Kitchen, Lifestyle

Going Electric: Ovens

July 10, 2014

… it turns out after 60 years that its good bye to a gas oven that warms your calves after you lean down to open the door and hello to an electric oven with an easy reach grill.

After much debate about how an oven will fit into her new downsized life, my mum reckons she can put up with an electric oven; she will only use one occasionally, but most importantly, when the family visit, she can roast a chicken. So that’s how we came to the conclusion that she needed a full size oven, a half oven was a downsize too far.

Once we had established that we were going electric I had to consider what would fit in with my mum’s physical needs. And that’s how I came up with 3 things that I need to find in an oven to change her mind about cooking electric

  • install the oven at worktop height
  • an oven door opening side ways allowing full access to the oven
  • controls that are clear and easy to turn for her limited dexterity

Installing an oven at worktop height

is simplicity itself with a built in kitchen. I found that there’s a lot of variation to choose from. Its become very normal to choose to install an integrated oven to give your kitchen units to give a more streamlined look. For anyone with reduced mobility this is a fantastic, it makes using an oven so much easier to use as there is no bending over.

Side opening door.

The benefits are huge, it means that you can walk up to the open oven and easily take out your baking, no leaning forward stretching over the door; a huge bonus if you’re not steady on your feet or if you use a walking aid. Its even good for wheelchair access.

mamas cda oven

I bought the CDA oven, it was a good price and the controls seemed to be the easiest to turn and to understand, after using a gas oven the electric timer controls can be confusing. The only thing I would have liked would have been the option of telescopic shelves to make the shelves super stable.

There are a few others available: Zanussi make one, as do Beko and Howdens have one in the accessibility kitchens range:

This appliance can be used by children aged from 8 years and above and persons with reduced physical, sensory or mental capabilities or lack of experience and knowledge if they have been given supervision or instruction concerning use of the appliance in a safe way and understand the hazards involved

Or in the premium range, Neff do the slide and hide and this does have telescopic shelves  At the CP Hart showrooms I looked at the Gaggenhau side opening ovens, they do a big range of combinations: microwaves, steam ovens, hot drawers.

gaggenhau MEDIUM side open oven cp hart

Just beautiful, especially loved the blue interior enamel but the control knobs would be a bit fiddly for mum and it’s out of our budget….maybe next time

Easy to use controls

Look out for controls that are not round dials so that its easier to grip and check that they have a clear and positive action. I do wish that I could have found an electric oven with all of the above and without a clock. My mum doesn’t need a clock on her oven, and the way most oven clocks work… it does mean that if and when there is a power cut or the power trips someone has to go over to reset the clock just to get the oven to work.

I’m really pleased with our choice. The oven has worked out really well for my mum and as its in a 3/4 height unit she also has storage shelves below and space for family photos above.

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