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Expert Guide on Ovens and Cookers

Whether you’re a wannabe master chef, a busy parent or a social butterfly it’s important to choose the right oven for you and your lifestyle. Plus it’s got to be suitable for your space in terms of size and fuel type.

From smart ovens, to self-cleaning and freestanding… it can all be a bit overwhelming but here we can offer you a lowdown on everything you need to know before buying an oven or cooker.

Consider where to place your oven

Before you start planning your kitchen reno, it’s important to plan where your key appliances will be located. This will help form your overall design and Wren’s expert designers can offer the very best tips to ensure your space works for you.

Remember the kitchen triangle is key to ensuring you can efficiently work in your space, so your oven, sink and fridge are located in a workable distance to each other. The oven and hob is seen as a key appliance in kitchen design, so consider locating it centrally such as integrating it in an island. Or if you’re traditional, place a freestanding range cooker in a chimney nook to make it the star of the show.

Where you put your oven really depends on your kitchen dimensions and your lifestyle requirements. Remember your oven will need to be positioned near a fuel supply, which will be particularly important in homes where it is not possible to move the existing one.

Ovens can typically be:

Built-in

If you’re designing a contemporary or traditional space, built-in ovens create a sleek stream-lined look especially when housed in floor to ceiling units.

Sitting at eye level means these ovens can be especially beneficial for those who often cook with heavy dishes. Also it’s out of reach from inquisitive children or pets, making your kitchen a safer place.

There are a vast array of finishes available to suit your kitchen from all black, to traditional chrome and even ultra-modern copper.

Built under

They seamlessly fit underneath your kitchen cabinets and are a cohesive way to incorporate a flawless style, especially when you combine it with a flush induction hob. They are available in double oven styles as well as compact single ovens.

Freestanding

An all-in-one option is a freestanding cooker and it fits into an existing gap in your kitchen space with sizes ranging from 50cm to 150cm wide. With this choice, you find both gas and electric, as well as range style ovens which create a real focal point in a traditional style kitchen.

Freestanding ovens also usually include an integrated hob and a grill, which means you will conveniently have everything in one place.

Oven types

Single or double

If you have a large family or are a keen cook we’d advise opting for a double oven to ensure you have ample space for larger dishes and trays. Some even have space for a warming drawer to ensure your food is kept at a perfect temperature to serve.

If you’re not a fan of cooking or have limited space then the obvious choice is a single oven which can be seamlessly slotted into or in-between your kitchen units. Remember that all trays and dishes may not fit into your oven, so it’s worth remembering the suitable size whilst out shopping.  

Sleek kitchen design

Self-cleaning

Believe it or not, technology works wonders with helping you around the house, especially when it comes to cleaning the oven. Pyrolytic ovens are rising in popularity and we can see why as they make the dreaded clean-up the next morning much more lighter work.

The clever technology means it burns away any grease and dirt, leaving a fine ash to simply wipe away.

We offer a wide range of pyrolytic ovens from AEG, Bosch, Zanussi, Bertazzoni and Neff…ditch the oven cleaner!

Smart ovens

Control your oven through your smart device to make life a little easier.

Using wi-fi or bluetooth, you can connect to ovens using a smartphone so you can control it either from another room in your home or remotely. Depending on the model and features, you can operate the oven from a distance. For example you could switch it on and off or adjust the settings from the comfort of your sofa, or you could preheat it on your way home from work.

For different foods smart ovens also feature handy preset cooking functions, so the stress of selecting the right setting and temperature is no more, and it can be done by just the simple click of a button. Smart ovens can still be used like a standard oven too.

The Neff Oven With Home Connect technology is a fantastic option and it’s compact too with the nifty slide and hide oven door feature.

Multifunctional

Offering maximum versatility, this type of oven is a combination of a fan and a conventional oven and it’s ideal for batch baking and traditional cooking.

Each function can be used separately or together depending on the type of food you are cooking. In some, the grill can be used with the fan, giving similar results to rotisserie style cooking.

Steam ovens

Steam ovens allow you to cook dishes that are full of flavour whilst retaining the nutrients in your ingredients and eliminates the need for oil and lots of seasoning.

Steam cooking is also speedier than a conventional oven, so it’s perfect for cooking larger dishes or batch cooking. Steaming also prevents cross flavouring of foods, so you can cook multiple items and it won’t take on any strong flavours.

Wren offers a multitude of fantastic steam ovens from AEG, Miele, Bosch and Neff.

Traditional ranges  

To create a timeless or retro look opt for a range cooker. Ideal for busy families or for those who like to host big dinner parties, the range cooker offers maximum cooking capacity. Not only that, but they create a real focal feature in your kitchen especially with a colourful range. They are available in pretty pastels, stand-out brights and industrial stainless steel.

A six burner, double oven range cooker offers that extra space needed for large or multiple dishes and pans. From around 90cm to 120cm, you’ll need to ensure you have enough space between your cabinets and Wren’s expert designers can help you along the way.

If you have a smaller kitchen, but still looking to create that same aesthetic then there are four burner ranges available at around 60cm.

Gas vs electric ovens

It’s all down to personal preferences and what you’ve been used to when choosing between a gas or electric oven. Either will certainly suit your cooking needs…

Gas

Pros:

  • Reaches a higher cooking temperature faster
  • Cheaper to run
  • Gives off a moist heat and is perfect for preventing dishes from drying out

Cons:

  • The top shelf is slightly hotter and the lower shelf is slightly cooler

Electric

Pros:

  • More even oven temperature
  • Creates a drier baking experience and is perfect to add crisp or crunch to your food
  • Cheaper to install

Cons:

  • Costs more to run than gas

Happy cooking!

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