Ovens have become a fundamental appliance that every homeowner purchases at least several times throughout their life. After all, ovens hold an important responsibility in the home, allowing us to cook and prepare meals precisely the way we want them. Like most technology, ovens have become increasingly more advanced as we continue to progress into an ever evolving technological industry. With so many different models on the market, it can be difficult to assess which features and functions will truly benefit your cooking style.
Gas or Electric?
Ovens fall under two categories when it comes to energy source- gas or electric. This is always the first decision that should be made before considering the actual purchase. Gas is a slightly more expensive option and also requires you to have a gas hook up or it will have to be installed separately, which can accumulate additional fees. However, although gas ovens are set at a higher price point, you are more than likely to make the money back over time with the energy you end up saving.
Electrical Ovens on the other hand, are heated internally by elements installed within the walls of the oven and does not require a separate hook up. Most units nowadays are electrical simply because of the convenience factor they posses, but ultimately end up running you more money in the long run. They do run with a long list of benefits including shorter cooking time, even heating, and easier cleaning. This may be something you want to consider if you tend to have a busy schedule and don’t have as much time to dedicate to the self care of your appliances.
Convection or Traditional?
Now that you’ve decided how your new oven will be fueled it’s time to consider the specifics. Ovens typically fall into two categories of self-heating; conventional or convection. Both features have their pros and cons but it ultimately comes down to your personal cooking preferences. Conventional ovens; the ones that many of us have in our homes currently, do not have internal fans which means the food is cooked by the heated air that it’s surrounded by. Most people also generally tend to be more confortable cooking on this feature as it heats food at a higher temperature, leading to the belief that this ensures food to be completely cooked.
Convection has been steadily gaining steam in the appliance game over the past few years due in part to its ability to preserve moisture and tenderness in meat. Consumers tend to shy away from convection usually because they aren’t properly educated on how to operate it’s feature which puts them at a disadvantage considering the benefits of convection for outweighs traditional cooking. Convection uses internal fans to circulate the heat with a built in exhaust system that blows hot air over and around the food, and then vents it out the back. The circulation allows heat to pass through ensuring juicer meats and more flavorful dishes, due to the lower overall temperature of the oven. This is also a good feature for the energy efficient; the fast cook time and lower temperature can reduce the amount of fuel being used throughout the oven.
There’s also the option of single vs. double ovens, which gives you the ability to determine the space you want utilized with your kitchen. Having a double oven is a matter of convenience and certainly not an accessory. The advantages of this oven however, is that it allows you to cook several dishes at once even if they require different times and temperatures. It can be a time saver if you’re entertaining or responsible for feeding a big family. The top oven is usually supplied with a grill rack as well, which is idea for cooking smokier meats. Single ovens are the standard but can be a good choice if you’re strapped for space as they can be fitted virtually anywhere and don’t require much room.
When in the market for a new oven, be sure to do your research and establish a basis on what you’re looking for as far as cost, functionality, and usage. This will narrow down your choices and give you the best possible options for your money. Consult a sales associate at your local appliance store and ask for a comprehensive review of different features and specifications based on your model choice. With any appliance purchase, remember to keep up with proper maintenance so you can enjoy your oven for years to come.