What’s cooking without a Cooker? Okay, let’s not start this with the kind of confusion shoppers who need this very important appliance are usually in.
Some call it Cookers, others call it Ovens and others call It Cooker Ovens but the real name is Freestanding Cookers. Freestanding Cookers typically stand on their own (the way a refrigerator does), and come fitted with an Oven/Grill and sometimes even a Rotisserie. It is kind of like a many-in-one appliance.
In this article, we want to help your shopping easy by sharing with you key things to look out for before buying a freestanding Cooker.
Disclaimer; this article is not exhaustive, there’s always something more you might want to look consider.
1. Genuine or Counterfeit?
The first and simplest thing to do is decide whether you want a genuine or counterfeit Cooker. Your decision about this will guide you on where to do your shopping from.
2. Why do you want to buy a Cooker?
Apart from just ‘cooking’, why exactly do you want to buy a freestanding Cooker? If it is to compliment the design of your Kitchen set up then Color would be very important. If it is to make your cooking faster, the fuel type (gas or electric) is more important. If you want to primarily use it for baking then the Oven features would be key. The list is quite long.
If you are not sure about the primary reason for buying this appliance I would advise you not to rush into making the purchase; pause, reflect and make an informed decision.
3. How much floor space do you have for the Cooker?
As I already stated, Cookers stand on their own so they require sufficient space to fit well in your Kitchen. Gas Cookers also require additional space for the Gas Cylinder.
If you would like to buy a 60cm wide Gas Cooker, for example, you would need about 32 square centimetres for the Cylinder, and about 65 Square Centimeters for the Cooker and Gas Cylinder to comfortably fit in your Kitchen.
If the space you have is maybe just 65 Square Centimeters, it is advisable that you buy a full electric Cooker. If you have exactly 95 Square Centimeters then you may buy a full Gas Cooker of 90cm wide or a Dual Cooker with a Gas compartment.
4. Gas, Electric or Dual (Combination)? What fuel type works best for you?
We have a whole article on the Pros and Cons of Gas and Electric Cookers, but simply, Gas Burners heat much faster, cost a little less and generally using gas to cook is oftentimes cheaper. But gas can be a bit risky and regular refills involving taking cylinders in and out can be inconveniencing or risky altogether.
Electric Cookers on the other hand are a bit slow at startup, cost more to buy but offer gentle heat (hello Rice lovers), and spare you the inconvenience that is gas refill. Additionally, Electric cookers typically come with electric ovens which are again perfect for breads and all things baking (hello bakers), and you do not have to spend so much to cook just in case it’s a bad wallet day for you. Ush 2,000 might as well get you cooking something to eat, which is not the case with gas cookers.
Dual Cookers have a mix of gas and electric and are almost always the best option.
5. What kind of Oven do you need?
Bakers may look out for Oven Fan, Top and Bottom heating, number of Oven trays, etc. Meat lovers may look out for the Grill, Rotisserie. Also, does the oven have a thermostat for better temperature control? Does the oven have a lamp inside it? What’s the maximum temperature? The list is endless.
If you know what kind of oven you need ahead of time, the search will be much easier. For example, as a baker you may simply say; I want a 90cm Cooker with Fan Assisted Electric Oven.
6. Durability; for how long do you want to use the Cooker?
We recently posted on Facebook that a good Cooker typically lasts more than 10 years. Whereas some people were shocked, others were quick to correct us that they have been using brands like Ariston, Indesit, Bosch and IQRA for more than 10 years without any challenges.
Cookers that last as long tend to cost a little over Ush 1 million and the ones that are less durable tend to cost less than Uganda Shillings 1 million, some even 600,000/-.
On this the choice is entirely yours; if you need a quick fix for a year or two, maybe you are in the country for a short time then you might not need an expensive cooking machine, but just something that can cook for now.
Otherwise, at Kweli.shop, we let customers who would like to pay in instalments to do so and take the item once they complete the full amount. Reach out for more information.
7. Warranty and Availability of spares.
Most high-end Cookers come with a standard 1-year warranty, though we haven’t received a Cooker warranty Claim since the start of this year, 2022.
Being that a freestanding cooker is a long-term investment, it is more important that you have assurances that spare parts for the appliance are available in case the appliance breaks down. Even if the warranty were to be 3 years, it would still expire when you are using the appliances so being sure that the cooker won’t become useless in case of damage just because spares are not available is very important.
If yours is one of those nice modern Kitchens, the colour of the Cooker will matter a lot. Though Cookers are quite limited in terms of Colours, you may still be lucky to find good options in a colour of your choice, typically grey/silver, black, white or red. I know someone is already thinking “can’t I just paint my cooker to suit my desired look”, well, you can.
6. Budget. How much can you pay for a Cooker?
We bring the budget last because we believe it is more important to know what you want before you may fix a budget for it.
Fixing a budget helps make your search much easier. Even if you cannot pay the whole amount in cash, maybe you could pay for that particular cooker in instalments. Again, this is a long-term investment… like a house, okay, like a Cooker.
Happy shopping and happy cooking.