Freestanding Ovens – The Ultimate Guide
A freestanding oven will allow you and your family to enjoy years of delicious meals. However, selecting the perfect fit your kitchen might seem like a daunting task. René Hart speaks with Daniel Bertuccio from ILVE about what to consider when buying a stand-alone unit.
Boasting premier performance, efficient energy consumption and elegant design, freestanding ovens are the epitome of a gourmet kitchen. Essentially a cooktop and an oven combined into a single unit, a freestanding oven offers multipurpose cooking and comes in all-electric, all-gas or dual-fuel styles.
“ILVE cookers are built as commercial-grade cookers [that are] designed for the residential market. So it’s safe to say, whichever ILVE freestanding cooker you choose will do the job!” says Daniel Bertuccio. As a functional and striking feature, freestanding ovens also provide a focal point in the heart of the home.
“[Aesthetically,] freestanding cookers are [best] suited to modern, industrial or countrystyle kitchens,” says Bertuccio. The style of freestanding oven should also be a contributing factor to your purchasing decision.
One of the greatest advantages of a freestanding oven is that it can be installed with ease, as it is not fixed to any kitchen cabinetry.
This also makes it easier to repair or replace should anything malfunction
“ILVE offers three styles, which are all handmade in Italy. These styles include the Quadra, your more modern/industrial design; Nostalgie, a country/traditional style; and Majestic, a more robust-looking, star-of-the-kitchen design, which is a combination of Nostalgie and Quadra,” says Bertuccio.
Apart from the basic functions, some freestanding ovens can be customised with an array of extra features, including wok burners, fish burners, barbecue grills, teppanyaki plates, multiple ovens, self-cleaning functions, and even deep fryers and spit roasters. Buying such a staple kitchen appliance has never been more complex, it seems! Here, Melbourne Kitchen + Bathroom Design looks at some of the main factors to consider when selecting the right freestanding cooker for your kitchen.
Service provisions such gas or electrical supply are the only requirements to be considered prior to installation.
The cooker can also be easily disconnected and relocated if needed. Freestanding ovens are generally cost-effective, as you are purchasing a cooktop and an oven combined into a single unit, rather than separate appliances. You can also save on additional labour fees, as you won’t require a builder to install the freestanding unit.
Before buying a freestanding oven, Bertuccio advises that you consider the size of your family not only now, but in five to ten years. “The last thing you want to do is outgrow your specs too soon,” he says.
When it comes to the size of your freestanding oven, you need to ensure that you have sufficient space in your kitchen. The ILVE range offers seven sizes, between 60cm and 150cm in width. If you’re looking to replace an old stove, measure the cavity and available space before buying. Bigger may not always be better, particularly if you have a smaller kitchen and need an oven that will fit within the available space.
Keep in mind that a freestanding oven may not sit completely flush with your existing cabinetry, so if seamless visual integration is a must for you, a built-in option might be better suited.
“With built-in [ovens], you can choose from more specialist products, such as a combi-steam, for example. Style-wise, it really depends on the look of the kitchen. [Built-in ovens] look minimalistic and [have] clean lines, while modern, industrial or country styles are more [associated] with freestanding [cookers],” says Bertuccio.
Before you purchase, think about the dishes you enjoy making. If you do a lot of wok cooking, look for a dual-fuel freestanding oven with a specialised wok burner. Some freestanding ovens – such as ILVE’s Quadra – also provide teppanyaki plates for added versatility.
“In today’s market, stainless steel remains a popular choice [of finish], and our hero product, the Quadra, includes our innovative integrated teppanyaki plate,” says Bertuccio.
A double oven is another option to consider. The double-oven configuration usually consists of a large oven alongside a smaller oven, which can be used to cook side dishes or keep plates warm until it’s time to serve.
Time-poor homeowners are seeking products with multiple uses, and freestanding cooking appliances remain popular. The choice between gas, electric and dual-fuel is an important one. “If you are energy-conscious, gas is the way to go. On the other hand, induction is easy to clean. Either way, you’ll still have dinner ready at six!” says Bertuccio.
If you’re after instant heat control, then a gas oven and cooktop would be suitable. Look for a gas oven with a fan to circulate the heat evenly – this is especially important when you’re baking confectionery. Gas cooktops are preferred by many homeowners because they’re fast and powerful, and provide visual feedback as the flame is raised and lowered. In addition, with the rising costs of electricity, many people are turning to gas ovens as an eco-friendly alternative.
Electric cooktops – on the other hand – are generally easier to clean, as there’s no need to clean beneath trivets. It is also possible to find a freestanding oven with an induction cooktop, which is the fastest and safest type of cooktop you can buy.
Keep in mind, however, that induction cooktops only work with stainless steel or cast iron cookware. Induction works via a magnetic field that essentially turns your cookware into the heating element, which makes induction cooking remarkably fast and energy efficient.
Some freestanding units have a gas cooktop and an electric oven. These dual-fuel styles are a good compromise for those who want the direct heat of a gas burner and the even cooking of an electric oven. By combining these two cooking methods, your kitchen gets the best of both worlds!
“Much of the design of your kitchen stems from the appliance selection, so [it’s best] to know what you are after very early in the process. It also comes down to what you cook and the styles of cooking you are accustomed to,” says Bertuccio.
Whichever freestanding oven you decide on, make sure it has all the functions that allow you to make the most of your time in the kitchen. Your family will love you for it now, and in years to come.