ASKO - Oven features – are they worth the investment?

Oven features – are they worth the investment?

If you’re on the search for a new oven, chances are you’re hearing a whole new range of terminology that didn’t exist last time you purchased one. From steam cooking, through to self-cleaning, or even pyrolytic oven; these are just some of the phrases you may come across

Today we’re breaking down all of those features and more, and sharing our thoughts on how to decide which ones are worth the investment so you can make an informed purchase.

Oven basics

Let’s start with the ‘must-haves’ when buying a new oven.

You don’t have to be a master chef to want these basic functionalities:

● Adjustable trays – gone are the days of just having two tray heights

● Timer – preferably a multifunctional timer so you never burn another meal again

● Tailored grill and fan forced oven programs – the ability to grill and/or cook in a range of settings to achieve accurate results.

As well as these, we think it’s a basic requirement to have an oven that complements your kitchen design. Increasingly, people are choosing built-in ovens over traditional freestanding designs for a more streamlined kitchen and to be able to position ovens at a higher, more ergonomic height. Built-in options also allow for a more flexible kitchen design, and the option to have multiple ovens in the space.

Understanding the latest oven features

As oven choices are becoming increasingly diverse and technology continues to advance, the list of features grows.

Here is a brief explanation of each of the latest options available on the market:

● Convection oven – convection is an alternative electric heating method where fans are used to circulate hot air rather than having a stationary electric element to generate heat. It achieves even heat distribution so you don’t have to juggle moving foods from lower to higher shelves and can even cook up to five trays of cookies at once to exactly the same standard.

● Self-cleaning pyrolytic system – this feature literally incinerates grease and oil splatter from the inside of the oven, allowing you to simply wipe away the fine ash that is left behind (say goodbye to toxic oven cleaners!). Pyrolytic ovens are also energy efficient and offer faster cooking.

● Steam oven – achieve restaurant quality food at home with a steam oven. This appliance has the ability to revitalise foods (i.e. reheat foods without losing moisture, allowing you to reuse leftovers and save money) and cook healthier meals - as steam retains nutrients, vitamins and minerals. You can also , cook tastier dishes without excessive amounts of oil, all the while retaining juicy and tasty flavours.

● Multi-phase automated cook programs – these are guided cook programs to help you cook or bake your favourite recipes (be it cake, bread, meat or something else) to perfection.

● Meat probe sensor – a clever feature that ensures a succulent Sunday roast every time

● Digital display interface – achieve a precise cooking temperature, or select from a range of pre-programmed menu items to help even a novice chef achieve perfect results.

● Rapid pre-heating – as the name suggests, this function will see your oven reach the desired temperature in a fraction of the time.

● XL oven capacity – the capacity to cook more at one time with options such as fitting a full-width 46cm baking tray or additional rack levels.

● Warming drawers – perfect for heating plates before a dinner party or warming cups to serve hot coffee in.

Bonus features worth the investment

Each person will have their own views on what added oven features are worth the investment. We all also lead different lifestyles with different needs in and around the kitchen.

That being said, if you’re an entertainer, you may like to ensure your oven has a wider heat range than standard ovens, such as the heat range available with ASKO ovens. This will allow you to keep the oven at a temperature as low as 30oC (for keeping food warm until guests arrive without continuing to cook) and as high as 275 oC so you can easily achieve authentic high-heat meals such as Italian pizzas.

On the other hand, if you rarely cook and rather spend as little time in the kitchen as possible, the benefits of an easy-to-clean pyrolytic oven will certainly appeal.

For those with small children, features such as active oven cooling, kid-safe lockable controls and additional glass panels in the door to minimise heat transfer would be a priority.

When buying a new oven, it’s best to consider what your needs are now and in the next 5-10 years, so you can purchase an oven with features that will grow with you.

An oven really is the workhorse of a kitchen so it’s worth spending that little bit extra to buy a quality oven that will continue to meet your needs for years to come.