Cooker vs. Oven – What’s The Difference? – Everything Explained

Is it time to renovate the kitchen? While scrolling through adverts you see sales for cookers and others for ovens. Is there a difference between a cooker and an oven?

In this post, I’ll explain the difference between a cooker and an oven as well as answer some common questions about the topic.

Let’s go!

What’s The Difference Between A Cooker And An Oven?

A cooker is traditionally an all-in-one freestanding appliance with a multi-burner hob/cooktop on top and the oven on the bottom. An oven is a built-in appliance that has one or two doors (single or double oven) and is used for baking and grilling. An oven doesn’t have a hob or cooktop built into it.



Most standard cookers are built to work with electric, gas, or dual-fuel configurations. If your home is not hooked up for gas, it is easiest to opt for an electric cooker. Adding gas to your home can be expensive and require the cutting of holes through walls to accommodate the line.

Cookers usually have a single oven on the bottom. It will be suitable for baking a Sunday roast or a cake but may be pushed to the limit when preparing holiday meals. A pair of adjustable racks allow you to cook more than one dish at a time. The hob will usually have four burners. Most families can produce a good meal on a cooker without fighting for burners or the oven.

The compact design of a cooker gives you excellent function for a smaller kitchen. Newer models feature a pair of smaller ovens to allow for greater flexibility when baking. Cookers are offered in a range of standard sizes including 50cm, 55cm, and 60cm wide with a depth of 60cm.

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Many homes built over the past few decades opted for a hob and separate built-in oven (wall-mounted or built-in to base cabinets). Many built-in ovens include two doors to allow for the preparation of different dishes at the same time. Contemporary homes may replace one of the oven doors with a microwave oven.

The use of a separate hob and oven design generally improves the workflow in the kitchen. One cook can check on the cake while the other is stirring the sauce at the hob. Ovens can be positioned at waist height, which means there is no bending over and reaching into a hot oven to pull out a heavy roast.

Ovens are sold as electric or gas. However, electric ovens are far more popular and considered the standard these days. The standard width for an oven is 60cm wide. The depth varies among models ranging from 55cm to 60cm. Shopping for an oven will uncover a variety of options from programmable features to lights to doors that slide and hide open.

You can buy an oven and hob combination so that your appliances will match, or replace just one of the units when it fails.

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What’s The Difference Between A Range Cooker And A Cooker?

Did your grandmother have a huge cooker in the farm kitchen? It was likely a range cooker.

Ranges function much the same as a standard cooker but have added size, burners, and versatility. If you dream of becoming a chef or regularly cook for a large gathering, a range cooker will serve you well.

They are typically 90 to 110cm wide and feature a pair of full-size ovens on the bottom. The top will include four to eight burners and possibly a grill. There may be a spot to keep your pots warm, somewhere to hang your spoons and a drawer for pans.

You will spend up to twice as much on a range compared to a standard cooker, but it will earn back the investment over time.

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Will A 60cm Cooker Fit In A 60cm Gap?

Maybe or yes. Some 60cm cookers are built slightly smaller at 59.5cm and will slide right in without a fuss. But, is your 60cm space truly 60cm square? Does the counter or framing invade the cooker space by just a tiny bit?

While it makes sense to buy the largest cooker possible, it is wise to measure and measure again before going with the unit sized perfectly for the space.

For the purpose of maintenance or possible repairs, it is best to go with a 55cm cooker so that there is room to move the unit in and out when needed. The 2cm gap on the sides can be hidden with trim. Finally, there will be no drama on installation day as it slides right into its spot.

If you are remodelling the kitchen and want a 60cm cooker, build the space 62cm wide for ease of installation and maintenance.

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How Much Of A Gap Should Be Between Units And Cookers?

Today’s modern appliances are built with insulation inside so that they are less affected by other nearby units. You won’t need too much of a gap between the cooker and your next cabinet. Leaving as little as 2.5mm to 10mm will provide enough space for ventilation and heat dispersal. It is best to position the refrigerator away from the cooker for proper food safety.

It is still wise to double-check your owner’s manual for recommended allowances to ensure proper performance over time.

Cooker installation

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Should A Cooker Be Flush With The Countertop?

Yes. This creates a professional appearance. If possible, adjust the legs of the cooker so that it is just a bit higher than the worktop.  That can prevent your laminate counter from experiencing any kind of heat damage. It also provides a more intuitive surface when transferring pots from the countertop to the hob.

The cooker or countertop supplier can provide trim strips or silicone to seal the gap and stop crumbs from disappearing down the side of the cookers hob.

Final Thoughts…

There you have it! The difference between a cooker and an oven as well as everything you need to know when deciding between the two.

Cookers can be a great cost-effective all in one appliance, ideal for budget renovations or rental properties. However, they are becoming a little old fashioned now and the combination of an oven and separate hob/cooktop is much more popular and offers far greater choice and flexibility.

So, will you go for a cooker or an oven in your new kitchen?



Michael from

Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.