Most people choose to have a separate oven and hob in their kitchen. But there are advantages to going for a cooker.
A simple freestanding cooker is the cheapest route to having an oven, grill and hob. They can be simpler to shift if you redesign your kitchen. And, if you move house, they are easier to take with you.
But there are various aspects worth thinking about before you decide to buy one. Read on to learn about five things to consider before buying a cooker.
Which? tests regularly find that the oven and hob on a cooker don't match the quality of stand-alone ovens and hobs.
A cooker is, after all, trying to be a Jack of all trades - which can lead to it being a master of none.
Budget options for freestanding cookers start at less than £200, but we've found you generally need to spend several hundred more to get a good one. The price starts to look less attractive when you consider that our cheapest Best Buy oven and hob together come to £379.
Switching from a gas cooker or oven to electric may require expensive work. You'll need to have an electric line installed and the gas line capped. In this instance, a gas cooker may be the cheapest option.
While there are few built-in gas ovens around, there are many more gas cookers to choose from. A further plus is that your fuel bills will be lower, as gas is cheaper, though it may be the less environmentally-friendly option.
A further possibility - if you love a gas hob but want an electric oven - is to go for a dual-fuel cooker.
How many ovens do you need? Many freestanding cookers have two, with the upper one doubling as a grill compartment. But neither oven will be as big as a single built-in oven.
If you regularly have a lot on the go at once, you could consider upgrading to a range cooker. These give you more hob space - up to seven cooking zones on the larger ones - and a couple of decent-sized ovens.
The ovens come in various shapes and sizes (see above), including models with one extremely large oven.
You can't miss a range cooker in a kitchen, so if you decide to go for one, make sure you get a style you love the look of - whether modern stainless steel, or a traditional, country-style model.
We find that cookers have fewer high-end features, as manufacturers focus their high-tech efforts on ovens and hobs.
A feature of fancier ovens, pyrolytic cleaning uses a high-temperature program to incinerate burnt-on cooking grime from the oven's innards. If you want your cooker's ovens to be self-cleaning, you can expect to splash out more.
And if you're a tech fan, longing to control your oven from your mobile, then a cooker's not for you. 'Smart ovens' are hitting the mainstream, but the same can't be said for cookers yet.
There are lots of decent built-in induction hobs around, some as cheap as £200 to £250. Add on a basic oven and you can walk away with change out of £400 (minus installation costs).
But cookers with induction hobs tend to be pricier. The is a good example. It has a lot going for it, with spacious ovens and catalytic liners (that help keep the oven walls clean), but will set you back more than £900.
Here are a selection of cookers that have recently been through rigorous Which? tests.
Prices correct as of 29 April 2021