How the latest built-in ovens are the multi-tasking consumer's friend

KitchensFeatures Mon 20th Feb 2023 by Sally Smith

How the latest built-in ovens are the multi-tasking consumer's friend

How the latest built-in ovens are the multi-tasking consumer's friend

Feature by Sally Smith | Mon 20th Feb 2023

Sally is a freelance interiors journalist with over 10 years' experience, specialising in kitchens and bathrooms. She contributes to many of the national home and interiors publications, and has a background in both consumer and B2B PR. More

Built-in ovens have gone professional, as consumers demand restaurant-style cooking at home – Sally Smith reveals how the latest products on the market offer a dazzling array of multiple functions in just one appliance.

It stands to reason that today's time-poor, multi-tasking consumers are asking more from their appliances. The days when all we wanted from our ovens was to heat or cook our food are long gone – now built-in ovens with smart features are on the rise, as are those with the added bonus of steam, microwave and hot-air functionality. Take the latest offering from BORA – the multi-award-winning BORA X BO, which combines an oven, steamer and extractor in one appliance, offering professional technology for private homes. Says BORA founder Willi Bruckbauer: "Professional-style cooking is on the increase in UK kitchens – the increased focus on cooking at home has been good news for oven sales."

The BORA X BO is a steamer and oven rolled into one with a built-in steam extraction function preventing steam from escaping when the door is opened   and a clear view into the cavity when cooking, with a 19-inch foldable touch display and fully automatic cleaning function

Richard Mackey, product manager at Smeg has seen a definite increase in ambitious home cooking since the pandemic. "Our latest SteamXL oven combines both microwave and traditional cooking so customers can become a chef in their own home. We also offer optional accessories across our oven ranges such as airfry and BBQ plates to help optimise the oven's usefulness in the kitchen space," he says.

Smeg’s SpeedwaveXL oven is part of the Galileo range – a new platform that combines traditional cooking and microwave in one appliance that if used together can reduce cooking times by 40% and is now available in Linea Neptune Grey and Black trim

Tom Hopper, kitchens manager at Miele GB, agrees. "We’ve seen an increased demand for ovens that come with either a wired or wireless food probe and feature countdown timers so consumers feel more confident to cook meat, poultry and fish," he reveals.

This A+ energy rated PureLine H 7262 BP built-in oven from Miele comes with a wired or wireless food probe, and is perfect for the keen cook. It has nine cooking functions: Auto Roast; Fan Plus; Eco Fan Heat; Full Grill; Conventional Heat; Bottom Heat; Defrosting; Intensive Bake and Fan Grill, and a fingerprint-resistant CleanSteel finish

Jo Jackson, product manager at Fisher & Paykel, has also noticed an increase in the number of people who seem to be looking for opportunities to experiment and be creative in the kitchen. "Customers are aiming to go from being a novice to an expert so the flexibility of timing and accuracy of temperature control ensure perfect, predictable results every time," he says. "We expect to see steam ovens become a staple appliance in the future kitchen."

The new Fisher & Paykel Combination Steam Ovens have six steam only cooking functions; convection cooking only or a combination of the two offers 23 oven functions including Sous Vide, Air Fry and Bake, with food probe available

But it's not just that consumers want their oven to help them become a better cook – there are other priorities at play here too. Rangemaster recently commissioned a survey to determine how eating habits have changed in the last two years and 43% of respondents said they are now making healthier eating choices. "Nutritional cooking options such as steaming or sous vide are growing in popularity as appliances with these features are no longer exclusive to large, commercial kitchens," says Robert Stein, product manager for appliances at Rangemaster.

Ideal for the novice cook who's keen to up their game, Rangemaster’s Eclipse 13-function built-in oven offers a pyro with steam clean feature, and has 13 cooking functions including Turbo Grill, conventional and fan bake, Eco mode and a meat probe with a premium black glass triple-glazed door

"Keen cooks want to know about the oven's programme options and health-conscious buyers need to be told about the benefits of steam cooking," says Maurizio Severgnini, MD at Bertazzoni UK. "For us at Bertazzoni discussing the ergonomic knobs, soft-close doors and hand-made elements makes us stand-out in a crowded market."

Italian brand Bertazzoni's F6011MODVPTC Modern Series 60cm pyrolytic BI oven with total steam includes a proofing programme and 11 cooking functions, and uses the latest technology for advanced programmes, precision cooking timings and temperature control

In addition, tech-savvy consumers are taking more time to do their research and are keen to test drive appliances before they buy. "In today's competitive retail climate it’s vital to educate potential customers," says Bodie Kelay, MD of Küppersbusch Sales UK. "We’d always encourage our retailers to have a working appliance in the showroom to showcase the latest technology and functionality."

The Küppersbusch XL 70 litre capacity K-Series.3 60cm BD6340.0 steam oven is the ideal choice for health-conscious families. It has 12 functions, including full steam 100%, 50/50 steam top or bottom, and uses the brand's Ökotherm technology to ensure no odours or grease escape into the kitchen

People are also looking for functionality that will help cut down on household bills. Cooking product manager at Haier Europe, Chris Grundy, says: “With the cost of energy soaring, this year our promotion will have a heavy focus on energy ratings as customers are prepared to spend a little more on more energy-efficient models that potentially offer a quicker return on investment of the lifecycle of the product.”

The latest Hoover Collection 3 has Wi-Fi connectivity using the hOn app providing 200 recipes that can be accessed manually or with voice control, plus the HydroEasy Clean system uses steam to clean the oven

But built-in ovens don't just have to be practical – they need to look good too, and this is a key consideration for many when they're contemplating making the investment. "Customers are looking for premium aesthetics and functionality that makes life easier such as automatic cooking and cleaning functions are important drivers behind built-in oven sales," says Jo Sargent, sales and marketing director at Franke UK.

Franke’s Mythos Pyrolytic FMY 98 P comes with an ECO Forced Air Function that prevents food from drying out, using intermittent air circulation and an ECO mode, and is available in an elegant combination of black glass and stainless steel to enhance any kitchen design

Stuart Wilson, national account manager for Asko, agrees. "A high-quality finish and strong durability is important to consumers when designing a kitchen. We’ve also seen far more demand for darker coloured appliances – particularly black graphite and black steel – as we’ve seen customers move away from the more traditional steel look."

Asko's Craft 5-in-1 Combi Oven with five different cooking methods, uses three main technologies – full steam, microwave and traditional oven that the customer can combine or use individually to experiment with different cooking styles

The new Siemens iQ700 ovens have an elegant dark glass front with a barely visible, matching glass handle, and a sleek touch-control panel. They feature sensor technology and AI to enable users to adapt baking and roasting results to suit their own personal preferences. Inside the cavity is a camera that monitors the browning process of a dish – data supplied by the camera allows the AI to 'know' when a dish is done, and then notify the user by sending a push notification to a smartphone or tablet via the Home Connect app


Tags: kitchens, features, built-in ovens, bora, rangemaster

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