10 Most Asked Questions Answered About Buying Kitchen Appliances

July 11, 2017

10 Most Asked Questions Answered About Buying Kitchen Appliances

Over the years we have helped numerous people select the right appliances for their home, family and budget.

Here are the 10 most asked questions answered about buying kitchen appliances.
1. Should I Choose Gas or Electric?

This will be a personal choice.

We have found that if you have used a gas oven in the past and you will prefer to continue cooking with a  gas oven.

Customers tell us that if you move from a gas to electric oven it does take a little time for you to control the temperature to ensure that your food is cooked to your usual standards.

Gas ovens are generally hotter at the top and cooler at the bottom so you need to ensure a fan is fitted to the gas oven. If there is no fan then you will need to rotate the food.

If you are considering a gas oven remember you do have to run both gas and electric connections to the rear of your oven. A gas oven will still require electricity to power the ignition to light the gas and to operate the fan and light.

In regards to cooktops, it would depend on the main type of foods that you cook.  If you do a lot of oriental cooking then gas is probably your preferred option, especially if you use a wok.  A gas cooktop with a wok burner allows heat to be applied to the base and side of the wok.

In terms of energy, gas cooktops are the least efficient, followed by electric, then induction. With a gas cooktop, heat is lost from the sides to the air whereas the electric cooktop applies heat directly to the base of the saucepan.


2. How do I clean my oven?

Ovens can be categorised into three types for cleaning:

a) Pyrolytic – this oven is where the oven is heated to 500°.

At this temperature, all the residue in the oven is burnt to ash. Once a pyrolytic cleaning function is finished and the oven has cooled down, then the ash needs to be wiped out of the oven.

With such high temperatures, the cabinet containing the oven does need to be fitted with special heat deflectors to protect the cabinet.

b) Steam clean – this is where the oven can be cleaned using steam.

The oven baking tray is filled with approximately 1 L of water.  The tray is then placed in the oven and the oven heated to 90° for approximately 30 minutes. Once this is completed and the oven has cooled than the inside of the oven needs to be wiped with a damp cloth.

c) Standard Oven – this is where the enamel in the oven does need to be cleaned using a chemical product such as Mr Muscle or Clean Oven which can be purchased from supermarkets.

Another consideration is can the door be removed easily to allow you to clean inside the oven.


3. How big should the inside of my Oven be?

When looking at ovens check the internal measurements of the oven, both depth and height. You need to be certain that the oven is deep enough to take your baking dish, but also it needs to be high enough to hold a chicken, turkey or roast.

A good idea is to measure your baking dish before you look at various ovens to be sure that it is large enough for your style of cooking.

The internal capacity will also affect the number of shelf positions within the oven. The number of shelf positions and shells we determine how many levels of cooking you have within the oven.

This is important if you’re cooking large meals and need to have the meat on one level and the vegetables on another level.


4. What is a ceramic cooktop?

A ceramic cooktop is a cooktop made of tempered glass with heating elements located underneath the glass.

The ceramic cooktop is a fast,  energy-efficient cooktop that has a continuous surface that has few or no dirt traps. This allows for easier cleaning.

Ceramic cooktops allow you to have a smoother finish with your benchtop.

Spills will need to be cleaned up quickly to ensure that you maintain the appearance of your cooktop, like any other cooking surface.


5. For gas cooktops what does MJ/h mean?

Gas burners are rated in megajoules per hour (MJ/h), which is the amount of energy each burner uses on its maximum setting.

Four burner cooktop should have a good range of heat rating from slow(low heat around 3.5 – 5 MJ/h) to fast (high heat up to 10 or 11 MJ/h), with wok burners around 12 – 15 MJ/h.

Gas cooktops are set up to run on natural gas.

If you will be using LPG then your cooktop needs to be converted. Most manufacturers include injectors that are suitable for LPG with the cooktop instruction manual. Remember to ask your plumber or gasfitter to convert the cooktop for you.

Gas cooktops can be fitted with flame failure which means that if the flame goes out then the gas automatically cuts out.


6. What does the number of dish settings mean for a dishwasher?

This relates to the number of dish settings your dishwasher can handle, i.e. a 12 place settings means the dishwasher can handle all the plates from a 12 place dinner setting.

Check if the dishwasher has collapsible shelves to allow you to place large oven baking dishes in the dishwasher.  

Shelves may be height adjustable to allow your dishwasher to handle larger plates and glasses.


7. How many cooking functions do I need on my oven?

Depending on how much cooking you do, the style of cooking you do will determine how many functions you ideally need.

Ovens come with a number of cooking functions that could range from 3 to 11 depending on the style and manufacturer.

The more functions an oven has will mean a higher price for the oven. Some manufacturers include the light as a function when advertising their ovens.

Here is a guide to the different cooking functions:

Conventional Oven:

Heat is provided from the elements at the top and bottom of the oven mostly used in cooking on a single shelf. For best results arrange the shelves so that the top of the food is near the centre of the oven.  

Best for slowly cooking fruit cakes, bread, pavlova.

Fan Assist:

Heat is provided from both the top and bottom elements with the assistance of the fan at the back of the oven to ensure fast and even results.

This mode is most suitable for cakes, pastries, biscuits and yeast dough.


Fan Forced Convection:

This is the most commonly used function.

Heat is provided from the element behind the fan cover to give more even heat throughout the oven. Various foods can be cooked at the same time on different levels.

This is the most efficient cooking method.

Best for roasts and baking.


High Bake:

Heat is provided from the bottom element and circulated using the fan.

With the circulation of heat, foods with a high bake mode retain a crisp, dry texture on the outside. Especially those foods where you want to have the base well cooked.

This mode is excellent for reheating.

Best for pastry.

Classic Bake:

Heat is provided from the bottom element.

It is most suitable for cooking food which requires a well-cooked base or where minimal browning is required.

Best for steam puddings, soufflés and casseroles.


Fan Grill:

Heat is provided from the top element and is circulated by the fan.

This function is best for rapid cooking without preheating.

Best for chops, sausages, kebabs, chicken and fish.


Grill (half or full):

Heat is provided from the top grill.

Infrared heat is used to cook your food.

The half grill only uses the inner band of the top element and is suitable for smaller volumes.

The grill mode is ideal for cooking for a short time i.e. toasting.

Foods with a higher fat content should be grilled using the fan made.



This function starts the fan which ensures a constant flow of cold air within the oven and rapidly defrosts food.



Heat is provided by the rear element and the bottom element, with the heat being circulated by the fan.

This function is best used when a concentration of heat is required to cook the base and allows the top to gently cook at the same time.

Best for pizza.


8. What airflow do I need for my range would?

The airflow power required normally depends on the size of your kitchen and type of cooking.

To determine the correct airflow for your kitchen simply multiply the volume of the kitchen by 10 and you will obtain the ideal airflow for that room,

E.g. for a kitchen of 3m x 4m x 2.7m = 3 x 4 x  2.7 x 10 = 324.

Any product with airflow superior to 324 m³ per hour will therefore guarantee the complete and efficient ventilation of the room.

The style of cooking is also important.

If you are used to preparing quick meals in a relatively small kitchen, the model to choose is one with airflow of up to 200/300 m³ per hour.

A family of three or four people with a medium-sized kitchen and who cook a variety of food should select a model with an airflow of 300/400 m³ per hour.

For big families and those who love the culinary arts or a large gathering of friends in a large kitchen cooking elaborate dishes, the range should-should have the airflow of at least 400 m³ per hour.

9. Would my range hood need to be ducted or recirculated?

Having your range hood ducted or recirculated will be largely determined by the location of your kitchen and the hood within the kitchen.

In the ducted made the hood needs to be connected to specially designed piping that expels all the sucked-in-air to the outside. This may be through a wall or through the roof cavity.  

In the recirculated mode the sucked in air is purified by active carbon filters and returned to the original environment.

In this version, the carbon filters need to be purchased from your supplier as an extra and are extremely important that they are periodically replaced when necessary. Generally, this is every three – four months.

Generally, canopy hoods can be either recirculated or ducted. A T intersection is provided with the hood which allows the hood to be recirculated.


10. What is my warranty?

The warranty period is generally for a period of 2, 3 or 5 years.

Extended warranty periods can be purchased at an additional cost. The warranty would generally cover all the costs of labour and parts to repair your appliance.

For any warranty, it is important that you retain proof of purchase either from the kitchen manufacturer or retailer. If a service is required the manufacturer will ask you to provide proof of purchase to determine if your appliances are within the warranty period.

These answers should give you a good understanding of kitchen appliances. You can now begin to shop for your appliances with confidence.

You can shop our range of Kitchen Appliance Packages here: Shop Now

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