Wall oven buying guide: How to find the best appliance for you
We'll help you choose the perfect oven for all your cooking needs.
Key facts about wall oven:
- Wall ovens slot into designated wall space and can appear seamless alongside fridges, cabinets and other joinery.
- To choose the right wall oven for your kitchen, make sure to carefully measure the space you'll be installing it in.
- Prices typically range from $350 up to $2,500 or more.
Why should I consider a wall oven?
Wall ovens can bake, grill, roast and more. They slot into designated wall space and can appear seamless alongside fridges, cabinets and other joinery. There are alternatives to wall ovens, such as freestanding ovens, microwave ovens and toaster ovens. The advantages of selecting a wall oven are:
- Accessibility. The main drawcard of wall ovens is that they tend to be at eye-level and are easily accessible. You won't need to bend down or arch your back every time you need to check your dish. It will also decongest your kitchen if your oven and cooktop aren't combined.
- Cooking capacity. Double wall ovens give you double the cooking space. Wall ovens can also offer the full range of cooking functions that a feature microwave and toaster oven tend not to supply.
If you're not sure whether a wall oven is for you, be sure to check:
- How much space you have. If your kitchen doesn't already have a space for a wall oven, it can be tricky trying to find one. Having a wall oven also means you need a separate area for a cooktop. If your kitchen is small, it might be better to opt for an all-in-one cooktop and freestanding oven.
- The total cost. If you need to make space for a wall oven, you'll have to pay for to redesign your kitchen before you even purchase the oven. You'll also need to pay for your cooktop to be fitted into cabinetry. This all adds up which is why freestanding ovens tend to be a more affordable option.
What types are available?
There are three standard oven sizes: regular, extra-wide and double.
- Regular (60cm): These are the most commonly found oven size and should fit comfortably within most existing wall spaces. They are great if your kitchen is tight on space and can be purchased across all price ranges.
- Extra-wide (70-90cm): Slightly more uncommon, extra-wide ovens are typically purchased by those who are designing kitchens from scratch. If you want an extra-wide oven, be sure it fits in the designated wall space. Extra-wide ovens can be used for batch baking and larger dishes such as whole fish. Extra-wide ovens often have a control panel in the side, so be sure to measure the internal space of the oven, as you may not be getting as much usable width as you think you are.
- Double. Double ovens are a subsection of wall ovens and come in a variety of configurations. The primary advantage of double ovens is that you can cook on two different settings at the same time. Double ovens can be two, full-sized wall ovens, or they can be one full-sized oven with a smaller model nestled on top.
Choosing between gas and electric ovens often comes down to the connection available in your home. Electric ovens dominate the market and tend to be multifunctional. They are cheaper to purchase and install, but are more expensive to run than gas ovens.
Gas ovens are increasingly uncommon and don't offer the same even cooking experience that electric ovens do. The perceived advantage of gas ovens is that they traditionally allow for more moisture in cooking, while electric ovens rely on drier heat. Most gas ovens don't produce direct heat from the top, so you may have to rotate your dishes, or pick up a grill attachment.
How to compare wall ovens
All ovens should come with at least two oven shelves and one baking tray. Some ovens will include extra attachments, or offer to sell additional shelving at checkout.
The more shelving grooves (levels) there are, the greater your flexibility. Being able to place a dish closer to the top or bottom of the oven allows you to change the amount of browning and crisping on a dish. Having three or four shelving grooves also allows you to cook more food at once. Make sure the shelving grooves are sturdy. Your trays shouldn't wobble or sag.
Make sure you measure the internal size, as it can be noticeably smaller than the external dimensions. Control and heating panels can take up internal space, diminishing cooking room. If you want to be cooking two roast chickens and a tray of vegetables all at the same time, make sure you find an oven with a large internal cooking size.
Look for design features that are convenient for you. Is the door easy to open or is it exceedingly heavy? Is there a large display window? Is there an internal light so you can check on your dishes without opening the door? Is the exterior a surface that is easy to clean, such as stainless steel?
Self-cleaning ovens are a little bit of a myth. They make your cleaning job easier, they don't do the cleaning for you. There are three main types of "self-cleaning" functions, these are:
- Pyrolytic: This function heats the oven to around 500℃, turning food residue into ash that can be easily wiped away. Remember to remove any stainless steel trays and runners from the oven before you crank up the heat.
- Catalytic liners: These absorb fat, usually oil and meat splatters. Make sure you cover as much oven surface as possible for the best results.
- Steam-clean: Fill a baking tray with water and select the steam clean function. It should take around an hour, with all hardened-on food residues loosening due to the steam.
Oven features to look for
Some settings to look out for include:
How to install a wall oven
The best way to install a wall oven is to get a professional to do it. Many oven purchases include installation, but always be sure to double check. Installing an oven is something you want to be done right the first time. When thinking about installation be sure to check:
- Connections. Some wall ovens connect via a powerpoint and some are hardwired. Be sure that the oven you're buying aligns with the fittings available in your kitchen.
- Your space. Measure your space. The worst outcome would be to buy an extra wide oven thinking you have a slot for it, only to find that it doesn't fit. Measure once, double check, then measure again.
- Power ratings. Check with the supplier or manufacturer about the power needed to run your oven. If you're replacing an old oven with a similar model, you should be ok. Again, double check. If you're upgrading or selecting a larger model you may need to get an electrician to upgrade your electrical circuit.
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