It is one of the common household appliances in any kitchen, of which there are a multitude of models, with different functions and with a variety, in terms of prices, that can really make us not have anything clear which is the best.
In order not to «get lost», the first thing you will have to decide is what type of oven you want. taking into account that there are three basic types, according to their operation and way of cooking food:
- Conventional ovenl. It is the most basic. It works with two resistors, one upper and one lower that you can use independently or together.
- Multifunction oven. Same as above, but with a rear fan that takes care of distribute heat evenly that generate the resistors. Since they appeared on the market, a few decades ago, they are the most used because they give better results than conventional ones, allowing any food to be cooked perfectly and together, without leaving areas undercooked or overcooked. They are also known as convection ovens.
- Steam oven. It is the most innovative, because it incorporates the possibility of combining traditional hot air baking, offered by the previous two, with the steam function. At the beginning of cooking. You will have to add water in the corresponding container (generally at the base of the oven) and the heat generated will transform it into steam. Among the advantages of these innovative ovens, it should be noted that, in any roast, they achieve «professional» results, with food that is crunchy on the outside and with an extra juicy interior.
The multifunction ovens that allow you to add steam to those recipes you want are the most advanced, but when choosing an appliance of this type you must take your needs into account. If you use it rarely, or for example you only use it for pastries, a multifunction oven (without steam) or even a conventional one, it may be more than enough and give you good results.
Consumption and cleaning
They are two of the most important aspects that you should pay attention to. The electric oven is one of the appliances that more energy consumes in any home so, if you are going to use it frequently, taking into account its energy efficiency is fundamental when keeping the electricity bill «under control». Pay attention to the label that shows the energy classification of the appliance and choose one that is, at least, A +.
Regarding the self-cleaning systems You can find three options that may be interesting for you (you should value it):
- Catalytic cleaning. The oven takes advantage of its own residual cooking heat to prevent grease and dirt particles from accumulating on its walls. Thanks to this function you can clean it by wiping it with a simple damp cloth, always bearing in mind that the appliance must be completely cold.
- Pyrolytic cleaning. It is an extra possibility that certain models incorporate. To use it, the oven must be empty and reach a high temperature for a certain time (sometimes more than an hour) so that any possible remains adhering to the walls “self-burn”. It is not a cleaning to be done after each use, but every one or two months due to the significant energy expenditure involved. As the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU @consumers) the system has been perfected and the current pyrolytic ovens are very comfortable although they are still somewhat expensive.
- Steam cleaning. Ovens of this type incorporate this novel function that allows the steam itself to serve to loosen possible dirt and facilitate its removal.
You will have to weigh whether these functions are useful to you. They are always a convenience and an extra value, but it must be remembered that they make the price of the appliance rise and that there is always the option of cleaning the oven «by hand» with specific products, in a few minutes and in a simple way.
Important details for older people to keep in mind
Technological advances are important but, sometimes, the most basic aspects are what can determine that the oven you buy is the one that really suits you. The size, capacity or opening of the door may be key to your comfort.
- Dimensions and location. Think about the use that you are going to give this appliance, because you can choose between those of a «family» size, even some of much smaller dimensions (perfect for preparing recipes for one or two people). In addition, you currently have very practical tabletop models that require practically no installation whatsoever (they are ovens, not microwaves). If you want a bigger one, whenever possible opt for fit it into a column at a suitable height so that it is comfortable for you (and you don’t have to be bending over more than necessary).
- Guides and doors. It is a matter of preferences but in general the ovens that allow the total opening of the door (with guides that facilitate its extraction or with systems that make it possible to fold it down completely) are the most comfortable. It is also interesting that it has guides that allow you to remove the trays safely and you can, for example, add ingredients or turn your roast in the simplest way.
- Ease of use and security. The most innovative models include multiple functions and cooking programs. You have them programmable (even from the mobile), with a thermal probe, to control the temperature inside the food, with an LCD screen to monitor times and temperatures … everything is good but value the usefulness of all these functions and check that they really are you will take advantage of it. Of course, the oven you buy must have all the basic measures that guarantee its safe use, including cold door on contact to avoid any risk of accidental burns.