The oven is a much used and needed appliance in the home or commercial establishment. The oven is defined as a chamber that is thermally insulated and used for cooking or drying. Types of ovens can be a kiln or a furnace for smelting, pottery or brick making, black smiths, etc. Types of ovens for cooking have been around since prehistoric times but historically an oven in the house was first discovered in ancient Egyptian settlements. The ancient Greeks are attributed with using the oven for baking and especially working with doughs for breads.
The oven, like all inventions, has evolved through time. The oven continues to change as new energy sources and methods of heat generation are discovered. The types of ovens for cooking are;
Types of Ovens for Cooking
The earthen oven is a pit dug in the ground utilizing heated rocks or wood to cook either over the flame or in the 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 mostly wood. This design of oven includes the brick ovens used extensively in Italy and other European countries.
The modern oven
A conventional oven is designed with two heating elements; one for baking and the other for broiling. The conventional oven is sometimes referred to as 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 is used for baked items and browning items quickly.
A microwave oven uses radio waves that penetrate food items but not cookware to stimulate the molecules generating heat for cooking.
A toaster oven is a smaller version of a conventional oven or convection oven that is made to be counter top size.
Multifunction ovens are similar to conventional ovens with the addition of a fan that circulates the heat producing more even heat throughout the cooking chamber and preheating in less time. Some multi functional ovens have a double oven, one with a fan, for convection oven cooking and a smaller conventional oven although some may have a fan in both chambers.
A solar oven or solar cooker is a device that utilizes the sunlight to generate heat to cook with. There are numerous different designs for solar ovens but basically they are used outdoors, require no fuel, can cook anything a conventional oven can but can only work when the sun is out and take longer to use than other types of ovens.
The halogen oven is a recent invention that utilizes 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 of the benefits of a halogen oven are; cooking time is greatly reduced, items can be healthier through the use of convection, it uses less electricity than a conventional oven and it can handle a good amount of food.
Different types of ovens for cooking have been around, as history knows, since 4000 to 5000 years BC. The oven is one of those tools that have given passion and an artistic side of cooking food and remains one of best appliances for cooking available.