So it’ll be awhile before I’m in the market for a new oven, but if you’re ready to buy one, be prepared: There are a number of decisions to make before you fork over the cash. To guarantee your oven fits your needs, ask yourself these five questions:
How much room do I have to work with?
If your kitchen is short on space, consider purchasing a wall oven that’s separate from the burners. Splitting the two features can give you more flexibility in layout and often make the workflow of your kitchen a little smoother.
Once you’ve narrowed down where the new oven will sit, it’s important that you measure the space as exactly as possible. Depending on the measurements, this could narrow down your options significantly.
How much interior space do I need?
Do you have a large family? Or do you often cook for a bigger group? Although ovens are available in only 24-, 27-, and 30-inch varieties, the interior cavity space of each may surprise you. So if you’re worried about fitting that 20-pound turkey in there, you better open it up and take a look for yourself.
Before heading to the store, measure your largest baking sheets. You’d hate to buy an expensive oven only to discover you also have to buy new bake ware because they don’t fit.
What type of baking/cooking do I do the most often?
Are you a big baker? Pay special attention to the multi-loop element in the bottom of your stove. A longer one with more loops will cook your cheesecakes, pies, and breads more evenly. And that can make the difference between good cinnamon rolls and out-of-this-world cinnamon rolls!
If you cook odd-size foods—like hams, turkeys, and roasts—check out how many rack levels there are. Many ovens only come with four levels, but you should look for an oven with five if you cook taller foods often.
Folks that spend a majority of their time in the kitchen should also consider purchasing a convection oven, which comes equipped with a fan to circulate heat more efficiently. This means you can cook multiple dishes without worrying about their place in the oven.
What features do I need?
Ovens can come with a variety of bells and whistles. Everything from a self-cleaning feature to electronic touchpad controls and a frameless glass door are available. Narrow down your must-haves before heading to the store.
Is the oven energy efficient?
You’ll get the most bang for your buck if you purchase an oven that uses the least amount of energy. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy can help you choose the greenest option.
With these questions answered, it should be a breeze picking out your new oven. Good luck!