It’s certainly no understatement to say that most of us are cooking a lot more. Thanks to COVID-19, we are working, socialising, even holidaying at home. This means that our kitchens and appliances are being put through their paces like never before. Whether you’re perfecting your banana bread recipe, baking a lockdown birthday cake, or simply feeding a hungry family three times a day, the chances are your oven is working overtime.
Now more than ever, this key appliance needs to deal with all your different cooking demands. However, it also needs to stand the test of time and look suitably stylish! If you’re thinking of updating your kitchen, there’s never been a better time to buy built-in ovens. Our national trainer Jo explores the different options available and highlights some of our best, affordable buys.
Making Sense of the options
Home cooking, it seems, is here to stay. Many of us spent more time in our kitchens out of sheer necessity last year. However, the signs are we’ll continue to do so out of choice, as this year unfolds. According to one GlobalData survey, 61% of the global population plan to continue to cook more meals at home. This looks set to be the case even after the pandemic. The reasons for this vary, but include a desire to maintain healthy eating habits and save money. However, it’s also for the sheer enjoyment and satisfaction this new-found love of cooking brings.
Interestingly ovens, it appears, are the stars of the show. Unsurprisingly, during the long UK winter, baked dinners are more popular than even before. One-pot dishes like these save on time, energy (and washing-up!), serving up maximum satisfaction with minimal effort.
While restrictions still exist, comfort cooking is one of the few indulgences available to us. And it’s so easy to enjoy – if you find the right oven to do the hard work for you! Batch cooking meals, freezing them then defrosting when required, is a sensible way to save time. And, if you’re juggling home schooling with work, this may help to keep stress levels under control.
Picking the right model
But with so much choice available, how do you choose high-performance, built-in ovens for your needs? The chances are our Sense collection could be the solution. Offering easy functionality, smart thinking and serious style, these are available in three different finishes.
So, you can choose from black glass, gunmetal and stainless steel, to find the perfect complement to your kitchen furniture. Our Sense collection incorporates everything from a high-performance pyrolytic oven to a modern combi-microwave. This way, you also have the option to install an eye-catching ‘bank of appliances’ in your designer kitchen.
Cooking meat and fish to perfection: the Meater+
Functioning as both a meat and fish probe (usual price £99) the Meater+ incorporates a clever built-in Bluetooth repeater. All you need to do is download the dedicated app to your smartphone, computer or tablet, and connect. Then place the probe into the centre of the meat or fish you plan to cook, and pop it in your oven. The app then will calculate the necessary cooking/resting time and notify you when it’s ready. No more stressing about overdone/underdone dishes!
Our Sense C2105SS oven is one of my favourite multitasking marvels. Whatever you enjoy cooking, it’ll help you serve perfect results, every time. Featuring a generous 67-litre capacity (and 13 different functions), I find it pretty versatile.
Soft-close built-in ovens: the C2105
Adventurous chefs rejoice: the soft-close hinge means your soufflé won’t sink due to door slamming. And do you like the idea of experimenting with a spit roast? This model includes a rotisserie to skewer meat or poultry, as standard. Best of all, everything you cook in the C2105SS benefits from our signature MotionHeat+, which distributes hot air around the oven cavity. This means there’s seldom any need to preheat, saving you time and money. It also ensures even cooking results and eliminates multi-level flavour transfer.
Our Sense C2402SS pyrolytic oven is perfect for anyone who can not bear cleaning their oven. It might seem too good to be true, but this model does all the hard work for you! The pyrolytic self-cleaning function heats the oven to 475°C, so even baked-on grime carbonises into fine ash. All you need to do is simply wipe the ash away with a damp cloth after use. Personally, I think this sort of effortless cleaning is brilliant.
Pyrolytic built-in ovens: the C2402
Our C2403GM Pyrolytic oven features an advanced self-cleaning function, eliminating the need for rubbing and scrubbing away spills and drips. It also incorporates 14 functions and a roomy 67-litre capacity with our signature MotionHeat+ technology. You’ll also benefit from full touch controls for quick and easy navigation. It matches a range of other ovens in our Sense collection, plus a warming drawer.
Sometimes, size matters. If you often find yourself cooking for a crowd, then go large with your oven. Our C2902 electric 95-litre model, in a stylish black glass finish, is proof that big can be beautiful. It has a huge cavity that’s ideal for cooking bigger portions. This means it’s incredibly versatile, whether you’re planning to eat immediately or batch-cook and freeze.
You can also make easy work of large joints with the included rotisserie rack. The triple-glazed doors have heat-reflective glass and full-width sealed inner glass doors. This way, you can ensure the heat stays in (but the handles stay cool). Other functions I tend to use a lot include base heat, full grill, turbo conventional heat and boost.
Extra roomy built-in ovens: the C2902
Safe and stylish, this model benefits from triple-glazed doors with heat-reflective glass. The enamel interiors are easy-clean with catalytic liners in both cavities and removable chrome shelf racks. Other benefits include a touch control programmable electric timer and a tangential cooling fan.
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