You can't use all that internal space to cook with, and the layout and positioning of shelves also makes a big difference to how much you can fit in. It's possible for an oven with larger dimensions to have less space available for cooking than a smaller one. We measure the actual usable volume of each oven, ignoring any space that won't count when you're actually cooking, such as the top 3cm of the oven, and any space under the lowest shelf position.
If you cram food into these spaces, you prevent hot air from circulating properly, which will affect cooking results. We also use our collection of life-sized foods - a fake turkey, chicken and beef joint on roasting trays - to check what you can realistically fit in each oven. The biggest ovens will fit in a large turkey and still leave space for a tray of roast potatoes or veg. Smaller ovens may fit in a turkey but leave no space for extras, while others can be too narrow to even fit in a turkey on its own. This is handy if you don't have space for a bigger type of oven, but want a more flexible cooking space.
Cleaning the oven is a messy, unpleasant job, so an oven that promises to clean itself is a tempting prospect. There are several options available:. Pyrolytic ovens are becoming increasingly popular and they can be very effective - we've found the best ones clean the glass door, too. Some models have a choice of shorter or longer cleaning cycles depending on how grimy your oven has become. Bear in mind, though, that you'll need to remove the shelves and clean them by hand.
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Self-cleaning features will cost more - especially if you go for pyrolytic - but will save on elbow grease and money spent on oven cleaning products over time. Prices are coming down as they become more mainstream, too. You don't have to splash out on self-cleaning for an easy life, though - some ovens don't have fancy self-cleaning features but still proved easy to clean in our tests.
We've also found not all pyrolytic ovens are worth paying for, so make sure you check our built-in oven reviews before buying. There are several ways an oven can provide heat, and it helps to understand what these mean so you can be sure you get the option that works best for you.
A standard, conventional oven supplies heat from two heating elements - one towards the top of the oven and the other near the base. This can result in hot and cold spots, and food placed nearer the top of the oven tends to cook quicker than food near the bottom. Most electric ovens today come with a fan which helps to distribute the heat evenly, and some gas ovens can also be fan-assisted. True fan ovens have a single heating element around the fan, while a fan-assisted oven is essentially a conventional oven two heating elements with a fan set in the back of the oven.
Food cooks faster in a fan oven, as warm air is constantly moved around the cavity. You'll need to reduce the cooking temperature, too. In double ovens, the larger main oven usually has a fan and the other operates as a conventional oven, so you can choose the option that suits your dish best. Multi-function ovens usually include top and bottom heat, a grill and a fan. They allow you to cook with these heat sources independently or in combination. So you could use just the top heat to give your lasagna a bit of extra browning when it's cooked through, or use bottom heat only for a pizza or quiche to get the perfect crispy base.
Multi-function ovens often also have a defrost setting.
Some models use just the fan to move unheated air around, while others introduce a little bottom heat at the same time. Either way, the job gets done far quicker than simply leaving your food on the kitchen table. Multi-function ovens are becoming increasingly common. They can offer more flexibility of cooking options, but be sure to check how easy they are to use as more options means potentially confusing controls. Some oven brands have a reputation for being good for a particular job, or especially reliable. Neff ovens for example are a regular feature in the Bake Off tent, which has made them a popular choice among keen bakers.
But is their reputation deserved? As well as picking an oven that fits with your needs and does a great job of the basics, it's worth checking that the brand you choose has a good record for this type of product, in terms of reliability and customer satisfaction. Using years of testing experience and data gathered in our labs, as well as feedback from oven owners about their experiences, we've put together comprehensive guides to each oven brand to help you find the most reliable and loved oven brands.
Head to our list of the top oven brands for to find out which brands you can rely on to cook your food perfectly and remain trouble-free for many years. Can you easily see food when it's cooking? And if you need to change the light bulb, is it easy to get at? Some ovens have one light at the back, which will need changing regularly, while others have switched to long-lasting LED lights and placed more in the cavity for better visibility. Many ovens are designed to let you remove one or more glass panels for cleaning which is useful if grime has built up over time.
If you do this, handle the glass carefully during removal, cleaning and replacement. The corners are particularly vulnerable. Although tempered glass is very heat resistant, it is brittle, and a tiny crack, invisible to the naked eye, can grow over time and eventually cause the glass to shatter. Also, avoid using scouring cloths or abrasive chemicals on the glass. Scouring can cause minute scratches that undermine the glass which could lead to it shattering further down the line. Cheaper ovens tend to be less generous with extra shelving, so you may find yourself shelling out for more.
Some pricey ovens also have less than you might expect, though, so check what you get before you buy, especially if you specifically want something extra such as a grill pan. When we test ovens, we check how easy they are to use and clean, as well as how many shelves you get and how much cooking space this amounts to. Use our built-in oven reviews to find the right oven for you.
Finally, don't forget to factor in oven installation costs when buying.
Most retailers will also take away your old oven as part of the service. Go to Trusted Traders to track down a local tradesperson endorsed by Which? Ovens aren't typically as energy hungry as other large kitchen appliances such as fridges, freezers or tumble dryers. We record how much each oven costs to run as well as rating the energy use of each oven, so if you are keen to pick an energy-saver, you can find the cheapest option. Head to our built-in oven reviews to compare specific models.
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View retailers. How to buy the best built-in oven By Jane Darling. Our buying guide explains how to choose the best oven - and avoid one that will burn your bakes. Put us to the test Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Sign up now or login. In this article: Video: how to buy the best built-in oven Types of ovens How much should you spend? Best oven features to look for Single or double oven?
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Should you buy a self-cleaning oven? Video: how to buy the best built-in oven Watch our video to help you decide which type of oven is right for you. Your browser does not support the video tag. Buying the best oven for you Use our interactive user tool to guide you through the main features to look out for when choosing a new oven. For more information please click here. My Account Track my order.
VAT Ex. VAT Inc. Appliances Direct. We can help! Offer of the week Buying for business? Looking for a Discount? Visit Us In-store Receive expert advice. Finance Available Buy today, pay later. Want it Installed? Double Ovens A double oven will form the heart of your kitchen, but choosing the right one for you doesn't have to be complicated. Do you need a helping hand? Built in ovens are positioned in a column. Built under are placed under your kitchen work top. Double Oven. Double Cavity.
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