“ Brand: Bosch / Oven Type: Single / Energy Source: Electric / Oven Functionality: Grill / Self Cleaning: With Self Cleaning / Capacity: 2.05 cu. ft. / Number of Racks: 5 / Design: Built-in / Overall Height: 23.43 in. / Overall Width: 23.43 in. / Overall Depth: 21.57 in. „
The Bosch HBA13B221B is a built-in, fan assisted electrical oven, the version I bought was white but I believe their is also a silver option available but this maybe more expensive. Our oven was purchased online from John Lewis (October 2010).
First of all I need to point out this is an initial review we have had the cooker for less than a month, I hope to update this review after about six months of ownership to include performance over time.
I guess this is a common story but we weren't looking to purchase a new cooker however our hand was forced when the previous Electrolux model decided to pack up. When I say pack up it did so in fairly spectacular fashion and in the middle of cooking the Sunday roast. All started well this particular Sunday evening, the Electrolux came up to temperature the oil was spitting nicely so in went the par-boiled spuds followed by the chicken. My attention turned to preparing the veg. I then heard a strange noise, a popping sound. I thought nothing of it as it was just one pop. A few minutes later another pop, strange I thought and this time realised it was coming from the oven. A few minutes later three successive pops, followed by darkness in the oven as well as the hob, then a gentle whiff of burning electrics. Thank goodness for circuit breakers or MCB! Although the oven and hob are on the same radial circuit straight from the consumer unit, the 13 amp fuse to the cooker didn't blow but the 32amp circuit breaker had tripped. The scenario isn't uncommon fuses need a sustained period above load to blow whereas as a MCB or even better an RCD protected circuit take a split second or milliseconds to trip.
Resetting the mini-circuit breaker allowed me to use the hob and the cooker did come back on but the fan was busted and the thermostat wasn't able to gauge the temperature without it. So chicken and potatoes had to be finished off in the microwave, yuck! I probably could have looked for a replacement fan but the oven was 10 years old, I'd already replaced the element a few months ago and the seals were shot. So the search for a new oven started.
The cost of the replacement cooker was a major factor as I said we weren't expecting to replace it so didn't want an all singing and dancing model. Just something reliable that would last. Time was also of the essence as the family needed feeding. I set myself a budget of £500 max and express delivery was essential.
If you don't know by now I am a huge fan of John Lewis, I am slightly bias having worked as a partner for both Waitrose & John Lewis. So off to www.johnlewis.com I went.
Looking at the models below £500 I narrowed my choice to Bosch, Neff and John Lewis' own brand. I checked here on Dooyoo and read a couple of review about John Lewis own brand that weren't very good so my choice was Bosch or Neff. Ultimately I'm a Bosch fan; I have Bosch power tools, Bosch washing machine, Bosch fridge, Bosch dishwasher, etc. The swinger was the fact this model was available as express delivery from John Lewis and was ultimately one of my favourite brands (won't buy Indesit, Hoover, Zanussi, etc.) and cost was low end of £400.
The cooker was sensibly packaged, what I mean by this was enough packaging to protect the goods in transit but not OTT that it filled a bin with plastic. The packaging was polystyrene top and bottom inside cardboard with polythene wrap around the item. To strengthen and make the consignment rigid a number of timber planks were used (I've kept these as they could prove useful for many DIY tasks). It was easy to unpack, no razor edged plastic to slice fingers or unbreakable straps.
Once the polythene was removed I could access the inside of the cooker which is where the manual was located. It took only a few minutes to remove the packaging. The only real bulk was the polystyrene top and bottom.
I'd consider the oven to be standard size, that is the old Electrolux slid out and the new Bosch slipped in without any adjustments or fuss (the dimensions are H59.5 x W59.5 x D54.8cm).
As with most ovens the Bosch HBA13B221B doesn't come with a plug that you simply plug into a socket. Instead it should really be fitted by a professional electrician, my understanding is that Part P of Building Regulations that came into effect on 1st January 2005 means pretty much any work in the kitchen needs to be completed by a qualified electrician. The Bosch cooker is rated at around 3KW which means it is drawing almost 13Amps, not something to mess with.
The controls for the Bosch HBA13B221B are pretty simple with just two dials and a central LCD display. The dials rotate to the various settings, when in the off position they can be pushed in so that they are flush with the cooker fascia. When the cooker is in use the dials protrude and can't be recessed. The right hand dial controls the cooker or grill temperature, the left hand dial controls the cooker function, described in the next section. The central LCD panel is of good quality, the illumination is red, the clock and associated symbols are crisp. I am short-sighted but can clearly make out the clock from across the kitchen.
The cooker has four cooking functions which are described as follows:
- 3D hot air; Bosch's name for fan-assisted cooking
- Defrost; setting for defrosting food
- Full width variable grill; normal grill (the element does a pretty good job of going full width front to back and side-to-side
- Hot air grilling; uses the grill element which comes on and off along with the fan, specifically designed for roasting.
The four settings are controlled by the left hand dial, one final setting is for light only.
It is very easy to push the dial in from its default off recessed position so it pops out and can then rotate to the appropriate setting. The printed icons are very good and self explanatory. Rotating the dial is easy and positively locates between each of the settings.
The central LCD panel is touch sensitive; although most of the time you'll only use the dials. The LCD is used to set the clock, timer functions and child lock. The timer can be used to count down producing an audible signal upon reaching zero (it is distinct and easily recognised without being painfully high pitched or loud). The timer can also be used to turn the cooker on at a certain time in the future to start cooking. The safety lock allows you to lock out the controls so little fingers can't mess with your perfect soufflé.
Another feature that won me over to the Bosch was the internal capacity of 58 litres which was 8 litres more than that of John Lewis own brand. Although subsequent research on the Bosch website for this review it states 67 litres so I'm not certain which is correct. But none the less the cooker has a good internal capacity and I can get two standard Pyrex dishes side by side per shelf. Talking of shelves the cooker comes with 2 wire shelves and a grilling pan with internal wired stand (it does NOT include a handle for the grill pan). The side slots allow for 5 shelf positions, these positions are embossed into the metal of the door surround to make lining up the wire shelves easier (nice touch).
The internal cooker lining of the Bosch HBA13B221B is smooth enamel. The rear and top of the cooker are fabricated with catalytic liners. Catalytic liners should mean easier cleaning, heating the oven to maximum will turn any grease or food deposits on theses surfaces to carbon which will fall off the lining to the cooker floor for easy removal. As this is a first impression review I can't comment on how effective this is, although initial observations of the cooker internals are showing build up of cooking deposits on the non-catalytic surfaces but nothing obvious on the catalytic surfaces. Time will tell!
Finally the oven door. The door is full width with a good viewing from outside to the working area of the cooker. According to the Bosch web site the glass is heat reflecting. I have no reason to disbelieve this claim. The cooker is A-rated.
As I stated at the beginning of this review I have only had the Bosch HBA13B221B for around two weeks so the review is just my initial observation and assessment from the limited cooking we have done in it during this period. However, so far the cooker has lived up to our expectations. It warms up quickly, the controls are easy to use and understand (i.e. I don't need to refer to the manual every few minutes). The fan assisted (3D hot air as Bosch would have it) functions the same as any other fan assisted oven. The hot air grilling is a nice feature and works well for finishing off the roast potatoes giving a nice crisp finish (be careful though as leaving the cooker on this setting can quickly result in burnt food, point in case was Friday's fish & chips or burnt offerings as happened to the chips). We haven't used the timer or defrost functions.
I am very happy with the cooker and believe it is probably much more efficient than our old cooker as heat doesn't leak. Time will tell how it performs but as this is made by Bosch I don't expect any problems in the short-term. As such based on my initial opinion this is a good basic cooker from a renowned manufacturer at a good price point; therefore I would recommend this product.
* Control panel height 115mm
* Single display window
* Standard control dials
* Touch control
* Straight bar handle
* Black handle fixing blocks
* Full width door with side strip design
* Drop down door
- Electronic clock timer
- Automatic on/off programmer
- 2 retractable control dials
- 1 interior light
- Safety lock
- Smooth enamelled oven interior
- Easy fit shelf support rails
- 5 shelf positions
- Catalytic roof and back liners
- Full glass inner door
- Heat reflective glass
Four cooking functions:
- 3D hot air
- Full width variable grill
- Hot air grilling
- Oven capacity: 67 litres
- A energy class
- Full width enamelled pan
- Wire pan insert
- 2 wire shelves
- Cook book
Cross posted on Ciao! as Sussex_Paul
This oven from Bosch has all the familiar features you need to have your meals ready on time such as clock and oven timer internal light and window and is fully programmable / but there are a few more to make things even simpler than before / The defrost feature easily takes care of anything that can't be cooked from frozen / Hot air 3-D cooking ensures that regardless of the level on which you place the food it will be thoroughly cooked through / At higher temperatures you won't even have to turn the fo / Short name: Bosch HBA13B221B