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When choosing a new cooker when I moved home I was faced with the choice of an electric or gas cooker. Gas cookers are generally cheaper to run with the flame better for cooking on the hob and electric cookers are cleaner with faster oven heating times. Dual fuel cookers give you the best of both worlds with an instantly responsive gas hob and superior electric oven. I bought my Indesit K6G520XG dual fuel cooker around two years ago and it is currently available for around £300. Let's see how it has performed in a domestic environment since I bought it.
When you buy a gas cooker you need to have it installed by a corgi professional, in this instance the £90 for installation by the shop would have been a good deal as when phoning round for quotes I was told as much as £150 but in the end was lucky enough to have a corgi registered neighbour fit it very cheaply, remember to factor this cost into your budget. The electrical part of the cooker uses a normal plug socket to power it so no fiddly wiring to worry about!
There are four burners, two medium sized ones at the back of the cooker and a fast burn and small auxiliary burner at the front. I feel that the large burner would have been best placed at the back of the hob but otherwise I am happy with the positioning of the burners.
The gas hobs give heat which is responsive to change instantly as you turn the gas up or down. I am an impatient person and I hate cooking on an electric hob because of the time taken to heat up properly before you start cooking. It is also cheaper to cook with a gas hob than an electric one.
The burners work well, the medium burners give out a powerful enough heat to rapidly boil a pan of water and I like the fact that you can turn it down to simmer in an instant. I've had the problem with small burners in the past that they give out such a weak flame that when you turn them down low then the flame goes out but this has not happened with this cooker; on a high setting the small flame is hot enough to simmer a large pan and at it's lowest setting keeps things nice and warm without really cooking them further.
The burners are lit by an electric spark which is mains powered and means no messing around with lighters which is a bonus.
The only flaw with this hob is the lack of flame failure device, this means that if you leave the gas on without the burners being lit then the gas will not automatically cut off. This is a safety concern for some people and it is also now illegal to install cookers without this feature in places like halls of residence. In reality I have never left the gas on, the fact you need to push the knobs in before turning them means they cannot be accidently turned on by brushing past the appliance and I feel safe enough owning this cooker.
The oven has a capacity of 56 litres. To put this into context it was big enough to cook a 20lb turkey at Christmas but you would not be able to fit anything else into the oven at the same time.
The K6G520G has a combined oven and grill with five different programmes allowing you to choose which one will be best suited to the dish you wan to cook.
Defrost Mode: This circulates room temperature air around the oven allowing you to defrost things in half the time it would normally take. I've used this feature a few times and it is really handy for the times that you have forgotten to take something out of the freezer. I have found that foods defrost in an even way and there are none of the hotspots that you can get when using the microwave.
Convection Oven: This allows you to cook most types of foods. It is a standard oven with the temperature is hotter at the top of the oven allowing you to cooker foods that need a slightly lower temperature at the bottom of the oven and something needing more heat at the top.
Fan Oven: The temperature is distributed evenly throughout the oven using the fan which means you can cook, for example, two pizzas on different racks knowing they will take the same time to cook through. The temperatures on the fan oven are slightly higher than in the standard oven meaning you can adjust the temperature down slightly saving energy. This mode of cooking is especially good for roasts allowing them to cook through evenly.
Standard Grill: This high temperature grill using just the top heating element gives you an extremely intense heat at the top of the oven which is great for searing meat.
Fan Grill: Like the fan oven the fan is used to give you a more even temperature and the elements both above and below the grill pan are used to cook things like sausages evenly.
I have found that the oven and grill perform excellently in all modes. The oven is quick to heat up to a high temperature and when you use the fan the noise is noticeable but not so loud that it will annoy you. I have had good results using each one of the programmes but it can be a bit confusing deciding which one to use at times so I tend to just use the fan oven and normal grill to cook everything!
The only thing that I really dislike about the combined oven is the supplied grill pan. It does not have a handle fixed into place and the metal handle which clips on and off is extremely fiddly and gets really hot if you leave it connected when cooking. The handle also feels a bit flimsy when you are lifting the grill from the cooker. The fact that the grill pan is not full size could be a problem for some people especially if you are wanting to grill a large amount of food for a family meal and obviously as the oven and grill are combined you can not use both functions at the same time. This is not a problem for me, I detest cleaning grill pans so use my George Foreman for most things that I used to cook under the grill and only use my grill pan for the odd slice of cheese on toast; the grill holding 3 slices of toast side by side.
The oven door is glass fronted but as it is grey glass you can not see into the oven when things are cooking. The door feels nice and sturdy with high quality hinges and opens from top to bottom and closes nice and softly.
The cooker has a built in timer with an alarm when the cooking time has finished and it also turns the oven off. I have found this a handy feature but it is difficult to use the timer for small amounts of time like 10 minutes because it is hard to read the graduations on the timer.
The cooker also has a generously sized drawer at the bottom allowing you to store your cookware out of the way. Obviously this area will get warm during cooking so not a place to store anything delicate but it is a handy place to store all of your oven trays and tins freeing up some cupboard space.
Gas hobs are always going to be fiddly to clean because of their design but the burners are easy to remove and the surface easy to wipe over and looks fantastic after you use a stainless steel cleaner to give it extra shine. I like the fact that the knobs can be pulled back slightly allowing you to get into the little spaces and clean them properly.
The oven has no easy clean feature and the fact that the door pulls downwards rather than sideways means that you have to get down on your hands and knees and reach past the length of the door to clean inside. The racks are all easily removable and the surface nice and smooth and easy to wipe down. Lets face it cleaning the oven is a job that none of us enjoy and this oven is no different!
I'm happy with my Indesit K6G520XG, I'm someone who enjoys experimenting in the kitchen with different recipes and have had full use of the many features of this cooker over the past two years. The cooker performs well and is a good buy for everyday family use giving a reliable cooker for a great price. The cooker does have some little niggles, mainly the design of the grillpan in the combined oven and grill but the overall performance means that it is a cooker I am happy to say that I would recommend as a good buy.
Short name: Indesit K6G520XG