Built-in ovens buying guide
Which oven is right for you?
Replacing an old oven? Re-designing your whole kitchen? No matter what you’re doing, the size and type of oven you need depends on two things… available space, and existing connections.
When it comes to oven sizes and types, you’ve got lots of choice. Plus, there are plenty features to make your life easier when cooking (and cleaning). That’s why we’ve created this guide – to steer you through all the options, and help you choose the built-in oven that’s right for you.
Choosing your new oven
Do I need a gas or electric oven?
Gas or electric oven? It’s a big decision, and it really all depends on the plugs and sockets in your kitchen, and whether you’ve got a gas connection.
Electric ovens are the most popular choice. They give the best and most reliable cooking results, with even heat distribution and accurate temperatures. Choose a conventional oven, or a fan oven for quicker cooking. Or get the best of both worlds with a multi-function oven.
Gas ovens are great for traditional style cooking, and they’re more economical to buy and run than electric ovens. They don’t have a fan to circulate the air for even heat distribution, so the top of the oven is always hottest. Some cooks prefer this, but it can be challenging for others – especially keen bakers.
More info on installation connections and what to look out for, check out our installation checklist.
Which oven size do I need?
There are three types of built-in oven. They vary in height, but they’re all 60cm wide:
- Built-in single
- Built-under double
- Built-in double
All built-in ovens should fit a 60cm gap between your kitchen cabinets, which is standard. So make sure you measure that space!
Bulit-in single oven
60cm wide and 60cm in height
One cavity space with oven and grill included. The cavity size is typically larger than one of the cavities in a double oven. They can be built-in under a hob, or an eye-level cabinet.
Built-under double oven
60cm wide and 70cm in height
A main larger oven and a smaller one with a grill, giving you the flexibility to cook and grill at the same time.
Combined double oven capacity is usually larger than a single oven (although the main oven cavity itself tends to be slightly smaller). Designed to go under a hob or kitchen worktop.
Built-in double oven
60cm wide and 90cm in height
The most versatile of the three, consisting of two ovens with grill. Because of their taller size, oven capacity can be larger than built-under double ovens. They can be positioned at eye level, making it easy to get food in and out.
Which oven capacity do I need?
Okay, so you’ve got outside size of your oven sorted. Now you need to think about the inside, and choose an oven with a large enough capacity to suit your cooking habits and size of your household.
If you’ve got a large family or like doing big bakes and batch cooking, a 65+ litre capacity oven should give you all the space and flexibility you need. Only cooking for one or two people? 60+ litres should be fine.
Which type of oven do I need?
So, which type of oven is the right one for you? It depends on the type of cooking you’ll be doing. Different types of oven heat up in different ways, and this can have a big effect on how and what you cook.
Conventional ovens Conventional ovens don’t have fans to circulate air. Heat comes from two elements - one at the top, one at the bottom. This gives you a more traditional style of cooking, where hot air rises to the top of the oven and some parts stay cooler – so the top tends to cook things quicker. A lot of bakers like conventional ovens, because the top and bottom heat helps cakes and souffles to rise better.
Fan ovens With a fan close to the heat source, heat is distributed evenly throughout the oven. This means that food is cooked at the same temperature no matter where you place it. Fan ovens are also up to 20% faster than conventional ovens, because warm air is continually moving around inside. If you do a lot of batch baking, or if you want to cook different foods at the same temperature, a fan oven is a great choice.
Multi-function ovens These are the most adaptable and versatile ovens available. They give you top and bottom heat, fan heating and a grill. All these can be used together, or independently – and some multi-function ovens even have a defrost option.
With such a variety of different cooking methods at your fingertips, a multi-function oven is ideal for keen cooks who likes trying out different things and creating a range of dishes.
Cleaning your oven is a mucky job that requires lots of elbow grease. So why not make life easier on yourself with an easy-clean oven? It might cost a little more, but think of all those hours of hard graft you’ll be saying goodbye to! There are a few different types of easy cleaning ovens to look out for, and even some which clean themselves!
Pyrolytic (also known as auto-cleaning) Pyrolytic cleaning heats the oven to 500°C and burns all spills and grease to a fine ash. You then simply wipe it away with a cloth. Job done.
Catalytic (also known as assisted cleaning) Catalytic liners are specially treated with a coating that absorbs grease and food residue which breaks down, making the oven self-cleaning at high temperatures.
Steam cleaning Steam cleaning ovens use heat (just like pyrolytic ovens), and add water to create steam. This helps release all the sticky and grimy residue in the oven cavity, which you then simply wipe it away with a sponge or cloth.
If you’re into light, moist bakes with golden crunchy crusts, a steam oven might be for you. A steam oven will have either an internal water tank, feeder pipe or reservoir to fill. This water is then turned into hot steam that gentle cooks your food. That gentle heat retains and enhances flavour and nutrients- supercharging your roasting or baking.
Dual temperature cooking
Dual temperature cooking gives you the flexibility of splitting the oven into separate compartments, and cooking things at different temperatures. Some ovens have a split door feature, while others let you cook with different temperatures in the same cavity.
Perfect if you’re doing Sunday lunch, and need to roast your roast veg at a higher temperature than the meat.
If your oven has Wi-fi, you’ll be able to control it from your phone and manage everyday cooking tasks remotely. Set the temperature and cooking times, and the meal will be ready to be served when you return home!
Choosing a new hob
Whichever type of oven you go for, chances are you’ll also be looking for a new hob. There are different types to look out for, each with their own unique features and benefits.
Do I need a gas or electric hob?
Just like your choice of oven, this depends on whether your property has gas installed.
Gas hobs are the most popular type of hobs. Keen cooks like them because they deliver instant, evenly distributed heat which can be easily controlled.
Gas hobs usually consist of four differently sized burners along with an ignition switch. Some have automatic ignition which ignites when you turn the burner knob. One other thing worth noting - gas hobs can be harder to clean than electric hobs.
Gas-on-glass hobs are stylish, premium gas hobs that have the gas burners positioned on top of ceramic glass. They’re easier to clean than a traditional gas hob, but can be slower to heat than electric ceramic models.
All gas hobs must be installed by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer (it’s the same with gas ovens). Find out more about gas appliance installation here
Electric hobs fall into three categories: solid plate, ceramic and induction.
Solid plate hobs
A traditional, more economical style electric hob, with solid electric plates that heat your pans. They usually come with four rings, but you can go for smaller two ring varieties if space is very limited.
A smooth, easy to clean surface of ceramic glass that heats up quicker than solid plate. The heating elements are beneath the glass, and heat is conducted through the glass onto the pan. A lot of ceramic hobs come with residual heat lights as a safety feature, so you can easily see if it’s hot to the touch.
The safest type of hob, as it’s never hot to touch! Innovative magnetic technology heats the pan (not the hob plate) for instant and even heat which speeds up cooking times.
Induction hobs are highly adjustable, giving you complete control over your cooking. They might cost more than other electric hobs, but they’re cheaper to run as they only use the amount of energy needed. Nothing is wasted.
It’s worth bearing in mind that you can only use certain pans on an induction hob. Cookware for induction hobs has to be made from magnetisable metal such as cast iron or some stainless steel. Pure copper or aluminium pans aren’t suitable unless they have encapsulated steel or iron bases. A good test is to see if a magnet sticks to your pans – if it does, they’ll work on an induction hob.
Enhanced hob features
FlexInduction joins different zones together to create larger cooking areas, with the hob detecting the size of the pan and adjusting the cooking area to fit. This means you can place your pots and pans anywhere on the surface to heat them up, rather than having to put them on a particular spot. They’re fast, responsive and extremely energy efficient.
Power boost increases power by up to 50%, heating up the cooking zone more quickly. This speeds up cooking times, and with some models you can boil 2 litres of water almost three times as quickly as on a conventional ceramic hob.
Hob timers are found on lots of induction hobs, and let you set the hob to switch off automatically when cooking is complete.
Dual zones can be found on some electric hobs. They let you use an inner zone within the main ring, which saves energy when cooking with smaller pans.
Wok burners can be found on some gas hobs. They’re a large high-powered burner that provides intense, rapid heat, designed for stir-fry cooking. Some induction hobs also have a dedicated wok zone, with a curved indentation in the hob's surface.
Child-safety locks can be found on lots of electric ceramic and induction hobs. They prevent your little ones from operating any of the controls.
If you’ve booked an installation, here’s a list of things to check before your new appliance arrives:
Step 1: Check your connection
Make sure you have the correct supply outlet for your choice of cooker.
For electric cookers
- Make sure there's a suitable electrical connection within 1.5 metres of the required location. All connections should be accessible for our crews and not behind a cupboard or out of reach.
- All freestanding cookers, electric hobs and electric double ovens need to be connected to a dedicated cooker circuit and a cooker switch as they are rated at greater than 3kW and require a 32amp circuit/fuse.
- If the current connection is 13amp then you will need to select a gas hob, proving you have a working gas connection, a single oven bellow 2.99 kW.
For gas cookers:
- Make sure there's a live gas supply within 1.5 metres of the required location, in the same room. Please note: even if you have gas central heating, it doesn't mean there's a gas supply to the cooker.
- Gas cookers with ignition systems and timers require a 13 amp electrical supply, within 1.5 metres.
- If you're in an area that uses LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas, in red or blue cylinders outside your house, or a bulb tank that's filled by your gas supplier), you'll need to check the cooker you use can be converted to LPG by one of our Gas Safe engineers. Give us a call 0344 561 1234 and we’ll be happy to help.
- Dual fuel cookers with double ovens will need to be connected to a dedicated cooker circuit and a cooker switch as they are rated at a greater that 3kW and require a 32amp circuit/fuse.
- If the current connection is 13amp, then you will need to select a single oven dual fuel.
Step 2: Check the space
Please make sure:
- We have clear access to the area you want your new appliance installed. If stairs are involved, there needs to be enough room to manoeuvre.
- The appliance needs to fit into the space, with enough room at the back and sides of the cooker to allow for ventilation. Check the product specification for the cooker you want to buy for exact measurements.
- We can increase the size of the hole for hobs on wooden worktops, but our installers are unable to make adjustments to your cupboards or other furniture. Work like this should be completed before they arrive.
Step 3: Check the environment
Please make sure:
- There's no combustible material above, behind and on the sides the cooker location. For example, for dual fuel cookers, the area directly above a gas hob must not have any power points, switches, boilers or alarm sensors. And there also must not be any flammable material such as wallpaper, wood, fabric wall coverings, curtains or shelving.
- Any work surfaces directly next to the cooker must be the same height or lower that the hob. Cookers with high-level grills require space 550mm above and 150mm either side of the grill.
- For gas cookers, it’s important to have sufficient ventilation. A door or window that opens directly to the outside is fine.
Step 4: Check the access to your property
You’ll need to check there’s clear access to your property, that the road is accessible for a small lorry, and there’s enough space to park.
Step 5: Make sure someone is home
It’s important that someone is at home to sign for the installation, otherwise we won't be able to complete it. Sorry!
Our installation experts are fully qualified electric installers or Gas Safe registered engineers, and will install your cooking appliance professionally and safely. We’ll install your new cooking appliance at the same time as delivery.
Here's what we'll do...
- Perform a full health and safety check, making sure that the clearances above and around the cooking appliance are suitable, and that the isolation switch is easily accessible and away from the heat zone.
- Un-box the new appliance and check it’s free from damage. If there’s an existing cooking appliance, we’ll disconnect it.
- Evaluate the existing connections, and then connect to them if they’re suitable and meet the correct legal requirements.
- Test the cooking appliance to make sure it's fully working and operational. We’ll then test the independent electric cooking appliance circuit.
- Give you a copy of the Electric/Gas Appliance Installation certificate. This verifies that the cooking appliance is safe to use, and all safety checks have been done.
- If you purchase our removal and recycling service, we'll also take your old appliance away and recycle it responsibly.
Take it home today or we'll deliver for free. You can also choose a next day delivery or a time delivery slot for a small fee.
Installation & recycling
Our experts can install your new tech, and take your old one away to be recycled for a small fee.
If you have already booked an installation and would like to know more about what to expect, check out our installation checklist here.
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Care & Repair
Add Care & Repair and if your oven stops working, we’ll fix it fast. If not, we’ll replace it on request. That’s our 7 day fix promise. *Excludes accidental and cosmetic damage. T&Cs apply.
Still need help deciding? Talk to one of our in-store experts from the comfort of your home.