Types of Freestanding Cooker: A Buying Guide

There are 3 main types of cookers that you can buy: electric, gas and dual fuel. It is up to you to decide which best suits you and your cooking needs. So here is our expert advice to help you choose.

Electric Cookers

An electric cooker is made up of an electric oven and either an induction, ceramic or solid plate hob.

Induction cookers allow you to cook quicker on the hob than ever before, as heat is transferred directly to the pan. Ceramic cookers and hobs are also quick to heat up and are designed with the same frameless and sleek look. Solid plate do take longer than ceramic and induction to heat up, but are considerably cheaper.

Electric cookers tend to give better heat distribution throughout the oven cavity, as many models now have fans to circulate the hot air. This is ideal for achieving a consistent and even cooking results, especially when it comes to cooking large amounts of food at once.

Advantages:

  • Choice of induction, ceramic and solid plate hob tops
  • Easy to clean hob surface
  • Even heat distribution
  • Effective grilling

Gas Cookers

Gas cookers consist of a gas oven and gas hob, giving you easy control when it comes to adjusting the heat. Gas hobs come with handy pan supports that hold your pans in place and ensure they don’t move around whilst cooking over a naked flame.

Compared to electric cookers, gas is much cheaper to run, so if you are looking for a cooker that has low running costs, then perhaps gas is the one for you.

A big advantage when using a gas hob is the instant heat provided, so you don’t need to wait for the hob to heat up. This means shorter cooking times, which is always good when you’re hungry and cheaper bills to run the cooker!

A gas hob distributes heat evenly across the base of the pan, however a gas oven doesn’t tend to distribute heat as well as the hob does. This is because gas ovens don’t have fans like electric ovens do. As there are no fans in the oven, the cavity tends to be hotter at the top and cooler at the bottom. This can make it difficult to cook food evenly, however some like this temperature gradation and prefer it as their method of cooking.

Installation of a gas or dual fuel cooker needs to be carried out by a qualified engineer who is approved by the gas safe register.

Advantages:

  • Easy control
  • Quick to heat up
  • Sturdy pan supports
  • Cheap to run

Dual Fuel Cookers

Freestanding dual fuel cookers are said to have the best of both worlds as they often have a gas hob and an electric oven. They combine the advantages of both; the fast heat supply of a gas hob, and the even heat distribution of an electric fan oven.

Advantages:

  • Easy to control
  • Fast heat distribution
  • Evenly distributed heat within the fan oven
  • Provides the best of both

As we mentioned above, a dual fuel cooker gives you the best of both worlds, it uses two types of fuel, gas and electricity. The usual combination is an electric fan oven and a gas hob.

The gas hob that will sit on top of the electric cooker will provide you with quick and direct heat that you can easily control. Gas is considered the best method of heat on a hob as it heats up very quickly and directly heats the pan. Pan supports hold your pans steady over a naked flame whilst cooking. You also have the freedom to cook using a wok with gas hobs, as woks are generally rounded at the bottom, they will sit perfectly on the pan support.

An electric oven provides you with evenly distributed heat, this is due to the fans that blow the heat around the oven helping to cook your food as evenly as possible. Gas ovens tend to be warmer at the top of the cavity and cooler at the bottom, so your food is not always cooked the same all the way through. However an electric fan oven will ensure your food is cooked evenly.

Joining these two cooking methods together will ensure you have the best cooking experience possible.

When looking at linking the appliance to a gas supply, it can either be connected to your homes gas supply, or ran on an LPG bottle of gas.

All Amica dual fuel cookers come with a conversion kit that allows you to run your cooker on LPG gas, or you can connect it to your main supply if preferred. We would recommend that you hard wire your oven which should be done by a qualified electrician.

Some of our models come with catalytic liners, which will absorb the grease in your oven and will stop it from becoming as dirty. These liners will need changing when saturated, which is dependent on how often you use your oven.

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