During the latter part of 2009 my husband and I decided to take the plunge and splash out on a new fitted kitchen to be installed in readiness for Christmas and as a result, I decided all of our appliances would need to be replaced. Careful consideration needed to be given to our purchase of an oven, particularly as my husband has limited mobility and suffers with diabetic related neuropathy in his fingers. Consequently, we needed something with easy to use buttons and our specifications were:-
* A fan oven that could be integrated
* Dials that are fairly large, easy to see and operate
* Energy efficient
* Easy to clean
* Stainless steel to match the remainder of our kitchen appliances
As we also required a built-in gas hob we decided to purchase a pack containing both the hob and an electric built-in oven, as we favoured having an alternative energy supply for each appliance. Our shortlist of specifications led us to a few models with our final choice being a stainless steel energy efficiency rating A Beko Single Electrical Fan Oven with a 65 litre capacity and this review discusses my experience of owning and using the appliance. Please note that when this item is purchased individually it carries the model number OIF 22100 X, but when purchased within the pack it carries the identical model number as the built-in hob and that is OSF 22130 S
~~ APPEARANCE OF OVEN ~~
The appearance of this particular model was the deciding factor for our purchase, as I didn't want something that would look out of place in my brand new kitchen. The oven is made from steel with a stainless steel front and is very pleasing on the eye. Our kitchen designers ensured that the oven was fitted at a reasonable level to enable us to see through the toughened glass door with no need for bending or opening of the oven. I'm not intending to discuss the fitting of the oven, as we paid for this work to be completed when our kitchen was replaced. The outer dimensions of the oven are 595 mm in height, 594 mm in width and 567 mm in depth with the appliance conforming to the European Standard EN 50304.
The oven displays three large stainless steel knobs, which needs to be turned in a clockwise direction to select the appropriate functions. A dilemma that we faced when making our initial purchase was whether to select an oven with a separate grill, but the additional height would have compromised the space required for our kitchen cupboards, which we have located above and below the oven. Consequently, this model has an integrated grill, but this mode cannot be used when the oven is in operation. As there are only two of us this is not so much of a problem, but for those with larger families, it could prove to be somewhat problematic. Accompanying the oven was a deep non-stick roasting tray, which has proved to be perfect for Sundays when I make the most deliciously fluffy roast potatoes.
~~ USING THE OVEN ~~
As with any new item that arrives at our home I think I know best and jump straight in without reading the instructions, which is not a good idea in the case of this oven, as it remained cold, as I had twisted the wrong knobs! Consequently, it is advisable to sit down and digest the 23 page easy to read accompanying instruction manual to familiarise yourself with the three knobs and their purpose. I would advise that each of the knobs are easily turned and you can feel a gentle click as they are rotated to reach the required modes. I'm not intending to discuss each of the knobs, as it would make this review far too lengthy. When the oven or grill is in operation a light will automatically switch on and a red light will show on the right hand side of the oven and will subsequently turn off when the required temperature has been reached. I was absolutely amazed at how quickly the oven reaches its' required temperatures, which far exceeded my expectations.
Our previous cooker had been gas and was an absolute nightmare to use, as if not carefully watched, it would burn food that was located at the rear and would take ages to cook the food at the front. As a result, I was rather wary when using the Beko oven for the first time. However, I was absolutely amazed at how quickly and evenly it cooked, as it far exceeds recommended cooking times eg I regularly cook baguettes and the instructions are to place them in a pre-heated oven for approximately 12 minutes. Due to the assistance of the fan, this cooking time has now reduced to just 5 - 7 minutes, which is fantastic, particularly as I am saving on our electricity consumption.
The oven has two removable stainless steel shelves that can be positioned in a choice of five heights with there being sufficient space underneath the bottom groove to allow storage of the deep roasting tray. What I favour with this oven is the wide and easy to hold handle, which runs the entire width of the full drop down double glazed door and neither my husband nor I experience difficulties when using. The heating element is located at the top of the oven with the large fan motor being situated at the rear behind a steel plate. The oven is the quietest I have ever owned and gives a gentle whirring sound when in operation. During our first few uses it emitted a rather strange smell, which was normal and this soon dispersed.
I would initially cook my roast potatoes on the highest shelf at the hottest temperature of 250 degrees, but soon learned that the shelf was too near to the heating element and as a result, I ended up with a few low flames and rather a lot of black smoke. Consequently, roasties are now cooked on a lower shelf and at a lower temperature! Whilst this is a function I have not used, the oven offers a "hot air" mode, which enables the user to cook food on the two removable shelves as well as food being placed on the oven base. The mode enables the fan to quickly and evenly distribute hot air over the entire oven.
The oven displays a timer knob, which comes in extremely handy if you are rather forgetful once placing food in the oven. The 120 minute ring timer is easy to set and will automatically switch the oven off once the required cooking time has ceased. I was initially apprehensive as to whether we had made a mistake in purchasing an oven with an integrated full width grill, but I needn't have worried, as grilling is quick with the food browning evenly with no burning. I owned a similar style oven in the past where the door had to be left partially open when grilling, but this is not the case with this model, as the door can be fully closed when using the grill function.
~~ CLEANING THE OVEN ~~
Whilst I love cleaning, I cannot abide cleaning the oven, but due to its' enamel lining and with the assistance of some Oven Pride, this task is made much easier. As the outer part of the oven is stainless steel it tends to show up every mark, so I purchase the appropriate products to keep it clean and this takes no effort at all with the aid of a non-abrasive cloth.
~~ OTHER INFORMATION ~~
Despite trawling the internet I am unable to find any information to advise of the oven's weight, but obviously it is fit for purpose as it conforms to the appropriate standards. The total electric consumption is 2.3 kW, grill power consumption of 2.2 kW, inside illumination of 15/25 W and the cable situated at the rear is 2 metres in length.
~~ PRICE AND AVAILABILITY ~~
As previously stated, we purchased a pack containing both the oven and a built-in hob from a local stockist, but both appliances can be purchased individually. I have checked the Tesco Direct website and would advise that at the time of writing (13 October 2011) you can purchase this electric built in oven for £179.97 and in addition, you can earn £3.58's worth of Clubcard points. I have also searched online for the pack containing both the oven and hob and have discovered that Appliance Direct normally sell them for £198, but they are currently out of stock. I am somewhat surprised at the low price although I cannot admit to having any experience with the company. Another website I have no experience of is Next Domestic Appliances who are selling the two appliances for £308.
As this oven is serving us well and perfectly meets our needs it receives 5 stars from me together with my recommendation.
I hope you found my review useful and would thank you for reading.
Short name: Beko OIF221OOX