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Freestanding electric cooker reviews

Modern freestanding cookers look streamlined compared to their retro counterparts, but how do they perform?
 
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01.Introduction

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We review four 60cm freestanding electric cookers, priced from $1499 to $2749.

These cookers allow you to replace your existing stove without reconfiguring your kitchen.

Unlike the old fashioned chunky looking stoves with high back control panels, these smaller stainless steel freestanding cookers look sleek and streamlined. 

Their controls are at the front so your splashback can run across the whole back wall (although this can be a dilemma and an added cost if you’re replacing a high back version). Controls that are easily accessible at the front are also risky if you have young children.

60cm electric freestanding cookers are not big sellers according to market sales statistics and our members’ requests (most tell us they want information on separate units or the larger dual fuel ranges).

But to give you an idea of what you get for your money we selected some of the popular models and ran them through their paces.

For more information about Ovens, see Kitchen.

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Models tested

  • Blanco BFS60CX
  • Delonghi DE60E
  • Euromaid SC600
  • Omega OF602XA

How we test

CHOICE’s home economist, Fiona Mair, cooks a range of delicious meals to test the ability of the ovens to perform over a range of temperatures, times and functions.

OVEN
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 for assessing 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, whilst 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
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.

COOKTOP
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.
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