“ Dual Fuel Natural Gas (LPG Convertible). „
First reaction - shock and horror at how expensive these things are. True, a lot of heavy metal goes into making them, but they're hardly cutting-edge technology. Still, a cooker is an essential so there's no option but to pay the price.
The Elan is dual fuel - 5 gas hobs, electric grill and two electric ovens. These are controlled by 9 identical large knobs and five identical-looking buttons arranged across the front of the cooker. There are small pictograms next to each of these to explain their function but a large safety bar acros the front can obscure them from some angles -necessitating that you lean down to get a closer look. The safety bar of course is a Good Thing as it keeps you away from naked flames, but the controls are hardly intuitive and need time to become familiar with. Overall the cooker looks to have been inspired by the great days of Victorian heavy engineering rather than something from the electronic age.
The hobs are switched on by twisting and holding the appropriate knob in while pressing the igniter button - a two hand operation so turning a ring on accidentally is unlikely, although if you're not quick with the button a lot of gas seems to escape into the kitchen. A large 'Wok' burner dominates the centre of the cooker top. Reading the manual it doesn't seem to be suitable for anything except a Wok, which is disappointing as it gives out by far the most heat.
The electric grill is at waist rather than eye level but has a handy slide-out drawer to make checking on progress easy.
I always believed in 'cooking by gas' but the modern electric fan ovens have converted me - they're fast and efficient. The 'tall' oven on the right of the Elan is a simple fan oven, marred only by the door having what appears to be a useful temperature gauge on the outside but which in fact has no function at all - sorry, pretend dials get no points from me.
The slightly larger left-hand oven is multi-function - heating from top, bottom or both elements, fan on or off, fan only with no heating for defrost. I've yet to find a use for some of the combinations; but the roasting tray attachment to the door - which means when you open it the joint automatically swings out for inspection - is a clever and helpful accessory.
The Elan's classic good looks are enhanced by attractive spiral handles, stylish control knobs and generous, curvaceous doors. The hob, complete with gloss cast iron pan supports (made by AGA) comprises of two triple ring wok burners, one at either side with four additional burners in the centre, giving a good mix of power and the space to use them.