It’s said that the kitchen is the centre of the home, so what’s the centre of the kitchen? The oven, of course, which makes choosing the right one for your home and your family an important decision. The controlled, economic and consistent heat you get with gas ovens makes mealtimes a breeze - and gas ovens actually release moisture which helps the cooking process - so we’re here to help you choose with a guide to navigating the options, types and sizes of this kitchen essential.
1. Take stock
Take time to review your current oven: why it is good or bad, and what would you like it to do better? This gives you a good starting point for narrowing down what type of new oven you’re on the hunt for.
2. What type of cook are you?
Consider what you regularly cook and the lifestyle you lead to determine your oven needs: are you the feed-the-family-in-five type, or are you the next budding Masterchef contestant?
If you’re a big family
Double ovens or larger single ovens are ideal, and the more shelves the better. Oven doors with several layers of glass provide a cooler touch if you need extra safety for little ones.
If you’re time poor
If you’ve got less time on your hands, easy cleaning ovens, and ovens with fan force functionality can make minor miracles happen in the kitchen.
If you dream of a Michelin star
When it comes to gourmet cooking, gas is the professional’s go-to: it generates a responsive, evenly distributed heat, and some gas ovens even come with elaborate extras, like a teppanyaki grill.
3. What size do you need?
The size of your oven will be dictated by how much (or how many people) you cook for at any time, but you’ll also need to take note of what size appliance will fit in the kitchen space, and other space considerations, like if there’s enough counter space to put baking trays on near the oven.
The 60cm single ovens are typical for most homes, while larger sizes (ranging from 70cm to 90cm) are ideal for larger families or home cooks who like to entertain groups of friends and family.
These models are in effect two ovens stacked on top of each other with separate controls and functions, which make them ideal for the ultimate entertainers or large families who like to bake, as they allow you to use two ovens in two different ways at the same time (for example, grilling in one and baking in another).
4. How will it fit in your kitchen?
There are two options here: wall ovens are recessed into a wall or bench top. Free- standing ovens can be slotted into available spaces with little fuss and are generally less expensive than wall ovens.
5. What’s under the hood?
They say it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and the same goes for ovens. Shelf height is critical for flexibility, so make sure your new oven has plenty of adjustable shelving. Its doors should be light to operate and feature multiple layers of glass to keep it cooler to the touch. Fan-assisted ovens use convection to make sure your food is cooked faster and more evenly.
So you’ve found your perfect oven, what next?
Let’s take it for a spin with some tips for the perfect roast chicken.
1. Select the right bird
Choose the right size bird based on how many people you’re feeding and how many leftovers you want.
2. Pat down your chicken
Dry the skin before cooking with paper towels to achieve that perfect crispy finish.
3. Season the chicken liberally... and everywhere!
Separate the skin and the meat with your fingers to add your seasoning under the skin as well as on top. Why not try lemon slices, herbed butter, or garlic, or placing lemons, garlics, onions and herbs (like thyme) into the bird’s cavity?
4. Position is everything
Put your chicken breast side down in the roasting pan to allow the breast meat to absorb as many roasting juices as possible. Turn the bird halfway through - and try cooking your veggies directly underneath so they become infused with tastiness of the chicken’s roasting juices.
5. Get the temperature just right
Invest in a meat thermometer to test the chicken and wait for it to hit 75 degree celsius. Using a roasting rack will also help your chook cook evenly.
6. Wait before you tuck in
Like any meat, chicken should be allowed to rest before being carved.
Sold on a gas oven? Browse our appliance guide for a look at some great models.