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Buying Guides - Ovens


It may have been a while since you have been in the market for an oven and things have probably changed. We have created a practical guide to help you select the right oven for you and your home.

1. Introduction

The benefit of having a built-in oven is the ability to place it wherever suits you. If you are replacing an existing product you are in most cases limited to the size and style of oven you want; if you are starting from scratch or willing to adjust your cabinetry your options are infinite. You need to think and assess what the right oven is for your design and what will work best for your cooking style.

2. Sizing

Kitchen Layout

When it comes to designing your kitchen, you need to think about how you like to cook. You want space and appliances to work more efficiently and with you, not against you. A few things to think about are the following:

Consider your cabinetry

Are you looking to have a more traditional design with your cooktop and oven paired one under the other or are you wanting to give your kitchen a more modern design by having your oven in a tower layout? This could be a duo or double oven or a single oven by itself or paired with another oven or microwave. Positioning it close by your cooktop but far enough away that you could have two cooks in the kitchen, one taking care of the oven and the other the cooktop.

Work triangle or work zones

This choice will ideally come down to the size of your kitchen. When looking at a kitchen work triangle you would have your appliances configured so that the line drawn between the refrigerator, cooking appliances, and sink/dishwasher creates a triangle which the cook can easily and efficiently move about the space. Whether you have a small or large space you may look to have the area broken up into 5 zones; consumables, non-consumables, cleaning, preparation and cooking zones, this allows the space to work in unison of each other.

Purpose of your island bench

Island benches have a range of ways they can be used; the key is designing to suit your lifestyle and how you will be using your kitchen. Sinks are the most common element found in a kitchen island with a dishwasher underneath it. However, over a recent year, there have been kitchens designed around the island bench becoming the workbench, the place you prepare, cook and clean with ovens, cooktops or microwaves being incorporated into their design.

Size of Oven

When shopping for a built-in oven, it’s important to consider all elements of its size. How much internal space do you need for your cooking style and how much space within cabinetry you have to work with will impact the external size of your new oven. Your range of options heavily depends on whether you’re replacing an existing oven or installing a new one from scratch. If you’re replacing, you are generally limited to a particular style and size of the oven.

The standard built-in oven width is 60cm, enough to take care of most cooking tasks. Other common widths include 75cm and 90cm, and these ovens more suitable for an entertaining or family home.  The external width of an oven is not a clear representation of the amount that can fit inside. Ensure you consider the inside capabilities when shopping for an oven. A guide would be a small capacity is anywhere between 30 and 45 litres. 45 litres to 70 litres is the average, and any capacity greater than 70 litres is on the larger side.

3. Fuel Type

Size, style and cooking functions are all important things that influence your final oven purchase decision, you will also need to consider whether you would like a gas or electric oven.

Electric Ovens

- More common than gas ovens.

- Generally provide more even heat distribution, especially when equipped with a fan.

- Require pre-heating, this process has become quicker with modern innovation.

- Generate drier air which can assist with crisping and browning.

- Majority of models need to be hardwired by a certified electrician; some ovens will come with a plug and lead suited to a particular amp rating.

Gas Ovens

- More expensive initial outlay then electric ovens; however, given energy efficiencies with gas cooking, they will cost less over their lifetime.

- Cook with greater moisture, making them ideal for cakes and roasts.

- Faster heating than electric models and more precise temperature control.

- Generally contain fewer parts then an electric oven, so the lifetime maintenance should be easier.

- Can run off natural gas or an LPG bottle - model dependent