What to look for when choosing an oven

Expert advice on how to choose an oven from AEG specialists

Somerton Fern Oven

Have you ever stopped to think about your oven?

Even though we generally use our ovens most days of the week, understanding what to look for when choosing a new oven is a whole different story. From confusing technical specifications to a seemingly endless array of special features, it can be tricky to know where to start.

So to simplify the process, we’ve called in the experts from AEG to share their top tips for choosing a new oven. After all, AEG have been creating innovative technology for over 130 years, inventing their first electric cooker back in 1910, so they know a thing or two about what makes a great oven!

Precious space

There’s nothing worse than getting your shiny new oven home only to realise it doesn’t fit into your compact kitchen, so it’s best to measure your space before you start browsing. 60 centimetres is usually the minimum width for an oven and heights can vary depending on capacity, from smaller ovens at around 45cm tall, right up to large capacity double ovens at around 72 to 80cm tall. Thankfully, even if your space is really limited, compact modern microwaves can now cover a variety of cooking techniques, from defrosting to grilling.

Independent living or feeding a family?

If you have a large family or often entertain guests, you’ll really feel the benefit of additional cooking capacity - allowing you to whip up feasts for even the most crowded dining table! As a general rule, a capacity of 68 litres or more signifies a large oven for four plus people, while a capacity of 45-68 litres is best suited to smaller families and a capacity of under 45 litres is only recommended for couples or single-person households. Whichever you choose, look for the option to vary shelf positions at different heights to allow maximum flexibility when cooking.

Foodies and fussy eaters

Aside from choosing the right capacity for your new oven, it’s also vital to decide whether you’ll need a single or double oven. While single ovens take up less space, they can often only be set to one temperature or cooking setting at a time, which limits your meal choices. On the other hand, double ovens give you the flexibility to cook two dishes at once using different settings. This makes a double oven perfect for rustling up simple meals for the kids while you cook a more sophisticated dish for yourself, or for catering to a dinner party menu where you need to use the oven and grill at the same time.

Restaurant-ready recipes

Are you the type of person who takes even weekday dinners to near Michelin-starred perfection? Then how about considering a steam oven, which enhances flavour and texture, allowing you to create succulent joints of meat, vibrant veggies and bread that’s crisp on the outside, yet light and fluffy on the inside. Alongside steam cooking the AEG Sous Vide oven will also let you experiment with sous vide cooking techniques, giving greater control over results to produce truly delicious dishes.

Built-in vs Built under

You can choose to opt for either a built-in or built-under oven, with each style offering its own benefits. Built-under ovens are a neat and subtle option, as they sit integrated within your lower kitchen cabinets. Meanwhile, built-in ovens can be fitted at eye level, meaning they are more prominently visible within the kitchen, but offer easy accessibility compared to a low-level built-under often.

Hassle-free cleaning

Let’s face it, no-one enjoys cleaning their oven. Save yourself the hassle with built-in features to make keeping the oven clean easier than ever. These include catalytic lining, which absorbs and oxidises grease when heated to over 220°C, and self-cleaning pyrolytic ovens that reduce ash to a fine ash when heated to 500°C, ready to simply wipe away. For a truly sparkling finish, you can even opt for an oven door with anti-fingerprint coating. Plus, all our ovens within the AEG range have removable glass doors to allow you to clean every inch.

Go green

A final point to consider when choosing an oven is the model’s energy efficiency rating. Not only are less efficient models worse for the environment, but they will also cost you more to run. All appliances are rated on a universal energy efficiency scale to help you compare options, with A+++ signifying the most efficient models and D the least. Thankfully, every AEG oven available at Magnet Kitchens has an A rating or better to help you save both the planet and precious pounds.