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Buying an Oven in Malaysia – 3 Factors to Consider
First, you must decide what type of oven you need. If you simply plan on making toast, reheating leftover bread, or even making a few cookies each morning, a toaster oven will be sufficient.
It is not impossible to bake a cake in a toaster oven, but most recipes aren’t written with that in mind. Toaster ovens are small, light, and consume less energy than electric ovens.
For example, consider using an electric oven if you plan to bake choux pastry (think gougère, cream puffs, beignet).
You can also determine what functions you want in the oven by considering what you cook. For instance, if roasting meat dishes are a regular menu item for your family, you will need an oven with rotisserie capabilities.
The following are some features that you may want to look for when choosing an oven, regardless of whether you want to impress your partner, your friends, or simply have fun cooking:
Temperature control – regardless of what recipe requires an oven, temperature control is one of the essential features. Temperatures in an oven range from 180–190 °C (350–375 °F) to 200–230 °C (400–450 °F).
Timer – Every oven should have a timer; it is essential to any recipe. An oven timer can run for as little as a few minutes or as long as an hour and a half. Similarly, timers can come in both analogue and digital forms. The former has a dial for setting the time, while the latter has an LCD display for setting the time.
Sabbath mode – this feature allows food to stay warm longer. The food stays toasty until you serve it to your family or guests.
Glass doors – in contrast to opaque ovens, glass-door ovens tend to be more popular. Not only will you be able to watch your food cook, but you will also save energy and maintain an even chamber temperature by preventing hot air from escaping. Also, you can check if your food is cooked correctly and avoid overcooking.
Self-cleaning features –modern ovens often have this feature. However, simply because something is “self-cleaning” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t clean it. Self-cleaning ovens come in two types:
i) Pyrolitic – a setting which heats the oven to extremely high temperatures (500°C) to burn all food residue to thin white ash, which you can clean easily.
ii) Catalytic – It uses special liners that absorb food residues. Some burn off when heated to 250°C, making cleaning easy.
2. Space & Size
As its name suggests, a counter-top oven occupies a portion of the counter.
Naturally, the larger the space allocated to the oven, the larger its capacity will be. We have a 76L capacity in Malaysia, whereas the smallest is about 19L. This means you can cook multiple dishes simultaneously, roast a whole chicken with salad, or bake more cakes in one session.
The largest oven capacity you can find is what we recommend if you intend to use it daily to cook whole meals for your family.
Otherwise, anywhere from 35L to 56L is sufficient for casual baking & cooking, including the rotisserie cooking described above.
3. Convection vs Conventional
It’s time to dig deeper into some oven technicalities now that you know what you will use the oven for, the number of servings you will usually cater to, and how often you’ll use it.
You might have noticed that some ovens have a setting called ‘Convection’. It may also be referred to as a ‘fan-forced oven’ in recipes.
Conventional ovens have one heat source, usually found at the bottom (or top and bottom, depending on the model).
Whereas for convection ovens, the hot oven air is circulated around the food through an additional fan and exhaust system, ensuring more even cooking and baking.
It is possible to cook baked treats faster and more evenly with convection baking, but not all baked treats are suitable. In the case of foods that start as wet batter and set during cooking ( like a cake or a souffle), the blowing air will result in uneven results.
- Roasting foods, like meat and vegetables
- Cookies & Muffins
- Toasting bread or buns
- Quick bread
It’s good to know that most convection ovens allow you to turn off their fan (it’s a regular oven with a fan!).
Choosing an oven with both convection and conventional settings is a good idea if your budget allows it. Although slightly more expensive, it will enable you to bake large batches without rotating your trays since hot air is evenly circulated.
Adapt to Your Lifestyle
Size: For large families, double ovens are ideal.
Space: If you cook a lot at once, you may need more shelves.
Safety: Three-layer glass oven doors are pleasantly cool to the touch; vital if you have young children at home.
Convenience: Pyrolytic ovens make food residues into ashes that are easily cleaned.
Speed: A convection oven roasts meat up to 25% faster than a conventional oven.
Multi-functions: Electric ovens can perform a wide range of cooking tasks.
Quality: The rear fan of a convection oven is surrounded by a third element.
Size: Extra-wide ovens are ideal for baking large trays.
Versatility: To cater to different cooking requirements, electric ovens feature top, bottom, rear and grill elements.
Ovens – FAQs
How Do Free-Standing and Built-in Ovens Differ?
i) Free-standing Ovens: An oven and cooktop are built into these units. Various sizes are available, including slimline models. For smaller kitchens, a freestanding oven can be a good choice.
ii) Built-in ovens: Under the kitchen bench or in a wall recess, built-in ovens can be mounted into a wall recess. Since you can install built-ins in various ways, they are suitable for numerous kitchen styles and layouts.
Would a built-in oven work as a tabletop oven?
The sides of the oven are exposed without panelling, so it cannot be used as a tabletop oven. Therefore, using the oven will create a lot of heat on its exposed sides.
Is there a difference between cooking in an oven and cooking in a microwave?
It takes longer for food to cook in an oven since it undergoes convection cooking. However, a microwave oven radiates microwaves through food, dispersing heat throughout and reducing cooking time.
How do pyrolytic and catalytic cleaning in ovens differ?
Self-cleaning ovens are those with pyrolytic or catalytic cleaning features. Users do not have to clean the oven physically.
Pyrolytic cleaning involves heating up the oven cavity to 500°C and burning off all the stains to ash.
You will have to install two panels on either side of the oven cavity when you use a catalytic oven. In a catalytic oven, you will only need to wipe off the ash after it has cooled down. The oven is heated to the maximum temperature using the control knob as part of the catalytic cleaning process. The oven cavity’s two panels (right and left) will be burned to ash while removing the stains.
While pyrolytic cleaning can achieve a better cleaning result than catalytic cleaning, it is still necessary to manually clean the oven’s top and bottom.
Buying an Oven – Conclusion
Cooking delicious meals doesn’t require you to be an expert home cook. Every home should have an oven because it is convenient and easy to use. Whether you want to bake pastries, serve healthy baked vegetables, or a hearty pot roast, an oven can do all the work.
Consider your cooking needs, the size of your usual servings, and the amount of space in your kitchen before purchasing an oven. Additionally, you should consider the oven’s features, especially when it comes to convection ovens. Last but not least, find an oven that fits your budget.
Check out XAMMAX’s selection of ovens and other kitchen appliances if you want a great bargain!