Standard cookers combine an oven, grill and hob into one device, either as a freestanding or built-in appliance. They may be powered using gas, electricity, or a combination of the two (also known as dual fuel). “Standard” cookers generally consist of a single oven, separate grill, and a four burner hob. If you’re looking for something bigger, you might want to consider investing in a range cooker.
If you’ve never purchased a cooker before, or are replacing your existing cooker and want some help choosing a new one, this guide is for you. Deciding which cooker to buy isn’t as easy as some may think – you have to decide which model is the best, which cooker reviews to trust, what size you need, and more!
Before you start shopping you need to determine your requirements. For this to happen, we recommend asking yourself the following…
What Do I Use My Cooker For?
The beauty of this appliance is that you can cook almost anything on it and in it. As the cooker has both an oven and a hob attachment on top, there is a long list of food items that you can prepare. The oven can be used for all methods of roasting, cooking, and baking, while the hob attachment is suitable for frying and boiling. To put it simply, you can prepare almost any food imaginable with your cooker.
Most cookers will have similar cooking functions, but the size and capacity can differ.
What Size Cooker Do I Need?
Standard cookers come in pretty “standard” sizes – 60cm is most common, although smaller and larger cookers are available. Again if you’re looking for something significantly larger, a range cooker would probably suit you better.
Saying that, if you’re purchasing a new cooker, or a cooker in a different size to your current one, you will need to measure the available space. This includes its height, width, and depth.
What Type of Cooker Suits My Needs?
There are four main types of cookers to choose from when looking for a new model. We describe these styles in detail in our article Types of Standard Cooker. Ultimately, however, the choice you’ll make here will depend on your preferences. Whether you prefer gas or electric; induction or ceramic; we recommend reviewing each model’s specifications and diligently reading reviews.
Where Can I Put My Cooker?
Where you place your cooker will be largely dictated by the layout of your kitchen and whether you’re buying a freestanding or integrated cooker.
Chances are, your kitchen will already have a designated space for a cooker. Unless you’re redesigning your kitchen entirely, it’s probably a good idea to place your new cooker here – especially if you’re buying an integrated cooker.
If you’re buying a freestanding cooker you have a little more flexibility, but unless there’s a very good reason for moving it (such as the fact it’s currently placed near curtains that present a fire hazard) it’s still advisable to stick with your current layout.
That said, you should make sure that wherever the cooker’s placed, it complies with the following health and safety regulations.
- There should be at least 300mm between the sides of your appliance and any work surfaces.
- There should be at least 700mm between the top of your cooker and any housing units or cabinets.
- Do not place your cooker too close to your fridge or freezer as the heat generated by the cooker can affect the fridge or freezer’s ability to regulate temperature.
You will also have to ensure that you can connect your cooker to a power source, and a gas mains if needed.
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What Warranty Do I Want for My Cooker?
When you’re shopping for cookers it’s very important to check what level of warranty is offered. Common lengths of warranty range from one year to five years. Although the length of warranty provided shouldn’t be the most important factor in your decision, it is certainly something to take into account.
What Style of Cooker Suits My Kitchen?
A cooker is a pretty big purchase that all being well, will last for many years. This means it’s important that it complements the style of your kitchen.
Once you have answered all of the questions above, you’re ready to begin shopping. To help you find the perfect cooker we recommend looking at as many options as possible, and creating a list of your favourites. From here you will have to make the important decision: which model do you love the most!