Ovens are among the most technologically advanced appliances. They support the user during the preparation of dishes with lots of automatic programs, different cooking modes and versatile solutions, designed to satisfy every need.
by Elena Corti
The world of ovens is increasingly wide, with very innovative and diversified proposals, able to satisfy all needs, from those of cooking enthusiasts to those who are less experienced. Advanced technological solutions allow end users to essay different methods, bringing home cooking closer to the professional one thanks to accessories and cooking techniques inspired by catering. We are not speaking, however, of products difficult to use: intuitive user interfaces guide the user so that he can easily make the recipes he wants, being assisted at every stage of preparation. The numerous automatic programs, the special functions and the opportunity of receiving advice during the preparation help the consumer to achieve quality results in a simple way and without having to spend too much time in the kitchen. Cleaning also becomes easier with advanced solutions such as pyrolysis, catalysis or the use of steam to remove dirt without detergents. Each operation is easily managed through electronic controls or remotely, since now several models are equipped with connectivity, for example allowing to switch on the oven remotely so that it is already warm as soon as the user comes back home. And to further support the user in choosing the dishes to cook, there are models equipped with pre-set recipe books or which allow access to numerous recipes through an App.
Regarding the integration of the oven into the kitchen environment, the available solutions allow to choose between appliances of various sizes (from the classic 60 cm, to extra capacity models, up to compact ones) to find the most suitable product to any needs and size of the kitchen. Furthermore, the built-in ovens can also be installed in a line or in a column and entire collections of appliances are often available (which include not only ovens but also other appliances) to obtain an effect of homogeneity and aesthetic uniformity. The brands offer different types of styles and finishes, which allow to respond to consumers’ desire for personalization.
A kitchen for chefs thanks to steam
The latest trends show that people are more and more interested in having a quality diet allowing them to eat healthily without sacrificing taste. To achieve this goal, steam ovens can be an effective solution, which provides domestic users with a cooking technique that was mainly used by chefs until recently. Models have been developed allowing not only to cook with pure steam but also to combine traditional cooking and controlled injections of steam, obtaining remarkable results in terms of quality, whether it is cooking vegetables, meat, fish or various types of dough. Steam allows in fact to preserve the food nutrients, vitamins and mineral salts, guaranteeing a rich in flavors but light diet. Moreover, the addition of steam to heat permits to cook many recipes, making sure that food remains juicy and does not dry out, and is also ideal for all those dishes where you want softness on the inside and crunchiness on the outside. The fact that the oven makes it possible to select specific percentages of humidity to be injected into the cavity greatly simplifies the cooking process, ensuring perfect consistencies without difficulty.
The numerous automatic programs further facilitate the realization of dishes, avoiding the user to proceed “by trial and error”. Among the most interesting functions, there is for example the Sous-vide, conceived to cook vacuum packed foods. This technique allows to cook food delicately and with very little seasoning, without wasting nutrients and preserving aromas. Another useful function is that which allows to regenerate already cooked food: the steam-heat combination creates the ideal environment for the food to remain soft and juicy, but without losing its crunchiness. Regarding specifically dough, the programs dedicated to leavening and preparing pizza enable to obtain high quality results with minimal effort. Finally, other convenient functions that can be found in steam ovens are: low temperature cooking, defrosting function and rapid heating. Finally, some models are also equipped with a thermo probe and an “assistant”, a sort of digital chef’s helper that supports the end user to ensure the achievement of the best result. This tool manages a precise series of operations autonomously (cooking functions, temperature and timing) by controlling the cooking process through sensors.
|Bertazzoni's special finishes
Bertazzoni proposes four special finishes inspired by the industrial and artisan tradition of Made in Italy. Starting with the metallic finishes, applied on the decorative elements of the Modern Series ovens. The frames are initially treated with a primer, on which copper or zinc powders are applied which complete the oxidation cycle in 72 hours: sanding, sponging and final protective treatment then guarantee a perfect matte finish.
Another special finish is the painting made with the same process used for Italian luxury sports cars (it is used for example in the built-in ovens of the Professional Series). The Automotive paints have a palette made up of bright and classic colors, in a glossy or matte finish. In particular, the Carbon color is an intense opaque black and is the result of a process consisting of 7 phases and 5 layers of treatments.
A further strength of the company is the enamelling, used in the Heritage series ovens, inspired by the wood-burning stoves that Antonio and Napoleone Bertazzoni built in the 1930s. The Nero Décor finish, for example, is the result of research carried out on historical products: it recovers a very well-known process in the last century, which is characterized by a mixture made with aluminum particles immersed in color with the aim of protecting against scratches and abrasions. This creates a reflective surface thanks to the metal microspheres that stand out for their brightness.
The fourth special finish concerns the embossed paints, the realization of which takes place with pigmented powders (obtained from resins and other materials), applied electrostatically and polymerized at very high temperatures. Once heated, they form a kind of film, resulting in a very resistant material finish. This finish is used in products of the Master and Heritage Series with matte colors: Black, Cream and Wine.
|HotAir 3D technology by Bosch
HotAir 3D by Bosch activates the fan and the circular electrical resistance located on the rear wall of the oven. Since these two components work in synergy, the fan quickly and evenly distributes the heat produced by the resistance, heating the cavity with a three-dimensional effect. In this way, different dishes can be cooked on several levels, without mixing flavors and aromas.
|Slide&Hide, the NEFF's fully retractable door
The exclusive Slide&Hide door, patented by NEFF, is designed to disappear completely inside the oven cavity, so as to have even more freedom of movement in the kitchen. Thanks to the Slide function, in fact, by opening and closing the oven door the handle rotates, for a firm grip without having to change the position of the hand. With the Hide function, instead, the door disappears inside the cavity. Furthermore, in the Slide&Hide Graphite Gray ovens (in the photo), the new brushed steel finish is combined with the comfort of the disappearing door.
More and more multifunctional and efficient appliances
In addition to models that include steam cooking, also other types of ovens allow the use of advanced automatic programs. These are multifunctional appliances and equipped, depending on the model, with various accessories allowing to manage the cooking process with precision and simplicity (for example the thermo wave). User does not necessarily have to be an expert, because the different oven programs set the most suitable parameters automatically to obtain the best result. Among the functions that can be found in these appliances, one of the most practical is the rapid heating that allows to quickly start cooking without wasting time. Another useful feature is the multi-level cooking which enable to cook different dishes at the same time without mixing smells and flavors. In addition, there are ovens also equipped with specific technologies, developed for the optimal cooking of pizza: some models reach temperatures much higher than those of a normal multifunction oven (up to 350 °C) and have accessories derived from the professional world such as the pizza shovel and the refractory stone.
Other types of ovens on the market are appliances combined with microwaves: by combining microwave cooking with other methods, it is possible to heat and cook faster. In this category of products, there are also models equipped with a particular function that allows to cook frozen food without having to preheat the appliance, saving time and energy.
Energy efficiency is one of the topics on which many brands have focused in general: among the proposed solutions, there are, for example, products with a double internal ventilation allowing to distribute heat in the oven cavity more quickly, reducing energy consumption also in models with a greater capacity than 100 liters. Another recent innovation concerns products characterized by a special double door that allows to use the internal space with great versatility, for example using only the upper half of the oven in order to consume less energy and take less time for cooking. Another aspect that characterizes the latest generation models are their user-friendly interfaces. The electronic controls are intuitive and assist the user also through the possibility of accessing pre-set recipes or selecting the icon of the type of food to be cooked. In addition, there are also models equipped with connectivity. Finally, several products have advanced cleaning systems such as pyrolysis or catalysis.
|Assisted cooking with CREACTIVE Extended by Fulgor Milano
The ovens of the Cluster Concept line by Fulgor Milano are equipped with the CREACTIVE Extended operating system: in addition to allow normal programming activities by selecting functions and temperatures, they feature a pre-loaded recipe book, which also offers the possibility of modifying the parameters (such as weight and cooking time) and memorize the variations. In addition, the Cluster Concept series is evolving and next year will also include steam cooking.
|Siemens varioSpeed and coolStart to save time
Siemens ovens equipped with the varioSpeed unction allow to speed up the preparation time of dishes without sacrificing the quality of the result. Thanks to the combined microwave cooking, in fact, it is possible to save up to 50% of the preparation time. Furthermore, preheating the oven is an operation that not only takes time but also consumes energy. With the coolStart function, cooking frozen food is speeded up because no preheating is required: just put the food in the cold appliance and it will be ready to be served in a short time.
|Ovens with Samsung's Dual Cook Flex system
Samsung's Dual Cook Flex solution focuses on versatility, allowing the top and bottom of the oven to operate simultaneously with different temperatures and times. In addition, the particular design of the Dual door allows to use even only the upper part of the appliance, saving time and energy. Or, while both oven compartments are used, the upper part can be easily accessed without wasting heat in the lower one. Or again, it is possible to open the door completely and use the entire cavity of the oven.