The kitchen is often described as the heart of the home, and the centrepiece of most kitchens is a built-in or freestanding cooking appliance. As most of us spend so much time cooking, it’s important to make the right choice of cooking appliance to suit your home and lifestyle.
We have produced this buying guide to help you make the right decision. Whether you’re replacing an old model or buying for the first time, this guide explains the most important things to consider and some of the features and technologies available in modern cookers, hobs and ovens.
They come in a range of colours, sizes and styles, but as a baseline these are your main choices. Which type of cooker is best depends on your needs, taste and home setup.
Some houses are completely electric. Some people prefer a gas hob for speed. Some people prefer no flame for safety reasons. For context, the most popular choice is dual fuel, as many believe you get the best of both worlds.
Once you have decided on what style of cooker you want and what is appropriate, all you need to do is select a model that is the right size for your kitchen and family, in the right price range. Generally, the bigger your family and your kitchen, the bigger the cooker you’ll need. There are plenty more tips below, and if you need more help, pop in-store and one of our colleagues will be happy to guide you through the process.
A gas cooker runs on natural gas and has a naked flame on the hob. Many chefs prefer a gas-powered hob for speed and extra control over the cooking process.
An electric cooker uses electricity to heat the oven and hotplates or rings on the stove. You don’t get as much instant control over the cooking temperature and it’s slightly slower to warm up, but there’s no naked flame or potential gas leaks to worry about.
Dual fuel combines the two, as you get an electric-powered oven, with a gas-powered hob. It’s the most popular choice. And even if you don’t have access to a gas supply, many dual-fuel cookers come with an LPG conversion kit that lets you use gas bottles.
Worktop cookers are a great choice for smaller apartments, as they let you cook but don’t take up too much space. If you have more space and a bigger family, then a large range cooker will be more appropriate.
You can also get creative with how you use the space in your kitchen. Freestanding cookers fit snugly in between worktops. The best place to start if you want to do this is measuring the space you have, and then comparing it to your desired cooker. All you need to remember is to leave a small gap either side of the cooker for air to circulate.
Another great tip is that if you love cooking, or cook often for a large family, go for a cooker with larger capacity. Many cookers have two ovens and a grill which is ideal for cooking lots of different dishes at once, or keeping certain dishes warm while others cook.
Induction cooking heats cookware faster, which cuts the cooking time. They're also safer, as the surface stays cool to the touch and the burners turn off automatically when the cookware is removed. They're easier to clean and spills don't stain by getting cooked onto the hob’s smooth ceramic surfaces.
Please be aware that if you have a pacemaker, an induction hob isn't a suitable choice for your home as it uses magnets. We have a range of electric and gas hobs that are suitable for use with pacemakers.