How to choose your oven?
How to choose your oven? Obviously, size is the first element you want to consider. Namely, your appliance needs to fit into your kitchen. And if you have enough space, the oven’s capacity must fit your needs.
Then you need to look at your oven’s built-in cooking mode. Often, modern ovens combine several systems. That can be natural convection, fan-assisted, forced-air, circulating heat, grill or steam.
Traditional ovens offer this type of cooking mode. Namely, two heating resistances placed at the top and the bottom of the oven (on the vault and the bottom) allowing for single-level cooking. In this case, the air circulates naturally inside the oven.
Besides the two heating resistances on the vault and at the bottom, circulating heat ovens have fans. They are settled in the back of the appliance, allowing the air to circulate around, and for an even heat distribution.
Compared to traditional ovens, circulating heat ovens allow cooking on several levels, without blending the smells or altering flavours. Furthermore, the temperature rise is quicker with a circulating heat oven than with a natural convection appliance. Finally, cooking is very homogenous.
For your information, you can find two types of circulating heat: fan-assisted or forced-air.
What is the difference between fan-assisted and forced-air?
Fan-assisted ovens have two heating resistances at the top and the bottom as well as a fan. On the other hand, forced-air ovens have an additional resistance. It is a circular-shaped resistance that is placed around the fan.
The grill is not really a cooking mode, but rather a function. If you activate the grill function, only the resistance on the top of the oven remains active – which allows you to brown the top of your dish.
Some ovens offer steam cooking functions with all the advantages they present – food is preserved from humidity, and the flavours, vitamins and mineral salts are preserved. These appliances include a steam generator which can inject water in the oven. However, you should not mistake ovens with a steam cooking function, which can only rehydrate the food, not cook it.
Some appliances can spare you the cleaning chore. There are several cleaning systems: catalysis, pyrolysis, or steam cleaning.
Catalysis allows you to get rid of the grease when the oven reaches 180°C minimum. For your information, this grease destruction can perfectly occur while you are cooking. On the other hand, this cleaning system does not destroy sugar residue.
When you buy an oven, you should also look at the type of programming that is available. Namely, some appliances only have manual programming when digital programming (more accurate) is available on other models. The latter can also suggest cooking parameters.
How to choose an oven if you have children? For parents, safety matters. About that, there are cold or temperate doors that will prevent you from getting burned if you touch them. Furthermore, some models have child lock safety systems to block all functions of the oven. Other safety options can be available.