Ovens and mini-stoves are modern kitchen assistants that greatly simplify the cooking process.
A mini oven is more like a large oven with additional functions for cooking various dishes (it can be used to cook at different levels, as well as bake and fry). It most often has a rectangular shape, can be equipped with a grill or convection.
Ovens usually have a variety of cooking modes, including grill, skewer, convection, defrost, blow-out grill, timer, lighting, and thermometer. All these functions save a lot of time, but they require a lot of skill to use.
Let’s find out what is better for domestic use: an oven or a mini-oven?
What is better to choose for a small kitchen – an oven or a mini oven
An oven and a mini-oven are two completely different devices. If you want to be able to cook multiple dishes at the same time, then you need an oven.
But it can not always fit in a standard kitchen layout. Therefore, the mini-oven is perfect for a small kitchen.
But if you choose a mini oven, you will only be able to cook on one level, as the volume does not allow cooking on multiple levels. In addition, the mini-oven does not have a top grill — it is not possible to roast meat or fish directly on the grill.
Because of this, you won’t be able to cook a full meal in a mini-oven, such as roasting a whole chicken.
At the same time, you can bake a whole chicken in the oven, prepare pies, casseroles, roasts, grilled chicken and much more. We will understand the advantages and disadvantages of each device and choose the best option for your kitchen.
Ovens ― these are the most popular devices for cooking in the home kitchen. They can be baked, fried, stewed, grilled.
They also have several cooking modes. For example, the convection mode allows you to evenly bake a dish from all sides, and the grill mode allows you to cook a dish with a crispy crust.
- wide range of functions;
- easy to use;
- save time and effort;
- possibility of cooking on several levels at the same time.
- requires a lot of space;
- the device must be cleaned regularly.
The mini oven is small in size, so it will fit even in the smallest kitchen. Mini stoves come in many different types.
The simplest appliances have only one cooking mode ‒ baking mode. Such furnaces are equipped only with a fan and a heating element.
They are used for baking cakes, cookies, pies or buns. More complex models are equipped with a grill, skewer, convection, timer, backlight and thermostat.
This means that in such ovens you can prepare different types of dishes: pastries, meat, vegetables, and fish.
- save space in the kitchen;
- compact size;
- easy to operate and use;
- attractive price.
- limited feature set;
- it is not possible to prepare several dishes at the same time.
Both ovens and mini-ovens are very important devices. Thanks to them, you can prepare different dishes, as well as experiment with new recipes.
Like the oven, the mini-oven performs approximately the same functions. There are several modes: upper, lower, combined heating, grilling, convection, defrosting.
- Upper heating mode. The simplest mode that is used most often. It is suitable for roasting meat, vegetables or fish.
In this mode, you can also prepare bread.
- Lower heating mode. The most common mode.
You can use it to prepare any dishes, including pies.
- Convection mode. Another popular mode.
Thanks to it, dishes are baked evenly from all sides, and the products do not burn.
- Grill mode. This is the mode for frying.
Products are prepared using hot air, which is formed by heating an electric heating element.
- Defrost mode. It allows you to quickly defrost meat, fish, poultry or vegetables.
The defrost function is the simplest function. It can be used to defrost meat or fish, which can then be baked in a mini-oven.
Ovens are equipped with convenient buttons that can be used to control the modes. Most models have a timer that allows you to set the cooking time yourself.
The timer can be set from 5 minutes to 1 hour. Also, some models are equipped with a “delayed start” mode, which allows you to program the oven to cook a dish at a certain time.
Basically, ovens have the following set of useful functions: convection, grill, traditional and multi-level baking, thermostat and pizza.
- Convection. This function allows you to cook a dish on all levels of the oven at the same time.
If there is convection in the oven, then the dishes are more juicy and tender.
- Traditional pastries. Suitable for making biscuits, muffins, buns with filling.
- The grill function can be either forced (with the help of a fan) or natural (when products interact with the heating element).
- Multi-level baking. This function allows you to prepare several dishes at different levels at the same time.
For example, if you want to bake two different-sized pizzas, you can put them in the oven at different levels at the same time and turn them on one after the other.
- The thermostat. This function ensures a constant temperature inside the device.
Using the thermostat, you can set the optimal temperature for each dish separately.
- Pizza. The function allows you to bake a delicious pizza with a crisp crust.
Depending on the model, the oven may have additional functions: backlight, timer, fan, child protection, self-cleaning, overheating protection, etc.
What are the characteristics of choosing an oven?
The choice of oven depends on your needs. For a small family, a compact model that fits in any kitchen is suitable.
And if you have a large family, then you can choose a more spacious model. When choosing an oven, pay attention to the following characteristics: the power of the device, the number of modes, the presence of a grill and convection, the size and capacity.
This indicator depends on the size and number of dishes that you prepare. The more dishes you cook, the more power you need.
But don’t forget that too powerful an oven is not suitable for small kitchens.
Number of modes
Different modes allow you to prepare a large number of dishes. All modes can be divided into 3 groups: standard, combined and special:
- The standard mode is designed for baking and frying. With their help, you can prepare dishes from meat, fish, vegetables and even desserts.
- Combined modes. These modes are suitable for preparing complex dishes.
For example: pizza, casserole, biscuits, etc.
- Special modes. These modes are used for cooking certain dishes: for example, for baking bread, pizza, and deep-frying dishes.
The oven should be suitable for the volume of your dishes. But here you need to take into account one nuance – the larger the volume of the oven, the higher its cost.
Ovens with grill
In the oven with a grill, the products are fried from all sides, while the dish turns out with an appetizing fried crust. When cooking in the oven, where there is a grill, the products are baked evenly.
Different dishes need different temperatures. These ovens are equipped with a fan that distributes the air inside the chamber.
This allows you to cook meat, fish and vegetables at different levels, as well as evenly distribute the heat. To make the meat juicy, you need to choose the temperature from 180 to 200 °C.
For cooking vegetables and fish, choose a lower temperature-from 100 to 150 °C, and for baking-180-200 °C. Fans help distribute heat inside the oven.
This is very convenient, as you can cook dishes in different parts of the oven at the same time.
How to choose a mini oven
To choose the right mini-oven, you need to know its main characteristics.
The power of mini-stoves varies from 1 to 2.5 kW. The higher the power, the faster the mini-stove will heat up.
But on the other hand, the more powerful a mini oven is, the more electricity it consumes. Therefore, when choosing, it is necessary to take into account that the power of the mini-oven should not exceed the power of your electric meter.
If you buy an oven for a summer cottage, you can buy a mini-oven of lower power, but with a more powerful fan.
The volume of the mini oven depends on the amount of food that you are going to bake in it.
Mini ovens with a volume of 10 to 20 liters are designed for baking small portions of food (meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, pastries, etc.). Mini ovens with a volume of 30 to 60 liters are designed for cooking for a large company.
Two types of control can be provided in mini-furnaces: mechanical and electronic. Mechanical control involves the use of rotary switches.
The electronic control is a remote control.
The body of the mini oven can be made of stainless steel, enameled steel or plastic. The most practical is the stainless steel case.
Enameled steel is easily scratched and prone to chipping. Plastic mini-ovens have low thermal conductivity and do not differ in durability.
The grill is usually located on the side panel of the mini oven. This allows you to reheat or prepare meals without opening the door. However, some models do not have a grill.
Cleaning and maintenance
Ovens and mini-stoves are devices that use high temperatures when working. As with any other household appliances, they need to be handled carefully.
Keep children away from these appliances and do not leave them unattended while they are in operation. Keep the appliance clean.
Clean its heating elements, interior surfaces, and doors regularly. Do not use cleaning agents containing acids, solvents, or abrasive substances when cleaning the appliance.
Do not use the appliance to dry things. Use only the accessories included in the delivery package.
Remove all packaging before using the appliance for the first time. Do not use cleaning agents or steam jet cleaners to clean the appliance.
When cleaning the appliance, use only warm water. If the appliance is not to be used, disconnect it from the mains.
Check the power cord and plug regularly. If the plug or cord is damaged, it must be replaced.
The replacement must be made by the manufacturer, customer service, or a similarly qualified technician.
Make sure that the appliance’s air vents are not blocked. Do not cover or block any vents or other openings in the appliance body, as this may cause the appliance to overheat.
During the operation of the device, its body becomes very hot. Be careful not to touch the case. Make sure that children do not play with the oven.
The device is not intended for use by people (including children) who have physical, nervous or mental disabilities or lack of experience and knowledge. Unless such persons are supervised or instructed about the use of this appliance by a person responsible for their safety.
- Grill mode with convection. In this mode, the oven acts as a grill, while the fan blows hot air over the food.
- Convection mode. In it, a fan heats the air in the oven, and also circulates hot air around the prepared dishes.
This allows you to cook simultaneously on several levels.
- Touch control. It allows you to set the desired temperature and cooking time.
- Automatic shutdown. This function automatically turns off the oven if the set temperature is not reached.
- Timer. It automatically turns off the oven after the set time has elapsed.
- Quick warm-up function. Allows you to turn on the oven and start cooking without preheating.
If there is some liquid left inside the oven, you can remove it with a damp cloth after turning it off.
- Self-cleaning function. This function allows you to clean the inside of the oven without using detergents.
It significantly reduces the cleaning time, does not require much effort and allows you to get rid of greasy spots and hard-to-remove food residues.
- Cooling fan. It turns on automatically as soon as the oven warms up and turns off when the oven cools down.
As a result, food remains hot inside the oven, but its walls do not heat up to a dangerous temperature.
- Protective shutdown of the oven. This system provides automatic shutdown of the device after a certain time.
It prevents the oven from overheating and thus protects it from breakage.
The choice between an oven and a mini-oven depends on personal preference, but for small kitchens, a mini-oven is a more convenient and compact option, since it has all the standard oven functions. But it does not take up much space and is not inferior in characteristics to the oven.
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