A large freestanding oven is a huge investment, and with so many options out there how do you make the right choice? Our test looks at seven popular dual fuel cookers, and can help you:
- Beko GE 15320 DX
- Bosch HSB738356A
- DeLonghi DEF905GW
- Fisher & Paykel OR90SDBGFX3
- Omega OF901XZ
- Smeg C9GMXA
- Westinghouse WFE914SA
- Smeg C9GMNA – Black; Smeg C9GMBA – White
- Fisher & Paykel OR90SDBGFPX1 with pyrolytic cleaning
Ilve was changing its product range and the new models were not available in time for this test.
How we test
Fiona Mair, home economist from the CHOICE test kitchen, cooks a range of delicious meals to test the ability of the ovens to perform over a range of temperatures, times and functions.
- Multi-shelf cooking – scones are baked over two shelves to test how evenly the ovens perform at a high temperature over a short time.
- Turn-down ability – custard tarts are baked to assess how the oven responds to a change from a high temperature, fan forced or fan assist function, to a classic bake at moderate temperature.
- Low temperature – Meringues are baked to assess cooking ability at a low temperature for a long period.
- Roasting – Fiona roasts a whole chicken to assess baking a non-uniform food at moderate to high temperature over a long period, while retaining moisture and crisping the skin.
- Base cooking – she also cooks a freshly prepared pizza at a very high temperature for a short period to assess the ability to crisp and brown the base and evenly cook the toppings.
- Grill – Fiona toasts bread to assess the speed, evenness and heating area of each grill in a short time.
- Fan grilling – She fan grills sausages to assess speed and evenness, and ideally no smoking or flare-ups created by this high fat food. The basic grill function is used if no fan grill is available.
- Turn-down ability – Fiona cooks rice using the absorption method to assess the ability and speed of the medium burner to boil rice, maintain a desired level of heat at the lowest-temperature setting and the cooker’s turn-down capacity (control response).
- Simmering – White sauce is cooked to assess the performance of the simmer burner at low temperatures for a prolonged time.
- Very low heat – Fiona melts chocolate directly over the simmer flame to determine if the simmer burner is capable of gently cooking foods that are very sensitive to high temperatures.
- High fast heat – Fiona cooks a beef and vegetable stir-fry on the wok or largest burner to assess the wok burner’s ability to deliver continuous high heat.
Ease of use:
Each oven is assessed by comparing the ease of use of the controls, clarity of the labels, using and cleaning the grill and the oven. For the cooktop, she assesses the stability of the trivets, layout of burners, whether the pots fit comfortably and the stability of pan support. She also looks at how easy the controls are to use in relation to their size and shape, labelling and position. She assesses ease of cleaning all interior and exterior surfaces, including shelves, trivets and burners, and whether there are appropriate spill-catchment areas on the hob.