What you need to know before buying a new oven

November 6, 2014

Whether you want to cook like a gourmet chef or simply buy an oven that functions better than your current one, here are the things you need to know before you shop.

What you need to know before buying a new oven

Gas, electric or hybrid?

There are both economic and culinary reasons for choosing the type of fuel an oven uses.

Gas: If gas is inexpensive and easily available where you live, having a gas oven can help you cut-down on your energy bills.

  • Gas stovetops allow you to quickly heat food and maintain a constant temperature.
  • They work when the power is out.
  • They usually maintain a consistent level of heat at all times, unlike some electric stovetops, which take longer to get hot.


  • If you do a lot of baking, you might prefer an electric oven.
  • Because its coils are placed both above and below the oven racks, it surrounds the food with heat and creates a more even temperature throughout the oven, which is the best way to get bubbly cheese  on pizza or make golden loaves of bread.
  • Electric ovens also allow you to use the top coils for broiling.

Hybrid: Professional chefs want to have the best possible cooking methods available for any dish they make, as do many amateur chefs.

  • To this end, hybrid units that consist of gas stovetops and electric ovens have become popular.

Types of electric ovens

If you select an electric oven, you can choose between conventional or convection heating.

  • Convection ovens use fans to circulate heat, creating a more uniform temperature throughout the oven than conventional ovens, which only radiate heat from lower coils.
  • A dual conventional/convection oven lets you select either a standard electric or convection style oven simply by flipping a switch or pressing a button.
  • There are also dual ovens with two separate cooking areas, allowing you to simultaneously bake two dishes at unique temperatures.

Types of stovetops

In addition to gas stoves and traditional electric coils, you have other stovetop options at your disposal.

  • Electric stovetops have a modern looking, smooth surface that is easy to clean; however, these stovetops can't be used with stone, glass or cast iron cookware.
  • Induction cooktops are more expensive, but use less electricity. They heat pots and pans very quickly with a magnetic field that immediately begins to heat the entire cooking vessel.

Buying an oven is more complicated than it used to be, but if you understand the different types, you'll be able to buy the one that's ideal for you.

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