As technology advances and global awareness of ecological impact grows, many Brits around the country are taking an increased interest in their household appliances and, more specifically, the environmental impact they have.

From energy-saving lightbulbs to energy-efficient washing machines, simple choices we make within the home can make a considerable difference to the environment when multiplied by an entire nation. What’s more, they can also have a positive impact on your bills too!

However, when it comes to appliances in the kitchen, there is arguably no feature more vital to culinary contentment than the oven. Whether you’re cooking a Sunday roast or a simple casserole, the humble oven is essential.

All of which begs the question: are ovens bad for the environment and, if so, are gas or electric ovens better for the environment? Let’s find out…

 

gas and electric ovens

 

Gas vs. Electric

When it comes to oven cooking, marshals of mealtimes across the land have long wrestled with two primary choices: gas and electric.

Joined at the hip like other polarising household choices – from the bath/shower dilemma to the carpet/laminate quandary – the kitchen conundrum of gas or electric has split kitchen-dwellers worldwide for decades.

However, with the world becoming more and more aware of the environmental impact our living habits have on the world around us, eco-friendly options are becoming an increasingly important factor in the decision-making process.

So, which is better for the environment: gas or electric?

 

Skewed Statistics?

When considering the environmental impact of your kitchen appliances, it’s worth remembering that sensationalist reporting and clickbait headlines can be misleading. Scratch the surface of these articles and what lies beneath can be a different story entirely.

Case in point, these genuine headlines from January 2018:

The basis for these articles came from a study conducted by the University of Manchester, where it was claimed that “microwaves usage across the EU alone emits as much carbon dioxide as nearly seven million cars”.

Scary stuff, right? Well, maybe not, if you look beneath the selective stats.

 

Mythbusting

Such headlines have been debunked and dismissed by numerous experts since, with many specialists highlighting the misleading nature of these claims almost immediately after their publication.

One such expert – namely David Reay, Professor of Carbon Management at the University of Edinburgh – was quick to note the following:

“The statement ‘Microwaves could be as bad for the environment as cars suggests new research’ is completely incorrect in my view.

“Latest data show that passenger cars in the UK emitted 69 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2015.  This is ten times the amount this new microwave oven study estimates for annual emissions for all the microwave ovens in the whole of the EU.”

With such a polarising stance from a true expert of the game, it’s clear that the age-old adage of “don’t believe everything you read” is one that still rings true today, particularly in the age of fake news and bogus clickbait.

As such, be careful what you believe and be sure to gather your information from trusted resources backed by fact and not fiction before you buy into the lie.

 

Perks and Drawbacks

In terms of the environmental impact of gas ovens and electric ovens, both gas and electric have their perks and drawbacks.

While electricity may seem the obvious victor in eco-friendliness, electric cooking generally takes longer than gas meaning. As a result, cooking for additional time naturally uses additional energy in the process.

What’s more, while electricity may not directly burn fossil fuels to deliver heat, fossil fuels are often used in the generation of electricity, muddying the waters even further. As such, choosing between the two is a tough choice and neither one emerges as a clear-cut winner.

Instead, perhaps the best way to ensure your oven is keeping your kitchen as green as can be is to use it in an eco-friendly manner and ensure you are cooking in an energy-efficient fashion at all times.

 

Energy-Saving Oven Use

Luckily, there are a number of ways you can reduce your carbon footprint through the way you cook and none of them requires any skill or expertise to do so.

Repeatedly opening the oven door during cooking will allow heat to escape and lowering the oven temp which, in turn, prolongs cooking and uses more energy. Avoid this by keeping your oven glass clean and using that to gauge the cooking progress without opening the door.

Another seldom used tip is to turn off your oven a couple of minutes before your food is fully cooked. Provided the door remains cold, the oven will remain hot during those final minutes regardless of whether it’s on or not.

Even something as simple as turning off your electric oven at the plug can save energy, as they typically use energy even when left on standby.

 

Eco-Friendly Kitchen Appliances

If you are looking to replace your old oven with a new one, it’s naturally worth going for the one with the highest energy-efficiency rating. The highest grade of energy-efficiency for a kitchen appliance is A+++; however, anything over A+ is A-OK.

Meanwhile, when it comes to stove tops, induction electric hobs are typically considered to be the most favourable to environment, as they provide speedy heat source much like gas while also being more efficient than conventional electric, ceramic or halogen hobs.

 

For more information on eco-friendly kitchen appliances, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 02920 452 510 or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

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One of the few commonalities that links virtually every culture in the world, the art of cooking is a shared past-time that is ubiquitous across the entire globe.

While the style, dishes and flavours may differ from border to border, cooking is a process that has become as ingrained into our daily routine as life’s other essentials such as sleep, washing and, of course, Facebook.

However, much like many of life’s other long-standing rituals, the roots of cooking in general are largely deemed to be a mystery and the origin of cooking food for consumption remains a hotly debated subject in historical circles.

With that in mind, let’s turn up the heat and serve up a searing feast of juicy food for thought that will leave your historical taste buds satiated and satisfied with no room for seconds.

Tuck in!

 

history of cooking, oven history

 

Hot Stuff: An Oven History Timeline

While the exact starting line for cooking with fire is unknown – believed by some to be anywhere as far back as a two million years ago – ovens have been in widespread use for considerably less time, despite what The Flintstones may have taught us.

 

Dark Times

While the ancient Greeks are often credited for their use of simple “ovens” for baking bread (namely the front-loaded bread oven), the first evidence of legitimate oven-like technology in the UK was believed to have occurred in the middle ages.

Sizeable brick hearths were constructed to house large fire pits, where metal cauldrons containing food were hung above for heating, effectively creating the first bonafide “oven” as we know it.

 

European Influence

The first historical recording of a purpose-built oven was said to have originated in 1490 in Alsace, France. From there, a variety of innovations ultimately led to the invention of cast ovens in the 1700s, where Germany’s five-plate/jamb stove models were produced in mass quantities.

This German technology paved the way for the first recorded enclosed oven soon after, known as the castrol stove/stew stove. Further innovation occurred at the tail end of the century with the first stove to feature an adjustable temperature.

 

Gas and Electric

Things began to heat up in the 1800s with introduction of gas cooking. The first gas oven was patented by inventive Brit, James Sharp, way back in 1826 and gas ovens had become a staple of the British kitchen by the 1920s.

Not to be outdone, electric ovens were in hot pursuit, arriving on the scene in the late 19th century. Despite this fact, once again, it wasn’t until the ‘20s and ‘30s that electric ovens really began to get a widespread buzz.

The invention of the electric oven is commonly attributed to the mind of Canadian inventor, Thomas Ahearn, in 1882; however, his invention was used exclusively in the Windsor Hotel in Ottawa.

The first official US patent for an electric oven was issued to William Hadaway in 1896. Coincidentally, Hadaway would also go on to invent the toaster 14 years later, revolutionising breakfast as we know it!

 

Magic Microwave: TV Dinners Catch Fire

When it comes to modern technological breakthroughs in cooking, few innovations can compare to the microwave oven. Incredibly, what has become an essential item in kitchens across the globe, the microwave was actually invented by a man who never even finished grammar school.

 

An Unlikely Hero

Percy Spencer was forced to leave school at the tender age of 12-years-old for work, after his father died, his mother deserted him and he was left in the care of his aunt and uncle (the latter of whom also passed away).

Despite this fact, Spencer remained hungry for knowledge and eventually became a self-taught expert in radio technology, owing his education to countless textbooks, which he read while he was on night watch in the US Navy.

 

Knowledge is Power

The studious reading paid off – particularly for those looking to go undetected by the Navy during the night – and Spencer subsequently taught himself a variety of skills, including trigonometry, calculus, chemistry, physics and metallurgy.

His studies saw him become world-renowned in the field of radar tube design and a well-respected expert during World War 2, where he was a pivotal part of Raytheon – a major US defence contractor concerned with the manufacture of weapons and military electronics.

 

Under the Radar

While standing in front of an active radar, Spencer noticed a chocolate bar in his pocket had melted. The incident proved to be a eureka moment for the curious tech-wiz and led to additional investigation, ultimately culminating in the Radarange in 1946 – the first commercially produced microwave oven.

The result was incredible. Better yet, the result was edible! The invention proved to be revolutionary and was quite literally the best thing since sliced bread…which had been invented two decades earlier.

 

So, there you have it – a brief oven history of cooking! While technology has undoubtedly come a long way since the days of the Greek front-loaded bread oven, even modern ovens aren’t indestructible. If your oven is causing you aggro or your need any oven parts to keep your kitchen feeling the heat, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 02920 452 510 or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

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When it comes to cooking up a storm in the kitchen, it’s hard to understate the culinary importance of the humble oven.

A key piece of kit for a variety of purposes – be it baking a batch of cookies, roasting a Christmas turkey or crisping up a few potato smilies – the kitchen oven is virtually irreplaceable.

That being said, knowing which oven is right for you can be equally important and choosing one type over another can have a dramatic effect on the way you cook.

To help you get to grips with what’s what, here’s a head-to-head overview of the two primary oven types: fan oven vs conventional oven.

 

fan oven vs conventional oven, is a fan oven better

 

What is the difference between a fan oven and a conventional oven?

At its most basic, the difference between a fan oven and a conventional oven is simple and almost self-explanatory.

Also known as convection ovens, fan-assisted ovens are – as the name suggests – equipped with a fan inside which forces hot air to circulate around the oven.

Conversely, a conventional oven simply heats up the inside to the desired temperature, cooking the food by blanketing it in a layer of heat.

 

Is a fan oven better than a conventional oven?

Circulated air transfers heat faster than still air, making fan ovens more energy efficient. Not only will this reduce your carbon footprint, but it will also reduce the size of your bills as well.

That being said, fan ovens aren’t perfect. Overfilling your fan oven can impact the way air circulated and lead to an uneven cook, while the fan can also make cooking times inaccurate.

Moreover, it’s important to note that, due to the way it circulates the heat and the necessary exhaust system, fan-assisted ovens remove the moisture within the oven as you cook.

While this moisture removal can be great for crisping up a pasta bake or firming up a lasagne, it can be adversely effective when baking items like cakes and bread.

However, some fan-assisted ovens feature a baking setting that lends itself better for bake purposes. This option uses a lower fan speed to more accurately mimic the traditional method.

Conversely, such fan-assisted ovens often also come equipped with a roast setting that utilises a faster fan speed to actively remove the moisture for a crispier surface finish.

 

The Verdict: fan oven vs conventional oven

Like most kitchen appliances, there are pros and cons to each option and ultimately the preference can be simply down to taste.

Meanwhile, the cooking purpose can also have a heavy influence on which route you take, with both options providing food for thought in terms of cooking quality.

For example, a baking connoisseur may lean more towards the conventional option for its moisture maintaining qualities, while a typical 9-5er might prefer the efficiency of a fan-assisted oven.

In terms of speed and all-round oven use for a variety of cooking purposes, the fan-assisted option is a great Jack of all trades solution; however, if you

For the true best of both worlds, it’s well worth finding a fan-oven that includes conventional settings as well for complete freedom to cook a variety of dishes to the highest standard.

 

For more advice on the fan oven vs conventional oven quandary, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 02920 452 510 or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

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Infographic Transcript

If you’re faced with an oven that’s well and truly on the fritz, there’s no need to panic! While this culinary catastrophe is undeniably inconvenient, there are a few common reasons your oven might be failing, all of which can be resolved with a little help from Cooker Spare Parts!

A Quick Safety Reminder: Whether you have a gas or electric oven, it’s important that you don’t start tampering until you’ve disconnected the power/gas supply! If in doubt, seek the help of a professional engineer.

 

1.    Test the Severity of the Problem

Identifying the cause of your mealtime misfortune starts with a quick assessment. If you’re not sure how well your oven is (or isn’t) heating up, follow these simple steps:

1. Place a temperature gauge inside the oven and set the temperature to a high heat (250/300°c). 

2. Give your oven a while to heat up (5 or 10 minutes).

3. Check the temperature gauge – has your oven reached the desired temperature? 

 

2.    Identify the Cause of the Problem

My Oven is Stone Cold…

It’s fair to say that something has gone severely wrong inside your oven if the temperature gauge is still showing 0°c! Here are a few common causes of a conked-out cooker:

It could be…

  • The Heating Element

The heating element is the fundamental heat source in your oven, if that goes, you might as well throw the towel in… (or head to Cooker Spare Parts to order a new one!)

Most ovens have two elements, one in the base of the oven for baking and one in the top of the oven for grilling. It’s important that you identify which is broken.

  • The Gas Ignitor

For gas ovens to heat up, a critical spark is required. Safe to say, if your ignitor is inoperative then your oven won’t be getting warm anytime soon.

  • The Selector Switch

The selector switch is the knob on the outside of your oven that you use to set the temperature.

These parts are prone to breaking and sticking over time, so it’s possible that your oven is fine (it just doesn’t know what you want it to do!)

 

My Oven Gets Warm, But Not Hot…

If your oven assessment showed that your oven is getting a little toasty but not quite reaching its peak, there are a few things that could be faulty.

It could be…

  • The Temperature Sensor

Many electric ovens have a temperature sensor so they can regulate their internal heat. You guessed it, if the temperature sensor stops working then the oven won’t know when it’s acclimatised!

 

3.    Solving the Problem

Head to Cooker Spare Parts to order your replacement parts!

When it comes to kitchen disasters, nothing throws a culinary spanner in the works quite like a temperamental oven.

If your cooker is tripping out more than The Beatles in their ‘60s heyday, the results can be more than a little frustrating.

Keep your oven from blowing hot and cold with this handy guide, guaranteed to help you bring your oven back down to Earth and your cooking back to reality.

 

oven keeps tripping

 

Reasons My Cooker Keeps Tripping

If your oven is on the blink worse than the three-eyed fish from The Simpsons, getting to the bottom of the issue can be akin to looking under the car bonnet at a steaming engine. To the untrained eye, knowing what to look for can be virtually impossible.

That being said, for most electric ovens that trip when turned on, the issue is usually related to either the circuit or the wiring. Unfortunately, neither is remedied with a sharp love tap to the side or a simple reset at the mains and, chances are, you’re going to need expert help to resolve it.

Nevertheless, when it comes to fixing a tripping oven, knowledge is most certainly power. To help you get on the right track to ovenary nirvana, here’s a rundown of the most likely causes of your cooker’s triptastic tendencies.

 

The Circuit

If your oven is causing the electric to trip faster than a drunk on ice, the most likely culprit is the circuit. Sadly, the intricacies of the oven circuitry will almost certainly require a pro in its restoration.

If multiple devices have been linked to the same circuit as the cooker, a professional technician will simply unplug the other devices to identify the issue. This should stop the oven from tripping the RCD (residential current device) and an upgrade may be necessary.

 

The Wiring

When the oven is off, the power current of the oven should be zero. However, if the current is greater than 0.3A, then there could be a problem with the oven wiring.

Additionally, there may be an issue with the terminal blocks, which are present in most European installations. If these are misplaced or positioned incorrectly, this could also be what’s causing your oven to trip.

Meanwhile, terminal blocks are also prone to deterioration, so it could simply be a case of the blocks needing replacement. A qualified technician will be able to identify this and assist you, if this is indeed the case.

 

The Components

If the circuit and the wiring are perfectly fine, the components may be the problem and are the next logical feature to investigate.

Once it’s been confirmed that no additional devices are connected, turning on the oven to a low temperature will allow you to identify whether or not it’s the components that are the issue.

If it trips immediately, the issue likely resides in the fuse; however, if it doesn’t instantly trip, it confirms that the fuse is in working order.

From there, if the electric trips when you raise the temperature, the problem is most likely the heating elements and you will require a replacement element. Once again, a qualified tech will be able to arrange this for you easily.

Out of the components, the four most likely elements to break are:

  • Thermostats
  • Switches
  • Fan Motor
  • Lamp

 

Expert Assistance

The world of oven repairs can be a minefield for anyone not well-versed in the art of electrics and any attempts at a DIY solution can leave you cluelessly staring at hardware and exposed wires like Riggs and Murtaugh in Lethal Weapon 3…hopefully with less fireworks.

If your oven does keep tripping the mains, it’s strongly recommended that you consult a professional for their assistance and expertise. While it can be tempting to tackle the problem yourself, attempting to take on any electrical task without the know-how can be extremely reckless and cost you more than just the price of an oven.

 

For more information on oven repairs or if your technician recommends a specific oven part you need to find, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 02920 452 510 or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

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