“ Brand: CDA / Type: Electric Oven „
My previous cooker was a very old fashioned gas cooker with an eye level grill. When we had our kitchen replaced two years ago, we decided that the cooker looked too old and tatty, and decided to opt for a sleeker looking integrated cooker and hob. The product I am reviewing is the oven component, the CDA SC210SS. The hob is a standalone item, so I will write a review for that seperately.
The kitchen designer had suggested that we opt for an electric oven and a gas hob combination. I hadn't had an electric oven previously, but was happy to follow his advice, even though it ultimately cost us more money, as the electrician installing it told us that our home electrical system would not be adequate to handle the extra power needed to run the oven, and that we would need a new box installed, which cost us an additional £400, but ultimately made our home safer and compliant with regulations.
After the new box had been fitted and tested, the electrician installed the oven, which was done quickly and efficiently with no problems. All work like this must be done by a qualified electrician.
The oven iteslf is quite basic, with two knobs on the front for control. The left hand knob controls the temperature, which has a range up to 225 degrees. The right hand knob gives you the various options for cooking, which allows you to choose between grilling the food using the element at the top of the oven, or using the fan oven, which cooks the food more evenly. You also have an option to run the fan alone without heat to defrost food. The final option is just a light option, to turn on the internal light, which you can see through the glass window. I don't really use this option, as it seems pretty pointless and I already have adequate lighting in my kitchen. You cannot use the grill and oven at the same time, which I find a bit annoying, as it seems to limit your cooking options somewhat.
We are a family of five, and I find the oven a perfect size for cooking family meals. There are two adjustable metal shelves inside, which you can arrange however you like, knowing that the food will be cooked evenly due to the internal fan distributing the heat. The shelves go back quite a long way, and I can definitely fit more dishes and trayes inside it than my previous oven. Likewise, the grill pan is really large, about twice the size of my old one, and I can easily put enough bacon and sausages for the five of us on the grill pan at one time.
The exterior of the oven is brushed stainless steel, which makes it look very classy and minimalist, and the kind of item that would look nice in any style of kitchen. My kitchen is traditional in style, but this cooker would suit all kitchen spaces due to its neutral design.
I like the glass window at the front which allows me to see the food cooking without having to open the oven door. This is useful with items such as pies and cakes, as you can see at a glance whether they are ready or not. The only problem with the glass door is that it gets dirty very quickly and needs constant cleaning to be able to see through it. I must confess to being a bit lazy in this regard, and at the moment, the glass is gunged up inside and I can't see through it! The kitchen installer recommended that I use a product called "Barkeepers Friend", which I reviewed on here a while ago. It can be safely used on glass and stainless steel and is not corrosive and will not scratch surfaces, because on a microscopic level, the cleaning particles are round like ball bearings. If I sprinkle the powder on the inside of the glass door and wipe it with a damp dishcloth, it comes up sparkling clean again in no time. It is also great at cleaning the steel exterior of the oven. The oven interior can be cleaned regularly with a regular oven cleaning product, such as Oven Pride.
Another issue I have with the door is the rubber seal around the glass window. In some places the seal has come away completely, and at the bottom it has actually snapped and burned. It doesn't seem to have any effect on how well the items cook though.
My biggest gripe with the cooker is the amount of black smoke produced, and no, this is not soleley due to my terrible cooking! The problem is that when I have grilled items, bits of fat splash up onto the element at the top of the oven. This is really hard to clean as it cannot be removed. When I cook regular items in the oven at a high heat over 220 degrees, this causes the splashed-on fat to burn and I can smell smoke. When I open the oven, thick, acrid smoke billows out and makes my eyes sting. Even with the extractor fan, this is still a problem and we usually have to open all the windows to get the smoke out. As I have asthma, it is a bit of a worry as the smoke irritates my respiratory system and my daughter cries that it stings her eyes. I really think that this is a big design flaw with this cooker, and the main reason why I would not recommend it to others.
In conclusion, this is a large spacious oven that cooks food evenly and quickly. It looks perfect in any style of kitchen. On the downside, it is not ideal if you enjoy grilled food, as the oven produces a lot of black smoke. Therefore, I award it three stars.
Short name: CDA SC210SS