What should I look for when I’m buying an oven? What do I need to know? Luckily, our 2021 updated guide has you covered.
In most houses, the oven is the heartbeat of the home. One of the most important parts of any kitchen, actually going out and buying your first oven can prove a daunting task.
Like with any appliance, there’s so much to choose from and lots of technical jargon to wade through. When you’re browsing, you can definitely feel a little lost.
Really, the best you can do is read articles like these. Having bought plenty of ovens over the years (don’t ask) I really wish I had access to a buyer’s guide of sorts in order to help me on my quest to fit my kitchen with the best possible tool.
Trust me, there is absolutely nothing worse than buying something you’re not happy with. After such an investment, not being pleased with what arrives is a sinking feeling.
After all, your oven is pretty much going to be one of few things in life that gets daily use. Meals for every occasion will be cooked either in it or on top of it, so it’s important you get it right and are completely satisfied with your purchase.
Having suffered disappointment myself, I aim to write until not a single person reading this goes down the sad road I did! I let what happened to me be a reason to research this topic so intensely, so hopefully, that reaps the rewards when it comes to arming you with the information you need to confidently complete a purchase.
So, without further ado, here’s some help on how to buy your first oven.
Table of Contents
Buying an Oven: Things to consider
Find your fuel line
Unless you have an ambitious plan to change the fuel line in your house, whatever it is when you move in is going to decide which oven you go for. The three main types (rather obviously) are gas, electric, and fan.
Knowing the difference between a cooker and an oven
Knowing the difference between a cooker and an oven is one of the strange things most people are unlikely to know before it comes to actually buying one. Well, at least I hope, and it wasn’t just me being stupid…
Basically, a cooker is a free-standing appliance with a hob built on top of it while an oven is generally is placed into the housing unit itself, generally proving smarter if you’re not blessed with a huge amount of space.
Strongly think about the size
When you’re ready to think about buying your first oven, keep in mind how many people you’re cooking for. If the household is one or two people, single ovens are the best way to go as they only take up about 60cm of kitchen space.
However, as helpful as that can be, it may not be great for family cooking. There really is nothing worse than running out of space so you might want to consider a double oven. Helpfully, these generally come in either 70cm or 90cm sizes, so you definitely have options.
It’s definitely best to consider the running costs nice and early. In most walks of life, you can get suckered in to the initial cost of something before realizing the money you’re going to have to spend on top of it, and ovens are certainly no different.
The good thing about most ovens is the fact they are largely cheaper to run than most other kitchen appliances. Indeed, the average electric oven costs around $54 a year while a fan or gas one comes in (on average of course) at around $27.
These days, you can get all sorts of fancy gadgets to go alongside your oven.
Need to preheat your oven before you get home from work? Sure, some will sort that out for you (obviously we’re talking more about electric ovens here). Want a warming tray to keep your dishes hot while cooking up a big meal? Well then, there are products out there to cater to your catering needs.
Really delve down into these, they can be great.
Gas, electric, or fan: Which oven should I buy?
Again, you’re going to want to check what the fuel line is in your home but here are some of the differences between the three main types of oven.
Perfect for cooking: Family roasts, casseroles, and stews
Obviously the oldest method of oven cooking, gas ovens are generally much cheaper to run and, crucially much cheaper to buy. Still, they do tend to have those dreaded hotspots in them as well as frequent accusations of uneven cooking.
Pros: Cheaper to buy and then run
Cons: Uneven cooking, hotspots
Perfect for cooking: Pretty much anything!
While a tad more expensive, electric ovens are largely the way forward now. You might lose that human touch in terms of manually turning the gas down which does take some getting used to but the heat itself will be of a more even distribution throughout the appliance.
Hugely popular, there are more options available on the market and, importantly, they’re easier to clean.
NOTE: You will need to decide on a coil type. There are two options, the open-coil type will help you see the intensity of the heat which, while helpful, is an added expense. Alternatively, the smooth-top type has its burners underneath the glass panel, making them far easier to clean as stray food does not get caught.
Pros: Cleaner, better heat distribution
Cons: More expensive
Perfect for cooking: Again, absolutely anything!
A dual-fan oven is the best of both worlds, to be honest.
These tend to use gas on top of the stove and electricity within the oven itself so it’s really going to answer any cooking question you throw at it. If you’re really into cooking, this is the way to go.
Pros: Best of both worlds
Cons: More expensive
Buying your first oven: Recommendations
Clearly, the choice is up to you but hopefully, the tips above have proven helpful in your search for your perfect first oven.
If you’re looking for some recommendations then these are the ones available on Amazon which I would strongly recommend.
GAS - Gasland Single Wall 24inch Oven
At just under $600 and likely to last you a decade or so, the Gasland Single Wall Oven is as good as you can get really. Made from high-quality stainless steel, this is a very durable piece of kitchen equipment.
While gas ovens are usually considered archaic and rustic, this appliance comes with six multifunctional cooking settings, including defrost, convection, isolated heating (top and bottom), rotisserie, cooling down fan, and oven light modes.
With room for five shelves, there is plenty of room to play with here and the mechanical knob controls have you always feeling in charge.
Electric - Empava Stainless Steel 24inch Oven
This convection cooking oven cooks food faster and more evenly with the inside having its walls and racks heated to the same temperature once you’ve turned it on. This, dear reader, is one of the most precise ways of preparing dishes money can buy.
An attractive modern design, it has an easy-clean enamel and the six functions (including a broiler) should give you plenty of options when deciding what to have at mealtime.
And, let’s face it, it looks very sleek too. I know appearances shouldn’t matter but, come on, no one has ever gone wrong with stainless steel.
Buying your first oven: Final thoughts
So, the main things you need to consider are what the fuel line is in your house and how many people you plan on cooking for. Whichever way you look at it, they are the crucial things to focus on. Frankly, you can’t make a good decision without these being at the front of your mind.
From there, you can make an informed decision and pick up a great oven from anywhere between $450-$1000. The choice is really up to you.
Considering just how important they are to making a house a home, that’s a pretty reasonable price range and, remember, they will generally last over a decade if treated right.