When it comes to heat in the kitchen – and food preparation to presentation, not to mention taste – there are plenty of things to think about. The humble oven has come a long way since the days of having a family cook up and throwing a Woolly Mammoth on for Sunday roast.
Ovens have been around since 29,000 BC and were mostly used for roasting and boiling. Back then the main issues to think about were – “Is it hot enough to cook the mammoth” and “does the mammoth fit ?” But in today’s society ….things have changed – so whats the best oven for you?
What type of oven do you really need ?
Do you want a standard conduction oven in gas or electric ? Convection or roasting ? Whats the difference ? Self cleaning ovens are one type, but there are Conduction Oven, Convection Oven, Gas Oven, Electric Oven, Roaster Oven, Toaster Oven and Microwave Oven – just to name a few.
Will your food taste any better at the end of a 2 hour kitchen session you ask ? Well…it just so happens that there are pros and cons to everything.
Zachaus Winzler is the first ever recorded person hosting a gathering that included the use of a gas oven.This happened in 1802 and from all accounts was a BONZA event that people still talk about even today, but it was a while before gas ovens where seen in many kitchens. British inventors in 1834 began with commercially rolling out gas ovens for sale, but it was closer to the 50’s before there was much traction. The modern version of a gas oven is based on the Bowers registered gas stove – and they are still in business even today!
- Ability to cook when the power goes out – we lose power often in the Northern Territory – there is nothing worse than sitting at home on a Friday afternoon without power smelling the neighbours feasting on lamb with rosemary and red wine sauce….
- Normally cheaper than an electric oven to operate.
- Heats quicker than electric ovens – meaning you can get cooking at a faster clip.
- Generally last longer than electric ovens with less maintenance required – lower cost of investment.
- Cook food through at a decent rate due to their design.
- Have uneven heat distribution – so broiling/charring is a great end product of cooking with gas, giving your food that little bit of extra flavour and texture that makes the mouth water as it comes out of the oven! Broiling is a healthier way of cooking than some others also which is a bonus.
- Gas Oven repair in Darwin is generally straight forward and easily accomplished. Parts are generally available for many years.
- Higher initial cost than electric – It will cost you more out of the box.
- Gas Ovens may cause dryness in food or loss of moisture in cooking – learning about your oven will fix this issue.
- Heat Distribution can be temperamental in this area. You may need to turn your food more often or think about placement of food in the oven.
- Sometimes not so good for roasting depending on the food.
- Potential gas leaks from gas lines – so use a decent plumber who signs off on his or her work – very important. Call us if you need a recommendation for a good quality plumber.
- Often only available in free standing type rather than wall oven type.
Conventional or Conduction ovens have been around since before Australia had its own parliament and the ability to run a country (some would say we still can’t) they’ve been around since back to 1892 in fact. They have come along way also, though many of the fundamental principles are all the same.
- Cheap to buy
- Cheap to repair
- Less to go wrong
- Many recipes are written for conventional cooking.
- Poor heat distribution.
- No fan forced element.
- No fan forced option.
- Have to turn your meals half way through the cook.
- Less variety in cooking.
A convection oven works a little differently to a conductive/conventional type. A convection oven for example has better heat distribution over the food due to its design. This can result in more even cooking, with a shorter cooking time. Sometimes this can mean less power usage also depending on what you buy.
- Reduced cooking time.
- Even heat distribution – Not for all kinds of cooking!
- No need to rotate pans or trays half way through cook time.
- Better crispier chips – food browns up really well – good for crackling and roasts.
- Easily repaired in Darwin or Palmerston by a licenced electrician that specialises in appliance repairs.
- Parts and repair costs
- Some recipes may need to be modified due to a decrease in cooking time. (wait – it’s faster to cook with…is this a bad thing?)
- Some previous recipes that your conventional setup cooked perfectly may not be possible in a convection only type (Custard or flan)
- A little higher in price than a conventional.
What oven is right for you ? Well that’s food for thought really isn’t it. Do spend some quality time reading reviews or even give us a call if you have any queries or need installation and wonder about the costs or whether you really need to replace your oven at all.