A plain old gas cooker. She's been a long time coming - two months to be precise. Our old oven packed up just after I'd spent an August afternoon cleaning it. Doh!
In that ovenless two months , we've had lots of
boring, middle-aged, sensible, grown-up discussions about cookers so it seems only fair to share the fruits of our extensive research. Prepare to be amazed by all the...
stuff we have learned about cookers!
- Cooking on gas is cheaper. "If you use your cooker’s oven, grill and hob for about one hour and 20 minutes a day for a year, an electric cooker will cost about £53 to run. A gas cooker will only cost £16, giving you an annual saving of £37, or £222 over the lifetime of your cooker." Source: Which.co.uk
- Unless you're running your cooker on renewable electricity, gas is the low CO2 option. Source: ethicalconsumer.org
- Repairing a cooker is a good option, but with labour and parts the cost for fixing ours would have been £162, which, considering the oven was secondhand in the first place, was simply not worthwhile.
- Having a cooker where the hob and the grill work, even if the oven doesn't is still something of a luxury. Every time I felt like grumbling I thought of this...
The risks from dying as a result of cooking on a solid fuel fire indoors are still high for many people across the world, so even with our broken oven, we are amongst the fortunate. Poor us that we couldn't bake potatoes, cook pizza or make cakes? I don't think so.
- The oven is the expensive and most energy consuming part of a cooker, so now that we've got a working oven again, we'll continue with all the wily ways of avoiding using the oven that we've discovered over the last couple of months such as using the griddle pan instead of roasting, cooking things on the hob and then popping under the grill for a quick crisping (e.g. cauliflower cheese) rather than baking. We also tried using the bread maker for cake baking but this resulted in cakes with burnt edges.
- It's easy to dispose of an old cooker. We found a local waste clearance company who will come and pick up scrap metals for free. Although we could have taken it to a scrappie ourselves, this got it out of the way quickly.
- Secondhand gas cookers are harder to find than electric ones. When we finally had some spare moments to devote to searching for a cooker, it took us a couple of weeks of rigorous scouring Gumtree and Ebay. Like buses, two finally came along at once, and we won our Ebay cooker from a house clearance place just round the corner, for the princely sum of £63. She's not fancy, just a real no-frills cooker, but we're no-frills people so that's fine. She grills, bakes and boils, and that's good enough for us.
How about you - gas or electric? Are you cutting down on your oven-use too these days?