From cooking only Chapati, legumes, vegetables and rice at home to cooking multi-cuisine dishes in our kitchens, technology has redefined the way Indian kitchens cook. Gone are the days when naan, tandoori chicken, pizza, grilled sandwiches, tikka, cookies, etc. They were prepared only in restaurants. With the advent of the internet, all Indian cooks now know how to cook such dishes at home. But they also know that these dishes cannot be prepared with conventional utensils on a gas stove, as they require cooking from all directions in a closed chamber. This is where OTG ovens have become an indispensable asset in any modern Indian kitchen.
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What can be cooked in OTG Oven?
You can cook anything in OTG ovens. As the name suggests, you can actually use an OTG oven to toast, roasts, grill, bake, heat, and so on any food. That means you can grill your chicken in there. Additionally, you can make cakes and bread as well.
On top of that, you can roast veggies and meat, etc. on an OTG oven. You can use an OTG oven for cooking a plethora of dishes. Matter of fact, if we were to include all of the items you could cook using an OTG oven, we would have to write another full article for that.
OTG Oven vs. Microwave Oven?
There are a few main differences between an OTG oven and a microwave oven. First, there is a huge gap in the price. OTG ovens are cheaper than microwave ovens. Now, as the name suggests microwave ovens use microwaves to heat up the food. Whereas OTG ovens use direct heat via heating rods and fan inside the oven. So, microwave ovens can reheat and de-freeze foods very fast. On the contrary, OTG ovens cannot do that very fast.
However, OTG ovens get the upper hand when it comes to toasting, baking, roasting, and grilling. You can use an OTG oven for more than a few hours continuously without any issues. For slow yet thorough cooking, you are going to need an OTG oven. But for fast cooking or re-heading foods, you will need a microwave oven.
|Microwave Oven||OTG Oven|
|Magnetron tube generates and directs microwaves that heat up the food||Heating Coils heat up and raise the oven cavity temperature through radiation|
|Microwaves are available with a maximum capacity of 42 Litres||OTG Ovens are available up to 60 litres of oven capacity|
|Microwave ovens have a higher electricity consumption||OTG ovens use lesser electricity|
|Expensive||Costs almost one-third of similar sized microwave|
|No pre-heating required||Pre-heating is required to get the oven at the desired temperature|
|Ideal for defrosting, simple cooking, reheating and basic baking (convection microwaves)||Exceptionally used for baking, toasting and grilling|
What are the Types of OTG Oven?
OTG ovens are broadly classified into the following two categories: Conventional oven and Convection Oven
A conventional OTG oven, also sometimes referred to as a thermal oven is the fundamental type that cooks food with radiation of heat from both heating coils. As the heat is supposed to be naturally radiated inside the cavity, there may be slight temperature differences throughout the cavity.
These temperature differences further create hotter areas (hot spots) and colder areas (cold spots) inside the oven cavity and can result in unevenly baked cakes. Conventional ovens are a bit cheaper than convection ovens and are best suited to novice bakers that are yet to experiment with their baking fantasies.
A convection oven essentially includes a fan at the back or sides of the oven cavity that forces the hot air to circulate throughout the cavity eliminating temperature differences. This results in even heat distribution eventually leading to uniformly baked and roasted recipes.
Most OTG ovens in India have an upgraded variant for an extra few hundred rupees that includes the convection feature. Most experienced bakers opt for a convection OTG oven owing to its ability to better circulate the heat inside and produce consistent and uniformly cooked edibles.
OTG Oven Size : What Size is Suitable for My Needs?
What’s the best-suited OTG Oven size for you totally depends on your baking experience and family size. If you live alone and are just starting out into your new hobby and don’t want to invest a lot right away, a 16-litre OTG will suffice your needs through your initial baking journey. While if you’ve got only a couple of family members to share your cakes and pizzas with, go with this 22 Litre Conventional OTG Oven.
Similarly, if you’ve been into baking for some time and are ready to upgrade to restaurant-like results, then by all means consider investing in a convection OTG oven. These 28 Litre, 30 Litre and 36 Litre convection ovens are the best you could find in the Indian market for a family of up to 5 members. If you’re looking for an even bigger convection OTG to be stacked for occasional celebratory preparations, this 52 Litre Oven is all you need.
Consider the following representation to figure out oven size according to the number of family members.
Factors to Consider Before Buying an OTG Oven
1. External Dimensions
How big or how small of an OTG oven you’ll be able to accommodate in your kitchen totally depends on the kitchen counter space availability or any other spot in your home that has a close access to a live electricity socket. External dimensions are also directly related to the oven cavity of the OTG. OTGs with lesser oven capacity will naturally have a smaller footprint and vice versa. So, you’ll have to collectively think about about your baking requirements (OTG oven Capacity), family size and kitchen space restraints to come to the numbers in regards to the external dimensions of your OTG oven. Most OTG ovens up to 30 Litre capacity are less than 50 cms in primary dimension and can fairly fit in most kitchens.
2. Power Output
An OTG baking oven generally uses lesser electricity than a similar sized microwave. Consequently, you’ll see lower power output ratings on OTG ovens. Smaller, conventional OTG ovens are rated at 1200 watts, while larger ovens can be found at 1600 watts and 2000 watts of power rating. If you’re opting for a smaller oven, 1200 watts is powerful enough to cope with your recipes. For larger OTG ovens than 28 Litres, aim for atleast a 1500 watts.
3. Timer Setting
Most OTG Ovens on the Indian Market come with an adjustable timer setting that ranges between 0-60 minutes except for a few high-end models. These high-end ovens cost you a bit more but can be programmed for up to 120 minutes. Although most cakes, cookies and roasts do not go beyond a preparation time of 60 minutes, there are some exceptions where the 120 minute timer knob might come in handy. Yet again, it is a feature that only seasoned bakers might relate to. For the majority of home-bakers a 60 minutes timer is far beyond sufficient.
4. Temperature Setting
The temperature knob allows you to heat the heating coils to the desired temperature, be it in the pre-heat or the actual baking/roasting phase. Most OTG ovens have an adjustable temperature range from 50-230°C; some even up to 250°C. Referring to multiple cooking instructions, you’d find that this range of temperature adjustments is ample for baking cakes (mostly around 180°C) and roasting meat (at up to 200°C).
5. Convection Feature
The convection feature is one of the few factors that experienced and meticulous bakers look for while purchasing an Oven. As we’ve already discussed, it is an internal fan that forces the steady hot air inside the oven cavity to circulate evenly throughout. This eliminates temperature differences and produces more evenly baked and roasted recipes. All OTG oven brands have improved and slightly costlier versions of their basic OTG ovens that include this feature.
If you’re only starting out and looking for small & economic options, small conventional ovens are just as good. But as we move towards bigger OTG ovens, the cavity gets bigger and the need for even circulation of heat increases making it all the more important for them to have a convection fan inside. To all the serious bakers, I’d recommend to invest an extra few hundred rupees and get gift your cakes and cookies that convection fan.
6. Included Accessories
The baking and grilling accessories included in all of our OTG oven picks make them a complete purchase on their own. With the accompanied Baking tray, Grilling rack, Rotisserie rod set and skewers, you can get on with all the cooking that’s on your mind right away. While, the convection microwave models that we’ve listed below don’t all necessarily include these accessories in the package. Although, you may purchase the accessory set separately if you desire, it’s always a good feeling to know that you’re getting some essential tools free with a purchase.
Also, for our readers that into grilling and roasting besides baking, we’ll advise you to consciously make sure that your OTG Oven comes with the motorised rotisserie feature besides the necessary accessories.
One thing that I don’t need to remind most of y’all is to look for decent warranties in your purchases. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration if I say most of us Indians buy appliances only after being assured by a generous warranty period. Along similar lines, look for at least a 2-year warranty in your OTG oven if you’re going to be investing in one.
There is no doubt that an OTG oven is an essential appliance for most households. The products are not only used for heating food, but also for grilling and baking ideas. All the best OTG Oven (Baking Oven) reviewed above have unique features which make them stand out from other models. Since they are also multifunctional, you can also use the products for a wide range of purposes.