The vast majority of wall ovens sold today are single electric ovens. Experts say that electric ovens generally heat faster and more evenly than gas models. However, they may dry food out more if they do not include a convection feature, which uses high-speed fans to circulate warm, moist air throughout the oven space. Convection also shortens cooking time and improves surface browning.
The Whirlpool WOS92EC0A (Est. $1,300) is a full-size oven with an impressive five-cubic-foot capacity and 30-inch width. It comes equipped with an array of convenience features such as convection heating; a hidden bake element for easy cleanup; and a steam-clean option as well as rapid preheat, keep-warm, delayed-cooking and Sabbath-mode settings. It's available in a variety of finishes to fit most kitchen decors, including stainless steel, black, black ice and white ice
The WOS92EC0A aces at baking and broiling jobs, according to testers in one professional review. It's the top rated single electric wall oven there, and is also rated as a Best Buy. The experts at Reviewed.com also like the Whirlpool oven, though not enough to raise it to Editors' Choice status there. Editors praise the keep-warm setting and say it provides the "best balance between accuracy and precision." The setting maintained an average temperature of 185 degrees Fahrenheit. The biggest downside, according to Reviewed.com, is the wall oven took a long time to preheat -- 17 minutes. James Aitchison also complains about the sparseness of the control panel, but allows that those with larger fingers might view that as a plus.
Users seal the deal when it comes to WOS92EC0A. We found nearly 220 user reviews at HomeDepot.com (including reviews that were originally posted at Whirlpool's web site) and those largely paint a rosy picture. While complaints of units that failed prematurely are not unheard of, and we noted a few gripes about issues with the self-cleaning system, those are relatively few. Overall, the wall oven earns a 4.5-star rating, with 92 percent being pleased enough to say that they would recommend this Whirlpool single wall oven to a friend.
While Reviewed.com likes the Whirlpool WOS92EC0A, it absolutely loves the Electrolux EW30EW55PS (Est. $2,350). It's an Editors' Choice and is also named the Best of the Year among wall ovens. Part of James Aitchison's infatuation might have been driven by a price that was some $500 below MSRP at the time of his review. That pricing isn't always available (and it wasn't at the time this report was compiled), but Aitchison also finds that performance, features and design helps make the Electrolux wall oven the best the site's ever tested.
Other reviewers also give generally good grades to the EW30EW55PS, but are a little more reserved in their praise. One large comparative review ranks other wall ovens -- including the WOS92EC0A -- a little higher, but notes that it's very good when broiling or baking, and that no real flaws were found in the oven's overall performance. User reviews are limited -- just under 50 at Lowes.com (and most of those were originally posted at the manufacturer's web site) -- but this Electrolux model earns a solid 4.4 stars, with recommendations from 90 percent of owners.
"When you spend around $2,000 on a wall oven, it's reasonable to expect at least a few bells and whistles, and this wall oven is about as feature rich as they come," Aitchison says. Like all better wall ovens (and ranges for that matter), you'll find a convection feature to speed cooking. Multi-stage cooking lets you program the oven to bake a dish initially, then finish it by broiling, or to change oven temperatures midway through if a recipe calls for that. The control panel simplifies operation by only displaying settings that are applicable to the cooking mode you are using. There are tons of common and not-so-common cooking functions -- including one that promises to deliver a perfectly cooked turkey for Thanksgiving or another occasion, as well as three programmable ones that you can set up for one touch convenience for preparing a favorite dish.
Depending on sales prices in effect at the time, the Bosch HBL8451UC (Est. $2,070) is a little bit cheaper than the Electrolux, and is liked nearly as much. It's only been professionally reviewed by Reviewed.com, but like the EW30EW55PS, it earns Editors' Choice and Best of the Year honors, and a very competitive raw score of 9.8 (versus 10 for the Electrolux oven). User reviews are also similar to the Electrolux, though also similarly limited. At Lowes.com, it earns a 4.5 score after nearly 60 reviews (though, similarly, most of those reviews were originally posted at Bosch's web site).
Like all wall ovens in this price range, the feature line up is rich, and the model includes "European-style" convection. "In layman's terms, it means that along with a upper broiler element and a lower baking element, the oven also has a fan that circulates heated air from a third element," Aitchison explains, adding that the result is "better evenness, particularly for dishes that take longer to cook."
While the majority of electric wall ovens cost more, we did spot a couple that sell for less than $1,000 yet get good to great expert and user feedback. These budget-priced ovens don't necessarily sacrifice performance for price, but they so lack some of the convenient features found on more expensive models -- namely convection heating.
Among wall ovens priced at around $1,000 and below, the Whirlpool WOS51EC0A (Est. $1,000) is an easy top pick. This is a 30-inch, five-cubic-foot oven with a large viewing window. It has six rack positions and comes with two racks. It also has both bake and broil functions as well as Sabbath-mode, delayed-cooking and keep-warm options. The wall oven is equipped with a steam-clean option that "aced" the tough cleaning tests of one professional reviewer, though it might not be the most reliable feature of the oven according to a handful of users. The oven is available in stainless steel, white or black.
In general, experts say that cooking performance is better than the low price tag might indicate. "Whirlpool certainly hasn't cut any corners where cooking performance is concerned," Reviewed.com's Aitchison says. In testing by another reviewer, the WOS51EC0A earns a Very Good rating for baking, and an Excellent rating for broiling. The lack of convection keeps Aitchison from recommending it for every user, but says that it should go to the top of the list for wall-oven buyers on a budget. He's also not sure that the lack of convection is all that big a deal in this model. "The only thing missing from this potent package is a convection mode, but with performance this good, we imagine users will barely notice its absence," he says.
User feedback is largely positive -- the wall oven earns a 4.2-star rating based on nearly 360 user reviews hosted at HomeDepot.com (including many that were originally posted at Whirlpool's site). Two issues seem to crop up with some regularity among those that don't give the oven top marks. One was is that the self-cleaning cycle has reportedly led to some oven failures. In addition, we noted some complaints that the internal fan is a little louder than might be ideal. Still, the majority seems very happy overall, and around 83 percent of owners say they would recommend the WOS51EC0A to a friend.
Elsewhere in this report: