After a trawl, there don't seem to be any sites that review/compare domestic
cookers in the same way as for other appliances.
Hence this posting, looking any suggestions/experiences/recommendations on
particular brands or models, especially ones to avoid!
We're looking for a reliable cooker, and
- we need a free-standing 60cm width cooker
- we prefer to cook with gas burners, not particular about oven/grill type
(but pros/cons welcome)
- a fifth/wok burner would be useful, but we haven't seen a 60cm model with
- kitchen worktop will be black, cabinets maple
From my experience of looking round at 60cm cookers, there's actually very
little differences between the 60cm ones and the 58cm ones. If you open the
oven door you'll often find that the oven is actually identical in size to a
58cm one, just with 1cm each size of extra wasted space. There were one or
two we found which did have a slightly larger oven, but they were few and
far between. As it turned out, the space we were told was 60cm was actually
58cm, so we got a 58cm one and we've been pleased with that. A nice green
Canon one with twin ovens.
We've found having 2 ovens is really excellent. You can warm the plates at
a low temp whilst something's in the oven. You can put stuff into the small
oven when it would be a waste to heat up the larger one (though note - we
found that it doesn't work if you put things in two levels (ie. on the shelf
and on the oven floor) - the bottom doesn't get hot really, so you just
treat it as a single shelf oven). Mostly we just use it as a grill - but
there have been times its been very useful (Christmas should mean it'll be
used as an oven whilst the main one is being used too.0
As for finding a 60cm one with a 5th burner, I don't think I've seen one
either - again, probably because the extra 1cm each side doesn't really give
the space for another burner.
I've found having 2 ovens really useful too. Another way to do
this is to use a single oven cooker (which might mean you can
have a bigger oven in it), and a microwave which includes
regular oven capability.
When looking at cookers, see how easy they are to clean. Many cookers
have been designed by someone who's never had to clean one...
I have a separate single cast-iron gas burner running off bottled gas
for wok cooking. It puts out 12 kW, which is more than most fixed
burners in cookers. Separate may be an option to bear in mind if you
can't find something that fits the bill exactly.
With a ceramic hob, how easy is it to deal with pans that boil over?
What happens to the water that boils out of the pan - all the ceramic
hobs I have seen have a very shallow ridge of about two millimetres
around the sides of the ceramic hotplate, which does not seem enough to
contain boiling-over spillages. Is this a problem?
You are joking!
Ceramic as controllable as gas? It takes about a minute to vary the
temperature of the ring, rather than a fraction of a second. I particularly
like the halogen hobs. That is if you like cooking on a lightbulb. "Ooh look
how quickly it lights up, must be like gas". Yeah right, fine if you want a
nice red glow to your food, not so good if you want to heat it up.
Also, the duty cycle of the rings is such that the total power available
from a ceramic is seriously below that of a gas cooker, making Chinese
cookery almost impossible as you can't get enough heat into a Wok. Don't
even get me started on sauteed potatoes. These have to be done in the oven,
as you'll never get a high enough temperature on the hob.
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