What’s the Difference Between a Cooker and an Oven?


February 12, 2022

Last updated on May 10, 2022


Ever used the word ‘cooker’ when you mean ‘oven’? Did you know there is a difference between a cooker and an oven?


Your oven is actually part of your cooker – the latter is the name for an all-in-one unit, whereas the oven is just one function on its own. So, a cooker is a free-standing unit, whereas an oven is built into a worktop either under a counter or at eye level.

We see and hear the terms ‘cooker’ and ‘oven’ quite frequently thrown about. However, it is essential to note that cookers and ovens are definitely not the same thing!

So, whether you are here because you are designing your new kitchen and would like to know what to look for, or want to settle the debate once and for all, we’ve got you covered. We’ll walk you through what the differences are between an oven and a cooker and give you some tips on how to decide which is the best one for you.  

How Can You Tell the Difference Between a Cooker and an Oven?

Simply put, a cooker is a standalone appliance that contains an oven and a hob at the very least. An oven can either be a part of a cooker or a standalone appliance itself, but simply refers to the function – or the cooking cavity.

So, you could have a cooker containing an oven, or a standalone oven with a separate hob. A cooker contains lots of cooking methods, whereas an oven only caters to one.

Is it Better to Have an Oven or a Complete Cooker?

Whether or not it is better for you to have a cooker or an oven in your home depends on a few things. Here are some of the points that you’ll need to consider before deciding whether you want a separate oven or a complete cooker.

What Kind of Space Do You Have in Your Kitchen?

The space available in your kitchen will make a big difference on whether you get a full cooker or just an oven and a separate hob. When you plan out where exactly you want your furnishings and appliances to go in your kitchen you will see whether or not you want a cooker to take up an entire space, or whether you would rather have an oven inserted into the wall, or into a cabinet.

Depending on how your kitchen is laid out you may find that your installer recommends one or the other – especially if you have a smaller kitchen than most. As you can imagine, an entire cooker takes up more space than an oven and a separate hob!

What are Your Cooking Habits?

If you don’t spend lots of time in your kitchen or simply don’t cook a wide array of meals, then an oven and a hob could be all that you need. However, if on the other hand you love to cook and are more interested in having various different functions and cavities, then setting up a big oven or even a range cooker could be the better option for you. 

You can of course buy ovens that have multiple cooking features, but a range cooker, at largest, will give you more choice (on average).

What’s Your Budget?

Smaller budgets may dictate or even constrict what you’re able to buy. For example, if you want to save money, then buying a whole cooker could cost you less than having to set up a separate oven and a hob set. 

What’s more, depending on the size and energy source of the cooker, its installation could cost you less than having to arrange for two separate appliances to be installed.

However, do consider genuine value. Range cookers tend to be popular, but they do come at a higher price – but many people see them as fantastic value.

Your average range cooker offers you more options than a little when it comes to diverse meals, and they can actually save you money and energy in the long run. For example, it will consume less energy to heat up a pizza in a small cavity on a range, than it will on a big, standalone oven. Consider your long-term costs and usage.

Is Style Important?

Well, yes –  you’re set on keeping a kitchen that matches up and looks great, then style and finish are obviously going to matter. It is true that some cookers can have a particularly modern and classy look – however, depending on your existing interior design, setting up a sleek touch screen hob with a stylish separate oven could be the best move. 

That said, if you are looking for a more rustic, homely feel for your kitchen, then it is worth considering a range cooker. Nowadays, they too come in a wide range of styles – as you’d expect!
Separate ovens can also blend into cabinets nowadays, giving the kitchen a cleaner and more modern look. Crucially, this is where your personality and tastes matter a lot – what are you into?


Choosing between a cooker or an oven doesn’t have to be nightmarish. In fact, if you’re just starting to set up a kitchen for the first time, choosing and shopping around might actually be exciting.

You can completely remodel the style of your kitchen and your own cooking habits by picking between the two. Thankfully, nowadays, there are so many options available on the market that it should be fairly easy to find whatever appliance you want in a reasonable price range, with the right style, features, and size. 

If you are truly unsure about which option is better for you, take a look at a few kitchen layout ideas online, and compare and contrast some of the leading makes and models, too. 

Moreover, if you know friends or family members with different styles of cooking appliances, then you could always ask for opinions and reviews – we all love to share them!

Regardless, whatever appliance you choose will be a long-term investment. That is why it is always worth taking your time and truly decide what is best for you and the people you cook for before committing to a cooker or a separate oven.

About Author