Choosing the right oven is important – it’s often the centrepiece of a kitchen. Arguably nothing looks better than a unit that’s been sleekly built in underneath the counter-top, with the integration of the oven playing a huge part in the overall aesthetic of the kitchen. And if you love cooking, you’re going to want a good quality oven that will last for years, suitable for all your needs, be they baking, roast dinners, or all of the above.
It’s important to distinguish built under ovens from the other option, which is the built-in – that usually gets placed within a column in the kitchen, with the oven at eye level. For a more seamless effect, built under ovens are where it’s at. So if that’s what you’re in the market for, but don’t know where to start, read on for our roundup of the best ones out there.[table id=19 responsive=scroll /]
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This built-in electric double oven from Hotpoint sits at the lower end of the price spectrum but nonetheless packs in great looks and good features to make an all-round solid package. Coming in with a top-level volume of 74 litres and a bottom-level volume of 42 litres, this oven offers enough space for massive amounts of food.
Dial controls manage the different functions, keeping things nice and simple – one to switch the top oven to and from the grill setting, and two temperature dials for the top and bottom ovens. A bold digital display also houses the timer. Hotpoint’s proprietary ‘Circulaire’ fan system is also present to help circulate heat evenly in the main oven, while heating elements are provided for the top oven.
This stylish electric double oven from Indesit, finished in a modern and stylish brushed stainless steel, represents a good quality product at quite a low price point. With internal volumes of 59L and 37L in the top and bottom ovens respectively there’s plenty of space for most meals.
Operating the different functions is done via simple-to-read dials with the grill setting housed in the top (which also has a neat auto shut-off should the door be closed during grilling, which is a great feature to prevent overheating), and two other dials to control top and bottom oven temperatures. The grill can also be heated on each side independently, for extra energy efficiency. The timer is handled by a stand-out digital display, while two shelves in the bottom and one in the top help to maximise the usable space.
Hoover don’t just make vacuum cleaners anymore – they do ovens too! At a middling price point, this electric oven combines sleek stainless steel housing and great functionality to make for a competitive product. Internal volumes clock in at 68 and 42 litres bottom and top, sizeable enough for all but the largest households.
Four dials keep the controls clear and easy – for each oven cavity, one dial handles the temperature while a second manages the functions. Both ovens are fan-assisted, with an oven and grill in the top section. A digital display timer on the front can also be programmed, to make sure things don’t get over-cooked, and cleaning is aided by the catalytic ‘stay-clean’ internal liners; treated to absorb grease, these can be easily cleaned with soapy water after heating.
4. SIA DO102
SIA’s foray into built-in double ovens comes in the shape of the electric DO102, a good value oven with some nifty features that aim to make cooking a little bit simpler. An upper internal volume of 35L and a lower of 55L mean that this oven is slightly on the smaller side, but isn’t held back by its size.
A ‘true fan’ oven, heat is distributed evenly throughout both sections. These are controlled by four dials, two for function and temperature in each. Among its most notable features, however, are the removable door and interior glass panels for a real ease to cleaning. The programmable timer is also a tremendous feature – it can be set to come on and switch off at specific times meaning that for busy lifestyles, some quick fiddling can mean you come home to a meal cooked for you at the times you set.
Something that wouldn’t look too out of place in something taken from science-fiction, Smeg’s ultra-sleek electric DUSF44 blends minimalist functionality and modern hi-tech function to offer something at home in a premium kitchen. One defining feature is the massive internal capacity, offering 70L in the main compartment and 41L in the second, ensuring you’ll have space for party-quantities of food.
Four rotary dial controls – two for function and temperature likewise across top and bottom – handle the heating, which is done quickly and evenly. Both oven cavities also have a grill function, and the digital display timer on the front can be easily adjusted for precise cooking times. It also comes with an A-rated energy efficiency.
6. CDA DC740WH
A built under electric double oven by CDA offers good features at a not-unreasonable price, offering up a net 85L of internal volume; 35 top and 50 bottom. 3 shelves as well as a grill pan are also supplied, allowing maximised use of the oven’s space.
Easily adjustable dials control the temperature and functions of both top and bottom, while two touch-controlled timers mean you are able to set two different timers for each cavity – perfect for versatile cooking. The ovens themselves also heat up very quickly, which pair with the A energy rating for an efficient model. The enamel-coated interior and removable door also make cleaning a straightforward task.
Coming in at a higher price point than Hotpoint’s other offering on our list, this makes up for the higher price with a handful of upgrades to create something that wouldn’t look out of place in far flashier kitchens. It features a huge internal capacity totalling 116L; that’s 74 litres in the main and 42 in the secondary.
An electric fan oven in the top cavitiy and a conventional oven in the main, these are controlled by 3 dials; two for temperature top and bottom and one to switch between oven and grilling in the top. Push buttons next to the main display also handle programming of timers, which can also be set to turn the oven off when cooking’s finished. The oven’s catalytic liners will also make cleaning simple as anything with grease-absorbing technology, and the A-rated energy efficiency completes the package.
Which Oven to Go for?
Best quality & features – The Hotpoint DD2540IX is our all-round winner in terms of quality and features, coming in at a surprisingly low price. Available in 3 colours to match your kitchen aesthetic to a T, the good looks, great capacity, smart features and even-cooking compartments (thanks to Hotpoint’s proprietary fan technology) work together to make for a great buy.
On a budget – The Indesit Aria IDU 6430 IX proves that a fitted kitchen doesn’t have to be an absolute bank-buster. It boasts all the features you’d hope to find, just coming in at a price that might surprise you – it’s got the looks, it’s got the tech, all it needs is your food in it. Maybe the ideal choice for a first home.
Cooking for a crowd – If you find yourself cooking for a lot of people, look no further than Hotpoint’s DD2544CIX. By merit of its sheer volume, you’ll find that fitting a lot of food into just one oven comes easy.
Beginner chef’s choice – The SIA DO102 is a great choice for those starting out in the wide world of cooking. Not overly pricey, it wins out here by virtue of its programmable timers with auto on/off settings – if you’re not in the habit of checking your food while it cooks, as any less-experienced chef may be, this automatic setting will be sure to save you should you get a bit carried away with all of your food preparation.
Best aesthetics – although naturally quite subjective, the sleek design of the Smeg DUSF44 X is a real winner. With built-in and built under ovens being naturally designed to integrate neatly and cleanly into the kitchen, the Smeg’s clean, minimalist lines make it an ideal candidate for the smoothest blend into counter-tops or cupboards.
Built-Under Double Oven Buying Guide
The best ovens are the ones that give you even a decade or more of loyal use. Picking one that fits well with your cooking needs is therefore absolutely essential! The question is simply where to start. The majority of modern ovens include a host of hi-tech features, but it’s vital to get the basics right – does it heat up quickly, and cook food evenly? That’s the base bar for this kind of kitchen equipment; the best ovens heat up to the correct temperature rapidly and spread that heat evenly throughout.
But there are also other considerations, beyond the basics of ‘ovens 101’. With differing fuel sources, capacities and those aforementioned hi-tech functions, making sense of the array that’s available could end up confusing. That’s why we’ve put together this buying guide, so that you have the best notion of what it is that you’re looking for.
This comes down to either gas or electric. Electric ovens are the most popular, with built-in gas ovens harder to find nowadays. Only a few manufacturers offer them as part of their range, so your choice will be more limited. All of the ovens we’ve covered here are electric, as gas ones tend to be a little harder to track down – generally speaking, electric ovens are also usually more reliable at even distribution of heat; but, the caveat of gas is that they are usually cheaper to buy and to run. So, if you’ve got gas installed, you don’t have to worry about unnecessary hassle of going electric.
The internal capacity of ovens is often given by manufacturers as the total internal volume – not the usable volume. Food isn’t cube-shaped, so using all that internal space to cook with isn’t always viable. Shelves, in terms of layout and positioning, also make a big difference – it’s feasible that an oven with larger dimensions has a smaller usable cooking volume than a smaller one.
A standard oven utilises heating elements at the top and bottom of the oven. This has a tendency to result in hot and cold spots, so food higher up may cook more quickly. Most electric ovens, and even some gas, nowadays have fans to help distribute heat evenly.
Then there are multi-function ovens, usually with top and bottom heat, a grill and a fan. These can be used independently or in tandem – so, you could use just the top heat for extra browning or use bottom heat to crispen up the base of something. These are ovens are becoming increasingly common and may offer more flexibility, but more options can indicate confusing controls so bear that in mind.
Functions also extends to things like timers, as simple as just minute counters or programmable ones that will allow you to set specific times for specific temperatures, as well as auto on/off.
Ease of cleaning
Cleaning ovens is difficult, and often messy. So, having a machine designed to make the process as easy as possible is a godsend. Whether it’s a built-in function that is designed to make grease easier to clean off, or easily removable parts – taking out the glass front panel, for instance, is a great design feature – buying an oven that will actually be straightforward to look after and maintain is a serious consideration. You might even find some machines with self-cleaning cycles – the future is now!
And there we have it. This is, hopefully, everything you need to know before you invest in a built-under oven. They are the perfect accompaniment to any modern kitchen, and our roundup of what’s out there for you to buy should put a bit of perspective around what can be a confusing number of considerations. Happy cooking!
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