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Buying guides

Cooking appliances at John Lewis & Partners

CHOOSING YOUR COOKING APPLIANCE

Your cooking appliance is at the heart of your kitchen, so you'll want to find one that suits your lifestyle and kitchen design. Our guide will help you choose:

Tip

We define a cooker as being made up of at least one oven cooking zone, plus a gas
or electric hob on top. It’s also freestanding.

An oven is a built-in cooking zone and doesn't have a hob.

COOKERS

Slot-in Cookers

  • Don’t need housing

  • Measure between 50 to 60cm in width

  • Are an economical option if you have a space available and don't want built-in units

  • Have height adjustable feet so you can fit the hob at worktop level

  • Have wheels at the back allow them to be moved forward for cleaning

  • Can line up with your kitchen base units, so the unit and cooker doors are flush

  • May have glass lids, depending on the model, which act as splashbacks when the hob is in use - or as extensions to the work surface when in place

  • A safety cut out turns off the gas if the lid is accidentally shut with the hob still on

an example of a slot in (freestanding) cooker

Tip

Manufacturers recommend you leave a gap of at least 5cm around your freestanding cooker,
to prevent any potential damage from heat.

Range Cookers

  • Are designed to look like traditional cooking ranges found in rustic country kitchens

  • Can also be planned into fitted or semi-fitted kitchens

  • Come in widths of 60cm to 150cm, with most models having twin ovens arranged side by side

  • Can have both gas and electric hobs, as well as specialist burners or hot plates (such as an extra-fast wok burner or a cast iron griddle)

  • Are very flexible as you can choose a range cooker with a fan oven, plus a conventional oven

an example of a range cooker

Tip

Your local fuel supplies may well decide the type of cooker you choose,
but the first thing to consider is whether you want all electric, all gas or dual fuel (gas hob and electric oven).

Your kitchen configuration and space will help you decide whether you
want a slot-in freestanding cooker with a hob, or a separate oven and hob.

OVENS

Types of Ovens

Single Oven

  • Usually fits into H60 x W60 x D60cm housing
  • Can have a width of 90cm, depending on the manufacture
  • Can be built in a column kitchen unit at eye level, or under a worktop
  • Is great if you need to free up space, as you can fit a microwave or combination microwave in housing at eye level over a single oven
an example of a single oven

Double Oven

  • Needs a larger space - usually height 90cm x  width 60cm x  depth 60cm
  • Is intended to fit in a column kitchen unit at eye level
  • Is usually built-in (a full-sized multifunction or fan oven will sit below a smaller economy conventional oven with the grill element)
  • A height 90cm eye level oven cannot be fitted under your worktop
  • Can be built-under to give you flexibility, however, you’ll lose some capacity as the oven will be about 25% smaller than a built-in type
  • A height 72cm built-under double oven cannot be fitted at eye level (and does not require a housing unit)
an example of a double oven

Electric Ovens

  • In a conventional electric oven the thermostat controls the heat in the middle

  • The oven will be a little hotter than the set temperature at the top, and slightly cooler at the bottom

  • This zoned heat difference can be useful when cooking different kinds of dishes

  • These ovens need to be pre-heated to cooking temperature

an example of an electric oven

Fan Ovens

  • Feature a fan with a circular heating element around it, which is positioned on the rear wall of the oven

  • Temperature throughout the oven is even and it heats up quickly, reducing cooking times and saving energy

  • With top-end fan ovens you can also cook foods with strong flavours at the same time, without fear of flavour crossover

  • Circulating air breaks up odours and fat particles, for example in Neff's Circotherm fan system

  • Fan ovens don’t start cooking immediately, so if a recipe calls for a cooking time of less than 25 minutes stick to that time

  • For cooking times over 25 minutes, deduct about 10% off the cooking time allowed for a conventional electric oven

an example of a fan oven

Gas Ovens

  • Usually heated by a flame in the back base of the oven - the gas is ignited by an electric spark

  • Hot air circulates as it rises, but the top of the oven will always be hotter

  • Some ovens are shaped to help the air to circulate so that the temperature across the shelves is even

  • Gas gives off moisture in cooking so it's especially good for cake baking

  • Some even incorporate an economy setting, so you can use the oven like a slow cooker for casseroles

an example of an integrated gas oven

Multifunction & Steam Ovens

  • The most flexible oven types, you can use a combination of different heating elements to heat your food
  • Most combine a fan and conventional oven, plus a grill
  • Grilling is done with the door closed, retaining moisture in the oven and in the food
  • A fan/grill roasting feature offers a finish similar to a spit roast or barbecue
  • The bottom heat only function crisps pies and pizza bases
  • The top heat only function is great for browning
  • The rotisserie function allows self-basting for joints of meat
  • The defrost setting uses the fan and is ideal for meat or delicate foods, such as a gateau
  • Steam is great for cooking foods such as vegetables and fish
  • It’s more versatile for all-round cooking, including chicken, bread, cakes and rice
  • You can still use a steam oven in a conventional way without steam
an example of steam/multifunction oven
a freestanding cooker installed in a kitchen

OVEN AND COOKER FEATURES

Grills

  • Some have both inner and outer elements
  • If you’re cooking small food portions you can just use the inner element
  • Some have variable controls so you can set the cooking temperature
  • Simply raise or lower the grill pan to control the temperature in fixed grills
  • High speed grills heat up faster, therefore they speed up cooking and save energy
  • In most modern ovens the grill is used with the door closed

Electronic Controls

  • These provide greater accuracy and maintain a constant temperature
  • Ideal for baking delicate foods

  • On some ovens, there are pre-selected temperatures to save you time

  • A meat thermometer is available in some ovens - it can measure the core temperature of meats so you know exactly when your meat is cooked. The thermometer is connected to a metal probe, which is inserted (at least two inches) into the thickest portion of the uncooked meat, well away from any fat, bone or cooking pan. This type of thermometer can remain in the meat while roasting in the oven or cooking on the grill

Timers

  • The simplest timer is the minute minder

  • An auto timer allows you to start and finish cooking at preset times

  • Usually only the main oven in a double oven is programmable

  • If you can set the timer for both ovens, it needs to be for the same length of time

  • You can also buy gas ovens with preset cooking times

Self-cleaning

  • Most of our ovens are either catalytic or pyrolytic
  • They’re finished in smooth, hard-wearing enamel which is resistant to chipping and burning, making it easy to clean

  • Ovens supplied with catalytic stay-clean liners make the oven self-cleaning at higher temperatures

  • Top range ovens use a high temperature pyrolytic cleaning system, which cleans every part of the oven's interior

  • Use self cleaning on your oven every few weeks if you use your oven regularly

  • During the cleaning cycle the oven temperature rises to 500ºC and any soiling in the oven is carbonised and falls to the floor of the oven as ash

  • A catalytic converter in the oven roof neutralises the smoke created

  • The process takes 2-3 hours

  • Don’t ever clean catalytic liners manually - ‘service’ the liners (if, for example, the oven has become ‘smoky’) by putting the oven on its highest heat setting for about an hour

Warming Drawers

  • Available to pair with built-in ovens

  • As the name suggests, they keep food or crockery warm but can also defrost

  • Especially useful if you entertain a lot and struggle with oven space

Doors

  • Soft-close doors are a feature on some ovens - useful when your hands are full
  • Some NEFF ovens have a Slide & hide door that gives you easier and safer access to the oven cavity

  • A few ovens are available with side opening, which can be useful in particularly tight kitchen spaces

  • Some ovens offer child locks for added safety

  • Oven doors are detachable for easy cleaning

HOBS

Hobs that are 60cm wide and have 4 burners are the most common size

We also sell 5-burner 70cm models

These can still fit into a 60cm gap by overlapping the work surface

We also sell a range of 80cm and 90cm hobs

The most popular configuration of burners (or zones on a ceramic hob) is one large, two medium and a simmer

Some hobs now have specialist burners for fish kettles or for woks

The aperture dimensions we give to house the hob is smaller than the hob itself, as the hob overlaps and stands proud of the work surface

We recommend the size and rear space around a hob is about 5cm

Hob Types

Domino Hobs

  • They get their name from their distinctive oblong shape

  • They’re 30cm wide and feature one or two burners which can stand alone

  • By installing several different types of unit adjacent to each other, you can create a flexible and versatile cooking hub

  • You can add a single domino next to your standard hob, such fitting a wok burner domino next to your regular-sized electric induction hob

  • A boiling ring is great for locations where you might not want to install a full-size cooker

  • For example, a bed-sit or studio flat

  • They’re a good solution if you need extra hob capacity over and above what your current cooker provides

an example of a domino hob

Induction Hobs

  • A popular variant of a ceramic hob

  • Cooking by induction is very effective with instant, precise and even heat

  • They use clever technology that heats the saucepan rather than the actual hob plate, this makes cooking fast and responsive

  • They’re usually more expensive

  • Quicker and more controllable than gas, and cheaper to run than other electric hobs

  • You'll need special saucepans with ferrous iron content to make them magnetic

  • Suitable pans include: enamelled steel, iron, stainless steel (depending on the alloy) and some aluminium pans with a ferromagnetic base

  • You won't be able to use glass or copper bases

  • If you have a heart pacemaker, do seek advice from your doctor before using an induction hob

an example of an induction hob

Ceramic Hobs

  • Have a touch glass surface with heating elements beneath

  • These elements come in various forms - the faster they work, the more expensive the hob

  • Heat is conducted through the glass into the pan only

  • Easy to clean and some are operated by finger touch controls

  • Some have sensors which will turn down or cut off the heat automatically

  • Some have timers so that you don't need to return to the hob to switch off the heat

  • All hobs have residual heat lights so you can see when it's cool enough to touch

a ceramic hob example

Gas Hobs

  • Remain popular because the heat is visible, fast and easy to control
  • Most have mains rather than battery ignition
  • Some have automatic ignition so the burner ignites as you turn the knob
  • With other types you’ll need to press and hold an ignition button as you turn the knob
  • Some automatic ignition hobs have the benefit of reignition if the burner is blown out
  • Others have flame failure cut-out, which turns the gas valve off if the flame is blown out
an example of a gas hob

Electric Sealed Plates

  • Give a traditional look

  • They are relatively inexpensive and provide excellent heat distribution across the base of the saucepan

  • Because they conduct all the heat into the pans they’re cost-effective to run

  • Some have red spots which provide more power than equivalent size standard plates

  • Sealed plates can accommodate any type of flat base saucepan

  • They’re especially suited to cast iron cookware

an example of electric sealed plates

COOKER HOODS

Sealed heating systems, double glazing and insulation all stop the circulation
of fresh air, so a cooker hood helps get rid of moisture and odours caused by cooking.

Most of the cooker hoods we sell can either extract air or filter it.
Generally, the more you pay, the quieter and more energy-efficient the cooker hood will be.

Extraction

 

  • The best option if you have space and capacity for ducting
  • Steam and odours are removed from the kitchen to the outside of your house

Pros

  • Removes airborne contamination such as smoke and odours
  • Cheaper long term, as you don’t need to replace charcoal filters regularly
  • The airflow rate is higher as there’s no charcoal filter in front of the motor
  • Steam and odours are removed from the kitchen to the outside of your house

 

Cons

  • Extraction isn’t possible in all kitchens, usually due to a lack of space or capacity to install ducting - for example, if your kitchen doesn’t have an external wall
  • Ducting and installation are more expensive initially
  • Ducting kits aren’t supplied with cooker hoods, but you can get them from the supplier or from a good DIY store

Filtration

  • Air is taken through two filters - a grease filter and a charcoal filter

  • The charcoal filter removes smoke and odour from the air before the hood releases the ‘scrubbed’, de-greased air back into the kitchen

  • All cooker hoods come with a grease filter, but not usually a charcoal one

Pros

  • You can use a filtration hood pretty much anywhere – ideal if you can’t reach an outside wall with ducting
  • Cheaper upfront as ducting is not required
  • If the grease filter is paper it can be replaced and if it’s a permanent metal filter you can wash it in the dishwasher

Cons

  • Recirculates some heat and moisture back into the kitchen
  • You’ll need to buy a new charcoal filter once a year  (through the manufacturer's’ websites or a dedicated spares shop)
  • There’s decreased airflow rate because the charcoal filter is in front of motor
  • You may also need a recirculation kit to ensure that odour-free air is returned into the kitchen

Ducting

  • Sometimes you can choose between 150mm or 120mm (with an adaptor collar) ducting
  • Opt for the wider ducting if your builder approves, as this will offer a slightly improved airflow rate
  • Rigid ducting will also offer better airflow than flexible ducting, because the ridges on the latter slightly inhibit the flow of the exhaust air

To work out the extraction rate you need for your kitchen

  • Calculate the volume of the room in cubic metres by multiplying length x width x height
  • Multiply that figure again by 12 (for the recommended 12 changes of air per hour)
  • The final figure is the minimum extraction rate you need from your cooker hood

 

Style

Cooker hoods will always contain lamps to illuminate your hob and work surface.

We sell a variety of cooker hood styles such as:

Chimney Style

Designed to be wall-mounted.

chimney style hood example

Island Style

Designed to be suspended above kitchen islands.

island style hood example

Canopy Style

Designed to fitted underneath a cupboard unit.

canopy hood example

Visor Style

Similar to a canopy style, but mounted to the wall instead.

visor style example

Downdraft Style

Hidden in your worktop and at the touch of a control, rises when you need it.

downdraft extractor example

Tip

Whichever style you choose, you'll need to position the hood correctly at a minimum of:

  • 75cm above a gas hob

  • 65cm above an electric hob

  • Remember to check manufacturer’s recommendations before you install

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Energy efficiency gradings for electric ovens are the responsibility
of the appliance manufacturers and their work is monitored by Trading Standards.

Standard tests are carried out by heating a brick, and efficiency
gradings of A+++ - G applied, with A+++ being the most efficient.

Although energy efficiency labels are currently unavailable for hobs, induction hobs feature cooking zones which automatically recognise the pan size for heat efficient cooking. They also have an energy consumption display so you know just how much energy you’re using.

ORDERING

What are my delivery options?

Standard delivery of your cooking appliance is free. This can be in as little as 3 working days, but you’ll be offered delivery slots at checkout.

We also offer next and named day delivery for an additional fee.

Delivery by our approved supplier means your appliance will be delivered directly by the manufacturer, or their chosen courier, and they will arrange delivery with you.

Cooking Appliance Installation Services

Built-in electric/gas over - £90/£100

Electric of induction/gas hob - £90/£100

Disposal from £15

If your new machine is being delivered by a John Lewis & Partners green van crew, we can install it and take away your old one. There are some terms and conditions attached to these services, so please check these below.

Installing the Cooking Appliance Yourself

We recommend:

  • Electric ovens and cookers are connected to a separate 30 or 45 amp supply

  • You avoid running single ovens from a 13 amp supply to ensure the ring main circuit is not overloaded

  • Connecting them to the fitted cooker circuit using a large sized 13 amp fuse

  • That all cookers are installed by a registered engineer

Please note that connection cables are not supplied with electric cookers.

Gas Appliances

We recommend:

  • All gas appliances are installed by a Gas Safe Register-registered engineer

Please note that connection hoses don’t come with gas cookers. Also, all manufacturers of gas cookers are legally obliged to fit their units with a flame failure device - this ensures that if the flame fails, the gas will turn off.

 

A range cooker example

Guarantees

Guarantees on all our cooking appliances are at least 2 years as standard.
John Lewis & Partners cooking appliances have 3-year guarantees.