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Electric Cookers Buying Guide

Freestanding cookers are designed to fit between your existing kitchen units, meaning they are easy to slot in to position and to remove in the future. Coming in sizes 60cm or narrower, they are perfect for homes with a smaller kitchen.

Cooker Width

Freestanding cookers come in three different widths: 50cm, 55cm and 60cm. Most manufacturers recommend there be a 5mm gap either side of the appliance for ventilation purposes. Anything larger though and you could spoil the aesthetics of your kitchen so please measure up carefully.

Oven Type

There are four main oven types: conventional, fan-assisted, fan and multifunction ovens.

Multifunction ovens are the most versatile type of oven, offering a number of functions and pre-set programs which are specifically designed to cook different types of food, taking some of the stress and complications out of cooking.

Through use of a rotating fan within the oven cavity, fan ovens to distribute heat evenly throughout the oven, meaning your food cooks more evenly and often much quicker than a conventional oven.

Fan-assisted ovens have heating elements at the top and bottom of the oven cavity. A rotating fan then distributes the heat throughout the cavity but less effectively than a fan oven. This means that there are still heat pockets but this still offers benefits over a conventional oven.

Conventional ovens do not evenly distribute the heat throughout the oven cavity, meaning the top part of the oven is often a little hotter than the bottom. This is beneficial when cooking a variety of foods at the same time that should be cooked at slightly different temperatures.

Hob Type

There are three main variants of electric hob: solid plate, ceramic and induction.

Solid plate hobs are perfect for those who want an uncomplicated, cost effective cooking solution. They tend to have manual dials for controlling the temperature for each individual cooking zone. The plates do get extremely hot during cooking so those with children may wish to consider an induction hob.

Ceramic hobs offer a more refined, sleek look over solid plate hobs; ideal for those with contemporary kitchens wishing to preserve the modern aesthetics. Some ceramic hobs come with manual dials, others with touch controls. They work by heating the glass top which, in turn, heats the pan and are easy to clean.

Lastly, induction hobs are the most energy efficient type of hob, only using the energy required to heat the pans that you are cooking via a magnetic field. This provides a huge safety benefit as the surface is safe to touch even during cooking and any spills can easily be wiped away as they will not burn on to the surface. Please note that induction hobs only work with specialist pans designed to work on them.

Oven Liner Type

There are three main oven liner types: enamel, catalytic and pyrolytic.

Under a microscope, an enamel surface has a slightly bumpy surface, meaning it can be more difficult to clean than higher-grade surfaces. Look out for enamel ovens listed as “easy clean” which have a smoother finish and are therefore easier to clean.

Catalytic liners have a special coating which, when heated to approximately 220°C, oxidise any grease and burnt food, meaning the food can be more easily wiped away with domestic cleaning solutions.

Lastly, Pyrolytic liners offer the simplest form of cleaning solutions and no cleaning products required to get rid of burnt food and grease. They work by heating the inside of the oven to over 500°C, effectively incinerating any grease or food with the ashes then simply being brushed away leaving your oven looking like new.

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