Looking for the best oven for baking at home? Check out our detailed buying guide to help you choose - Hindustan Times
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Looking for the best oven for baking at home? Check out our detailed buying guide to help you choose

Jun 20, 2024 06:16 PM IST

If you love baking and are looking for the perfect oven for yourself. We have all the answers right here.

When one starts to bake, you realise the importance of a good oven for baking. One starts to understand how ovens for baking are not the same as regular ovens that we buy to reheat food and manage other trivial tasks in the kitchen.

The best ovens for baking are listed in one place to help you find the perfect fit for you. (Pexels)
The best ovens for baking are listed in one place to help you find the perfect fit for you. (Pexels)

Modern ovens for baking come in various types, including convection, gas, and electric models. They offer precise temperature control, even heat distribution, and convenient features like programmable timers and self-cleaning. 

These ovens are designed to achieve consistent baking results, ensuring that bread, cakes, and pastries turn out perfectly every time. But with the range of options available, one has to wonder. Which oven should you buy to achieve the best results?

What is the science behind baking and ovens?

Baking involves the interaction of heat with ingredients to create textures and flavours. When baking, heat from the oven causes chemical reactions in the dough or batter. Proteins in flour form gluten, providing structure, while leavening agents like baking powder release gases, causing the mixture to rise. The heat caramelises sugars and the reactions brown the surface, enhancing flavour and colour. Oven types, such as convection ovens, use fans to circulate hot air, ensuring even cooking. Proper temperature control is crucial - if it's too hot or too cool, it can affect texture and doneness. Understanding these processes helps achieve consistent, delicious baked goods.

 

What are the different types of ovens you can use for baking?

There are several types of ovens used for baking and each has its functionality:

  • Convection Ovens: These ovens have fans that circulate hot air, ensuring even heat distribution and faster baking times. The constant movement of air reduces hot spots and allows for multi-rack baking. This makes them ideal for baking cookies, pastries, and other items that require uniform browning.
  • Conventional Ovens: Standard ovens without fans, relying on radiant heat from top and bottom elements. They are the traditional choice for many home bakers and can produce excellent results with proper rack placement. While they might not heat as evenly as convection ovens, they are great for baking dishes that need a steady heat source, like casseroles and roast meats.
  • Gas Ovens: Use natural gas or propane for heat, providing quick temperature changes and moist heat. They often have more precise temperature control and can heat up faster than electric ovens. Gas ovens are particularly popular for baking bread, as the moisture helps create a perfect crust.
  • Electric Ovens: Common in households, these provide consistent, dry heat through electric coils. They are generally easier to install and maintain than gas ovens. Electric ovens are well-suited for baking cakes and cookies due to their stability and even heating.
  • Microwave Ovens: Some models have convection settings for baking, combining microwave technology with traditional heating. They are incredibly convenient for quick baking tasks and small batches. However, their baking results can vary, making them better for reheating and simple baking tasks.
  • Steam Ovens: Inject steam into the baking process, ideal for breads and pastries. The steam helps to keep the dough moist, which results in a better rise and a crispier crust. Steam ovens can also reheat food without drying it out, maintaining its original texture and flavour.
  • Toaster Ovens: Small, versatile ovens for baking smaller quantities. They are perfect for small kitchens or quick baking needs and can handle everything from toast to small cakes. Toaster ovens heat up quickly and use less energy than full-sized ovens, making them an efficient choice for everyday baking.

 

OTG ovens vs convection microwave ovens

Convection microwave ovens and OTG ovens are both great options for baking, and each has its pros and cons to offer. Let's introduce you to the two types of ovens without any bias and our top picks for each type to help you find the right fit for your kitchen.

  • OTG Ovens: OTG ovens use electric coils for baking, toasting, and grilling. They offer precise temperature control and are ideal for traditional baking tasks. However, they have longer preheating times, consume more energy, and are bulkier. They are generally more affordable and easier to clean than convection microwave ovens.
  • Convection Microwave Ovens: Convection microwave ovens combine microwave technology with a fan for even heat distribution. They are highly versatile and capable of baking, grilling, microwaving, defrosting, and reheating. These ovens cook faster, are more energy-efficient, and save space. They are typically more expensive and may require more maintenance.

Here's a comparison table to brief you on everything about OTG (Oven, Toaster, Grill) ovens and convection microwave ovens:

FeatureOTG OvensConvection Microwave Ovens
Heating MethodUses electric coils for heatingUses microwave technology and a fan to circulate hot air
Cooking FunctionsBaking, toasting, grillingBaking, grilling, microwaving, defrosting, and reheating
Preheating TimeLonger preheating timeShorter preheating time
Heat DistributionRadiant heat, less uniformEven heat distribution due to the fan
Temperature ControlPrecise temperature controlMay have limitations on precise control
Cooking SpeedSlower, traditional cooking speedsFaster cooking times
Energy ConsumptionGenerally higherGenerally lower, more energy-efficient
VersatilityLimited to baking, toasting, grillingHighly versatile, suitable for various cooking methods
SizeUsually larger and bulkierMore compact and space-saving
CostGenerally more affordableTypically more expensive
MaintenanceEasier to clean, fewer componentsMay require more maintenance due to additional features
Ideal ForTraditional baking and grilling tasksQuick and versatile cooking, baking, and reheating

Also read: Best gas ovens: Top 10 picks for baking bliss and delicious results

 

Now that we know enough to understand the basics, let’s dive into the types of ovens and our top 3 picks for each:

 

OTG ovens

OTG (Oven, Toaster, Grill) ovens use electric coils for baking, toasting, and grilling, offering traditional cooking methods with precise temperature control.

 

Pros of OTG Ovens for baking:

  • Precise Temperature Control: Allows for accurate baking, essential for recipes that require specific temperatures.
  • Even Heat Distribution: Ensures consistent baking results, with uniform browning and cooking.
  • Versatility: Can bake, toast, and grill, providing multiple cooking functions in one appliance.
  • Cost-Effective: Generally more affordable than other types of ovens, making them accessible for many home bakers.
  • Traditional Cooking Method: Uses electric coils without microwave radiation, which some users prefer for health and taste reasons.

 

Cons of OTG Ovens for baking:

  • Longer Preheating Time: Takes more time to reach the desired baking temperature compared to other ovens.
  • Higher Energy Consumption: Typically consumes more electricity than convection microwave ovens.
  • Bulkier Size: Usually larger and takes up more kitchen space, which can be an issue in smaller kitchens.
  • Slower Cooking Speed: Baking times can be longer compared to convection ovens, which circulate heat more efficiently.
  • Manual Controls: Often have less sophisticated controls and may lack advanced features like programmable settings found in modern ovens.

 

How to Use OTG Ovens:

  1. Preheat the Oven: Allow sufficient time for preheating to the desired temperature.
  2. Select the Right Mode: Choose from bake, toast, or grill settings based on your cooking needs.
  3. Adjust Temperature and Time: Set the appropriate temperature and cooking time for your recipe.
  4. Use the Correct Rack Position: Place your food on the right rack for even cooking.
  5. Monitor Cooking: Keep an eye on your food to avoid overcooking.
  6. Turn Off After Use: Always switch off and unplug the oven after cooking.
  7. Regular Cleaning: Clean the oven and accessories regularly to maintain efficiency and hygiene.

Top 3 picks for OTG ovens on Amazon

1. Bajaj 1603T Oven Toaster Grill (OTG)

2. Philips HD6975/00 Digital Oven Toaster Grill, 25 Litre OTG

3. Wonderchef Oven Toaster Griller (OTG)

Here is a comparison table between the top 3 OTG oven picks:

FeatureBajaj 1603T OTGPhilips HD6975/00 OTGWonderchef Crimson Edge OTG
BrandBajajPhilipsWonderchef
Product Dimensions26.6D x 40W x 26.6H cm40.2D x 52W x 35.6H cm10.2D x 13.8W x 8.7H cm
ColourWhiteGreyCrimson
Capacity16 litres25 litres9 litres
Wattage1200 Watts1500 Watts650 Watts
Control TypeKnobTouch ControlKnob
Special FeaturesTimer, Baking & Grilling Accessories, Convection, RotisserieOpti Temp Technology, 10 Preset Menus, Motorised RotisserieTemperature Control, Auto-shut Off, Heat-resistant Tempered Glass, Multi-stage Heat Selection
MaterialStainless SteelMetalMetal
Item Weight4.738 Kilograms6.4 Kilograms2600 Grams
Additional FeaturesIncludes Baking Tray, Grill Rack, Tong, Crumb Tray, Skewer RodsDouble Glass Door, Rust Free Rotisserie Rod, Chamber LightAuto-shutoff Timer, Heating Element Selector, Easy Clean Crumb Tray, Heat-resistant Tempered Glass
User ReviewsCustomers like the size, appearance, and ease of use. Mixed opinions on heating efficiency.Customers appreciate the quality, value, and ease of use. Mixed opinions on durability and temperature control.Customers like the ease of use and appearance. Mixed opinions on durability and temperature control.

Also read: Bake like a pro with the best OTG ovens between 10000-20000: Top 10 options for you

 

Convection microwave ovens

Convection microwave ovens combine microwave technology with a fan for even heat distribution. They offer versatile cooking options including baking, grilling, and reheating in a compact appliance.

Pros of Convection Microwave Ovens for Baking:

  • Versatility: Offer multiple cooking functions including baking, grilling, and microwaving in one appliance.
  • Fast Cooking: Combine microwave speed with convection oven evenness for quicker baking.
  • Even Heat Distribution: The use of a fan ensures uniform cooking and browning.
  • Compact Size: Save kitchen space compared to separate microwave and oven units.
  • Energy Efficiency: Generally consume less energy than traditional ovens for baking.

 

Cons of Convection Microwave Ovens for baking:

  • Limited Capacity: Smaller interior limits batch sizes for baking compared to full-size ovens.
  • Complex Controls: Settings and modes may require a learning curve to utilise effectively.
  • Texture Differences: Baked goods may have different textures compared to traditional oven baking.
  • Higher Cost: Initial purchase and maintenance expenses can be higher than standard microwave ovens.
  • Not Ideal for All Recipes: Some baking recipes may not achieve the desired results due to microwave functions.

 

How to use Convection Microwave Ovens:

  1. Mode Selection: Choose between microwave, convection, or combination modes.
  2. Temperature and Time: Set appropriate temperature and cooking times for different functions.
  3. Use of Racks: Utilise racks for multi-level cooking and even heat circulation.
  4. Preheating: Some models require preheating for certain functions like baking and grilling.
  5. Microwave Safety: Ensure microwave-safe cookware is used for microwave functions to avoid damage.

 

Top 3 picks for convection microwave ovens on Amazon

1. Panasonic 23L Convection Microwave Oven

2. Samsung 28L, Convection Microwave Oven

3. LG 28 L Convection Microwave Oven

Here is a comparison table between the top 3 convection microwave oven picks:

FeatureLG Convection Microwave Oven (MC2886BRUM)Samsung Convection Microwave Oven (MC28A5013AK/TL)Panasonic Convection Microwave Oven (NN-CT353BFDG)
BrandLGSamsungPanasonic
Product Dimensions52D x 51W x 31H cm47.5D x 51.7W x 31H cm29.2D x 48.3W x 34.3H cm
ColourBlackBlackBlack Mirror
Capacity28 litres28 litres23 litres
Special FeaturesProgrammable, Auto Cook, Control Panel Lock, Defrost, Interior Light, Self-cleaning, Timer, TurntableAuto Cook, One Touch Button, Defrost, Grill Function, Child Safety Lock, Turntable, Racks, Eco ModeAuto Cook, Magic Grill, 360° Heat Wrap, Vapor Clean, Compact Design
ConvectionYesYesYes
Grill FunctionYes (1200 W)YesYes
Microwave Power Output900 W900 W800 W
Warranty1-year comprehensive warranty (T&C)1-year standard warranty on Product, 10 years warranty on ceramic enamel cavityNot specified
Additional Features360° Motorised Rotisserie, Diet Fry, Stainless Steel Cavity, Indian Roti Basket, Pasteurize MilkCeramic Enamel Cavity, Eco Mode, Sound On/Off, ClockAuto Reheat/Cook, 61 Auto Cook Menu, Preheat, Dual Grill (Top and Back), Compact Design
User ReviewsCustomers like the value, appearance, and features of the microwave oven. Mentioned to have all the functions and is easy to use. Appreciate the quality and taste. Some have reported issues with scratches and dents on the top.Customers appreciate the sleek design and reliable performance. Mentioned the intuitive control panel makes it easy to use. Some noted issues with heating consistency.Customers like the compact design and even cooking results. Mentioned satisfaction with the auto cook menus and ease of cleaning. Mixed reviews on heating efficiency.

Also read: Best oven toaster grill models: Top 10 choices under 4000

Electric ovens you can buy if you want to make basic pizzas and more:

BAJAJ VACCO Round Baking Grilling AUTO Oven

Ariete 979-18 L Design Electric Oven

Ariete Pizza Maker Machine for Making Pizza

Editor's note:

If you are serious about baking and want to start your journey of making cakes, cookies, brownies and more at home then the Bajaj 1603T Oven Toaster Grill (OTG) is the perfect pick as it is one of the best overall OTG ovens available and also has a great value-for-money element to it as it comes with amazing features at a very affordable price.

If you want to occasionally bake and prefer shortcuts and mug cakes to fancy cake slices, then a convection microwave oven might be the better pick for you. The Samsung 28L, Convection Microwave Oven is the perfect choice to switch between an oven that bakes and also a microwave that will reheat your food and perform other tasks as well.

While it is better to always prefer an OTG oven for baking for the quality it produces, if baking is something one does occasionally then a convection microwave oven might be the better investment.

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At Hindustan Times, we help you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and products. Hindustan Times has an affiliate partnership, so we may get a part of the revenue when you make a purchase. We shall not be liable for any claim under applicable laws, including but not limited to the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, with respect to the products. The products listed in this article are in no particular order of priority.

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