Dual Fuel Cookers - An Introduction
The duel fuel cooker offers the avid cook or professional chef the option of either gas or electric for their cooking pleasure. While a novice may also enjoy the quality of a professional dual fuel range cooker, an infrequent culinary artist generally does not require the features that it possesses.
A 240 volt line is connected to the cooker to power the electric convection oven. Natural or LP gas is selected to fuel the burners, and other accessories such as a French top or Charbroiler.
Dual fuel cookers came into existence because some culinary dishes are better prepared in an electric convection environment than gas. For example, expert chefs generally select the convection oven to prepare pastries and pies, because electric heat is more consistent for these ingredients than gas heat. In other instances, gas is preferred for range top cooking and cakes, because the product remains moist. More chefs desire the flexibility of the dual fuel cooker for their homes or workplace.
Many dual fuel cookers will have anywhere from 4 to 6 burners and a number of optional features. The features may include multiple cooking modes, automatic ignition, flame failure device, self cleaning oven, porcelain coated top grates for even heat distribution, variable 2 speed fans and a proof mode. The multiple cooking modes may include: convection, bake, convection bake, roast, convection roast, broil, convection broil, dehydrate, defrost, browning, bake stone and proof mode. Many of the ovens may also be Kosher-certified.
The consumer must be conscious of the space requirements when selecting a dual fuel range for the home. While the average dual fuel cooker consumes a larger amount of space than most conventional single fuel cookers, the benefits outweigh the space issue. The widths range from 50 cm to 100 cm. The double dual fuel cooker and the triple dual fuel cooker will require more space than a single dual fuel cooker. However, the more ovens that the dual fuel cooker contains, the more internal volume or cooking capacity the dual fuel cooker will contain. The total volume ranges from 30 to 100 litres in size.
The dual fuel ranges are available in a variety of finishes. Stainless steel is one of the most frequently selected choices for the dual fuel cooker. Other finishes or colours may include black, silver, white, and cream.
When selecting a dual fuel range cooker, be certain that the appliance meets the minimum energy efficiency rating. Most dual fuel range cookers have energy efficiency labels that contain the following information:
• Energy Efficiency: The ratings range from A to G. A is the most energy efficient, and G is the least energy efficient
• The size of the range indicated by the words: small, medium, or large
• The capacity or volume measured in litres
• Amount of energy consumed measured in kW/h
Tips to consider before buying Dual Fuel Cookers
- Many of the brands are not known for their reliability. Read independent reviews to determine which dual fuel cookers are more reliable than others.
- Measure the space available for the oven. Be certain to select a cooker that will fit in the space allocated for the appliance.
- Make certain that the space for the appliance has both a 240 Volt line and a gas line available for installation of the dual fuel cooker. Installation may be costly if either of these are not available. If installation of electric lines and gas lines are required, factor this cost into the overall purchase to determine if it is a wise selection.
- Be certain that proper safety systems are featured, such as the flame failure device. The law requires that this feature be available when installing the unit in flats or student residences.
- Most of the units require a certified engineer for installation and to supply gas hoses. Factor the cost for installation and hoses into the budget before purchase.
- Know your budget. Dual fuel cookers are generally more expensive than single fuel ranges. Factor in the cost differences when making a decision on whether to buy a dual fuel cooker.
- Inquire about warranties. Many of the dual fuel cookers come with standard multi-year warranties.
- Make certain the dual fuel cooker has a self-cleaning option. Industrial ovens may be difficult to clean.
- Manual controls are generally more reliable than electrical controls over time. If you are concerned with costly repairs, select a range with manual controls and few electrical controls.
Types of Dual Fuel Cookers
Free Standing Dual Fuel Cookers
Free standing dual fuel cookers are able to stand alone without any cabinetry or other supports around to support the appliance. Certain home designs require a stand-alone range. These types of cookers are offered by several manufacturers. The freestanding dual fuel cooker may have anywhere from 1 – 4 ovens available for the culinary artist. The price ranges from high 400s to 2000 pounds in the UK.
Built In Dual Fuel Cookers
Built-in dual fuel cookers are positioned between cabinetry for a seamless look. Built-in dual fuel cookers are available in multi-oven designs. While this type of range is generally more appealing, it may be more costly to remove for repair and other maintenance issues. Prices vary depending upon the manufacturer, the finish, the number of ovens, and the features. A price range would be from mid 200s to 3000 pounds in the UK.
Slide In Dual Fuel Cookers
This product is often used interchangeably with the built-in oven. The slide-in is mobile and therefore, easier to install and move for repairs. Prices vary depending upon the manufacturer, the finish, the number of ovens, and the features. The price range is synonymous with the built-in dual fuel cooker. The range is from mid 200s to 3000 pounds in the UK.
Single Dual Fuel Cookers
Single dual fuel cookers only possess a single oven. The oven is typically a single electric convection oven. Single dual fuel ranges may be as small as 50 cm in width. Single dual fuel cookers allow the consumer to experience the quality of the dual fuel cooker, while conserving space. Prices vary depending upon the manufacturer, options, and finish.
Double Dual Fuel Cookers
Double dual fuel cookers are comprised of 2 ovens. One oven has a greater capacity than the other to accommodate large items, such as turkeys. Prices vary depending upon the manufacturer, options, and finishes.
Triple Dual Fuel Cookers
Three ovens are present in the triple dual fuel cooker design. Each of the ovens has a different capacity. For example, one oven may be 27 litres, while another may be 46 litres. This design is not for the space conscious. External width measurements for these ovens can be as wide as 100 cm. Prices vary depending upon the finishes, options, and manufacturer.
Brands of Dual Fuel Cookers
AEG offers a variety of professional products. The prices range from 800 to 3000 pounds in the UK. Features consist of multiple burners including a wok burner, griddle, and grill. Most models have an energy efficiency rating of at least a B. The flame failure option is also available. The style will integrate well with either a traditional or contemporary décor.
Cannon offers a range of professional ovens that are a great buy for the quality. One of their most exclusive dual fuel ranges is 100 cm in width. This design is not for a small space. The oven capacity is approximately 100 litres. The energy efficiency ratings are in the B range. Many have 6 burners and grills. The manufacturer also offers a warranty or guarantee on the product. An average unit is around 1500 pounds in the UK.
Electrolux provides a range of products for the space conscious consumer. The 60 cm model is an excellent solution for this type of consumer. Electrolux offers “Perfect Turkey” mode, as well as, other beneficial modes, such as Sabbath mode, defrost, proof, and dehydrate. The prices for these products range from 700 to 2500 pounds in the UK.
Leisure offers the consumer a variety of economical options. Their most popular product is the triple oven. The internal capacity of each oven combined is almost 100 litres. The width is around 90 cm; therefore, it is slightly smaller than some of its competitors. Leisure products typically have an A or B energy efficiency rating. Each oven is rated separately within the single appliance. Most of the triple oven dual fuel cookers have a grill, a wok, and five or more gas burners. The prices range from 950 to 1300 pounds in the UK.
Rangemaster offers a variety of dual fuel range cookers in various sizes and finishes. The company has excelled in appliance design for over 200 years. Options include up to 5 gas burners, a wok cradle, nonstick griddle, grill, electric fan ovens, defrost and browning settings. The Rangemaster also has a flame failure device. The width of the range is 110; therefore, a large kitchen is best for this design. Prices vary depending upon the finish, number of ovens, and features. However, the general range is from 1200 pounds to 2500 pounds.
Smeg offers products with an industrial look that may integrate with a certain décor. Smeg also offers a variety of power levels for burners and multiple functions for ovens. A grill, cooling fan, wok, rotisserie kit, griddle, and warming plate are all features that are available for the Smeg consumer. Prices range from mid 500s to 2000 pounds in the UK.
For the sake of brevity, each brand could not be discussed in detail. Other brands are listed below.
Advice for Purchasing a Dual Fuel Cooker
- Select a dual fuel cooker with an A or B efficiency rating.
Keep in mind that there are multiple ovens and multiple fuel sources; therefore, the consumer should check the energy efficiency rating for each individual aspect of the appliance.
- Be certain the appliance has a flame failure safety device.
- Have a certified engineer install the product for safety.
- Compare quality and reliability with other products.
Some quality products have a higher starting price point than others. However, this is not always the case. Judge the quality by comparing its reliability to similar products. Reviews such as eOpinions.com may offer an independent opinion. In many instances, the consumer can find a quality product for cheap in online stores.
Be certain that enough space is available to accommodate the type of appliance purchased.
|Convection Baking ||Dual fuel cookers were designed because most chefs prefer electric for certain items and gas for others. Experts recommend electric convection ovens for baking pastries and pies.|
|French Top||The French Top is an optional feature on dual fuel cookers that operate at 15,000 btu/hr (4.4kW) via a natural or LP gas source. The French top center plate is comprised of concentric circles of varying degrees of heat. The inner most circle is the maximum heat, the next two circles are medium heat levels and the remainder of the surface is low heat.|
|Infrared Burner||Infrared burners power the gas grilling portion of the dual fuel cooker. The burner can operate at maximum levels of 16,000 btu/hr (4.7kW). The gas heats the ceramic plate beneath the radiant plate to allow the heat to transfer to the grilling surface above.|
|Kosher Certified||Appliances that are Kosher-certified meet the minimum requirements for religious holidays and Sabbath. The appliances have met the strict rigorous standards and certified as such.|
|Proof||Proof or proofing refers to a baking technique that describes the final step of the dough rising process before the actual baking process begins. |