your oven regularly can greatly improve the quality of the food you make, so having these ovens do that for you can be a big plus. Below is an example of a self-cleaning oven.

Self Cleaning Oven
Self Cleaning Oven

Gas vs. Electric

Similar to cook tops, ovens fall under two main categories of energy sources – gas or electric. Gas ovens are, on average, quite a bit cheaper to buy than electric ovens of similar quality levels, although they come with some drawbacks. Firstly, you’ll need a gas supply. If you already have gas in your home, then its fine; if not, gas instillation, either bottled or mains, can be costly.

A common complaint about gas-powered ovens is that they tend to have hotspots and uneven heating. If you like baking, or have a problem with food browning, it’s important to look into whether you’d prefer a conventional or convection oven. If a gas oven is compatible with your current kitchen set-up and you’re not too fussy, then it could be the oven type for you.

Electric ovens work using heating elements placed on the walls of the oven. These ovens are the most common variety and tend to have a lot more options for cooking your food at the touch of a button. Electric ovens are the easiest to use, easiest to clean and the easiest to achieve even cooking. They are also available in both convection and conventional varieties, so if an electric oven is what you’re after, there’s plenty of choice to be had.

What the Oven Experts Say After learning the different types of ovens and the features to consider when you choosing one, you are now in a position to make the right choice. At Isocool Pty Ltd we do supply, installation, service and repair of all oven types in Gauteng and its surrounding areas. Contact us in case you need assistance on the aforementioned services.

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