Two of the cookers we’ve just tested overheat by a whopping 50°C above what you set on the dial, while another exceeds its set temperature by more than 40°C. That’s enough to leave you with a scorched supper.
We’ve tested a bumper crop of 20 freestanding cookers for 2017. The models we’ve reviewed include gas, electric and dual-fuel cookers from big brands such as AEG, Beko, Leisure, Rangemaster, Smeg and Zanussi.
Two cookers impressed us enough to become new Best Buys, keeping to the temperature you set and cooking, grilling and baking evenly. Others proved disappointingly mediocre, despite some high price tags.
Find out which models get the medals, and which ones you should leave at the starting line, with our freestanding cooker reviews.
The best ovens hover consistently around the temperature you set on the dial. However, in our decades of cooker and oven testing we’ve come across many that fail to stick to the correct temperature.
A few degrees either way won’t cremate your bakes, but a difference of 20°C or more is likely to have a negative impact on your cooking. The worst offender in our recent tests hit a torrid 205°C when set at just 150°C. Another reached a scorching 235°C when set at 180°C, and averaged a biscuit-burning 211°C.
Some food is quite flexible about the temperature it’s cooked at but, as seasoned bakers will know, biscuits, cakes and other bakes can be quite fussy. Check out our advice page on why oven temperature matters to see what happens to your bakes when the temperature controls don’t behave.
Our new reviews include a mix of budget and premium cookers, and everything in between. A quarter of them – including a couple of models with two ovens – will set you back less than £350.
Gas cookers are, on average, cheaper to buy and cheaper to run. Induction cookers tend to be pricier to buy, but also quicker to heat, meaning less time waiting for your water to boil. We’ve tested five new induction cookers, including a Zanussi model that costs less than £400 – good value for an induction cooker.
But will paying less mean the oven will let you down? Head to our list of the best freestanding cookers to see which cheap cookers we recommend.
Which? cooker reviews for 2017
Here are all the freestanding cookers we’ve just tested. Click on the links to get straight to the full review for each product:
AEG 47102V-MN – £529 – double
Belling FS50EDOFCWHI – £330 – double
Beko EDC633W – £350 – double
Hotpoint HUI611X – £629 – double
Hotpoint HAE51PS – £279 – single
Hotpoint DUI611PX – £650 – single
Indesit I5ESHW – £190 – single
Indesit I5VSHK – £223 – single
Leisure CLA60GAC – £449 – double
New World NW601EDOMTI – £469 – double
New World 60EDOMC – £384 – double
Zanussi ZCV554MW – £380 – double
Zanussi ZCI68300BA – £699 – double
Prices correct as of 8 May 2017.