If you’re not sure which type of fuel you want to use to power your new oven then you need to think of the fuel that you already have in your house, simply for convenience. You also need to consider what type of cooking you plan to do, because gas and electric are suited to different styles.
Buying an electric oven has many benefits; firstly they are far more common than gas so you have more choice. Secondly they are considered more efficient, helping you to do your bit for the environment and your purse strings.
You can either get fan assisted ovens or true fan. Fan assisted means the heating element is at the top and the bottom of the back of the oven with the fan in the centre. It does offer more even cooking than conventional gas, but generally if you’re going to go fan, I’d advise to go true fan.
With true fan cooking, the heat element surrounds the fan so you get reduced pre-heating and cooking times at a lower temperature. On average you should cook your food at 20°C lower than using a conventional oven. The hot air is distributed evenly throughout the cavity so all your food should cook at exactly the same rate, no matter what shelf it is on. Because of how the air is circulated you don’t get any flavour transfer from different dishes, allowing you to cook something as strong as garlic bread on the top shelf and chocolate brownies on the bottom.
If you go for some of the more expensive electric single ovens they have some really impressive functions; such as bread baking, steam-cooking and faster heat to name but a few. You wouldn’t find any of these high tech functions on a gas oven.
Gas does have its benefits, especially if you’re a more traditional cook. When cooking with gas, the vast majority of ovens use conventional cooking. This is where the heat is distributed from the top and the bottom of the cavity, creating a concentrated heat towards the top of the oven. This type of cooking is ideal for roasts because of the intense concentrated heat.
Alternatively, with this type of cooking you get a different temperature from the top to the bottom of the oven, so you can cook different dishes at different temperatures simultaneously. It can be quite problematic as you don’t get a specific temperature but after using the oven a few times you’ll get to know how the heat distributes.
It is rare but you can get fan assisted gas ovens, whereby the fan is on the side wall of the oven to circulate heat, but you’d need a keen eye to spot one.
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