Our old range cooker was inherited from the previous owners of the house when we moved in three years ago. To be honest, it was always on its way out - one hob never worked and over time it took so long to cook anything I probably could have gone outside and rubbed two sticks together to create fire to boil a pan of water quicker than the time it took to cook a pizza to a decent standard in that oven. So when it finally packed up completely two days before Christmas (we ended up making roast potatoes in a frying pan for Christmas dinner) it was time to start 2018 with a brand new cooker.
I immediately headed over to AO.com to see what range cookers they had to offer. I'd previously worked with AO on the Revamp Restyle Reveal project so I knew they had an abundance of stock to choose from. One of my favourite things about them is their 'Track My Order' service, which means you can log on and see exactly where your delivery van is on a real-time map, how many deliveries they have to make before yours, and an estimated time of arrival. Perfect for me as even if I am planning to be at home all day, the dog still needs to be walked at some point. I also became quite obsessive about tracking the van, excitedly informing my husband throughout delivery day of just exactly where the van containing our cooker was at that precise time, much to his delight as he gave me another "uh-huh, great" without even looking up.
Our old range cooker had four hobs and was made up of one large oven. This was completely inefficient for us as a family of three who all eat different meals at different times of the day. My four year old is a fussy eater who refuses any food that is not beige and eats at 5pm. My husband and I prefer to eat non-beige food later in the evening, yet as he is a meat-eater and I am vegetarian, we often end up having completely separate meals. One large oven meant that it took a lot of electricity and a lot of time to heat up a meal for one. If my husbands meat was to be cooked at a different temperature to my veggie option one would have to wait and cook their meal after the other. This is why the 3 cavity Chefmaster completely appealed. My sons small meal could be cooked or grilled quickly and easily in the smallest oven. Meanwhile the mid sized fan oven could quickly cook day to day meals for me and my husband. The third long and tall oven would be used at the weekend when having the family over for Sunday lunch, as a variety of foods can be cooked evenly on every shelf. To be honest I've found the three ovens a godsend. As well as being able to cook a small amount of food quickly and easily, I often use the small oven as a plate warmer, or use it to keep food warm while waiting on other food items to finish cooking.
At first I thought having five hobs (four standard hobs and a wok burner) was just an extra luxury we wouldn't really need, but we have found this SO useful. Like most people, we often have stir-fry's in the week as they are quick, easy to make and healthy. However, cooking in a wok on a standard hob meant the pan never got as hot as it should, so now we use the work burner for more efficient cooking of our vegetables. Having a large wok on a four hob cooker also meant that you couldn't really use the other hobs while using the wok. With the wok burner being in the centre of the Chefmaster we now have the space cook separate sides for a our stir fry when we do not want food to mix, such as when my meal will have tofu and my husbands will have chicken.
My husband will probably kill me if he reads this, but there has been a few occasions that he has walked away from the kitchen and left the hobs on after cooking without noticing. This has left him (and me) quite paranoid and we used to check (then check again to make sure) that the hobs are off before we left the house or went to bed! The Leisure Chefmaster comes with a pull-down glass cover for the hobs which instantly cuts off any supply of gas. As long as we can see that is down as we glance in the kitchen, we know all is good. The glass cover also looks super-sleek, keeps general dust off the hobs and means I can place items like oven gloves and tea-towels on the cooker when not in use.
With its eight dials, LED display and black shell, the Leisure Chefmaster looks stylish, expensive (even though it is actually great value for money at under 1k) and modern. We are not really into the country farmhouse kitchen look which a lot of range cookers are designed for. For us, we wanted something much more contemporary and the Leisure Chefmaster ticks all these boxes.
* AO.com were incredibly generous enough to gift us the Leisure Chefmaster in exchange for a honest review. However, all thoughts and opinions contained in this review are completely my own (I'm happily admitting my fear over burning down my own house contributed to my choice of cooker!!) A huge thank you to AO.com and Leisure for ensuring our next Christmas dinner will not have to be cooked in a frying pan.