Something new

Those of you who read Mr Snail’s recent ScrapHappy post will know that we have a had a new oven. When we moved to Chez Snail at the end of the last century the house was about 10 years old and it already had a fitted kitchen complete with oven. This was very useful since we moved from a house with a gas cooker to one where the kitchen was only supplied with electricity. And, thus, we di not need to buy a new one. Sadly, having reach an age of about 30 years, the poor thing was struggling to do things like reach the required temperature – in fact the temperature dial was so worn, you had to guess what temperature you were selecting anyway. Mr Snail was reluctant to replace it as it still got hot, but was finally persuaded one evening when it took an hour and a half to produce some roasted vegetables for dinner… hunger is a great motivator.

Mr Snail had liked the oven in the flat that he rented down in Reading, so we decided to go with something similar and thus it was ordered, arrived and installed in less than a week. After some discussion, we were amazed to realise that this is the first brand new oven either of us has ever owned – when we were younger, we both rented flats that had ovens in them and when I moved to an unfurnished rental, I inherited an electric cooker (along with a house full of furniture) from my nan. That cooker was then passed on to another friend who used it for a few more years. The first house I bought came with a gas cooker already installed and then we moved here… and 20 years later we have a new oven!

It’s a bit of a revelation, to be honest – the thermostat seems to be very precise, so when a recipe says to cook something at 170C for 18 minutes, that’s exactly what is required. Pies and cakes are coming out beautifully – done to a turn – plus is can be used as a proving cabinet, so when the house isn’t warm, the bread dough can still rise. Whilst I’m glad to have avoided buying new up until now , I really am loving our new purchase… I bet it doesn’t last 30 years like the last one, though.

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24 Comments

  1. We love our Neff oven – Installed in 1999 and still going strong. Keep a note of the serial number somewhere as you can use it to check that spare parts fit later on! I’m interested that you can use yours as a proving oven – is there a special setting for that?
    My mum still has the same fridge she and my dad bought when they first got married 67 years ago – it has a new coat of enamel paint on the door as my younger brother scratched a map of Africa on it at some point, but other than that it is completely in its original state…

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    • Our old one was a Neff too… part of the reason we chose this one. It did not have a cool setting for proving, so I suspect yours doesn’t either, which is a shame because it’s really useful.
      I love the idea of a 67 year-old fridge… sadly, we’ve had two since the one I inherited from my nan; mind you, that is more than 25 years ago.

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  2. That’s an impressive achievement, and no, I don’t think the new oven will last nearly as long as the old one, things have redundancy built into them these days. But good things do last. I’m still happily using my cast iron enamel Le Creuset casserole pot which is 40 years old, and I only recently replaced a really excellent Tefal Vitesse electric kettle which had begun to blow the power-socket fuses and for which parts were no longer available after 25 years

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    • That’s an amazing achievement with the kettle – ours seem to give up the ghost after only a few years, although the more expensive one I bought 6 or 7 years ago is still going strong… oh no, I’ve sealed its fate now, haven’t I?

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      • I bought the kettle and toaster as a pair, both were very fast, expensive and good quality. The toaster gave up first and I couldn’t get replacement elements to fit as it was an odd shape. The kettle lasted much longer. If there’s one lesson to take from it, it’s to buy spares while the thing is still working!

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  3. Your old oven sound rather like mine. I have to approximate the temperature and the cooking time is only a guide. I too would love a new one, but to make it fit the space would involve too much renovation that I am not prepared to do. So I will just have to enjoy the wonders that come out of your oven!

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    • Because it’s built in, we did do some careful measuring to make sure the new one would fit… and went as far as buying the same make (a Neff) to be extra sure. I did wonder whether it would make a difference, but I really am astonished how much improved my cooking is!

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  4. When I think about it I have only had one new cooker in my life, and the one I have now isn’t it. That said modern cookers and ovens are vastly better and my cakes are better for it too.

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  5. I do love that expression “done to a turn” and even though it’s something I’m very familiar with, now because I’ve seen it written, I’m all a bit curious to see the history of it. Look what I found: ‘food that had been cooked for the precisely correct number of turns of the spit ~ 18th century’. Have to admit, our cooker got the heave ho because it took so long to heat up and ended up with only two rings that worked. I love that there’s no more juggling pans, but notice I’m still doing it. Oh and I just did another looking up of an idiom, this time heave ho and originally a nautical use when hauling a rope, as when hoisting anchor. I suppose that was when you’d make an effort to put the anchor down ⚓️ to let off a Jonah, hence the use of heave ho to mean dismissal.

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  6. Fantastic news 😊. I’ve lived most of my adult life without an oven but would like one. When we moved to our home 11 years ago, unfortunately the oven didn’t work (vendor had lied); unfortunately, it is also slightly non-standard size and we can’t get a new one till the brackets it is on are lowered.

    Anyway, I like the idea your oven can be used for proving bread. When it is on this setting, does it also provide some warmth in the room?

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  7. we’ve got Neffs – my pal was working in a builder’s merchant when we did all our building work, so we were able to take advantage of the stonking discounts for which she was eligible. I love, love, love the Neffs and their pyrolytic cleaning 🙂 When they eventually pack up, I’ll replace with the ones that have slide away doors.

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    • Yes, the new one has a slide away door… I haven’t tried the pyrolytic cleaning yet – it sounds a bit scary!

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      • i bloody love mine. specially when it’s a sunny day and i know the electricity is being generated by our PV cells. The smug-factor is exceptional! Top tip though – close your kitchen door – ours doesn’t set off the kitchen smoke alarm (the installer said it was specially designed for kitchens) but it does set off the one in the hall.

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  8. You didn’t know you were a cooking genius until you had the right tool for the job! Managing sometimes isn’t the right thing when it comes to equipment … I get really frustrated with mine as it takes forever to warm up and this just can’t be planet friendly but because we are moving I am waiting to do it. Just think how much more efficient it and you are now!
    My other thought is how is it that ………large electrical items can’t be tested before you buy? I once replaced a washing machine because it said it took less than an hour to finish the regular cycle only to find it didn’t by then you are stuck with.. same with hovers and toasters and kettles the pouring of which is endlessly frustrating.

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  9. Your cooking and baking have been excellent each time i have visited so I think I shall have to come and check that the quality rally has gone up 😉

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  10. Fantastic! Everything looks beautifully baked.

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  11. Sounds good to me. Now we’re all waiting to see the range of goodies you come up with…

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