We recently asked a 1500 member strong home bakers group an advice on which is better for baking- OTG or convection oven? The unanimous answer was OTG ( Oven Toaster Grill). We dug on to know why so. And this is what we found.
OTG Vs Convection Oven For Baking
In a convection oven, the air is continuously circulated to ensure uniform and even cooking. This makes it ideal for roasting and baking cookies and pies as you get a beautiful crust on the surface and uniform cooking inside. But if you bake cake and bread in convection mode, the circulating air dries out the surface, thus making the surface hard and dry. So, a convection oven is not ideal for baking, unless you have the option to switch off the fan.
In an OTG, there is no air being circulated. It is the heated filaments at the top and bottom of the oven that does the baking/cooking. The heating actually creates a humid environment inside the oven, thus giving you soft fluffy cake and bread.
A drawback with OTG is that it takes longer to bake compared to a convection oven as there is no air circulation to speed up the cooking process.
Of course, if you just bake cakes occasionally and do not sell the baked cakes, you can opt for a convection oven which is much more versatile than an OTG. But if you are a professional home baker, by all means, invest in an OTG with 40+ litre capacity.
Which are the Best Ovens For Baking?
A few things to note when you buy an OTG oven.
- The cord of OTG ovens is short by design. If the long cord dangles from the countertop and a child or any person for that matter pulls the cord, you can imagine the damages that might occur.
- The sides and handle of OTGs generally get heated up.
- OTGs with large capacity has space to bake cakes/pizzas etc on two layers- one on top of the other. But in such cases, even cooking is not quite possible as heat distribution is affected.
- With most ovens, you take a little time to get hold of the temperature distribution and for calibration. So, expect a few trial and errors initially. It is also advised to invest in an oven thermometer if you are serious about baking.
Let us now take a look at some of the best ovens for baking.
Best Ovens For Baking
If you are a small-scale home baker or a family with 3-5 members who are fond of baking, then you would be pretty happy with this option from Philips.
It is in fact, one of the few options that have a digital display, thus helping you put the right settings every time.
The capacity is 25 litres with external dimensions are 18 x 14.5 x 12 inches. You can comfortably keep trays as large as 13 x 10 inches inside the oven.
Along with the oven, you get skewers, tray and rack. However, it seems a bit flimsy in quality.
Talking about the functionality, you can set the temperature up to 230 degrees and the timer up to 60 minutes. In addition, it has a 10 pre-set menu and a preheat option too. Unlike other models you can increment the temperature by 5 degree Celsius, thus giving you more precise control over the temperature.
When it comes to performance, most users report a highly satisfactory response. Baking cookies, cakes, grilling paneer, chicken, fish etc, came out perfectly well with even browning and even cooking.
The interiors are well-lit too, so you get a clear view of cooking in progress.
Talking about the drawbacks, you find that the exteriors including the handle tend to get heated up.
Overall, the Philips HD6975/00 is an excellent option for both beginners and home bakers alike.
With 52 litre capacity and an interior dimension of 16″ x 13.5″ x 14″, this oven serves well for home bakers who need to bake large cakes, loaves of bread and cookies, pizza etc. It is also suitable for families with 5-8 members who are fond of baking.
The functions of this OTG include defrost, bake, bake+convection, toast+convection+rotisserie, broil+convection+rotisserie and toast+convection. The temperature can be set up to 230 degree Celsius and time up to 120 minutes.
There are mainly 2 settings that bakers would have to frequently play with. Bake and bake+convection If you are baking cake, bread and food that require a humid environment, opt for “Bake” setting. But if you are looking to bake things like pizza, cookies and pies that need crispy exteriors and well-cooked inside, opt for bake+convection where a fan circulates air inside the oven.
As you can see, the interiors are pretty spacious. You can keep 2 small-medium sized cake trays side by side and bake them together. However, this way takes a slightly longer duration. You can also bake cakes in 2 layers by placing one on the wire rack. However, many users comment that cooking is not uniform in this case as heat is not uniformly distributed. But cookies, pies and pizza baked this way were found to be quite OK.
As the body of this OTG is made of stainless steel, you will find that the sides, as well as the handle, get quite heated up when you bake. Due to safety concerns and to prevent any untoward accidents, the cord is also kept short at about 75 cm. So, be sure you have a 16 Amp power point near where you intend to keep this oven.
A complaint reported by many is that the doors of this oven don’t close properly. Hence, be sure to check this as soon as you receive the product and return it if you find the door faulty.
In addition to baking, this OTG also has a motorized rotisserie with which you can grill various delicacies like chicken tikka, paneer tikka, grilled chicken etc.
The accessories given along include a baking tray, crumb tray, rotisserie rod set, rotisserie tong, wire rack, manual and guarantee card.
No matter whether you are an expert baker or a newbie, you will take a few trial and errors to correctly understand the oven’s heating capabilities. The manual will also be immensely helpful for this.
The user reviews for this Morphy Richards OTG is fairly positive, making it one of the best options for home bakers.
Borosil Prima 48 L OTG, with Motorised Rotisserie and Convection, 2000 W, 6 Stage Heating Function, Silver
Borosil Prima is yet another OTG that is absolutely a delight for home bakers and families with 5-8 members. It is a tad smaller than the former option from Morphy Richards and a lot cheaper too.
The functions include convection, bake, rotisserie, grill and toast. The temperature can be adjusted up to 230 degree Celsius and time for up to 90 minutes.
Now, when it comes to baking, this OTG from Borosil is found to be as good as the previous Morphy Richards one. Be it large pizza, cakes or bread, the oven bakes it all beautifully. The spacious interiors allow you to bake two small-sized cakes side by side and a batch of 24 muffins in a go. However, it takes a longer time when you load with extra food. When you keep food on two layers one on top of the other, cooking might not be even too. So, ideally, it is best to bake just a large cake in a single layer.
Other features of Borosil OTG include well-lit interiors, a removable crumb tray that makes it easy for cleaning, ergonomically designed handle that remains cool while baking.
In addition to baking, the motorized rotisserie also facilitates the grilling of various food items, making it a pretty good option for all food lovers.
This oven is available in different capacities ranging from 10 to 48 litre.
When it comes to OTGs, Bajaj is a brand loved by many home bakers as it is quite budget-friendly and fairly good when it comes to baking.
With 45 litre capacity and an internal dimension of approx. 42 x 60 x 43 cm, you can cook two small-sized cake or pizza at a time. Other foods can be baked/grilled/toasted for 5-8 people.
One advantage of this oven is that the temperature can be cranked up to 250 degree Celsius, while most OTGs can be set at a maximum of 230 degree Celsius. The timer can be set up to a maximum of 60 minutes.
A number of users said that they tried making cakes, cupcakes, muffins, pizza etc. and they all came out well.
The accessories that come along include a cooking tray, grill and barbeque rack, tong and skewer rods.
As with all OTGs, the outside gets pretty heated up while it works. So, you may have to be extra careful and keep it out of children’s access. For safety, the power cord is also kept short.
A drawback of the Bajaj Majesty OTG is that it doesn’t have a light bulb inside. So, other than the light of the heating filament, there is no light source inside.
If you are looking for a smaller OTG, then this option from Bajaj with 22-litre capacity would be apt for you. It is pretty much similar to the previous option from Bajaj.
In addition to baking cookies, muffins and cakes, you can grill tikka, chicken and has a rotisserie function too.
The OTG comes with a mechanical jog dial. Using it, you can adjust the temperature between 100 to 250 degree Celsius and timer up to 60 minutes. Using the middle jog dial, you can on and off the top and bottom heating element or put them both on at the same time.
The body is of stainless steel finish. While this looks sophisticated, the body gets heated up pretty quickly. So, do take care to keep it away from children.
The inside tray is of size 12 x 13 inches. Even so, considering the cooking space, you will be able to keep a 9-inch size pizza or cake at the maximum.
Talking about the performance, baking cookies and cakes are pretty easy. Even though there is no fan inside, food gets evenly cooked provided you switch on both the heating elements. That being said, you will have to take care the first few times and adjust the timer and temperature so as to get a hang of how to use the oven correctly.
Overall, given the competitive pricing and fairly good performance, it is quite a suitable option for home chefs looking for a small OTG.
Inalsa is known for selling budget-friendly appliances with fairly good features and durability.
The Inalsa MasterChef 30SSRC comes with a 30-litres capacity. It has a motorized rotisserie and convection capability too.
The interior dimension of the oven is 14-inch height x 12-inch depth x 18-inch width. This is sufficient for small-scale baking as well as for the regular needs of a 3-5 member family.
The temperature of the OTG can be set from 100 to 250 degree Celsius and time can be set up to 60 minutes. The oven also has a dial using which you opt to keep warm, broil, rotisserie and toast/bake.
Additionally, you can circulate the warm air to produce a convection effect- which is apt for cooking food like pizza, cookies, pies etc, that needs crispy exteriors and well-cooked insides.
To cook a variety of food, you get various accessories like pan removal handle, rotisserie, wire rack, baking tray, tongs and skewers.
Talking about the performance, grilling and baking come perfectly well with this OTG. However, newbies might need a few trial and errors before you get a proper hang of how to operate it.
The drawbacks mainly are that there is no light in the interior. The quality of the accessories is not that robust. Home bakers would be better off using their own tools and trays.
Overall, if you are looking for a budget-friendly OTG with a convection fan, then you will not be disappointed with this option.
If you are a newbie home baker who does not want to invest a lot of money into an oven, but still doesn’t want to compromise on performance, you can opt for this American Micronic oven with a 36-litre capacity and an internal dimension of 36 x 37 x 27 cm.
First of all, though American Micronic products are sold in the US, this oven or for that matter most of their appliances sold in India are imported from China, just like every other brand in the market. But the built quality of this oven is a notch above the rest in this price range.
Talking about this OTG, the most distinguishing feature is that it has 6 heating elements. One 400 watt filament at the top and bottom front and two 300 Watt filament at the top and bottom rear side. The top and bottom elements heating can be separately controlled- something that is not found in other OTGs in this segment.
The timer can be set up to 120 minutes and temperature from 60 to 230 degree Celsius.
When it comes to baking, the performance of this oven is quite satisfactory. The even heat distribution facilitates the baking of soft fluffy cakes, pastries, pizza etc. Thanks to convection mode, you can bake cookies, pies etc. to perfection too. That being said, it is advised to get an oven thermometer as sometimes the temperature fluctuates from what you have set. So, you might take a few trials and errors before mastering the right settings for optimal results.
The accessories provided include a baking tray, wire rack, crumb tray, rotisserie rod and tongs.
A huge positive is that the after-sales service is quite prompt and efficient.
Talking about the drawbacks, first of all, there is no light inside. But as the glass is plain, you get a decent view inside. But it would have been better if there were light inside. No recipe booklet is provided. So newbies might find it difficult initially till they get a hang of it. As with all OTGs, the power cord is short. But this is for the user’s safety and can’t really be considered as a defect.
Overall, it is one of the best OTGs and it doesn’t come with a hefty price tag too.