The oven is a much used and needed appliance in the home or commercial establishment. An oven for cooking is a thermally insulated chamber used for cooking or drying. Types of ovens can be a kiln or a furnace for smelting, pottery or brick making, black smiths.
Types of ovens for cooking have been around since prehistoric times. An oven, used in the house, was first discovered in ancient Egypt. The ancient Greeks used the oven for baking breads.
The oven, like all inventions, has evolved through time. The oven continues to change as new energy sources and methods of heat generation. The ovens for cooking are;
Types of Ovens for Cooking
The earthen oven is a pit dug in the ground and uses heated rocks or wood as a heat source.
Ceramic or Masonry Oven
The ceramic oven or masonry oven is the earliest examples of indoor ovens being an enclosed chamber with some heat source wood. This design of oven includes the brick ovens used in Italy and other European countries.
The Modern Oven
A conventional oven has two heating elements, one for baking and the other for broiling. The conventional oven is a thermal or radiant oven.
A convection oven uses circulating dry, hot air to bake providing a more even heat distribution and faster cooking times. Convection cooking bakes and browns food.
A microwave oven uses radio waves that penetrate food items and stimulates molecules that generate heat by friction.
A toaster oven is a conventional or convection oven made counter top size.
Multifunction ovens are like conventional ovens with the addition of a fan that circulates the heat producing a more even heat throughout the cooking chamber and preheating in less time. Some multi functional ovens have a double oven for convection and conventional simultaneous.
A solar oven or solar cooker is a device that uses the sunlight to generate heat to cook with. There are numerous designs for solar ovens. The positive benefits of solar ovens used outdoors, require no fuel, and can cook anything a conventional oven can. A solar oven will only work when the sun is out resulting in longer cooking times.
The halogen oven is a recent invention that uses a combination of heat generated from a halogen heating element and a fan to circulate the heat. Halogen ovens are counter top appliances that have a clear bowl or container for the food with the electronics and heating element in the lid.
Some benefits of a halogen oven are:
- Cooking time is reduced.
- Items can be healthier through the use of convection.
- Halogen ovens use less electricity,
The oven has evolved in design however the purpose of the appliance has remained the same.