When choosing a new cooker you have some choices to make including: Fuel Type, width and even the number of ovens. You also have different styles and colours to consider - from professional stainless steel to fashionable metallic silver, or traditional colours.
Some of these choices are easy as they will depend on the size and style of your kitchen - and if you have access to gas or a 30amp electricity supply. We've put together this guide to help simplify the choices for you. Just click on a link below, to jump down to further information about the Free-Standing Cookers area you're interested in:
Your choice of cooker will depend on the fuel supply you have available. If you have a gas supply, you could also consider dual fuel, which combines a gas hob with the even heat and energy efficiency of an electric oven.
With a gas only cooker the oven, grill and hob are all fuelled by gas. Gas ovens supply instant heat and create a moist cooking atmosphere so certain foods like meat and poultry will not 'dry out' as they can sometimes do in an electric oven. Gas hobs provide instant heat response giving you more control.
A 13 amp electric supply is normally required for mains ignition, clock/timers and oven lights.
From January 2008 it's a requirement that customers living in shared accommodation must purchase models which incorporate a Flame Safety Device (FSD).
With an electric cooker the oven, grill and hob are all powered by electricity. Fan-assisted ovens in most of today's models do not require pre-heating and also cook faster and more evenly than a gas alternative. Electric hobs provide an even source of heat but generally are slower to heat-up or cool-down than a gas hob. Look for a ceramic or halogen hob for faster heat response.
Dual Fuel Cookers
A dual fuel cooker combines the instant heat and control from the gas hob with the even heat of an electric oven.
If you love cooking and entertaining then a Range cooker may be the only choice for you. With the ability to roast, bake, boil and warm, as well as griddle, grill and stir-fry, range cookers make cooking a real pleasure.
Available in dual fuel, gas or electric and with professional or country styling a range cooker will be the real centre-piece of your kitchen, the heart of your home.
Before choosing your cooker it is important for you to carefully check the space you have available in your kitchen. Cookers are commonly available to fit the following widths:
If you have more space and want to go for a bigger cooker, Range Cookers are generally available in these widths:
All cookers are designed so that the height of the hob matches your standard worktop height, making it easy to achieve a clean design line.
There are several types of oven available:
|Single Oven with Integrated Grill||A medium or large oven with the grill positioned at the top of the oven cavity.|
|Single Oven with Separate Grill||A medium or large oven with flexibility of the grill sited in a separate cavity so you can grill items, while roasting or baking.|
|Double Oven||A medium or large main oven, plus a small or medium sized oven that includes a grill positioned at top of the oven. Gives you more space and more cooking flexibility.|
There are several types of oven available in both gas & electric:
|Conventional Electric||In a conventional electric oven the thermostat controls the heat in the middle of the oven. This creates 'heat zones' so that the oven will be hotter at the top and cooler at the bottom. These 'zones' can be useful when cooking different kinds of dishes at once. A conventional electric oven needs pre-heating before you start cooking to reach cooking temperature.|
|Fan-Assisted Electric||A fan mounted in the rear of the oven circulates air through a heating element for rapid heat up and uniform cooking performance on all shelves.|
|Multi-Function Electric||A multi-function oven uses different combinations of fan, heating elements and grill to create different cooking environments for different types of cooking. Common cooking modes include: Conventional; Fan-Assisted; Grill; Grill & Fan (grilling with the door closed); Bottom heat (for crisping pies, pizza bases etc.); Top heat only (for browning); Defrost (ideal for meat or delicate foods such as gateaux)|
|Gas Ovens||The flame is ignited either by battery or a mains powered ignition system. Gas gives off moisture in cooking so helps to reduce 'drying out' and is therefore ideal for baking cakes.|
All our ovens have their cooking capacity listed in litres for easy comparison. If you want more oven space why not look for a double oven cooker, with the extra flexibility and convenience of a second oven?
There are several types of hob and hob features to choose from:
Electric sealed plates
Ceramic electric hobs
Gas is still popular because the heat is visible and is easy to control. Gas hobs with a glass lid have flame failure cut-out which turns the gas valve off if the flame is blown out.
Electric Sealed Plates
Provide excellent heat distribution across the base of the saucepan - and are cost effective to run. Any type of flat base saucepan can be used.
Stylish and easy to clean, ceramic hobs have a tough glass surface with the heating elements placed beneath. The heat then transferred through the glass into the pan only. All hobs have hot hob indicator lights, so you can see when the surface is cool enough to touch after use.
The heating elements in ceramic hobs are available in:
Halogen, the closest equivalent to gas in control of heat
Only Electric Ovens are issued with a performance class rating for Energy. Each of these is graded from 'A - G', with 'A' being the most efficient in terms of energy consumption.
Energy efficiency gradings for electric ovens are the responsibility of the appliance manufacturers and their work is monitored by Trading Standards. Standard tests are carried out by heating a brick, and efficiency gradings of A-G applied, with A being the most efficient. Gas ovens and cookers are excluded from this testing, as are grill compartments or ovens incorporating a microwave.
Energy Saving Tips
Save Energy & Money by following these simple steps:
Look for an oven with a see-through door so you can check cooking progress without opening the oven door.
Consider a fan-assisted oven, this requires less or no pre-heating and saves energy on cooking.
Look for 'A' rated oven performance.
Switch the oven off after use to prevent wasting energy.
Other features you might want to look for...
|Other Free-Standing Cooker Features|
When buying a cooker you may want to consider choosing one with a timer. There are two general types of timer available:
Most ovens are coated in smooth enamel, which resistant to the burning-on of grease and food. Some ovens are supplied with self-cleaning Catalytic liners which become self-cleaning at higher temperatures.
Top of the range ovens may use a Pyrolytic cleaning system that operates at very high temperatures. This cleans every part of the oven interior by raising the temperature to 500 degrees C, and turning all deposits into ash.
Grills fall into 3 main types:
|Glass Doors||Not only offer visibility of cooking progress but also have a safer cool touch surface.|
|Air-Cooled Oven Doors||Some ovens have a fan system that the pulls air between the inner and outer glass on the oven door. This keeps the outer surface of the oven door cool enough to touch.|
|Flame Safety Device (FSD)||Detects when flame has blown out and automatically shuts off the gas valve. From January 2008 it's a requirement that customers living in shared accommodation must purchase models which incorporate a Flame Safety Device (FSD).|
|AEG Electrolux||08705 350 350|
|Beko||08707 741 050|
|Belling||08712 222 503|
|Cannon||08701 50 60 70|
|Hotpoint||08701 506 070|
|Indesit||08701 506 070|
|New World||08712 222 504|
|Servis||08705 168 299|
|Siemens||08705 678 910|
|Stoves||08712 222 502|
|Tricity Bendix||08705 950 950|
|Zanussi Electrolux||08705 727 727|