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Cheap Gas Cookers

Updated on November 27, 2012

I don’t do much cooking and I don’t much like spending money, so when I decided to get myself a cooker after 6 years without one I went for the cheapest option. I didn’t think about any other criteria. After all any cooker after having no cooker at all was surely going to be a big improvement.

However, I somewhat regret my hasty choice now, so thought by writing this I might perhaps help you avoid making your choice of cheap gas cooker based purely on price alone without considering other factors.

My Glen Cooker with the grill tray on the hob
My Glen Cooker with the grill tray on the hob | Source
2 stars for Glen Cooker

Glen by Belling

The cooker which I brought and have ended up somewhat cursing (but which, being reluctant to make further outlay, I continue to use!) is a Glen by Belling.

What is Good about it?

The gas hobs and the gas oven cook food perfectly well, so other considerations aside; it hasn’t been a total disaster. I can make porridge, omlettes, bake a cake and steam broccoli – even do all four at once! (That’s about the limit of my cooking prowess).

The price was good too. It was the cheapest of all the cookers I looked at - approximately £170 3 or 4 years ago.

What is Bad about it?

  • The grill is in the oven i.e. not separate. I didn’t think this would be annoying but it really is. I thought it would be fine, because I almost never want to grill and bake at the same time. However the annoying thing is what do you do with the grill tray when you are using the oven? You can’t leave it in the oven, you have to find a space for it in the kitchen. I haven’t got a space for it so it gets in the way!
  • The pan supports over the grill are angled such that if I put an empty saucepan on them it often falls off. I am a bit clumsy, but I never had this happen with other cookers
  • The grill is the worst grill ever. It is next to impossible to get an evenly browned piece of toast for example. ½ can be crispy whilst the other half is still bread. You can about get round this by judicious turning of your bread/toast, but the results are never great. I wouldn’t trust it to grill bacon.
  • The glass door is world class difficult to clean - maybe I just haven't found the right cleaning product yet and I'm sure I don't make the effort to try often enough - but still.
  • The automatic ignition broke after just over a year of use. I dare say I could probably pay money for someone to come round and fix it (but I’m sure you can guess my feelings about that). This isn’t a problem on the hob – because you turn the gas on, light your match and then depress the hob gas button with one hand and your other hand can handle the lit match.

Lighting the oven - head and both hands required
Lighting the oven - head and both hands required | Source

It’s a whole lot harder lighting the oven. The oven gas burners are under a metal tray which I could take out completely for lighting, but then would have to get back in place whilst the gas is lit and I’d be sure to singe myself. So here is what I have to do

  1. Turn the oven knob to on
  2. Light the match and hold it in my left hand
  3. Lift up the metal oven base tray with my right hand
  4. Depress the oven knob with my other hand
  5. What other hand? You’ve spotted the flaw, I only have two hands and one has the match, the other has the tray. Therefore I have to depress the oven knob with my forehead.
  6. Light the oven, keep the knob depressed with forehead for a few seconds (otherwise the gas goes out) blow out match and put the tray down.
  7. Rub the dent out of my forehead.

Factors to Consider when Buying a Cheap Gas Cooker

Grill - The very cheapest cookers have their grill in the oven - you know my feelings about this. Is it something you would happily put up with? (You are allowed to think I'm being a bit of a stroppy mare about this point!) You probably won't be allowed to test the grill out with a piece of toast in the cooker showroom, so read reviews and see what people have to say about the grill quality.

In built ignition - before you buy find out how much this costs to fix if it stops working (after the guarantee runs out) and how easy is it to light the oven manually. If the ignition breaks are you prepared to put up with a dented forehead?

Oven size - The very cheapest cookers have a smaller oven size - they may not cope with a massive turkey for example. Think about how big the biggest thing you plan to cook is. I only cook small things, so this wasn't an issue for me.

Hob - You might want to try balancing an empty saucepan on the hob before you buy your cooker. If it over balances and falls off, maybe choose another model.

Overall cooker size - you may have a very specific space in which you need to fit your new gas cooker, so remember to measure the space's width, depth and height before you make your choice.

Cleaning - before purchasing you might want to find out what products are specifically recommended for cleaning your possible new cooker.

Comments

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    • Nettlemere profile image
      Author

      Nettlemere 4 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      Thank you Horatio - it's very nice to see you around and the comment is much appreciated.

    • Horatio Plot profile image

      Horatio Plot 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, England.

      Ha Ha! very funny (and useful if you are in the market for a cheap gas cooker). You should do humour more often, you have a perchant for it.

    • Nettlemere profile image
      Author

      Nettlemere 4 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      Thanks Melovy - I'm glad you enjoyed it and that I'm not the only person with a bit of a thing against the grill being in the oven!

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 4 years ago from UK

      I agree with back2basics, that I couldn't help but laugh at the description of lighting the oven. This is a really useful review because it warns people what to look out for. I also don't like combined oven-grill cookers. We've moved around a bit and a few houses already had them installed. I cook a lot so I do sometimes grill and cook at the same time! We currently have a separate hob and a double oven, which I love (top oven is also a grill, but with 2 ovens that's okay.) oven.

      I love the humour in this - the description of your cooking abilities was also very funny!

    • Nettlemere profile image
      Author

      Nettlemere 4 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      aviannovice - I think you're right it would - I just hadn't thought of it before! - I really shouldn't be let loose in a kitchen at all!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Gosh, I don't envy you on this. Instead of a match, would a butane grill lighter work better?

    • Nettlemere profile image
      Author

      Nettlemere 4 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      Thank you Farmer Rachel and good luck with your gas cooker purchase if you make one!

      bac2basics - I can see how that gas lighter might work - I shall perhaps give it a try, it could help a lot. Might even try the cleaning thing - although that is said with somewhat less enthusiasm! I'm pleased to hear I'm not the only one with an oven lighting problem.

    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 4 years ago from Spain

      Hi Nettlemere. I am sorry, but your description of lighting the oven did make me laugh, more especially as I have a similar problem with my summer kitchen cooker. It also has a metal tray in the bottom and I have to hold the knob in while I light the oven which is problematic because the gas element is a long way below this metal tray and the only way I could light it before I made a slight adjustment was to hold the knob in, light the match and then literally drop it through the hole and hope it lit the oven on it´s way past the element, luckily I have a tiled floor so didn´t need to worry too much about setting anything alight ( apart from the element) when the still lit match dropped to the floor. My slight adjustment was to unscrew this metal plate and push it slightly back so that once I have pressed the oven knob in I can lift the tray up with the end of a gas lighter ( one of the one´s that has a long nozzle, very cheap to buy from a Chinese bazaar and refillable) and then light the gas with this whilst keeping the oven knob depressed. Maybe you could try this with your oven and save a dented forehead. To clean the glass inset on the oven door try using oven cleaner or degreaser and vim and scrubbing with a pan wire. Hope this all helps you to a happier time with your cooker.

    • Farmer Rachel profile image

      Rachel Koski 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Hey, this is really useful. I kind of despise my electric stove/oven and have been considering other options. We have a woodstove but it's not a cookstove, and David was suggesting a gas cooker for the future. I'll be referencing your info if we decide to go that route!

      Great hub :)