If The Great British Bake Off has inspired you to create your own show-stoppers, make sure your appliances are up to the job even when you’re not! Choose an oven that gives you the best chance of producing well-risen cupcakes and pastries that are free from a soggy bottom.
Meeting the technical challenge…
An oven needs smart tech to give you control while also being a user-friendly for minimal stress. Look for:
Space Make sure there’s enough capacity for your needs – you might want to choose a double oven if you plan on cooking elaborate meals. Measure the dimensions carefully: most standard ovens are 60cm wide, but height varies.
Heat proof A batch of baking can be ruined if heat is not spread evenly or is allowed to escape, so for consistent temperatures make sure you have a double or even triple glazed door sealing your oven securely.
Multi-function ovens The best ovens for baking have multifunction elements which can be used in combination or separately to maximise control over your cooking. Look for models which allow you to distribute heat in different areas so you can choose to crisp the top while slow cooking at the bottom or circulate heat all round for a perfect even batch.
Programs Baking is a science as much as an art, so when you get it right you’ll want to be able to recreate the cooking conditions. Automatic programmes and memory functions remove the guesswork, setting the correct temperature, heat source and duration for the perfect bake at the touch of a button – as long as you get the mix right in the first place!
Easy cleaning Burnt on dough is a messy, time-consuming cleaning job so regular bakers should choose an oven with catalytic linings which burn off spills and splashes. Another step up is pyrolytic self-cleaning programs which superheat and incinerate waste so you can simply sweep up the ash.
Budget end: For bakers on a budget with a small kitchen then Beko has good value, energy efficient options for compact double ovens with programmable timers. Good for basic but reliable baking.
Mid-range: New World will inspire with their stylish ovens in fantastic colours, with high 69l capacity, double glazed window, rotary controls and a neat ceramic hob top. It reaches the correct temperature quickly, although the fan can be a tad noisy. Or for gas, Hotpoint HAG60K is a spacious oven with catalytic burners for easy cleaning.
If you like the cottage style but have a smaller kitchen, then check out the mini range Leisure GRB6VC. It has easy to use controls, a programmable timer and easy-cleaning catalytic lining.
High-end: If kitchen space and price is less of an issue, then most bakers would opt for a wider range cooker to give the room and the flexibility for all types of baking.
A lower end decent-value deal is the Flavel Leisure with two electric ovens and 8 gas hobs. This more basic model is easy to operate and reliable.
For the ultimate professional bakes, then the Hotpoint EG902GX is a stylish top-end choice. It has triple glazed windows, handy cooking programmes and reliable temperatures for consistent baking.
You’ve got your oven and your ingredients so what are you waiting for? On your marks, get set, bake!