We had a Neff oven fitted into the kitchen when we moved into a new build house. Looking at the picture in this article makes me realise just how dirty ours is! I'll have to get the oven cleaner out tomorrow......anyway, about the oven:
So what's it like at first glance?
Pretty sturdy really, the exterior is brushed stainless steel with the exception of a glass door. It has a few choice lines on it, presumably to make it look more stylish and looks like it's capable of withstanding my rough cooking methods (I was a chef for 9 years). The door opens vertically and goes 90 degrees to the oven and the hinges are strong enough to support one of the oven trays if needed. All of the buttons are easy to use as well, even with greasy fingers and are removable for easy cleaning.
The handle of the oven is metal but it's separated from the door itself using 2 plastic blocks, because of that little bit of ingenuity the handle stays cool regardless of if you are grilling or using the oven.
You only get one tray with the oven so it's not exactly ready to go but there are plenty of runners on the inside of the oven to position other trays should you so desire.
So what's it like to use?
Well, the unit itself has 4 settings. Oven, Grill, Defrost and Light. The first two are self-explanatory as for the second two:
Defrost - This basically spreads the heat around more evenly and allows you to defrost frozen food quicker than what you could at room temperature. In many ways this is safer as it spends less time at room temperature before being cooked. It's a fairly effective setting and I've used for all the main cuts of meat such as chicken, pork and beef without any problems during or after.
Light - This setting allows you to leave the light on in the oven without asking to distribute any heat. Why you want this is not clear, perhaps you want to show off your latest creation before taking it out of the oven? Maybe it's to remind you there is something in there? Whatever the reason I have never used it.
The oven and grill temperature setting is marked from 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) to 250 Celsius (482 fahrenheit) with numbers but it appears to go up to 275 degrees Celsius.
The grill can be operated with the door shut, in fact it's recommended , this is fantastic for keeping the smell and smoke inside the oven instead of sharing it with all of your neighbours.
There is a timer on the oven that is easily set and can be turned to keep the oven on for anything up to 99 hours which is a little extreme but you never know what you might be cooking.....
By the far the most fantastic feature on this oven is the ability to set it on a timer where it turns off itself. You simple put the oven on as normal then set the magic gizmo to a time in hours and minutes for when you want it to switch off. For example knowing a chicken joint would take 1hr and 20 mins to cook, I'd set the oven to turn off after 1 hour and let the heat finish it off on it's own. This feature isn't quite worth the £480 it currently costs but it certainly goes a long way towards justifying it. You also have a light above the temperature control that extinguishes itself when the oven has reached the temperature you asked it too.
It's a pretty quiet oven too, it cooks evenly and being fan assisted it reduces the cooking time as well. As i said earlier I was a chef for a number of years and i never go easy on the equipment I use. We've had this oven for 3 years now and the only thing that has gone is some of the numbers around the dial and that's because of me being a bit heavy handed with the cleaning cloth.
Is it easy to clean?
Fairly, it all depends how much use you are going to give it really. Like many ovens if you cook a lot of greasy food then you should expect that when it comes to cleaning it then it's going to be arduous. If you like to clean it weekly and go easy on the grease then it should be a lot easier.
Neff, being the nice people that they are, help you along a bit though and make all of the runners inside the oven removable. this means you can be liberal with the oven cleaner and not have to worry about residue being stuck behind some parts of the oven.
And in conclusion?
It does what most other fan ovens will do but in a little bit more style. It really does look the part and is very durable. I think you're paying partly for the brand name with things like this but would argue that you're paying for quality as well.
It's an excellent, solid built unit and has provided trouble free cooking for 3 years, here's to another 3 years of trouble free culinary testing.
Short name: Neff B14M62N0GB