Built-in ovens: How to buy the best oven Oven types
There’s more to buying an oven than you might think and, with so many different types of oven available, it’s easy to spend money on a model that isn’t right for you.
To make sure this doesn’t happen, here we explain all the types of built-in oven available so you know what you need to look for when you’re buying a new one.
Video guide: built-in oven buyer's guide
This built-in ovens buyer's guide explains the differences between the different types available to help you find the best oven for you.
But if you want to skip straight to our recommendations, check out our built-in oven reviews to find the best one for you.
Types of oven
There are four types of built-in oven to choose from – single built-in ovens, double built-in ovens, double built-under ovens and smaller compact ovens.
Single ovens will fit pretty much anywhere in your kitchen – whether it’s under a counter or in an eye-level cabinet. There may only be one oven to bake, roast and grill in, but there’s usually enough space to cook most things.
Electric single ovens
Electric single built-in ovens can be an excellent option if space is tight in your kitchen. Single ovens are around 60cm tall and can be slotted into an undercounter or eye-level kitchen unit. You’ll find the grill inside the oven.
PROS The benefit of cooking with an electric oven, especially one with a fan, is that heat is distributed all around the oven. Electric ovens also heat accurately and there are plenty to choose from – you’ll find more electric single ovens in shops than any other type of oven.
CONS Only having one oven to cook with will be a limitation for some, particularly if you’re looking to bake and grill at the same time or if you’ve got a lot of cooking to do.
Gas single ovens
Gas single ovens are a good choice if you prefer cooking with gas and if you don’t have much room in your kitchen. They’re the same size as single electric built-in ovens but you’ll need to have them installed by a Gas Safe-registered engineer.
PROS Gas is the cheapest fuel to cook with so you’ll definitely save money if you cook this way. The savings aren’t massive - there’s around a £25 difference between the cheapest to run gas oven and the most expensive electric oven.
CONS Gas built-in ovens aren’t quite as effective as electric ovens at distributing heat all around the oven. Gas built-in ovens are few and far between – there’s far more choice if you’re in the market for an electric single built-in oven.
Double ovens offer more cooking options than a single and there are two types - double built-in and the smaller double built-under. The only real difference is in how tall they are, so choose the right type for your kitchen based on the space you have available.
Gas double ovens
If you love cooking with gas and you’re the cook of the house, a double built-in or double built-under gas oven would be a good choice. But remember that built-in doubles have more room inside than built-unders.
PROS Gas is cheaper to cook with than electricity and two ovens are always going to be more helpful than one. The main oven in double built-in gas ovens are usually big enough for the biggest Christmas turkey.
CONS Double built-ins are too big to fit under a counter. Two ovens are helpful, but remember that the main oven on a double built-under will usually be smaller than a single oven.
Electric double ovens
Double built-in electric ovens are about 90cm tall and need to be slotted into cabinets at eye level. Double built-under ovens are around 72cm tall and slot into an undercounter unit or at eye level.
There will always be a grill in the top oven and on higher spec ovens you’ll sometimes find one in the main oven, too.
PROS Electric ovens heat evenly and accurately and, if they come with a fan, heat distribution will be good too. Cooking in two ovens at the same time will make preparing dinner easier for most of us, and the main ovens on double built-in ovens are usually roomy.
CONS The ovens on double-built under ovens can be smaller than you’d expect, particularly the main oven. This is because manufacturers have fitted two ovens into a space only 12cm taller than a single oven.
Compact ovens are a good option if space is at a premium in your kitchen – they’re smaller than single ovens at just 45cm tall and are the same size as a large built-in microwave. They usually come with an oven and grill.
You’ll also find compact steam ovens, which are more likely to be used as an additional cooking option rather than the main family oven.
PROS There isn’t a more space-efficient way of cooking than with a compact oven. They might be the same width and depth as a single oven but they’re 25% shorter, saving you some kitchen cabinet space.
CONS The trade-off is that there’s not much room inside, so don’t try cooking the Christmas dinner in a compact oven.