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Buying Guides 2015 – Cooking

The cooking buying guide

The kitchen is often described as the heart of the home, and the centrepiece of most kitchens is a built-in or freestanding cooking appliance. As most of us spend so much time cooking, it’s important to make the right choice of cooking appliance to suit your home and lifestyle.

We have produced this buying guide to help you make the right decision. Whether you’re replacing an old model or buying for the first time, this guide explains the most important things to consider and some of the features and technologies available in modern cookers, hobs and ovens.

Things to consider

The first decision to make is whether you want a freestanding cooker to fit into a space between kitchen units or you would prefer a built-in oven and hob to fit in with your integrated kitchen layout.

Once you have decided, you can start to look at the various types and sizes of cooker, hob and oven, the fuel source that best suits your home and the accessories to match.

Freestanding or built-in?


Freestanding cookers are single appliances made up of a hob, at least one oven and sometimes a grill that stand in a space between your kitchen units.

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Range cookers

Range cookers are large freestanding cookers with more hob space, more ovens and other handy features like storage drawers and griddle plates.

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Built-in ovens

Built-in ovens are integrated into your kitchen units to give a more streamlined look to your kitchen. Depending on the model and your kitchen you can have appliances that fit under counters or are built into kitchen cupboards for convenient eye-level cooking. Choosing a built-in oven will mean that you also need a built-in hob.

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Built-in hobs

Built-in hobs fit directly into your worktop giving your kitchen a more seamless feel. Choosing a built-in hob will mean you also need a built-in oven.

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Check how much space you have

Whether integrated or freestanding, cooking appliances come in a variety of sizes. Make sure you measure the space you have and don't forget to take the space around the cooker, known as the recess information, into consideration before buying. Also remember to remove obstructions like wallpaper, plugs or cupboards that might get in the way.

Choose the right fuel type

Pick the most suitable fuel for your kitchen and cooking. If you aren’t redesigning your home, your existing fuel supply will influence the type of cooker you can choose, and each fuel type brings different benefits to your kitchen. It is best to check before you start, and also note that gas central heating doesn't always mean you can have a gas cooker or oven.

A huge range of brands available

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