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It was a good little cooker until shortly after the warranty ran out and the control for the big hotplate went haywire. My previous cooker lasted some 20 years so I was expecting a better performance from the Russell Hobbs 13824-10
I bought the Russell Hobbs mini kitchen/oven for my dad and as he was so pleased with it that I decided to purchase one for my own use. My dad is seventy eight years of age and lives alone. He is extremely economy minded and had told me that he doesn't like the thought of heating a large oven for one small meal, so was looking for a mini oven. I looked around for mini ovens but most did not seem capable of cooking a Sunday roast. As I wanted my father to eat well, I decided to go for the Russell Hobbs mini oven.
Now that he has had this appliance for several months he has tried cooking various meals in it and, I have to say, is delighted with the results.
He cooked a small joint of beef in it last Sunday, along with roast potatoes and parsnips. He cooked this in the shallow baking tray provided, and said that the meat was lovely and tender. My dad is extremely fussy with meat and won't eat anything tough. He cooked carrots and tinned peas on the hobs placed on top of the oven so cooked a decent meal for himself.
He has also cooked pizzas, jacket potatoes and various cuts of meat and has been very pleased with the results. He uses the hobs on top for things such as mashed potato, beans, peas, tinned tomatoes and so he doesn't really need to use his gas oven anymore. I have seen some of these meals when ready and was impressed.
I also think a main advantage of this oven is that it sits on top of the worktop so no stooping is needed to get things out, making it good for the elderly or infirm. I think it's much safer because of this. Also, it is so easy to check on food whilst it's cooking as the door is glass and the oven has an interior light.
The only things which I am a little concerned about is the fact that the oven shelves are bowing slightly so maybe he needs to distribute the food more evenly. Also, it does take a while to heat up but he put the grill on at the same time and this helped greatly.
This appliance looks good with the mirror like door, does the job well and at around £100 to £130 is well worth the money, in my opinion. Anyway, my dad is happy with it and thinks his fuel bills will be lower as a result.
This review may be posted on Ciao by lak11
When we moved into our new house in February we had to buy a new oven but the one we chose had a ridiculously long delivery time (about 8 weeks). This meant we had no way of cooking proper meals for 2 months (which has since turned into three as it took us about a month to get someone to connect our new oven to the gas pipe). One option was to cook microwave meals, buy takeaways and eat at my parents but I wasn't happy about this as I wanted to get settled properly into our new home. My mum then suggested we get a mini-oven to use temporarily and after looking into them it seemed to be the perfect solution.
I purchased this oven from Argos for £97.89. There wasn't huge amount of choice of mini-ovens, only around 2 others of a similar specification. It was the most expensive out of these but the others were only around £10 cheaper. I chose this simply because it seemed the best from the description. We reserved the oven online and picked it up later that day.
The oven comes in a cardboard box and when I got the oven out of the box I thought that it looked sturdy and nicely presented with a sleek finish and the body done in shiny white paint. It came with a baking tray and 2 grilling racks. The other specific details of this oven are as follows:
26 litre capacity.
Fan assisted oven with adjustable temperature controls from 50 to 250 degrees C.
Double hotplate with variable temperature settings.
Both hobs and oven can be used at the same time.
Self clean interior.
Interior oven light.
The oven just sits on your worktops and isn't too space-consuming. This means the hobs are up fairly high but you soon get used to this. It comes with some instructions which are well laid out and easy to read but the oven is very easy to use anyway. Once plugged in at the wall, you simply flick on a switch to use the oven or grill then adjust the temperature knob. Similarly, for the hobs you adjust the knob to the temperature you need.
I was a bit naive before we bought this and just thought mini-ovens could cope with cooking easy dishes such as pasta or just heating up basic food items. But it is just as good as a normal oven for cooking anything you want; it's just a bit smaller! You can roast, bake grill, fry and boil with this baby. I have been very impressed with its performance, it cooks food beautifully and everything is always done to perfection. And not only can it cook decent meals for me and my boyfriend, it also coped brilliantly when I did a roast dinner for 6 people as well as a 3 course Thai meal for 4 people. I have also cooked a variety of cakes and puddings in it, including a triple layer chocolate cake, a pavlova, fairy cakes and chocolate brownies. It always cooks my cakes perfectly and evenly. In fact it is one of the best ovens I've ever used for cooking cakes. It is particularly good compared to my mums Aga which was hopeless at cakes.
The size of this oven, however, is occasionally an issue. For example, when I have had a large joint of meat or a whole chicken roasting I have had to remove the top shelf so there is room for the meat. This means you can't put anything else in the oven. Additionally, for some meals I have needed more than 2 hobs when cooking. This means sometimes having to cook something on the hob then setting it aside while the next thing is done. I was making Chinese food a couple of weeks ago and I was cooking 4 different dishes on the hobs. To keep it all warm I had to re-heat some of it in the microwave.
There are a couple of other negatives with this product that should be mentioned. The first is that the main oven takes a while to heat up. This is also true for the hobs. This is rather annoying but you do get used to turning it on, doing something else for a while then coming back to it. Secondly, as another reviewer mentioned, although most of the oven is easy to clean the hobs get discoloured quite easily. Similarly, it is quite hard to get the door of the oven looking as sleek as it did when it was new. When you clean it with a sponge, water and anti-bacterial it tends to go a bit smeary and look frosty.
I'm not entirely sure about how long this oven can last and whether it's months or years. We have used it everyday for 3 months and it has just started make grumbling noises when it heats up. It still cooks perfectly though so this does not necessarily indicate it's on its way out. At least if this oven does break it is cheap to replace, unlike a full sized oven. With Argos you can get 3 year replacement product cover for an extra £16.99 when you buy this oven.
Overall, this is a really fantastic oven. It has served me wonderfully and did the job I needed it to do. I have been starting to get irritated with the amount of hobs on it and for this reason couldn't really use it as my cooker forever. But it is a brilliant concept and ideal for people who may not be able to use a full sized oven for whatever reason. It has been a godsend to us while we had to wait for our main oven and now my mum and dad are going to have it so they can turn off their hot Aga over the summer.
I see another member has written a review about this Russell Hobbs Mini Kitchen Mini Oven 13824 and found it to be good too. We bought this for our eldest a few months ago when he moved into student accommodation to further his studies. He's not much of a cook despite the Mrs and I making every effort to teach him and we feared that without a good incentive to cook properly, he wouldn't bother.
So when he came to us asking if we'd buy him a microwave, we bought him this instead. We felt it might prompt him to at least cook a burger in the oven and some mash on top rather than eating noodles and beans on toast every day for the next four years.
Usually you would pay £100 for this from John Lewis (sold other places too) though we got it in a damaged box for £65. Obviously we got it all out of the box and checked it was going to do the job before we handed it over. We were really pleased to find that there was even a little grilling tray included. So that means you can cook most things in this. From oven chips and burgers to chicken breasts with stir fry bits in a pan on top.
The eldest has been using it for a while now and says it's absolutely brilliant. He did say he has to wait a while for things to warm up but that it's not usually a problem as if he's in to cook dinner it means he's got other things to catch up on too (like bagging up the laundry to dump on the Mrs at the weekend). The little hotplates aren't overly powerful but they've done him for a while now cooking all kinds of pasta and potatoes as well as the occasional vegetable (or so he tells us).
I think this is a really brilliant idea for others in similar situations. The other person to review this on here says they needed it to save space and I think that's a great idea. So you could use one of these instead of an oven if you're either in a small space or if you're a single person or student on a budget or in temporary accommodation. I think with it being a bit slow to heat up I have to give it four stars but it's a good four stars from me all the same. And what a saving on buying a cooker too!
Although I've just moved into a three-bedroomed house, it is one of those old Victorian terraces with a tiny kitchen and bathroom added on at the back as an afterthought. This is fine for me because I live alone. I was disappointed, however, to find that the kitchen didn't come with an oven (it's a rented property) and that there wasn't really room for one, not if I wanted a freezer and fridge as well. A mini oven seemed to be an ideal solution; I had one in my previous property and always found it to be very reliable and definitely big enough for one person.
Why this model?
To be honest, when it comes to mini ovens with hobs on the top, there is not a great deal of choice. Much searching on the Internet came up with three real possibilities in my price range; one was this one, one by Bush and another by Cookworks. Having had a Russell Hobbs kettle that lasted for years, I decided to go for the Russell Hobbs one, and a few days later, it arrived, care of John Lewis. It cost £99.95, with free delivery, and I got £6 cash back through quidco.com.
It seemed really small when I finally got it out of the box - at least smaller than my previous mini oven. However, I think this was just because I was looking at it out of context. It is bigger than the average microwave oven; in fact, it is large enough to fit a reasonable sized chicken in, although I doubt it would do the massive turkeys my mum usually buys for Christmas! In any case, it is perfectly big enough for me.
Another thing that put me off a bit when I first saw it was the shiny door. It is designed to be see-through, which it is, but from a certain distance, it also acts as a mirror. That's not really a problem, but I did think it would probably be hard to keep clean, which has proved to be the case. Being white, I was also a little concerned that the rest of the surfaces would also be difficult to keep clean. Again, this has proved to be the case, but then many ovens are white and other people manage to keep them looking good, so it isn't that much of an issue.
Apart from that, all looked fine. The oven seemed to be well put together, and came with two oven shelves, a baking tray with detachable handles, and, of course the two hobs on the top. There are three knobs to operate the oven (up to 250 degrees), and the two hobs. There are also two buttons; one operates the grill, the other the fan oven.
Before using, you need to burn the protective coatings off the elements, including the hobs. This is quite a smelly job, so needs to be done in a ventilated room or with the window open. The instructions advise people with allergies to stay clear.
I barely gave the instructions a second glance - it is obvious how to use it to anyone who has used an oven. However, the instructions are really easy to understand. I perhaps should have read them first though - I've just found out that when using the grill, the door should be left open to avoid the thermostat from switching it off when it gets too hot!
A few month's experience later...
I've used the oven for grilling, casseroling, frying and boiling on pretty much a daily basis. And on the whole, I've been very pleased. It is absolutely big enough for me to use, but I've also managed to cook the odd meal for friends and family without too much difficulty. The surface space that it takes up is minimal and it looks neat and tidy in my kitchen. My mum found it a little weird to be cooking on the hob higher than she's used to, but I've not found it to be a problem - it just takes a bit of getting used to.
Cleaning the inside of the oven is really easy. The sides and back of the oven are self-cleaning. I have no idea what material is on these surfaces, but it seems to work. All I need to do is to clean the bottom of the oven, which I usually do with a cloth and some hot water, but designated oven cleaners can be used. Outside is another story though.
There have been a few issues, though. Firstly, as mentioned already, the white outer surfaces of the oven are white and I'm a sloppy cooker, so food stains abound. They are relatively easy to get off with a bit of kitchen cleaner and some elbow grease, but there is some discolouration around the hobs. According to the instructions, this is normal and does not affect the operation of the oven in any way. However, I can't help but think that if it was a darker colour, the stains wouldn't show up.
Then there is the light. Inside the oven, there is a light that is on at all times whether the oven or hobs are in use or not. There is no way that I can see of switching it off, except by switching it off at the wall. When cooking in the oven, the light is obviously useful, but I don't see the point of it when it is just standing and it is wasting electricity. I try to remember to switch it off at the wall, but as the plug is in an awkward place, it isn't ideal.
Thirdly, the hobs seem to take an awful long time to heat up. This is probably at least partly to do with safety regulations, but I still find it a little annoying. As time goes by though, I've got used to it, and I suppose that every cooker has its little foibles!
Of course if you have a family, you will need more oven and hob space and so using an oven of this size would be very difficult. However, I really think this oven is perfect for students, old people and anyone who lives alone. It isn't without its faults, but it does what I need it to do and for the price I think it is very good value. Recommended.
Perfect for small kitchens / It is a multi-function electric compact cooker, with hotplates for grilling, roasting, baking, frying and boiling / The 2 hotplates on top, one large (1kW) and one medium (0.7kW), can be used at the same time as the oven / Short name: Russell Hobbs 13824