As part of a general rebuilding of our kitchen, we decided to replace our ancient Rayburn solid fuel cooker with something more modern and easier to use. At first, we looked for a dual fuel range cooker but when we discovered it would cost us the price of the cooker to have a suitable high power kitchen electricity point installed we decided to go for gas. We were also limited by size with 90 cm being the widest we could sensibly accommodate. Wirth out options thus reduced the 90 cm Belling Cookcentre seemed the best solution with Black our choice of colour.
The Belling Cookcentre is available in three finishes: Black, Stainless Steel and Professional Stainless Steel in three sizes: 90, 100, 110 cm. Both ovens of the larger models are wider and there are 7 rather than the 5 hob burners of the 90cm model we bought. There are standard rotary knobs to control the ovens and burners and buttons for ignition and illumination for the two ovens.
The cooker arrived very well packaged in a complicated crate made from wood and polystyrene but both the ignition and light switch buttons were loose in the packaging. Belling immediately sent us two replacements but in fact, these were not needed as the original buttons just clipped in place.
As range cookers go, priced at around £1000, this is a budget model and this is app[arent in the weight and overall feel of the unit. It looks great but the doors feel a bit tinny when compared to a high-end rival and the gas ignition has a separate button rather than the burners lighting automatically when turned on. That aside the appearance and functionality seem fine.
The cooker has five burners of varying sizes including a 4KW Wok burner in the centre. The grill is gas and works well although is low level and hard to monitor when in action and has an automatic fan designed to protect the knobs above the grill from damage. This fan and that for the secondary oven are quite noisy and remain on for several minutes after the burner is turned off. The main oven is gas and at 48L in capacity, I would describe it as medium-sized. More interesting is the secondary oven, 86L in capacity but not very wide and runs almost the whole height of the cooker. This oven is electric not gas and has an air circulating fan. To me, this is perhaps the main selling point of the oven as because it is the only electric powered component the oven can be connected using a standard 13 amp plug. Yes, unlike the majority of dual fuel cookers, this one can just be plugged into a normal wall socket.
In use, the cooker is excellent with just a few minor criticisms. The knobs for the burners and ovens are stainless steel with numbering on them that is very hard to read due to reflections.The fans are quite noisy and stay on for quite a while after ujse.
If you need a dual fuel cooker and don’t have a dedicated electric cooker point, then this could be for you. Likewise, if you need an attractive and well-specified gas range cooker that will not break the bank this one could be a very decent buy. In the month or so we have had it, I have to say we are and remain very pleased with our purchase.