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There’s a lot to consider when choosing a new cooker. While most are quick and easy to install, the type of cooker you get will be largely determined by your kitchen’s fuel supply, whether it’s gas, electric or dual fuel with a gas hob and electric oven combined.
Freestanding cookers are simple to install and more affordable than built-in ovens with separate hobs. Designs can be just as stylish, and they have a large enough capacity for entertaining groups of family and friends. Just slot in and you’re ready to go.
You’ll also need to take into account your kitchen space. A freestanding cooker simply needs to fit in a space between your cabinets and work surface where there’s a fuel supply. The type of cooker you get will be dictated by the fuel supply in your kitchen. You can choose between gas or electric, with a small number of dual-fuel cookers available with a gas hob and an electric oven. Electric cookers require installation by a qualified electrician, as they need to be wired into a 30amp socket (a conventional electric socket is only 13amps) and gas should be installed professionally by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Single vs. double oven cookers
Consider whether you need a cooker with a single oven or double oven. Single ovens tend to be at the lower end of the cookers price range. Although they are roomy inside, they usually also have the grill within the same cavity, so you’ll have less cooking space than you may expect. You also won’t be able to use the grill at the same time as the oven, so they’re not as versatile as a double oven. Some single ovens also have a storage drawer at the bottom, which is useful for keeping roasting and baking trays, but you’ll lose cooking space.
If you’re a busy cook, cookers with double ovens are the best option although they’re in the top price bracket. You’ll find the top oven has a grill as well as housing a conventional oven – some gas ovens will even have an electric grill in the top cavity. A second oven can also be used for warming food and plates. Cookers with double ovens are a better option if you’re cooking for a family as you’ll have the benefit of the roomy oven, plus the extra cooking option with the separate grill.
With both single and double oven cookers, the standard dimensions are a height of 90cm, a width of 60cm and a depth of 60cm, but you can also find smaller cooker widths of 55cm and 50cm. Range cookers are much wider, with a width of 90cm or more. A cooker with an eye-level grill is about 150cm tall, so make sure you have enough space before you start looking at different models. You may also wish to choose a colour that fits in with your kitchen décor. Black, white, cream and stainless steel are the most common options.