What to look for when buying a cooker in Kenya
If you need help choosing a new cooker here in Kenya then look no further.
In this guide, we’ll go through the different types of cookers available in the Kenyan market.
We’ll then go through what you should consider before choosing one.
A cooker is an appliance used for cooking food.
In the English language, the word cooker is used interchangeably with the word stove.
Here in Kenya however, a stove refers to a small portable cooker that uses kerosene.
Let’s first go through the different types of cookers available in Kenya.
In terms of size and design, you have the option of a table top cooker or a free standing cooker here in Kenya.
Table top cookers are the smallest and most compact cookers sold in Kenya. Table tops also have a low price due to the lack of an oven.
Most table top cookers come with two burners for cooking but you can also get a one burner or a four burner table top cooker.
Free standing cookers come with four or more burners at the top and an additional oven unit for baking and grilling.
Free standing cookers cost more than table top cookers. They also take up more space due to their added features.
In terms of power source, cookers in Kenya are powered by gas only, electricity only or both gas and electricity (dual fuel).
Gas only cookers use LPG gas as fuel for cooking. They are very economical and cost less than electric and duel fuel cookers.
Electric cookers are great for baking and grilling but aren’t as economical as gas or duel fuel cookers. They also have the limitation of relying solely on electricity so in the event of a blackout, you won’t be able to cook.
Duel fuel cookers offer the best of both worlds. They come with both electric and gas powered burners for you to use as needed.
Hob: This refers to the top surface of the cooker where the heat comes into contact with the sufuria or pan.
The hob type depends on the cooker’s power source. Gas cookers come with gas hobs, while electric cookers can have sealed plate, ceramic or induction hobs.
Rotisserie/ Turnspit: Cookers with this feature come with a long solid rod for holding food (such as a whole chicken) as it rotates and roasts in the oven.
Thermostat: The part of the cooker that regulates the temperature of the oven. It’s controlled by a knob on the cooker which has temperature labels.
Automatic ignition: Cookers with this feature come with an ignitor that allows you to turn on the gas flame without using matchsticks.
As discussed above, cookers can be gas powered, electric powered or come with an option of both fuel types.
Gas is known to provide immediate heat when turned on. The temperature can also be adjusted easily thanks to the visible flame.
Electric cookers provide a more even cooking temperature than gas cookers. However, they take longer to heat up and you’ll be left hanging in the event of a blackout.
Dual fuel cookers offer the most flexibility as you can interchange the fuel type when needed.
The size and design of cooker you go for will depend on your cooking space and personal needs.
For the cooking space, first determine where you’ll put your cooker. Table top cookers are compact and take up little space. This makes them ideal for small spaces. If you have plenty of space, a freestanding cooker is definitely worth the investment.
Personal needs refer to your household size, cooking preferences and diet. If you love baking and roasting, you’ll need a freestanding cooker with an oven. If you have a large family, you’ll benefit from a cooker with multiple burners.
Aside from simply providing cooking heat, a good cooker should come with features that make your life easier and safer.
Let’s begin with the first thing you’ll be doing to the cooker, turning it on. For gas cookers, always look out for auto ignition or push button ignition. This will save you from the hassle of using matchsticks or portable lighters.
For added safety, some gas and duel fuel cookers come with a hob flame failure device. This device turns off the gas supply to the gas hob if the flame is extinguished or becomes unstable.
For the oven, be sure to check for a timer and thermostat. This will make your baking and grilling life much easier.
Cooker prices in Kenya range between Kshs. 1,000 and Kshs. 120,000. The more you spend, the bigger the cooker you’ll get.
You’ll also get more features but this diminishes after a certain price. Similar to fridges, cookers are long term purchases. As you’ll be using the same cooker for years to come, it’s definitely worth saving up and getting the size, design and features you’ve always wanted.
How will you get the cooker to you house? Most sellers nowadays offer delivery services but always confirm especially if you live a bit far. Confirm the cost of the delivery service as well.
If you’re ordering online, make sure you’ll be around for the delivery or have someone you trust receive the cooker for you.
At all times, do your best to ensure the cooker is handled with care while being moved. Also, check to confirm you’ve received all the necessary parts and attachments.