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Best Buy built-in ovens

by Jane Darling

Want an oven that heats up quickly and cooks food evenly? Our expert lab tests reveal the best built-in ovens on the market.

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Many built-in ovens have sleek good looks, but looks alone won't tell you if an oven will heat up quickly and keep to the right temperature. We've found ovens that veer a massive 40°C above the set temperature - a sure-fire way to disappointing cooking results.

As well taking time and temperature measurements, we use the oven as you do, baking cakes and trays of shortbread, then assessing their quality. 

  • We time exactly how long it takes each oven to get to popular cooking temperatures such as 180°C and 200°C, so you know which ones might have you waiting an age to get dinner on the go.
  • We reveal the ovens that could ruin a slaved-over birthday cake, by burning the edges or leaving the middle underdone.
  • We use roasting trays and a plastic turkey to see what you'll really fit into an oven, to uncover the most spacious ones.

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How we uncover the best built-in ovens

Some ovens heat up quickly to the correct temperature and then maintain that heat consistently, so you can be confident that your dinner is being cooked as it should be. Unfortunately, others veer far off the set temperature with unwelcome results. 

We've tested all kinds of ovens, including single, double, gas and electric models, as well as modern self-cleaning options, so that you can find one to suit you. As well as investigating just how well an oven performs, we also take into account how easy it is to use. Our experts assess, among other things, how easy the oven is to set, the clarity of the markings on the dials, whether you can see inside when cooking is underway and how easy it is to load and unload items from both the oven and the grill. If you choose a Which? Best Buy oven, you can be sure it will be great at cooking and a pleasure to use.

  • Temperature: If you cook in an oven that isn't heated at the temperature it claims to be, you'll be left with undercooked, overdone or unevenly cooked food. We measure the temperature in several parts of the oven, and then bake cakes and shortbread in the same oven to check that accurate measurements will translate to great cooking results. We've found some ovens that are more than 30°C higher than they should be, while the best ones stick within a degree or two of the temperature you want.
  • Volume: We measure the real, usable volume of the ovens we test, from the top of the lowest shelf to 3cm below the roof of the oven. This gives an accurate picture of what will fit inside, so there'll be no nasty surprises when your Christmas turkey doesn't fit.
  • Grill: A grill should brown food evenly, and an outstanding one will cover 90% of the grill pan, but many barely reach a third. We cover each grill pan with crustless white bread, then measure how evenly it is browned by the grill, to see whether you'll need to shuffle food around.
  • Speed of heating: Your oven shouldn't keep you waiting as it heats up to the right temperature. We time how long each oven takes to reach 180°C - the quickest do it in less than four minutes, while slow ovens can take nearly three times as long.

Built-in oven reviews you can trust

Models from the biggest oven brands on the market – including AEG, Belling, Bosch, Hotpoint, Neff, Whirlpool and Zanussi – are tested in the Which? lab. We've discovered that sometimes even the best-known brands don't always come up with the goods. But there are some fantastic ovens out there at great prices. In fact, there's a difference of more than £900 between our cheapest and most expensive Best Buy ovens, so read our reviews to find one to suit you.

Which? is independent – we work for you, the consumer, so you can be sure that our product recommendations are influenced only by our test results. We're not influenced by third parties and we don't accept freebies from product manufacturers or retailers. We buy all the products that we test ourselves, so our advice helps you to make the right choice first time and avoid costly mistakes.

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