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 dishes.
- 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.