Okay, so you need a new cooker installed and you think, ‘let me search for one.’ As soon as you are put on that search engine or directed to that company website, you are bombarded with phrases such as ‘free standing’, ‘dual fuel’, ‘multi fuel usage’ and words such as range, gas, electric and you think to yourself, ‘I just want a normal cooker.’
Well let me help with your woes and breakdown what exactly each cooker is and what it exactly does, its uses and if it will even cook your food!!
Now, the most common cooker would probably be the ‘free standing’ cooker. This is simply a cooker that is all one unit. It has the gas hob at the top for your pans, and the oven/grill at the bottom. Sometimes a free standing cooker has one oven underneath and the grill will be placed at the top of the cooker. This is most common amongst older models and now it is easier to have two small ovens below, one of them which can act as a grill and oven.
Free-standing cookers can be gas or electric or even both. Free standing Cookers are often the cheapest type of cooker to buy, however if you like to do a lot of cooking and especially when it comes to holding dinner parties or Christmas time, it isn’t always the best option.
If you do need something a bit bigger and you prefer to have more than the average of 4 small hobs on the cooker top, it might be in your interest to consider buying a range cooker. Now a range cooker differs from the average free standing cooker purely because it is bigger in size. It usually has a much larger oven and has more than 4 gas hobs. This is good for big families and when you need to cook a number of things at once. Range cookers are definitely more favoured this day and age as it provides more space for cooking and can be more practical.
There is one cooker that is not named purely on it’s appearance. This is the dual fuel cooker. As you can guess from it’s title, the dual fuel cooker uses more the one type of cooking inlet. It uses both gas and electric to cook food in the cooker. Usually the oven uses electricity. This is because the electrical currents that cook the food move evenly in the oven rather than gas which is easily effected and tends to concentrate heat in areas. This allows more even cooking which is important when cooking roast joints, whole chickens and other large items of food. The hobs on a dual fuel cooker are often gas, as the flame allows the utensils to heat up quicker and when you need to change the heat, the flame allows a faster cooling and heating process. Now, dual fuel cookers can be found as a free standing cooker, range cookers or any other types of cookers, it is not limited to one type.
Nowadays, people are opting for the more aesthetically pleasing option of simply buying a gas hob and gas oven separately. The purpose of this is so they can fit it into the worktop of one of their kitchen surfaces, allowing the cooker to blend into their kitchen design and fit in better. The con of buying a hob and oven separately however is that it tends to be more expensive buying and installing two separate units. Also, there is the issue of cutting your work surface, providing the space for your oven and also weather you need to pay for extra copper piping depending where the appliances are located. This option is a bit more fiddly and expensive but if you have the money, by all means, a fitted hob can really compliment the design of your kitchen!
Now what I am about to say may seem a bit silly, but be warned! The best of people have fallen victim to this. It seems that these days, children’s toys are more concise in image and are made to look as real as possible to adhere to the ‘pretend and play’ idea which is fun for most children. There are some ‘play cookers’ out there which in a picture, may look like a real cooker and even have lights that to a child, convinces them the cooker is actually working. Some company’s make the picture seem so genuine and real that people buy these mistakenly thinking that it is a real cooker. Okay so you have to of been careless to not read the details, however, believe it or not, it does happen.
Now I’m sure there are still a lot of cookers out there which may be given new names or may baffle you, however, as long as you keep to this simple guide buying a cooker should be a breeze! Now in the UK, you have to make sure all gas appliances are installed by a Gas Safe registered engineers otherwise, you can be at risk of gas leaks, carbon monoxide poisoning or even gas explosions. Make sure you use your new cooker (whatever it may be) safely.
So here you have it, your mini guide to ensuring you buy the right cooker for you!