What the best wall oven has
- Good to great cooking performance. It doesn't
matter how fancy -- or expensive -- your wall oven is if it doesn't broil, bake
and roast well. That means consistent temperatures throughout the oven cavity.
- Convection cooking. This cooking
mode continuously circulates air in the oven cavity to allow for faster cooking
times. If you are interested in a double wall oven, look for one that offers
convection in both cavities. However, baked goods tend to turn out less
consistently on the convection cycle than the regular cooking cycle, so if you
bake a lot, this may be a feature you can do without.
- Cooking features that allow
versatility. Sabbath, delay-start and keep-warm modes all add
extra convenience. A built-in temperature probe will help roast the perfect
turkey without under cooking or drying out the meat.
- Enough space to cook everything
without overcrowding your kitchen. The largest double ovens allow for
the most versatility but also eat up a lot of space. If you regularly cook for
a crowd, that's a trade-off that makes sense; if not, a single wall oven might
be a better choice, and they are less costly than double wall ovens. A gas oven
is generally smaller than an electric oven -- 24 inches is standard. That means
it might not fit the very largest bird at Thanksgiving. If your only choice is
a gas wall oven, you may want to consider a second appliance, like a deep fryer, which we cover in a separate report, to save the oven for side
- Features that add convenience but not
confusion. Look for simple but useful features, such as a
timer, an audible preheat alert and a covered element for easy cleanup. Digital
controls can look a little overwhelming at first, but are easy to master and
allow for precise control over time, temperature and more.
- "Smart" controls. Wall ovens
featuring apps that sync with your smartphone are still a bit rare, and that
functionality will add to the overall price of the appliance, but those ovens
that do have them tend to be extremely popular with owners. If you're a person
who loves all things high-tech, it might be worth the splurge.
- A steam self-cleaning option. Self-cleaning is an incredibly popular feature, but traditional cleaning
cycles are long and are prone to giving off unpleasant odors. Many ovens now
offer a fast, steam cleaning mode. These take only 30
minutes or so to complete their job and usually don't come with the toxic fumes
of a regular cleaning cycle. One caveat: steam cleaning is usually only
effective for lightly soiled ovens, so you'll want to use it often.
Know before you go
How big is your current available space? It's important
to know your existing cabinet cutout dimensions to ensure that the wall oven
you choose will fit. Be sure to compare your dimensions with the cutout
dimensions listed for the wall ovens you are considering. These dimensions are
slightly different from the dimensions of the oven itself.
Is a wall oven the right
choice for you? Wall ovens can look terrific and add to the layout
flexibility of your kitchen, but they have their downsides as well. One is
cost. Wall ovens don't outperform the ovens found in good-quality ranges, yet
cost more -- and sometimes substantially so -- plus you'll need to budget
additional funds for a cooktop. And while wall ovens add layout flexibility,
they also add space concerns as you'll need a kitchen
large enough to accommodate both it and a cooktop. If a range might be a
better choice, those are covered in their own ConsumerSearch report. If a wall
oven is right for you, check out our report on cooktops to find top
choices among those.