Buying a Built-In Oven

Green kitchen with 3 Caple built-in ovens

Built-in ovens are a popular choice amongst homeowners all over the country. Their design, minimalist aesthetic and practical features create a winning formula for powerful, simple and functional cooking in your kitchen.

Here at Appliance City, we’ve used our years of experience to help many customers find the right oven for their needs. We’re always happy to answer their questions and have compiled many common ones to create this buying guide. 

If you have a question that hasn’t been answered here, please don’t hesitate to get in touch for no-obligation help and advice.

About Appliance City

Appliance City has been serving customers with high-quality household appliances from well-known and reputable brands for more than 35 years.

As one of the largest independent appliance retailers serving UK residents, we put our customers at the centre of every decision we make, whether you live across the street or across the country.

With so many brands and models available, picking your new oven can be a tricky task. Whether you’re choosing between an electric or gas oven; a double oven or a single oven; or any other number of combinations, we’re here to help.

In this post, we’re going to look at some things to consider before buying a built-in oven and answer some frequently asked questions.

Black double built-in oven with silver buttons and handles

What is a Built-In Oven?

In simple terms, a built-in oven is installed within your kitchen cabinets. Many built-in ovens are positioned at eye height, although built-under ovens can be installed underneath a countertop.

There are different built-in oven styles that you can choose from, including:

Built-In Single Oven

As the name suggests, a single oven has one compartment, perfect for households who don’t regularly cook numerous dishes at once.

Built-In Double Oven

Stainless steel built in double oven

Double ovens have two compartments rather than one, so you can cook multiple things at once.

Steam Oven

Steam oven

Steam ovens are a great option if you’re looking to prepare healthier dishes while maintaining all the moisture required for delicious food.

More About Built-In Steam Ovens

Steam ovens feature a reservoir which will either need to be plumbed in or filled manually. When heated, the water turns into steam to cook your food. Some options are multifunctional and can also operate as standard electric ovens.

Tip: Most foods can be cooked in a steam oven although you should bear in mind that while steam ovens are better at retaining flavour and moisture, they cannot “brown” foods.

Can a Built-In Oven Be Built Under?

The beauty of built-in single ovens is that they afford you heaps of different design possibilities and can be built under if that’s the best option for your kitchen. Bear in mind, though, that one of the positives of a built-in oven is being able to install it above worktop level.

When cooking at eye level you can easily check on its progress. Having the oven higher up also makes loading and unloading a breeze. If you’re going to go with a built-under oven, you may want to consider whether a range cooker could also work for your home.

Can You Install a Built-In Oven Yourself?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions we get about built-in ovens. If you’ve invested in a gas oven, it’s a legal requirement that you must get it fitted by a Gas Safe Engineer. 

You may be able to install your electric oven yourself if you want to avoid the oven installation costs, although if you aren’t a qualified electrician, we recommend that you opt to get it fitted by a professional. If you are confident in your ability to handle the installation of an electric oven please do not lift it by yourself, and exercise extreme caution.

For a quick and easy guide on how to install and wire a built-in oven, check out our step-by-step guide in this post.

How Long Should an Oven Last?

Most gas ovens will have an average lifespan of 15 years. Comparatively, most electric ovens will work effectively for approximately 13 years. Of course, the better care you take to maintain your appliances (all of your kitchen appliances), the longer they will likely last.

Where Should I Put My Built-In Oven?

The best place to put your new oven from a safety standpoint is somewhere where it will fit well but still has space for ventilation. Any cabinets or cupboards surrounding your oven need to be able to withstand high temperatures up to 90C. 

We’d also recommend setting it up somewhere where you can easily open and close the oven door. For built-under ovens, you may want to consider positioning it near the cooktop to make things as simple as possible.

As to the exact location, that is completely up to you and what works best for your kitchen and style of cooking.

Which Oven is Best for Me?

Before beginning your search for a new built-in oven you should ask yourself the following questions:

How Large Does Your New Oven Need to be?

The standard for a built-in oven is 60cm wide but larger options can be 90cm wide. You’ll also want to consider the oven capacity, which ranges from 36-40 litres all the way up to 115 litres and above.

The best thing to do if you’re upgrading an old built-in oven is to measure your available space so that you can buy a replacement that’s the same size. To do that, you will need to measure the width, height and length of your existing cabinets or housing unit.

If you choose a built-under model or you are creating the housing to install a built-in oven for the first time then you will need to measure the height, width, and length of your available under-counter space.

Image by Dmitriy from Pixabay

How Much Space do you Need Around an Oven?

Don’t forget when measuring for a new single or double oven, you need to account for an additional 5mm of space on either side of the built-in oven. You also need to ensure there’s a 35mm gap at the back of the oven to account for ventilation.  We’ve written a handy built-in oven measurement guide that you may find useful.

What Colour Would you Like your New Oven to be?

Nowadays, there are so many colour choices available to ensure your new oven fits in seamlessly with your kitchen space. Some options include:

What is your Budget?

This will have a huge impact on the type of built-in oven you opt for i.e a single oven or double oven. It may also limit the functionality built into your oven.

To give you an idea, our ovens range from as little as £259 and go up to £9,029.

energy ratings symbols from A-G

Is Saving Energy a Factor?

How energy efficient your kitchen appliances are is measured with an alphabetical rating. A+++ is the highest rating you can get. The further along the alphabet you get, the less energy efficient it is.

At Appliance City we don’t stock any built-in ovens with an energy rating lower than B, doing our bit to ensure your purchase is as good for the environment as it is good at keeping your energy bills low.

What Fuel Supply do you Need?

There are two different fuel types when it comes to built-in ovens: gas and electric.

Gas vs electric is a long-fought debate. Most of us will have a preference as to which type of oven we prefer to use, although some of us won’t have a choice – if you don’t have a gas connection then you’ll be limited to electric models only.

Let’s take a look at each of these as a comparison:

Benefits of Gas Ovens

  • Gas ovens tend to be cheaper to run than electric ovens.
  • Gas models are great for baking bread and pies thanks to their slightly more humid cooking environment. This means that those lovely crusts are less likely to dry out or become impossibly hard (although this will rely on your baking skills to some degree, too).
  • Some argue that gas ovens cook more flavoursome food such as pizzas and baked goods.
  • Pre-heating your oven is only necessary for baked goods like cookies, cakes, and bread, but for your standard dinner fayres like casseroles, vegetables, and meats, you’re fine to skip pre-heating.
  • Historically, temperatures in a gas oven were hotter at the top than at the bottom. This meant that you needed to rotate your dishes for an even bake. Modern gas ovens however are fitted with convection fans that help to circulate the heat more evenly.
  • Modern gas ovens have a range of safety features including safety valves and electric ignitions which reduce the risk of an accident.

Disadvantages of Gas Ovens

  • Because a spark is required to light a gas oven, there’s a slightly higher fire risk. With that said, fire hazards only really occur when poor cleaning habits are at play. A build-up of grease and fats from food can catch alight, so regular cleaning is highly recommended to avoid any accidental fires.
  • A gas oven must be installed by a Gas Safe Engineer. In addition, the UK gas safety regulation states that activities such as maintaining, servicing, adjusting, disconnecting, repairing, altering, renewing, or changing gas fittings in any way, shape, or form must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
  • Some gas ovens use an electric glow bar ignition that can’t be used during a power cut because the gas valve feeding the oven is electrically connected to the igniter and will not open unless the igniter is working.

Benefits of Electric Ovens

  • Electric ovens are quick to heat up and offer a more even heat distribution. Fan-assisted ovens will heat up faster as the fan helps circulate the heat around the oven. Expect to wait 7 or 8 minutes for a modern, fan-assisted electric oven to reach a temperature of 200 degrees Celsius.
  • Electric ovens have indicators which will notify you when the internal temperature of the oven has reached the desired heat. This might be in the form of a light which switches off when the temperature is achieved, or a beep (or in most cases, a combination of the two). Electric ovens with digital displays will often have a temperature read-out on the front which indicates oven temperature, so you’ll know when it’s time to pop that chicken, or those cookies, in.
  • There are usually more features and functions on electrical models.
  • Some argue that meats and potatoes taste better when cooked in an electric oven.
  • An electric oven will use less energy (kWh) than a gas oven.
  • Many electric ovens have programmable timer functions. These let you set a time for your oven to switch on and switch off when you’re not around.
  • Modern electric cookers are fitted with many safety features to help protect you and your home.

Disadvantages of Electric Ovens

  • Electric ovens tend to take longer to cool down, so you need to be extra vigilant not to accidentally burn yourself, particularly when cleaning up after cooking.
  • Although an electric oven uses less energy, the cost of electricity is higher than gas.
  • Similar to installing gas models, you should consider hiring a professional to install your electric cooker. Whilst you might think it’s as straightforward as pulling one plug out and plugging another in, there’s much more to it. You’ll need specific amps, wire, and double pole isolating switches – not to mention the strength to lift and shift your new (and very heavy) oven into place.
  • Most modern electric ovens will have a slightly shorter lifespan than gas counterparts.

What Features Do I Need?

Built-in ovens come loaded with fantastic and forward-thinking features that help to make your cooking and baking experiences a breeze. Here are just a few:

Self-Cleaning Ovens

One of the most luxurious features you can enjoy with certain built-in oven models is the self-cleaning functionality.

Here are the different options so you know just what to look out for:

Catalytic Oven

Some built-in ovens will come with inbuilt catalytic liners. These have been treated with chemicals and their material makes them a champion for combating grease. These will have a self-cleaning programme. Every month or so, you’ll simply turn this on and the oven will heat itself up and deposit excess grease and grime for you to wipe away.

Pyrolytic Oven

Arguably the most effective form of self-cleaning oven is a pyrolytic one. These work in much the same way as a catalytic oven with a slight difference. These will heat themselves to temperatures of over 400°C, turning any food, grease and grime into ash for you to simply sweep away. 

Steam-Assisted Oven

An oven with steam-cleaning functions will produce steam to help moisten and release residues that build up in the oven over time.

Slide and Hide Doors

Just like in The Great British Bake Off, you can enjoy the luxurious feeling of opening your oven door and sliding it underneath. Not only is this extremely cool, but it increases accessibility and lowers the risk of scalding yourself.

Our Neff range combines self-cleaning and slide and hide for the best of both worlds.

Fan Assistance

Fan-assisted ovens, also known as convection ovens, offer a swifter, more even cooking experience thanks to the way it circulates hot air.

Another benefit of this type of built-in oven is that it lowers energy consumption by 20%, helping to keep your bills as low as possible.

This all gives you less to worry about and more time to enjoy your cooking space.

Glass Doors

Many of the models we stock boast glass doors. Being able to see how your food is getting on without opening the door is a great feature to have, especially when cooking multiple things at once.

Double Oven

Double built-in (or dual cavity ovens) offer flexible cooking options. While this is an incredibly useful feature, please be warned that built-in double ovens tend to be more expensive, but when you shop with us you can filter by budget and enjoy fantastic prices.

Smart Ovens

If you’ve already got smart light bulbs and heating at home, why not add a smart oven to the mix? With one of these, you can control the temperature of your oven from your phone, so your oven could be hot enough to cook as soon as you get home. Or perhaps you popped your roast dinner in the oven while you ran an errand and needed to turn it off so that it didn’t burn, this is all possible with smart ovens.

Other fancy features to look out for are LCD touchscreen displays, timers, delayed start functions, Wi-Fi connectivity, an accurate thermostat and auto-cooking programmes.

Ready to Buy a Built-In or Built-Under Oven?

We hope this guide has helped you feel confident in what you want and need from a built-in oven. If you’re ready to shop, here are some of the most popular built-in ovens sold at Appliance City:

If you want to browse our full range of built-in ovens, head to our cooking section where you’ll find a wide selection of single and double built-in ovens from market-leading brands. You can get a great deal, particularly if you make use of our Multibuy tool.

More Built-In Oven Help and Advice

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