Penning down my criteria for an oven for my own records as well as for sharing. These can be some factors to consider when buying your own oven.
As I do not bake often now, I do not want to waste my money and spend a lot on a high-end oven. Hence, my budget for a built-in oven would be about few hundreds to a low $1k+ when I get one.
I would prefer my oven to have the following functions:
1) Top and bottom heat aka traditional cooking – most commonly used function for cakes, macarons, baked rice, fish, chicken and a whole array of food.
2) Top and bottom with fan aka convection cooking – mainly for cookies and tarts
3) Grill function – so far, I do not usually use the grill function for my food but it can be a useful function to have especially when one hosts.
4) Light function for me to see my bakes. It is quite satisfying and therapeutic to see your bakes rising/ forming. Most ovens should have this.
5) Enamel or ceramic coating – for easier cleaning and scratch-resistant.
6) Oven doors should preferably be 3-4 layers thick or “cool to touch” so that Baby C or other young kids I have in my house would not touch the door and hurt themselves by accident. Most built-in ovens should have this safety feature or something similar.
7) Oven door being able to be left open at any or at least a certain angle, in addition to just being opened or closed fully. I like my door to be able to remain open at whatever angle i leave it at. Usually i use this function when i finish baking, just before I remove the sensitive products out of the oven eg. The egg filling for egg tarts will deflate if there’s a sudden change in temperature so one is supposed to leave it in the oven for a period of time for the oven temperature to slowly cool to room temperature. Most oven doors cannot open at an angle but just open/ close fully. So far, I have not seen this function in a tabletop oven. What I usually do in such cases would be to put a wooden spatula so that the oven door could be left ajar slightly. Not a deal breaker.
I have not shortlisted any built-in ovens for now but I hope the above helps those who are looking for an oven to shortlist theirs!