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How to choose a new cooker

Chris Torney / 11 September 2015

There is a world of choice if you are thinking about buying a new cooker. So what are your main options, and how do you work out what model to get?

Flame from a gas cooker or oven
Your main decision is whether to get a gas-only or electric-only cooker, or a model which runs on both

Fuel type

Your main decision is whether to get a gas-only or electric-only cooker, or a model which runs on both – usually this means a gas hob and an electric oven.

Generally speaking, gas is cheaper than electricity, so using gas to cook with will result in lower energy bills. But gas ovens can be inefficient, with the heat not circulating as well as in electric fan-assisted ovens (although electric ovens without fans can have the same problem).

Electric hobs can take longer to heat larger pans than gas hobs, and gas hobs offer cooks more control over heat. But electric hobs don’t have all the parts that gas hobs have and are therefore much easier to clean.

Finally, gas cookers need to be installed by a professional who is listed on the Gas Safe Register.

Is your boiler on its way out? Read our guide to buying a new one.

Double versus single oven

Opting for a cooker with a double oven means it will cost less when you use just one oven as there is less space to heat. A double oven also lets you cook two dishes simultaneously at different temperatures – but you may not be able to fit a very large item, such as a Christmas turkey, in.

Range cookers

Range cookers are considerably wider than standard models and come with extra hobs – often including an extra-large hob designed for stir-frying with a wok. You are likely to find at least two ovens, perhaps also with a separate grill.

A range cooker can be ideal if you are regularly cooking for a large family, for example, but they are more expensive and take up more space in your kitchen.

Energy efficiency

Every cooker with an electric oven is given an energy-efficiency rating, with A+ models the most efficient. 

According to the Energy Saving Trust, a new A+ rated electric oven consumes 40% less energy than an oven with a B rating. So if you spend a bit more on an extra-efficient model, you may be able to quickly recover the cost in the form of lower energy bills.

Read our fridge-freezer buyer's guide. 

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.