This article talks about general oven features - what you need and what you should consider when making your decision.
To help you out here's a checklist of the key features to access when selecting your new oven.
If you're dreaming about having a lovely Christmas roast, possibly a turkey, you need to pick the size of your oven wisely. The size of an oven cavity and the shape of the opening are important features to consider when making a purchase and it is essential that the oven size suits all your cooking needs. If you entertain and cook regularly and in bulk, get the biggest oven your kitchen will permit. Ovens usually range between 52 and 112 litres in size and you will need the 112 litre for a turkey.
If you have a small kitchen you can select an oven that has a sliding door feature. Sampford IXL's latest Neff range integrates a 'Slide & Hide' feature in the oven door, which effectively increases the space in your kitchen by improving accessibility to and around your oven. The mechanism means the oven door opens fully to slide under the oven cavity without compromising the oven's capacity.
Door closed, door open
Electronic touch controls
An easy to use central control that operates all major functions of your oven, including temperature and timing settings, is essential for serious cooks. Miele Australia offers a range of ovens that incorporate a three-dimensional control panel, tilted towards the user with a touch display, allowing precise control over the entire cooking process. New Neff ovens include a Neff Navigator, which is an easy to use central elliptical control in the middle of the display panel.
Large, clear-view window and oven lights
Now you maybe thinking "What difference can there possibly be between views into ovens?", but when you actually start looking around the difference is astounding. Choose an oven with a totally clear-view window with well spread lighting so you can actually see the cooking progress without opening the door. Most ovens on the market have side and rear oven lights, but the latest ovens feature an innovative lighting system. For example, Nefflight, a feature in the new Neff range, comprises of two halogen spotlights and a system of intelligent reflectors that light up the entire oven cavity. The bright ceiling lamp bathes the interior in glare-free light for perfect visibility on all shelf levels at all times.
Gas V electric
Today most electric ovens are multifunctional, meaning you can use a combination of top, bottom, grill and sometimes rear elements plus a fan to optimise cooking, so they tend to be more versatile than a gas oven. However, gas ovens don't tend to dry food out as much as electric ovens (unless they're fan-assisted) similar to gas and electric heating, so gas is ideal for roasts, casseroles and heavy cakes that require moisture.
Be aware when buying a gas oven that they are naturally hotter at the top and cooler at the bottom, unless there's a fan. If there is no fan, food will need to be rotated to get even cooking and browning if you're doing any multi-shelf cooking. On the plus side, this does allow you to cook several different foods at once.
When designing your oven you need to analyse your own personal cooking habits and available kitchen space before making any purchase.