Any seasoned chef will attest that a quality oven can make or break a meal. Questions about how to choose an oven abound. Should you opt for an electric oven or a gas oven? What size is best for you - double oven or single oven?

With so many options, it can be difficult to decide which is the best oven for you. In fact, there is probably no single best oven. This oven guide will help answer your questions about ovens and help you determine which is the best oven for you.

OVENS - THE BASICS

Most shoppers have some idea what they are looking for before choosing their ideal oven. Regardless of what you want and need, there is an oven out there with your name on it. Ask yourself the following questions when shopping for a new oven. It will help you narrow down your final choice.

What type of oven will best fit my culinary needs?

Modern ovens come in three styles: freestanding, slide-in and drop-in. (If you are looking for wall-mounted, skip to below.)

What's the difference between gas, electric and dual-fuel ovens?

Most kitchen designs will dictate this choice unless you are building a new home or renovating. Dual-fuel ovens offer the best of both worlds; they are a combination of gas and electric fuels in one oven. Of course you can expect to pay more for this type of oven.

What new and exciting features are available on modern ovens?

You will want to consider features that today's ovens offer before you purchase your ideal oven. Consider the following...

Here are a few other features to consider when shopping for an oven:

What size oven is appropriate for my kitchen?

Oven size is another important consideration, but you don't have much flexibility unless you are building a new kitchen or remodeling your current kitchen. Most ovens measure 30 inches in width, and if you're making a one-for-one replacement of your oven, that choice is made for you. Upscale or unique kitchen designs may accommodate a 36-inch, 40-inch or 48-inch oven, but usually the standard 30-inch unit is the oven of choice


Do I want a self-cleaning oven and how easy is it to clean the cooktop?

A self-cleaning oven is very convenient, but don't make the mistake of assuming expensive models must offer this feature, some don't!  When shopping for an oven -- especially a commercial oven -- make sure you ask how the oven is cleaned.

Electric ovens will offer either standard coil or flat, glass-ceramic heating elements. While cheaper, coil elements are more difficult to clean and will have drip pans that require removal for cleaning. If one is not diligent about cleaning the drip pans, they will become discolored over time. Flat surface radiant, halogen or induction elements will not require any disassembly and instead can be easily wiped clean.

A FEW WORDS ABOUT MOUNTED WALL OVENS

Wall (or built-in) ovens with the correct feature set can add value and convenience to any kitchen. Many builders now offer high-end or gourmet kitchens that feature either a separate wall oven or two in combination with an island cooktop in lieu of a traditional free-standing oven. These extra ovens typically are convection ovens.

Wall ovens can be had in one of three baking types: electric, gas and convection. A standard electric wall oven operates with two radiant elements, one in the top and one in the bottom. The lure of the more costly convection ovens is that they provide more even browning for baking and faster roasting, which seals in juices and prevents meats from drying out. A convection oven operates by utilizing a fan to circulate hot air around the food. 

Wall ovens are available in either single or double configurations or in combination with a microwave oven. Wall mounted electric ovens are generally manufactured in two widths: 27-inch and 30-inch cabinets, while most gas ovens will fit smaller 24-inch cabinets as well as 27-inch or 30-inch width cabinets.  The height of a given wall oven will depend upon whether it is a double or single oven.

Wall oven features to consider...

Mainline manufacturers of wall-mounted ovens include General Electric, Electrolux, Whirlpool, Frigidaire, and Bosch

Click Here and view information guide to Gas Ovens