Disadvantages Uneven heat in oven and rubbish grill
|Ease of use|
|Cleaning & Maintenance|
|Value for money|
I bought my Beko oven about two years ago from a local gas appliance store. I chose it because I wanted an oven with a gas hob and this was the cheapest one I had seen. Money was very tight so price was the most important factor in my decision.I paid for my oven and it was delivered and installed in my kitchen. It looked like all ovens look, white with a glass door. There is a storage compartment below the oven. The oven and grill share the same pull down glass door.
There are 5 dials on the front of the oven and an ignition switch. The dials control each of the four rings on the hob, with the remaining dial controlling the oven and grill.There are for gas rings on the hob, one large ring, two medium, and one small. The oven has a range of temperature settings up to a maximum of 280 degrees. Although it is a gas oven it is not measured in gas marks. There is also a grill within the oven.
The oven needs to be installed in your kitchen by connecting it to the gas supply. This should of course be done by a corgi registered gas man. It also needs to be plugged in to the mains to power the ignition.To light the hob you simply turn the corresponding dial to the desired level and press the ignition switch. In my experience the ring lights first time more often than not, although occassionally more than one attempt is required.
I have cooked a range of different things on the hob, from stirfrying in a hot wok to warming a pan of beans. I have found that the different ring sizes provide a range of heat settings suitable for all types of cooking and I have never been disapointed with this aspect of the oven.The oven itself is quite difficult to light. You open the door, turn the dial to the required setting, and hold it in whilst pressing the ignition switch. You then need to keep it pressed in for about 15 seconds, checking that the pilot light is lit. The pilot light is easy to see as it is located in the bottom of the oven at the front, and there are holes through which you can see it clearly. After 15 seconds you can release the dial, but you must check that the pilot is still lit.
The problem with lighting the oven is that if you release the dial to early the pilot goes out and the oven doesn't light. Similarly if you hold the dial in for too long then the pilot goes out. My partner and my sister also find it difficult to light the oven, so I know its not just me.When using the oven it is recommended that you preheat it. Simply light the oven (if you can), close the door and wait about ten minutes before you put your food in.
Even having preheated the oven I find that the temperature inside the oven is very uneven, with the top shelf often being too cold to cook the food. If I attempt to cook frozen pizza I find that the bottom of the pizza is ready before the cheese has even defrosted properly on the top. If I try to cook two things on different shelves at the same time, the thing on the higher shelf hardly cooks at all whilst the lower item cooks much quicker.I find it very difficult to cook things in the oven evenly. Dishes like casserole or lasagne tend to cook best as the heat spreads quickly through the liquids in the dish and this helps, although the uneven temperatures can make it difficult to brown the tops of dishes.
The grill is lit in the same way as the oven, and with the same problems trying to get it to stay lit. A further problem is that the grill won't light at all if the oven is too hot. Although this is designed as a safety feature, I find it very annoying when I want to brown the top of the dish I have just cooked, or cook the top of my pizzas for example. You have to wait until the oven has cooled down and by this time your dinner can be spoiled.The main problem with the grill however is that it only operates on a low setting, although the instruction book tells you how to set it to high, there just isn't a high setting to turn the dial to. This is extremely frustrating because it makes the area which you can grill on so small that you can't make more than one slice of toast at a time. If you try to make more than one you end up with white patches so you have to turn it round. By the time it is all nicely browned it has been under the grill long enough to dry it out too much making it brittle.
The storage area below the oven is quite useful for keeping oven trays in and it is quite roomy.I am able to store casserole dishes in there as well as my oven trays and bun trays.The oven comes with two interior shelves, although as I have described it is not advisable to use both at once. It also comes with a grill pan with a detachable handle. The handle is far too fiddly to attach and doesn't feel at all secure so I don't use it. Oven gloves do a better job.
The ignition is powered by the mains which I find to be a bit of a nuisance as it takes up a socket which I would like to have available for other things. My previous gas oven used a battery which was much more convenient for me. I don't know if this is a fault with the cooker or more an issue in the poor design of my kitchen but it is certainly annoying.In conclusion then, this oven performs very poorly as both an oven and a grill. The hob is fine and the storage is useful. I paid £170 for this oven and I feel it was a very poor purchase indeed. It is definitely worth paying some extra money for a better oven and this is what I will be doing next time I buy one, which I am hoping is possible sooner rather than later. In the meantime, those takeaway menus look very appealing.....................
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