How to Choose a Built-In Oven

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When purchasing an oven, whether built-in or freestanding, it's best to consider not only the baking process, but the cleaning process and other amenities as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Product Brochures
  • Measuring Tapes
  • Measure the area where the oven will go in your kitchen. (For a built-in oven, measure the hole, not the door, which will be bigger than the oven itself; most wall ovens are 24, 27 or 30 inches wide. Be sure to measure the height as well, especially if you are considering putting in a double oven.)

  • Decide whether you want a gas or an electric oven.

  • Decide whether you want a convection oven, which includes a fan that circulates the heat evenly within the oven and cooks food more quickly and evenly.

  • Choose either a self-cleaning or a standard oven. A self-cleaning model may be worth the extra cash; not only do you save time and effort, but the cycle generally costs only a dollar per cleaning - less than a can of EZ-Off.

  • Look for other cleaning features such as a removable door, a removable oven bottom, a tilting electric element and digital controls.

  • Try moving the shelves around. They should be easy to adjust and sturdy. Will they hold a 20-pound turkey without bending?

  • Turn on the fan - is it noisy?

  • Make sure there is a light in the oven and that you can see inside when it's on.

  • Look at other special features such as controls that automatically start or turn off the oven in your absence, digital control panels, LED displays, digital timers, even-baking features, high and low broiler or double-broiler settings, storage drawers, meat probes and available colors.

  • Discuss the warranty, what it covers and whether or not it is included in the oven price.

Tips & Warnings

  • If buying a stand-alone range unit, be sure that the cooktop that comes with the oven is easy to clean and operate as well.
  • A convection oven generally costs a few hundred dollars more than a standard oven, but it costs less to operate and saves energy by cooking foods faster.
  • Unless you can install the oven yourself, you may have to pay extra for installation.

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