1. Oven types
There are many types of ovens available for you and it can be difficult to select the right one. Our buying guide will help you identify the right oven for your needs, whether it be a gas, electric, freestanding, steam, pyrolytic, oven-microwave combo or compact ovens or double ovens.
An electric oven is simple to install and uses power from the house to cook and heat food. They use a resistor in the form of a heating element which applies resistance to the electrical current and becomes hot. Electric ovens are a popular choice around Australia and the world.
A freestanding oven is one that can be placed directly on the floor as part of a kitchen configuration and features a cooktop as part of the design. The cooktop can vary from gas or electric.
Rather than using the hot air traditionally used to cook food, a steam oven combines hot air with water throughout the cooking process, creating a whole new range of options in the kitchen. In order to create the steam, water needs to be poured into the bottom of the cavity or the oven may have a water container, which you can fill up.
Pyrolytic ovens, sometimes referred to as self-cleaning ovens, heat baked-on food and splatter to high temperatures until they are turned to ash, making them much simpler and easier to wipe off - no elbow-grease necessary.
Oven-microwave combo / Combi oven
With a range of cooking options, the oven-microwave combo or ‘combi oven’, as it is sometimes known, is the perfect sleek and stylish addition to your kitchen. Combi ovens combine traditional oven technology with microwaves, giving you the best of both worlds. Plus, they're designed to be seamlessly built-in to your kitchen layout.
A duo oven or double oven is perfect for those who love entertaining, as well as big foodie families. Either featuring two equally sized ovens side-by-side, or a smaller oven on top of a larger one, the double oven allows you to cook separate dishes at different temperatures, all at the same time.
2. Fuel Source
An increasingly popular product is the hybrid gas/electric oven, which features a gas cooktop on top of an electric oven. This type of freestanding cooker has the advantage of instant stovetop heat coupled with simple, electricity-fuelled baking capacity.
3. Kitchen layout and design
One of the most important factors to consider in your oven purchase is how you’d like your kitchen configured to best suit your family. Ideally, keeping your cooktop, fridge and sink within easy manoeuvring distance from each other is a good rule of thumb, but other considerations must also come into play.
For those with young children, a wall oven can be an excellent option as it is safer out of reach of little hands, and for frequent bakers, the height of a wall oven can definitely save your back! Alternatively, those looking to capitalise on space may prefer an all-in-one freestanding oven and cooktop which allows more cupboard space and a compact, simple option.
Image courtesy of Oak & Orange
4. Energy efficiency
Your oven is a surprisingly large contributor to your average yearly power bill. With an average family of four pays nearly $2000 a year in energy costs, and the average cost of running an oven within that is between $400-$800 a year - or between a quarter or a third of your total bill*. For this reason, focusing on how to choose, use and maintain your oven sustainably has never been more important. In order to maximise oven energy efficiency, consider the following tips:
- Ensure you choose a model that is well-insulated with several layers of glass in the door to retain heat and maximise energy efficiency
- Keep an eye on your door seals and ensure they are working well
- Consider making two meals at once, and freezing one for a later date. This makes the most of your oven each time you turn it on, and saves time down the track as well
- The fan-forced option takes less time to heat up, reducing usage over time
- Consider steam - did you know that a steam oven takes 30% less time to cook food?
*According to the Electricity wizard
7. Top FAQs