Thread Number: 74224  /  Tag: Ranges, Stoves, Ovens
Cookers in the UK
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Post# 980104   1/27/2018 at 11:31 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

I've always thought it was interesting how small cookers in the UK seem compared to those in the United States. They look to be about the size of our 24" ranges here which is an usual size. We also have 20" apartment size ranges which again are fairly rare, and also 36" and 40" which are mostly not seen as often except for "professional style" ranges.

Even the commercial ranges in the UK seem smallish compared to what we have here. And American commercial ranges typically have pilot lights whereas I think the UK ones all use spark ignition.

Are ceramic topped cookers common in the UK and how back were they introduced. I notice Hyacinth on Keeping Up Appearances had a ceramic top cooker and it has that gray speckled pattern that was common on most ceramic top ranges over here starting around the early 90s-present day.

I used to see a lot of solid hobs also on UK ranges, are they still used? Here those are only used on commercial ranges and some portable household hotplates. I don't know of any company that sells household ranges or cooktops with them. They were considered sort of a posh style back in the 80s and 90s and came from the luxury brands like Jenn Air and others but some of the more typical brands like Frigidaire and Whirlpool had them also. They went away as soon as ceramic tops started getting more popular and now I think ceramic cooktops have overtaken coils on most of the higher end ranges and cooktops.

Post# 980108 , Reply# 1   1/27/2018 at 12:04 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Sealed solid electric plates tended to to be slow at doing anything (heating up, cooling down). They quickly became 'bottom of the line' in virtually every manufacturer's range of cookers.

Gas was promoted as instantly 'controllable'.

Spiral electric rings were much more popular, far more controllable and easy to repair (Creda, Tricity, Belling, etc). They were largely superseded by ceramic.

Ceramic hobs started off as a 'superior' way to cook than spiral rings, and were quite dear at the time.

Even dearer was Halogen, which again was touted as the sophisticated way to cook, and better than slower ceramic versions.

Now we have induction...!

Post# 980113 , Reply# 2   1/27/2018 at 13:54 by iej (Ireland)        

Standard European appliances are all 600mm wide. That's because kitchen are designed to be modular.
However, it's fairly common .to have 800 and 900mm wide hobs (cook tops) in modern kitchens.

Slot in / free standing "cookers" are pretty low end and normally associated with very old-fashioned kitchens. They've gradually disappeared.

The only exception to that is big range cookers which can be pretty huge.

This would give you an idea of full size cookers used in this part or the world. They aren't cheap though. You're looking at about €2000 - 3000 and more.

Post# 980114 , Reply# 3   1/27/2018 at 13:57 by Maytagbear (N.E. Ohio)        
I hope it is still made

I find the Baby Belling cooker to be so endearing..almost like a pet........


Post# 980115 , Reply# 4   1/27/2018 at 14:05 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Small apartments, and hotel suites

in NY city, etc. still have 24 inch wide range cookers. They are still made by a few manufacturers. GE even still offers 30 inch wide drop in styles with no bottom drawer.
While 30 inches is the most common in the states, upscale kitchens can have as wide as a 60 inch professional style range with 6 high btu gas burners, a grille, and two large ovens. They won't set you back as many quid as a large AGA.
Viking for example is currently offering a free appliance with the purchase of one. Buy a built in refrigerator, get a free range, dishwasher, or microwave in a drawer style, built in, or shelf mount style.

Post# 980116 , Reply# 5   1/27/2018 at 14:05 by iej (Ireland)        

Pilot lights have been regulated out of existence many years ago. I don't think they've been used in Europe since the 1970s.

You also have to remember Mrs Bucket sends up the obnoxious stuck up social climber. Her appliances and house are very deliberately, frightfully ordinary and just done up with ridiculous looking accessories for her candle light suppers and so on.

The whole show was effectively about a social climber in the modern English class system.

She's ordinary, lower middle class, married to a council official and gets excited over her slim line telephone with redial function. That's the whole ridiculousness of that show. She's more in common with Marge Simpson and Peg Bundy than she would ever admit to.

If she had money, it would have been all Miele and Aga and so on and a far, far bigger house, big car and way less attitude.

Post# 980124 , Reply# 6   1/27/2018 at 15:40 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Baby Belling

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Is indeed still available - with the solid plates!


Post# 980127 , Reply# 7   1/27/2018 at 16:00 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Belling and misinformation!

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The same kind of flaws that plagued Hoover's UK website, namely false product description, are affecting Belling's site. (Hoover kept going on about the Purepower upright as having a bag check indicator - no it doesn't, and hasn't for many a year).

In the case of Belling, solid plate cookers are described as 'ceramic'. Wrong. Who is writing this rubbish?

The link shows the "ceramic" description in the main header, but the specifications state "solid plate elements".


Post# 980129 , Reply# 8   1/27/2018 at 16:33 by iej (Ireland)        
'Double induction oven'

50cm electric oven double induction oven offers a programmable timer, touch control, defrost function and easy clean enamel. A/B energy rating.

What's an 'induction oven' ?

Post# 980152 , Reply# 9   1/27/2018 at 19:23 by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

I like them all.

Post# 980154 , Reply# 10   1/27/2018 at 19:27 by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

Apparently UK cookers' ovens have a different design than we're used to in the US, with the elements close to the sides of the oven covered by enamel covers(if they aren't convection) and there's nothing on the bottom of the oven itself.

Post# 980167 , Reply# 11   1/27/2018 at 22:06 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

That Baby Belling is cute. I seem to think the UK also has a toaster oven that has two solid hobs on top as well. In the US, being that we only have 120V circuits with up to 20 amp current, we don't have anything like those because our small appliance circuits can't handle that all at once. We either have toaster oven/convection toaster ovens, or one or two burner hotplates, but nothing with those combined together into one appliance that I know of.

Post# 980197 , Reply# 12   1/28/2018 at 07:37 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Oven elements

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It was the case that British cookers had the main oven elements in the left and right walls. My mum's 1975 Creda 'Carefree' certainly did. Gran's even earlier 1970's Creda 'Cavalier' would have too.

The smaller top oven had (I think!) an element under the oven floor. I can't be sure if the grill element was also switched in, cooking from above and below.

Foreign cookers (according to 'Which?) tended to have the main oven elements above and below - and I suppose that makes sense - especially if the grill element is situated in the one and only oven, of a single oven cooker. It's also better for cooking certain foods, say, pizza.

My Creda 'Aspire' had a combined small top oven and grill, and a 'Circulaire' main oven. The element was circular (a couple of turns in a helical spiral) surrounding a motorised fan, on the rear wall. It cooked quicker at a lower heat.

The grill element in my 1998 'Aspire' was the 'Solarplus' type (like bars on an electric fire, as in Photo #1, below). Mum's slightly later 2004 'Aspire' has the more conventional grill element (Photo #2). (Pics nicked off of internet for illustration purposes only!)

Regarding the 'Carefree' and the two 'Aspires': half of the grill could be switched on if there was only a small amount of food to grill - hence the two conventional elements in photo 2. With the more sophisticated 'Solarplus' element in photo 1, only four of the eight bars were switched on, on the single setting - obviously all on the same side of the grill.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 980211 , Reply# 13   1/28/2018 at 08:33 by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

That makes sense--with a eye-level grill, there wouldn't be a need for broil (top) heat in the oven.

Post# 980221 , Reply# 14   1/28/2018 at 09:03 by iej (Ireland)        

Hob types:

Before the mid-1980s:

UK built cookers tended to have open coils with a drip tray underneath. You could flip up the whole cook top and clean it out. These were considered more controllable.

Continental European built cookers tended to have solid plates and were definitely less popular as a result of this.

While there were ceramic hobs/cooktops at the top-of-the-line level quite a while before this, they really went mass-market in the mid to late 1980s and you started to see a whole range of both traditional radiant elements and halogen models which lit up extremely brightly when on. I don't know if they were ever a feature in the US?

Fan ovens also became a mass-market product in the mid 1980s although they'd been around on the top of the line models (and also a lot of continental built-in brands) for quite some time at that stage.

They typically have a circular element around the fan at the back of the oven and a grill / broiler element at the top.


Check out this mid 80s advert for 'Cook Electric' from ESB Ireland: It even has its own synth pop theme tune, but it gives you a fairly good overview of the cookers that were around in these islands (and I know the UK's a different market but we had more or less the same appliances) back in the 1980s.

Post# 980222 , Reply# 15   1/28/2018 at 09:13 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Every time I visited friends and relations in the UK

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I was amazed at how much easier their ranges were to use than the German and American ranges of the same period.

That eye-level broiler design - so practical, so easy to use. Perfect.

As to size, 60cm is just fine for 99% of the oven work I do. In fact I have a deluxe American version of the 60cm stove in storage - the use of standard heating elements in such a small space leads to a super well regulated, very fast heating oven.

As to solid plate hobs. Yuck! How that ever came to be adopted as 'luxury' design in the US is beyond me. I hated them in Germany, I hated them in the UK, I ran from them in the US. Awful. In all their horrid aspects.

Ceramic and Induction caught on much faster in Europe for a simple reason: Enormously cheaper than in the US.

Post# 980230 , Reply# 16   1/28/2018 at 10:49 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Creda 'Carefree'

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This one is very similar to the one Mum had. Her's had a solid white enamelled grill/top oven door, rather than the black glass door frontage as shown here.

Four neon pilot lamps for: hotplates (1 lamp), Main Oven, Grill, Top Oven.

Next to that, the Hob Illumination press toggle switch. A fluorescent strip light is situated recessed, immediately below the control knobs. Twas very handy for seeing inside the pots and pans.

Next is Start and End hands for main oven timer control with 'Push to set' and 'Push for manual' functionality, followed by the master clock with red 'minute minder' timer, which buzzed.

Rotary knobs controlled the four hotplates, grill, top oven, and main oven. The rear right plate shown here has dual functionality, either half or all the plate can be used to suit the diameter of the pan. I can't remember if mum's had the dual plate, but I do remember hers had a boosted faster plate. As the knobs were turned, they had numbers printed against coloured backgrounds 'Hi' being red, 'Lo' was something like pale green. Oven temperatures were in Fahrenheit. The grill had full and half settings.

Main oven had a glass inner door, beyond the solid outer door. Illuminated main oven, with 'Credaclean' catalytic liners on side walls, ceiling and rear wall. Two chromed steel shelves.

Top oven / grill had enamelled liners and one chrome shelf. Twin-handled grill pan was very robust.

The aluminium cap on the hob, at the back, is a steam vent from the main oven. The vent chimney passes through the spillage tray underneath the hob. The hob is hinged, with a chromed steel prop arm to hold it open. Mum used to put a sheet of tin foil pressed into shape, in the spillage tray for easy cleaning.

A couple of times, the spiral hotplate elements exploded in spectacular fashion. One shot particles across the kitchen, damaging the floor tiles and pitted the underside of an aluminium pot.

It was a very good cooker and lasted 29 years. Eventually the spill tray became pitted and holed. The wiring became very brittle at the end of its life too.

The modern rubbish is nowhere near as sturdy.

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Post# 980236 , Reply# 17   1/28/2018 at 11:34 by iej (Ireland)        

I remember my folks had *exactly* the same model as the above. It lasted until we moved house and I don't know what happened it then. My grandmother also had some kind of later Creda with a halogen, ceramic top and a fan oven and that lasted for year and years.

I agree, it's not comparable with modern 'rubbish' because we are getting far too used to the idea that you can get a major electrical appliance for less than a fraction of the cost to what we paid for many of these old classics.

If you look a the cost of an early 1980s machine, you are really looking at similar pricing to Miele and TOL Bosch models when you work out inflation. They were much better machines than the junk that was sold under the same brands in more recent years.

What we are doing these days is incredibly environmentally damaging - reducing what were long-term durable goods to disposable commodities. I am in favour of taxing the hell out of manufacturers that are basically engaging in environmental dumping by doing this. I'd rather see people buy a good appliance on finance / HP and have it last for a decade or more than see them buy several appliances that are absolutely junk and will end up scrapped within a couple of years (4 or 5 at most).

We really need to be getting back to sustainable appliances again that are repairable and last.

Miele and a few others are still in that space, but everyone else pretty much seems to make appliances that are designed for the skip (dumpster) not the repair technician.

I have two Miele ovens at the moment and they are extremely well built devices and I'm quite confident that I'll get a very long time out of them. It's the same with my washing machine and dryer, I am quite happy to pay quite a bit more, knowing that I've massively reduced the environmental impact and that they'll last for at least a decade or probably more like two.

Post# 980256 , Reply# 18   1/28/2018 at 14:03 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Re Miele purchases:

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That is very commendable. I agree; too many items are scrapped because of the lack of sensibly priced spare parts.

I think Bosch-Siemens have a reasonable set-up, in terms of spare parts, diagrams and generally reasonable prices.

As for Apple deliberately slowing down older phones... They should be bloody well shot!!! How many millions of folk were led to believe, "Oh my phone is slow, it must be too old now...". That is criminal behaviour in my opinion. What they should have done is offered the option to upgrade the battery, for a nominal sum. That way you build a degree of trust with the customer. Instead, they saw the customer as a cash-cow and thus shot themselves in the foot. Ooooh, it make me boil...! On that basis, I am even more reluctant to by an Apple phone now. Good one, Apple!

Post# 980271 , Reply# 19   1/28/2018 at 16:05 by iej (Ireland)        

Stumbled upon another 80s advert from ESB (Irish power company).

It's a bit of a soppy ad about either going back to what has to be grandma's house in Ireland in around 1984. She does have a nice halogen cooker + some kind of Creda oven.

When old monopolies advertise, you get weird but classic results.

Post# 980282 , Reply# 20   1/28/2018 at 17:26 by aegokocarat (Cearphily county South Wales)        

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I just thought I'd add to this,
My parents had a Tricity president cooker which they purchased second hand, my mother loved it. I can't tell you much other than she liked that it had a fanned main oven, spiral rings and one of them could be adjusted to the size of the pan you were using, and also the grill had the ability to have half of the element isolated if you were only cooking small amounts of food. My mother replaced it because it was starting to head on its way out in 1996 (I think) with a basic Creda electric cooker, which she hated. The Creda featured four solid plates, and a traditional non fan assisted oven, she didn't like the hob which she found very uncontrollable and likened it to cooking on my grandmothers Rayburn, it was very easy to burn food to the bottom of a pan or for a pot to boil over, she also found the oven to be a bit hit or miss and slower than that of the Tricity.
The Creda got put into a flat that my grandmother used to let out in 2000 and my mother purchased a new cooker. She purchased a Tricity Bendix Strata cooker with a ceramic hob, fan assisted oven and catalytic liners as well as a grill which doubled as a secondary smaller oven, and this cooker was simply fantastic and very well made, I learned to cook on it and its made many a Christmas dinner and birthday cake, the cooker still works and we gave it to my sister in 2016 when her Indesit cooker (very basic solid hob, traditional oven) broke, we then upgraded to a Belling FSE60DOP cooker in stainless steel.
The Belling has a ceramic hob with one zone that you can use half of if you are using a smaller pan, a grill which you can isolate half of and use as a secondary oven, and a multifunctional main oven.
The overall cooker is pretty solid, however I think that main oven is very difficult to clean because of the multifunction aspect; the oven has the following functions: defrost, fan, base heat, top heat, base heat and top heat, base heat top heat and fan, grilling and fanned grilling. Because of the grill element, its difficult to clean any splatters in the roof of the oven, but overall its a decent oven but certain aspects of it, I do think our last cooker was better.

Sorry that was so long winded :)

Post# 980291 , Reply# 21   1/28/2018 at 18:20 by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

Always thought the eye level grill/broiler made sense. I don't use my broiler much due to having to keep the door open, etc. Always loved when Hilda, SWMBP, pulled Rumpoles chops out ready to dine.

Post# 980338 , Reply# 22   1/29/2018 at 02:06 by iej (Ireland)        
Eye-level grills: reintroduced but dropped due to low demand

Belling (now part of Glen Dimplex) tried to reintroduce upscale range cookers with eye level grills but it seems nobody wanted them.

They were dropped again.

I think it's probably down to a change in tastes too. Grilling / broiling isn't as popular as it was in the 1970s.

Post# 980342 , Reply# 23   1/29/2018 at 03:36 by Maytagbear (N.E. Ohio)        
Thank you

for humo(u)ring me about the Baby Belling.

Two more things I should like to know about cookers....

First, I love BBC GoodFood magazine. It's not too easily found at newsagents here in my part of the States......anyway, a few years ago there was an ad for
OvenNu "Oven Valeting Service." We have high heat self-cleaning cycles, and you have people who come and clean your oven. Did it make a go? Was it/is it very expensive? If it still exists would one of you ring them up and ask for me if they do Baby Belling valeting, and if they do, how much?

Second......would someone be so kind as to insert the British Gas TV ads...either the one with Madeline Bell singing about "High Speed Gas-simmering the pot" or the "Cookability" one, or both, please?

Thank you


Post# 980353 , Reply# 24   1/29/2018 at 06:12 by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London UK)        
British gas

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Was this the ad you were thinking of?

Post# 980357 , Reply# 25   1/29/2018 at 06:34 by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London UK)        
And for more fun

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Patricia Routledge

And finally, thought you might like this one :)

Post# 980358 , Reply# 26   1/29/2018 at 06:35 by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London UK)        
And a send up

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Harry Enfield and Kathy Burke

Post# 980359 , Reply# 27   1/29/2018 at 06:36 by Maytagbear (N.E. Ohio)        

Alistair, yes, it is!!

Thank you very much.


Post# 980361 , Reply# 28   1/29/2018 at 06:38 by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London UK)        

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Post# 980362 , Reply# 29   1/29/2018 at 06:40 by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London UK)        

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Post# 980508 , Reply# 30   1/29/2018 at 20:43 by iej (Ireland)        

Post# 980550 , Reply# 31   1/30/2018 at 06:29 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Reply #30

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Creda 'Carefree' at 0:43 (middle),
Creda 'Cavalier' at 0:44 (middle).

Post# 980552 , Reply# 32   1/30/2018 at 06:44 by iej (Ireland)        

What’s the cooker with what looks like a eye level oven?!

Post# 980558 , Reply# 33   1/30/2018 at 07:50 by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London UK)        
Eye Level Oven

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Its a Creda (formerly Jackson) Topline

Post# 980559 , Reply# 34   1/30/2018 at 07:51 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Possibly a Moffat?

Scroll down to replies #10 & #11 in the link below...


  View Full Size
Post# 980561 , Reply# 35   1/30/2018 at 07:54 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Eye level oven...

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... Might be a rotisserie.

Post# 980562 , Reply# 36   1/30/2018 at 08:12 by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London UK)        

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Nope, its a Creda - several of the same cookers appear over and over again. It was a thermostatically controlled oven with a rotesserie. Other versions had spiral ring hob and some had the main oven with a fan

From the top
1 Tricity President
2 Creda Topline
3 Belling Classic Yellow
4 Belling Classic Executive
5 Belling Formula Split Level
6 Creda Europa/Belling Formula/Tricity
7 Ceramic hob looks like a Moffat
8 Belling Classic again
9 Tricity Contessa/Creda Carefree/Belling Classic
10 Tricity Tiara/Creda Cavalier/Belling Compact
11 Creda Topline again
12 Belling Classic again
13 Belling Formula again
14 Creda Topline front left/Belling Compact rear left/Creda Horizon 22 Front right

Post# 981104 , Reply# 37   2/3/2018 at 12:09 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

Would anyone know what Hyacinth's cookers were by any chance? I am attaching a link to a GIF which shows what was her first cooker, I believe. You can see it has a see through piece over the controls.

The second image I attached directly shows the third cooker she had, and in between there was a black one but I think it was only in an episode or two, I don't have any pictures of it. It's not the best picture but the best I could capture.

Daisy had an electric cooker with coils and I think the controls were on the back and up higher than the surface be a foot or so. Her kitchen was only seen in two episodes and it may not have been the same cooker in both shots.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO fan-of-fans's LINK

  View Full Size
Post# 981105 , Reply# 38   2/3/2018 at 12:13 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

As for halogen cermaic tops, we did have them for a brief time here in the States during the 90s and possibly late 80s. I don't believe they were very popular as regular radiant ceramic tops. I do remember Jenn Air offering some halogen cartridges for their cooktops and ranges, and Amana had a range where I think two of the four burners were halogen and the other two radiant.

Convection ovens in household didn't catch on here until around the 80s I would guess. Jenn Air had some in the mid-late 80s and I know GE Profile ranges and ovens had them on the TOL models around the mid-late 1990s. Possibly others did as well but today, they are mostly on the high end brands and otherwise only seen on very TOL ranges from common brands like Whirlpool, GE, Kenmore and Frigidaire.

Post# 981106 , Reply# 39   2/3/2018 at 12:37 by iej (Ireland)        

You can tell it's set design as the position of the electrical outlet and switch for the cooker is totally illegal lol

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