04th Mar 2005

Oven Features

Free Standing or Built-in

Ovens are available as part of a freestanding cooker or as a separate unit, which one you choose depends on a couple of things. Firstly, you need to consider how much room you have in your kitchen. Secondly, you should consider ease of use.

Combined freestanding cookers are single units which slot into a gap in your kitchen units. The advantage of freestanding units is that they are easier to both install and also to remove in case there’s a need for repairs at a later date. The disadvantage of this type of oven is that the ovens sit very low to the ground. Double ovens in particular can be a nuisance to use because you practically have to get down on hands and knees to take food out.

Built-in ovens are separate from the hob and can be built in either under your work top or into a tall cabinet or tower unit. They may be a little more trouble to install and remove (not much though) than a freestanding unit, but have the definite advantage of being at eye level, which means that you don’t have to constantly bend down to check food.

Telescopic Shelves

Telescopic shelves slide out horizontally. This is an excellent safety feature which protects you against the possibility of the ovens shelves tipping forward.


The Aga is a thermostatically controlled heat storage cooker, which has been around for about 80 years. There are many models available and they come in three different sizes. You can choose from either a two, three or four oven range. Every oven cavity is set at a certain heat level so each oven cavity is suited to a particular purpose. Generally, the top ovens are hotter and better for roasting, whereas the lower ovens tend to be cooler and are better for slow cooking. The Aga is made from cast iron and comes in a huge range of enamelled finishes.

Glazed Doors

Ovens come with a choice of heat insulated doors. Some also come with a cooling feature, with a fan blowing a stream of air between the panes of glass, making the doors cool to the touch. There are also many models available which have removable glass which makes them very easy to keep clean.

Multifunction Ovens

This function lets you choose between different methods of cooking. Many ovens offer a wide range of choices such as conventional cooking, which provides different temperatures in certain sections of the oven – hotter at the top and cooler at the bottom - for baking. Alternatively, you could choose fan assisted cooking or grilling either separately or in combination.

Electronic Controls

Many ovens now offer sophisticated electronic control systems which provide accurate and programmable timing as well as minute minders which can be set to remind you when to tend food (useful if you’re doing ten things at once). Electronic controls also provide accurate and more even oven temperatures which can be important for good results when baking.

Automatic Cooking Programmes

This function allows you to enter the weight and type of food and the oven then selects the temperature and cooking time automatically. Many ovens feature a range of automatic programmes including pizza, bread making and dough proving functions. Some ovens also have a setting which automatically switches on the grill a few minutes before the end of the cooking time to brown the food.

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