Samsung Series 8 Smart TVs – Your Entertainment Hub

Remember that movie with Tom Cruise called Minority Report? One iconic part of the film was the way Tom Cruise’s character used his hands to swipe the air to get information. At the time, that kind of technology still seemed to be fantastical. As we all know in the world of technology, things have a way of improving and developing at a rapid pace, and today, here we are with Samsung’s latest 8 series TV. In fact calling it a TV probably doesn’t do justice for what it can deliver in terms of content and interaction.

If you’re an avid watcher of free-to-air TV, then you will love the way this TV can help recommend shows that are currently airing on other channels or upcoming shows – and it does this based on learning your TV viewing patterns over time. You can use the TV to simply alert you, or help you set up recording these suggested programs using your own hard drive.

The 8 series takes TV discovery to the next level – you can ask it, with your voice, to help find shows you’re looking for. Whether it’s a genre like cooking or sport, or shows with particular actors, you simply use the Smart Hub remote and speak into it.

So let’s talk about that hand movement thing for a second, because on this TV, it works really well. I’m left handed and it recognised my gestures as easily as it would a right handed person. And you can do a lot with one hand on your Series 8 TV. Swipe between different panels of the TV, select and open apps, even change channels and adjust the volume.

As with all Smart TVs, you really need to have this connected to the internet to get the most out of it. And with Wifi built-in to the TV, it’s very easy to get this connected to your home’s wireless router. Once you have online connectivity, you can load in your Skype, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter passwords and get social from the comfort of your lounge.

Here’s a brief video highlighting some of the “smarts” of the Series 8 Smart TV. Click below for more details and to order online:

http://www.binglee.com.au/samsung-ua55f8000-55-series-8-3d-fhd-led-tv

Bing Lee Launches the Bing Lee Alive App

Today, Bing Lee takes the next step in using the latest technology to communicate to its customers with the Bing Lee Alive app, available to download via the Apple App Store or the Google Play store. Simply type in “Bing Lee Alive” in the search field of either store to easily find our app.

Whenever you see the Bing Lee Alive logo on our catalogue or in store, you’ll be able to unlock information on new products and chances to win great prizes. And it’s a cinch to actually use the app as well.

For example, on our latest catalogue you’ll see Bing Lee Alive featured on the front cover on the bottom banner and on the LG Smartwasher. All you have to do is start the Bing Lee Alive app, and the phone’s camera will activate. Press launch on the screen and hover over the Bing Lee Alive logo and a short video will start, taking you through the features of LG Smartwasher.

One of the great things is that the video is preloaded when you install the app, so you won’t have video quality issues when you playback and won’t be relying on a strong mobile network to stream the video – you can playback even if you have mobile data turned off.

Once the video is over, press the “win” button on the bottom right hand corner and you’ll be taken to a mobile-friendly web page where you can enter your details to win a great prize – in this case, one of the LG Smartwashers that was featured on the video. Over the coming months we’ll be showcasing lots of new and exciting products across home appliances, cooking, television and computers amongst many others.

Make sure you keep the Bing Lee Alive app up to date so that you’ll be able to check out the latest content and participate for your chance to win! Thanks for joining us in this exciting new communication platform for Bing Lee, we look forward to seeing you in-store and online soon! Here’s a quick visual guide to the app:

First, you can see the Bing Lee Alive logo on this page:

 

 

Next, here’s the Bing Lee Alive app loading:

 

 

Here’s the launch screen with the camera activated:

 

 

Simply press the launch button:

 

When you hover over a Bing Alive logo, a video will instantly come to life:

Turn your phone sideways for a full screen presentation.

 

Once the short video finishes, press the “win” button on the right lower screen:

 

 

Follow the instructions to enter our competition to win,. and good luck!

 

10 Smart Power-Saving Tips

Most people are aware of the little things that can be done to save power, like turning off lights when leaving a room or shutting down the computer every night. A lot of consumers are also aware of major energy-saving changes they can make, like installing solar power. There are, however, a lot of mid-range ways to save a significant amount of power without busting your budget or drastically altering the way you live.

Tip #1 Control Cooling. Cooling accounts for a lot of home energy use, but turning up the thermostat can make your home uncomfortably warm. One way to offset this is better circulate the air. Air conditioning used in conjunction with standing fans and ceiling fans can allow you to set the thermostat at a higher temperature but still feel cool. Another option is to purchase smaller air conditioning units, such as a portable air conditioner or wall mount unit. Put them in the rooms you use most to keep those areas at a refreshing temperature. Extra tip: Keep your filters clean, otherwise your air conditioner cannot work properly and you’ll use more energy without getting more cold air.

Tip #2 Help Your Heater. As with cooling, adjusting the thermostat can help save power; even a couple degrees can make a difference in your energy use. What many people don’t know, however, is that fans can actually help keep your home warm! Warm air rises, keeping cold air closer to the floor. This means you use a ton of energy just heating the ceiling! By using fans, you can circulate the warm air down into your living space. Another energy-saving trick is to use space heaters in the areas where you spend the most time or near areas where cold air might seep into your home.

Tip #3 Tend to Your Water Tank. Something simple you can do is to make sure your water tank is set properly. Water over 54 degrees Celsius (130 degrees Fahrenheit) is not only a waste of energy, water that hot can cause burns. You can also help your water tank work more efficiently by covering it with thermal blankets made specifically for this purpose. Another great tip: when you’re going out of town, turn your water heater off. There’s no sense keeping water hot when no one is going to use it.

Tip #4 Wash in Cold Water. As the above tip indicates, water heaters need a lot of energy. Simply choosing a cold wash cycle over warm or hot can save you tons of power and money, plus your clothes actually benefit. Hot and warm water causes bright colors to fade more quickly, and can often lead to the yellowing of white garments.

Tip #5 Replace Your Washing Machine. Have an old top-loading washing machine? These models are notoriously inefficient, wasting both power and water. They also remove less water from clothes during the spin cycle, meaning the dryer has to run longer to dry items. Front-loading washing machines are more efficient in every way. If you must have a top-loader style, upgrade it. Modern versions have many more water and energy-saving features than old models.

Tip #6 Mind Your Windows. Did you know you can lose between 20% – 30% of heating or cooling through your home’s windows? Extreme energy-savers often cover their windows with black plastic, but you don’t have to go quite that far. Heavy, thermal curtains can keep inside temperatures steady. Open them only when you’re in the room and want natural light, then close them again when you leave.

Tip #7 Decrease Drying Time. Purchase a dryer with a moisture sensor. Old dryers keep going until the cycle ends, regardless of whether or not the clothes are dry. Modern dryers with moisture sensors can detect when the clothes are dry, and will automatically turn off. A new, energy-efficient dryer with a moisture sensor is relatively affordable and you can make up for the cost over the long term through savings on your power bill. Another tip: clean the lint screen every time. A clogged lint screen is not only a fire hazard, it makes the dryer run less efficiently.

Tip #8 Upgrade your Refrigerator. If you can only afford to replace one appliance, make it the refrigerator. Refrigerators are big energy users because they have to run continuously. Look for a well-made model with a good Energy Star rating; this is one of those times quality makes a huge difference. In the meantime, turn your refrigerator to as low a setting as possible and put items that need more cooling, such as dairy or meats, towards the back of the fridge where they’re less vulnerable to temperature changes from opening the door.

Tip #9 Embrace Small Cooking Appliances. If a small kitchen appliance will do the job, use it. Slow cookers, microwave ovens, rice cookers, countertop grills, waffle irons and the like use far less power than your stove or oven. This is because you’re essentially only heating a small space and that heat is going directly to the food rather than escaping into the air.

Tip #10 Get an Induction Cooktop. Induction cooktops are extremely efficient. They work by magnetic properties to heat only the pan, and only when it comes in contact with the surface of the cooktop. This means less heat loss, which translates to power savings. Can’t afford an entire cooktop? There are single-burner induction plates you can purchase and use instead of your stovetop for small cooking tasks.

Simple Guide to Convection Cooking

Convection ovens have long been popular with professional bakers because of their ability to cook quickly and brown evenly. That’s why when these ovens were made available for home kitchens, many consumers rushed to get one of their own. If you’re considering a convection oven for your own kitchen, here’s a quick guide to help you make a smart purchase.

How Do Convection Ovens Work?

Convection ovens work much like a traditional oven, but with one important addition. A convection oven utilizes fans to better circulate the air inside the oven cavity. Traditional ovens heat from the bottom or top, creating areas of hot and cold that can lead to undercooked food or burning. Because a convection oven heats from the back and circulates the air more efficiently, the temperature inside the oven is consistent.

Benefits of Convection Ovens

Convection ovens have considerable benefits over traditional ovens. The use of fans to circulate the heat means convection ovens heat up much more quickly than conventional ovens. Also, because the hot air completely surrounds the food and remains at a steady temperature, food browns evenly, cooks faster. Plus, the oven can be operated at a lower temperature. Something else to note is that, contrary to popular belief, you do not need specially designed pans to work with your convection oven. The benefits of convection ovens go beyond cooking. Being able to prepare food faster and at a lower temperature translates directly to energy savings. An oven that cooks faster, better, saves you money, and is better for the environment – it’s a wonder traditional ovens are still used!

Making the Most of Your Convection Oven

So why do people still use traditional ovens? Well, convection ovens take some getting used to. Most recipes are made with traditional ovens in mind which can make using a convection oven somewhat challenging for beginners. However, convection oven manufacturers and chefs have come up with some suggestions to help adjust recipes and compensate for faster cooking times. When cooking meats, such as a roast or turkey, experts suggest reducing the cooking time by about a quarter (think 15 minutes off for every hour suggested). For baking, it’s recommended to cook for the full time indicated in the recipe, but at a quarter of the temperature. For example, if the recipe says to cook at 162 degrees Celsius, you would reduce the temperature to 148 degrees Celsius.

Other Helpful Tips and Tricks

When cooking with a convection oven, remember that it works best when the air can properly circulate. Refrain from overfilling the oven with pans, and use pans with short sides whenever possible. This will allow for the best browning. For the same reasons, avoid using a lid; provided you do not overcook the food, the even browning should seal in the moisture, making a lid unnecessary. Another tip: If you live at a high elevation and normally adjust recipes, you may want to consult your oven manufacturer to find out if further adjustments need to be made.

The Bottom Line

Convection ovens are simply a better than traditional ovens in every way. They cook food faster, more evenly, and are much more efficient in terms of energy use. It will definitely take some time to get used to how they work and alter your recipes accordingly, and you will have to be willing to spend some time learning through trial and error. But once you adjust, you’ll be able to enjoy better-tasting food for years to come.

3 Tasty Recipes to Spice Up the Colder Months

When the temperature drops, it’s time to heat things up in the kitchen and warm your cockles, the old fashioned way – with some spicy comfort cooking. Here are three of our favourite simple recipes from around the globe that are sure to keep you warm this winter.

Spicy Tomato Soup

Serves 4 Ingredients 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil 1 brown onion, chopped 2 large garlic cloves, crushed 1 Habanero chilli chopped* 1 tsp ground coriander 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tbs tomato paste 2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes 1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed 500ml salt-reduced chicken or vegetable stock Method Preheat your oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium-low heat before adding the onion, then cook for 3-4 minutes stirring frequently until the onion is soft. Add the chilli, spices, garlic and tomato paste, and stir for a further minute until ingredients are evenly combined. Add tomatoes, lentils and stock to the pan and raise heat to high to bring the mixture to the boil. Then reduce heat to low before partially covering and simmering for 20 minutes. Allow to cool to before pureeing the in batches until smooth. If the soup is too thick for your taste, gradually add another half cup of water. Once the desired consistency has been achieved, return to the saucepan and season with salt and pepper – freshly ground it best. Warm through by stirring over a medium heat. Serving Suggestion: ladle soup among serving bowls and swirl in a spoonful of yoghurt or sour cream to serve. *Note, the Habanero is one of the hottest varieties of chillis available. To reduce the heat, remove the seed or opt for a milder chilli such as the birdseye or jalepeno.

Chorizo and Bean Casserole

Serves 6 Ingredients 3 chorizo sausages, sliced 1 tbs vegetable oil 1 large brown onion, diced 2 garlic cloves, peel and crushed 1 1/2 tsp Mexican chilli powder 1 x 800g can diced tomatoes 2 x 400g cans red kidney beans, rinsed, drained 700g red sweet potato, peeled, diced into 1.5cm chunks 1 large eggplant, diced into 1.5cm pieces Method Preheat oil in a large saucepan before adding the sausages and onion. Cook for 3 minutes stirring frequently until the onion is golden and the sausages begin to brown. Stir in the garlic and chilli powder, and cook until aromatic. Add tomatoes, kidney beans, sweet potato and eggplant. Stir until the mixture is evenly combined before increasing heat to bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender. Serving suggestion: Serve with the crusty bread rolls.

Spicy Meatballs with Spaghetti

Serves 4 Ingredients 500g lean beef mince 1 large red chilli, finely chopped (and seeded for less heat, if desired) 1/4 cup quality dry breadcrumbs 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 small brown onion, chopped finely 2 garlic cloves, crushed 400g can chopped Roma tomatoes 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 cup water Pinch of sugar 400g spaghetti or pasta of your choice Method Combine beef mince, breadcrumbs and chilli into a bowl, seasoning with salt. Mix together by hands until the mixture is well combined. Roll12 even-sized balls from the mixture. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and add pasta. Cook until al dente before draining well. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a non-stick frypan over medium heat. Add meatballs and cook, turning frequently, for about 5 minutes until evenly browned. Remove meatballs and set aside. Wipe pan clean with a paper towel or wet sponge. Add the remainder of your oil to frypan. Cook onion and garlic until the onion softens then add the tomatoes, oregano, and water. Bring sauce to the boil before adding the meatballs and reducing heat. Simmer partially covered for 10 minutes, turning meatballs occasionally until cooked through. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and sugar before serving with spaghetti or pasta of your choice.

Entertainer’s Guide to Hosting a Dinner Party

It is possible to throw a dinner party with maximum enjoyment for your guests and minimal stress for you. Organisation and making use of modern technology are your keys to success. Here are our suggestions on how to host a great dinner party.

Plan Your Menu

From appetisers to dessert, plan out exactly what you will be serving your guests, including beverages. When they RSVP have your guests advise you of any allergies or special dietary needs and ensure that you have factored these into your menu planning. Know what you will be cooking well in advance of your party and ensure that you have all of the ingredients you will need. It’s probably best not to be experimenting with new recipes on the night of your party. If you would like to make something you haven’t made before, cook a trial batch beforehand. Fresh is best, so try and cook as much as possible on the day of the party – keep your menu simple to allow for this. If you will be preparing some elements in advance, ensure these are properly stored. Don’t forget to always store and serve your food at safe temperatures. After all, you want your dinner party to be memorable, but not for food poisoning!

Atmosphere

Having a theme is a great way to set the tone for your evening. Setting your theme around a particular culinary style can be complimented by your table settings and the use of other decorative elements around your home. Ensure your table settings don’t obscure your guests view, as this may hinder conversation. Music and lighting will create the ambiance for your dinner party. Program a playlist that will help set the mood you are trying to achieve. Check the volume is set so that you can hear the music without having to talk over it. Avoid bright lights by using the dimmer setting, lamps or candles to give your dining room an intimate feel.

Don’t Forget the Essentials

It is attention to detail and remembering the little things that makes all the difference. Here are a few simple things to ensure you don’t overlook:

  • Stock up on napkins (cocktail and dinner size), toothpicks, garbage bags, tea and coffee, paper towels, ice, mixers and garnishes for drinks
  • Ensure you salt and pepper shakers are full
  • Set your table with matching polished glassware and the necessary silverware for each course you will be serving. Reset the cutlery for dessert with coffee/tea cups.
  • Make sure you have wine and bottle openers
  • Make sufficient space for chilling beverages – filling a bathtub full or ice of using an esky will suffice
  • Ensure your house is tidy
  • Ensure your toilet is clean has enough toilet paper, air freshener, hand-wash and hand-towels for your guests
  • Have a place for your guests to put their bags, coats and umbrellas

Relax!

It’s all about having fun, so don’t try to plan every second of your night down to the last detail. An ice-breaker game such as Pictionary or charades along with nice bottle of wine is a great way for everyone to get to know one another and gets the conversation flowing.

Smeg Delivers Technology with Style

Now one of the largest appliance manufacturers in Europe, Smeg got its start in a humble workshop in Guastalla, Reggio Emilia, Italy in 1948. Founder Vittorio Bertazzoni chose the name Smeg because it is an acronym for the phrase Smalterie Metallurgiche Emiliane Guastall, which refers to the company’s first function: serving as a metal enamelling factory.

When Bertazzoni decided to begin manufacturing appliances in his workshop, he wanted his products to stand out from others that were already on the market. To ensure his success and help him to reach this goal, he hired two successful Italian architects, Guido Canali and Renzo Piano, to design his new product lineup. At this time, appliances were designed only with their utility in mind, and so, when Smeg’s stylish models emerged on the market, they created an international stir.

From that time onward, Smeg has continued to place a heavy emphasis on the appearance of the brand’s products. Using the motto “technology with style,” Smeg promotes the idea that a homeowner does not have to sacrifice the appearance of their kitchen to have a truly functional space. To this end, all of Smeg’s products are visually appealing but also built with smart features that make them useful in modern homes.

While Smeg has grown to become a highly recognisable, influential brand and to have locations across the globe, the corporation remains private and family-owned. Currently, it is run by CEO and Chairman Roberto Bertazzoni. Now a multinational company, Smeg has a headquarters in Banksmeadow, New South Wales, and has registered service agents for its products located throughout Australia.

As an added service to customers, Smeg offers cooking classes to the public in Melbourne, Sydney and Dudley Park, South Australia. Those who can’t fit a cooking class into their busy schedules can also find a variety of fun recipes to try on the brand’s official website.

One area of appliances in which Smeg excels is ovens and cookers. The majority of Smeg’s ovens feature a special covering over their interior cavities known as Thermoseal. This seal prevents air from the kitchen from entering the oven, which keeps the food being baked inside more moist and juicy. The Thermoseal is one of the major features of the Smeg SAC399X-8 60cm Classic Vapour Clean Single Oven, a popular model in the brand’s oven range.

In keeping with the brand’s emphasis on the beauty of appliances, the unit features sleek lines, modern embellishments and a handsome triple-glazed door. Smeg’s cooking appliance collection also includes cooktops, range hoods and microwave ovens like the Smeg SA985-2CX Convection Microwave Oven that also doubles as a convection cooker. To complete the kitchen, Smeg produces dishwashers in freestanding, semi-integrated and fully-integrated styles.

Smeg is very well known for its fine quality, wall-installed coffee makers that brew up coffee, espresso and cappuccino that can rival the cafes in Italy. The brand also makes a full line of refrigerators, including a colourful collection that is based on the look of iceboxes and fridges from the 1950s and 1960s.

3 Warming Winter Recipes for Your Slow Cooker

Tender, rich comfort food are a staple for the cooler months, but with the hectic pace of modern society, who has time to be slaving away over a stove for hours? That’s why slow cookers are a must have for any kitchen. Just pop your ingredients in before going to sleep, or before leaving for work in the morning and return 8 hours later to a hearty, homely meal. Here are some great winter recipes to try in your slow cooker this winter.

Chunky Lamb Stew

Ingredients

1.4 kg lamb shoulder, de-boned, and cut into 4 cm cubes 450g pound potatoes, diced into large chunks 4 large carrots, diced into large pieces 1 medium-sized brown onion halved and thinly sliced 1 cup celery, sliced diagonally 1 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1 Bouquet garni 1 can tomato pieces ½ cup water 450 g green beans, sliced 225 g fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced 1 cup sour cream 1 tablespoon plain flour

Method

Add lamb, potatoes, carrots, onion, celery, salt, pepper, bouquet garni, tomato and water into a large slow cooker, then mix.

Cover and cook on Low 8 – 10 hours.

Remove bouquet garni.

Add green beans, mushrooms, and a mixture sour cream and flour to the cooker and stir.

Cover again and cook for a further 30 – 60 minutes on high.

Serving suggestion: Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve with crusty fresh bread

Slow-cooked Chilli con Carne

Ingredients

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil 2 medium-sized brown onions, diced 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely 1.2kg of lean beef mince 1 tbs ground cumin 2 tsp paprika 1 tsp cayenne pepper 1 can of chopped tomatoes 1 can of rid kidney beans, drained and rinsed ½ cup of beef stock 2 bay leaves Salt and Pepper to season

Method

Heat oil in a large fry pan and add onions and garlic, cooking until soft.

Add mince to the fry pan and cook until brown and loose.

Stir spices through and cook until fragrant.

Transfer mixture to the slow cooker, adding the tomatoes, beans and bay leaves. Cook on High for 3-4 hours or on Low for 6-8 hours.

Remove bay leaves and season to taste.

Serving suggestion: serve with tortillas or tacos, adding your favourite filings such as guacamole, salsa, sour cream and cheese.

Osso Bucco

Ingredients

30g plain flour Salt and pepper 6 thick slices veal shanks 30g butter 2 tbs olive oil 2 brown onions, roughly chopped 2 big carrots, peeled and chopped 2 celery stalks, chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced 300ml chicken stock 1x400g can diced tomatoes 2 tsp fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried oregano 1 bay leaf

Method

Season flour and coat the meat thoroughly. Heat the olive oil and butter in a frypan and seal the meat over a medium heat until it begins to brown.

Place the vegetables in the bottom of the slow cooker then place the browned meat on top.

Pour the tinned tomatoes and stock over the meat.

Add the bay leaf and fresh oregano. If using dried oregano wait until 1 hour before the end of cooking time.

Cook for 8 hours on Low setting or for 4 hours on High then 2 hours on low.

Quick Tips to Save Time in the Kitchen

After a long day, coming home to cook a tasty, nutritious meal can be difficult even at the best of times. But there are a few simple things you can do to make it go faster and easier.

Get Organised

Do you get frustrated scouring your kitchen cupboards and drawers for items like the peeler, grater or colander? One of the easiest things that you can do to save time in the kitchen is to ensure that everything has its place and is easily accessible when you need it. Organise your kitchen storage space so that your most frequently used tools are in a section close to your stove or preparation bench. You can make room for these items by moving items you use less often – like baking items – to your peripheral storage areas.

Buy Packaged Items

Packaged and frozen items have come a long way since the TV dinners of the 20th century. Frozen vegetables save you preparation time and are often as high in nutrients as fresh produce. Just add water to rice and pasta pre-mixed packets for a quick and easy side dish. Or try adding your own fresh ingredients to one of the many to the sauce and soup bases available for a tasty meal in a fraction of the time.

Try Slow Cooking

Crock-pots or slow-cookers are an excellent investment. Just place your ingredients in the cooker before you leave home in the morning and turn the unit on. Over the course of the day, the appliance will slowly cook your meal to tender, juicy perfection. For less than ten minutes effort, you can return home at the end of the day to a beautiful dinner.

Cook Bulk Meals

Save money and time by cooking large batches of your favourite meals and freezing them for later use. Stews and casseroles are among the many meals that are great to cook in bulk. Not only does this idea eliminate wastage, it also means that after a hard day’s work, you can enjoy a delicious homemade meal buy simply taking it out of the freezer and popping it in the microwave.

Menu Planning

Before you do your weekly shop, plan what you will cook for dinner each night and ensure you stock up on the necessary ingredients. By planning your weekly menu, you won’t need to muster what little imagination and creativity you have left in the tank at the end of the day. Just go into the kitchen and put your meal together, knowing you’ll have everything you need ready to go.

Stock Up on Basics

If you aren’t one to plan out your meals for the entire week, ensure you’re your fridge and pantry always contain the essential items that can provide the basis for a great meal, such as:

Non-perishable items: flour, sugar, oil, rice, pasta, herbs and spices

Perishable ingredients: milk, butter, potatoes, onion, garlic, carrots, seasonal green.

Buyer’s Guide to Modern Ovens

Roasting, grilling, baking and heating: since the dawn of time, ovens have enabled humankind to enjoy the spoils of these convenient and delicious cooking methods. Even in the twenty-first century, the oven undoubtedly remains the cornerstone of every home kitchen. Fortunately, between then and now we’ve upgraded from earth and stone ovens to models that are a bit more sophisticated. Buying a new oven is something most of us will only do a few times over the course of our lives. Because it is such a rare event, deciding which oven to get for your home can be challenging. Then there is the abundance of choices on offer – none of which are the same as the last time you got an oven because technology evolves so fast. Never fear! We’ve put together some handy hints to help you along in your oven-buying journey. Read on to learn about the different types of ovens, common oven sizes, and some interesting modern features to look out for.

The Basics: Types of Ovens

Freestanding or upright ovens consist of hotplates on top and an oven underneath. Installation is simple as the oven does not require mounting in a cupboard or wall space. • Built-in ovens are mounted into a wall, on a bench or integrated into the kitchen cupboard. This saves space and can also keep the unit safely out of children’s reach. • Electric or conventional ovens have a thermostat that controls the heat of the oven by measuring the temperature in the middle of the internal cavity, making it hotter at the top and cooler at the bottom. • Fan ovens are versions of conventional ovens that include a fan to create an even temperature throughout the unit, saving energy and reducing cooking time. • Gas ovens use an electric spark to light a flame at the base of the unit. As the air heats, it circulates and rises. As gas emits moisture when cooking, these types of ovens are particularly good for baking cakes. • Multifunction ovens are capable of using different combinations of heating elements to cook the food inside them, offering you greater flexibility and control. Settings can include conventional, fan, grill, bottom heat only, and defrost settings. • Double ovens have different areas capable of operating on different settings simultaneously.

The Logistics: Sizing Options

A range of oven capacities exist to suit your cooking needs and available kitchen space. Ovens are measured according to their size on the outside. Smaller kitchens better suit compact models such as a 45cm ovens, or combination units that serve as both an oven and microwave. Standard kitchens are often matched with a single 60cm oven unit. These units generally have a 56 litre capacity, however larger capacities are now on offer for the 60cm unit size. For even more room, take a look at the many spacious models ranging up to 90cm in size. If you are still unsure, take along your favourite baking tray or dish as a guide while you try a few ovens on for size.

The Extras: Modern Features

Oven doors – The more layers of glass an oven door has, the cooler it will be to touch, which is an important safety consideration if your appliance will be in reach of children. Also check to see if the oven door hinges at the side or bottom, and is lockable. • Controls and settings – Look for functions including pre-programmed cooking options, preheat, grill, bake and defrost. As most ovens are fan-forced, check to see if the appliance also offers cooking options that are fan-free if you are after more variety. • Self-cleaning – Ovens with a self cleaning feature are usually more expensive than conventional models, but can save you some elbow grease. If this feature is beyond your budget, look for a unit that is easy to clean.

%d bloggers like this: