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The Buyers Guide to Built in Ovens
There is often confusion about the terms "built in" and "built under".
A single oven can be both of the above. As it fits into a housing unit, or carcase, it is generally described as "built in". The two types of installation are shown below.
There are two types of double oven. One can be "built under", the other can be "built in". "Built under" double ovens do not normally need an oven housing unit.
See diagrams below.
Single oven means the oven has a single cavity.
There are many variations of single oven available. The main differences, other than appearance, are the "functions" or types of cooking that these ovens will perform.
The vast majority of "built in" single ovens are now electric. This was not always the case and there is still a limited range of "built in" gas ovens.
Most single ovens will fit into the same space, which is 60cm. There are some single ovens that are larger. Some manufacturers produce larger ovens, which will only fit in a housing that has been specially made to accommodate them. Beware - these are not standard size ovens and require non-standard furniture!
Most ovens have drop down doors, but there are a few with side opening or hinged doors, there are even a few with doors that fold away under the oven. These will be covered in more detail in the special needs section.
The majority of single ovens only need a 13amp power supply. Always check first as there are some that need 30amps. If in doubt always fit a 30amp supply.
Double oven means the oven has two cavities.
Although described as "double" ovens, this type of oven normally consists of one and a half� ovens.
There are a few ovens that have two cavities the same size, and these are normally described as "twin"ovens.
The cooking functions available are similar to those offered with single ovens.
The top (or secondary) oven would normally be a conventional oven and grill. There are now a few models offering "multifunction" systems in the smaller oven as well as the main oven.
The bottom (or main) oven could offer fan cooking only or be "multifunction" (see cooking functions).
Generally, "built under" double ovens fit into an aperture of 720mm high (excluding plinth height) whilst "built in" double ovens fit into an aperture of 880mm high within a tall unit. (See diagrams shown in "built in" or under section)
Please note: the diagram shown above, illustrates the dimensions of a "Twin" oven (with two large ovens). Twin ovens are only available from a few manufacturers and a special housing unit would need to be built, or the existing unit modified.
Cooking Functions - Fan, conventional or multifunction
A basic single oven is normally described as a "fan" oven. This type of oven forces hot air into the oven cavity. This type of cooking is generally regarded as more energy efficient as heat is evenly distributed and the time that the oven takes to heat up to the required temperature is reduced. Fan ovens usually require temperature settings 20% below that of a conventional oven. This type of cooking does not always produce the best results (e.g. when roasting larger pieces of meat and poultry that should be cooked slowly). All manufacturers offer "Multifunction" ovens that have alternative methods of cooking to the one described above. Cakes, pastries and foods that require long, slow cooking are best cooked using conventional heat. This type of heat is provided by elements encased in the top and bottom of the oven. There are a few other "functions" offered by oven manufactures, but they are normally regarded as "extra functions" and not specified by our clients as much as the two described above.
There are a few ovens that are only available with a "conventional" function.
These are normally inexpensive and aimed at the person who "Just wants an oven".
This type of oven is frequently offered without any clock or timer, which helps keeps the price down.
Oven Cleaning Systems - Is it self-cleaning?
One of the most often asked questions!
Because an oven is used to cook food, which contains fat or oil, it will get dirty. There are three kinds of oven available with respect to cleaning.
This type of oven has liners, which react to high temperatures (approximately 250 degrees C) causing fat etc. to be burnt off or "oxidised". This type of cleaning is fairly low maintenance, as the linings tend to take care of themselves.
Most ovens have liners that are replaceable as over a long period they can become saturated and will no longer burn off all the fat and grease.
This type of oven utilises a process called "Pyrolysis".
Described in the dictionary as:
The use of heat to break down complex chemical substances into simpler substances
Or in other words - when the Pyrolytic function is performed, the oven door locks and the oven heat up to approximately 500 degrees centigrade and turns any fat or grease to ash.
This process is regarded as the most efficient method of cleaning and is economical and environmentally friendly as it uses no chemicals.
These ovens are normally slightly more expensive, but are available from every major appliance manufacturer.
WARNING The Pyrolytic function must be used regularly. If fat and grease is allowed to build up it is likely to catch fire when heated at 500 degrees! All shelves and pans should be removed from the oven prior to activating the cleaning function.
This is an AID to cleaning and was formally known as "Hydoclean" and currently only available with Neff ovens.
AquaCleanse ovens do NOT clean themselves, the process simply make oven cleaning easier.
The process involves pouring approximately 200ml of water (with a touch of Fairy liquid if desired) into the oven.
When the AquaCleanse function is selected, the element in the bottom of the oven heats the cavity to 60 degrees Celcius, which is enough to produce steam. The inside of the oven is then "steamed" for about 15 minutes. The oven will then bleep telling you it is safe to open the door. The inside of the oven will be moist and the bottom of the cavity will be covered in warm water. The idea is that the steam loosens any fat, grease or bits of food making the oven easier to clean.
The above process will only work if carried out regularly. Neff recommend that you use the AquaCleanse function every time the oven is used. As it is very economical to use, there should be no excuses!
Remember, AquaCleanse is a cleaning aid, you will still need to wipe the oven interior clean
None of the above
Some ovens have Catalytic liners on the roof or back of the oven and some have none at all. These ovens would have to be cleaned using oven cleaner and good old fashioned "elbow grease".
Cleaning Appliance Fascias
We are often asked questions about keeping appliances clean. The most popular question being, "How do I stop fingerprints appearing on my stainless steel oven?".
The short answer is "You can not!".
If baby oil on a soft cloth is used to clean the front of the oven, this will keep them at bay, but will not stop them completely. Another useful aid to cleaning is the E-Cloth. This is a cloth that manufacturers recommend to use on the exterior of ovens etc., particularly stainless steel. These cloths are similar to a face flannel, and are best used slightly damp. Some manufacturers have tried to solve the problem by using a clear lacquer, which coats the steel and protects it from our greasy fingers. This does seem to be effective.
Aluminium finish appliances have become more popular as an alternative to steel as it offers a metallic finish that is not prone to fingerprints etc. This finish is normally more expensive, and the choice of products is limited. At present, Gas hobs are only available with an Aluminium trim. This is due to the low melting point of Aluminium, which obviously makes it unsuitable for use when making the base of a gas hob.
Generally, appliances that are offered in a colour are easier to clean. Often the surfaces are glass and colour is sprayed on the back. However there are still a large number of appliances that have an enamel finish, e.g. hobs and cooker hoods. These are relatively easy to clean, but enamel/painted finishes can chip.
The Kitchen Appliance Store is a certified member of the Energy Efficiency Endorsement Scheme and pays particular attention to recommending energy efficient products. We display energy efficiency rating whenever they are available. Please call our helpline for the latest information and energy efficient models.
The majority of "built in" appliances have energy efficiency ratings. The only ones that do not are: hobs, hoods and microwaves. The ratings are in alphabetical form. The best is A (sometimes even A+) and the poorest is G. Double ovens will have two ratings, one for the top oven and one for the bottom oven.
The Kitchen Appliance Store Product Buying Guides
Please also read our General Buyers Guide to ensure that your order runs smoothly.