Cooker Buying Guide

Choosing a cooker is not as simple as finding a model in your price range, with manufacturers adding many extra functions to their products, there is much more to consider before making your decision.

This useful guide covers some essential questions you should ask yourself before deciding on which cooker to buy and remember that staff at Hartill’s are always on hand to advise too.

Gas or Electric?

Gas Cooker Guide: Gas hobs provide instant heat and it is easy to control the temperature. Gas ovens use a moist heat which is good for keeping meat tender and stops roast dishes drying out.

Gas is for those who prefer a straightforward and traditional approach when it comes to cooking. Gas ovens have different temperature zones which enable you to cook multiple dishes at once. The hottest section is always at the top of the oven and is ideal for crisping up roast meats.

Slow cook models ensure food is cooked perfectly, like the Zanussi freestanding gas cooker, with slow cook functions and easy access controls for adjusting the heat settings without bending down.

Electric Cooker Guide: Electric cookers feature varying cooking methods and use a dry, circulating heat. Cookers have either a conventional or fan assisted oven, both of which are very versatile for the cook and easy to clean. Electric models can be fitted anywhere in the kitchen as there is no need to consider draughts and gas connections.

Electric cookers with keep warm settings are ideal for keeping food at the right temperature before the rest of the meal is ready to serve and any models have a pre-programmed clock, so the oven can automatically begin at a time which suits you: perfect for those with busy lifestyles.

Electric cookers decrease cooking times and cook dishes at a constant temperature and they are energy efficient and generate less heat in the kitchen.

What size cooker do I need?

When buying a cooker it’s important to select a model which fits in with the size and style of your kitchen. A large range cooker will take up far too much room in a small apartment kitchen, whilst a worktop, compact cooker will look lost in a large family size kitchen.

Freestanding cookers fit nicely in between worktops. When selecting a cooker, be sure to check the model’s height and width. You should leave a small gap either side of the cooker as this will allow the air to circulate. You must also leave plenty of room for the oven door to open.

If you often cook a range of dishes at once, it’s a good idea to purchase a cooker with a large capacity oven. Some models have two ovens/grills, ideal for cooking multiple dishes at different temperatures to server together.

Which is the best cooker for me?

This really depends on your lifestyle, budget, kitchen and cooking methods. Here are some features that you may find useful:

  • Catalytic liners: A self-cleaning function which absorbs any grease and dirt that appears when cooking at high temperatures.
  • Hob grates – Enamel vs. cast iron: Enamel hobs are easy to clean and often have pan support systems which are excellent for keeping your cookware in the correct place. Cast iron hobs are much more durable and add a stylish, traditional touch to the kitchen.
  • Auto shut off mode: Some cookers have an auto shut off setting which switches the cooker off after a certain time period. Many models come with an auto shut off lid for added safety. Glass lids give the cooker a modern look and provide extra worktop space.
  • Programme and minute minders: Timer functions allow you to pre-set your oven to begin cooking whilst you’re out. Minute minders are great for helping you cook all dishes to perfection and leave you free whilst the food is cooking.