What to know about installing a wall oven
For the most part, wall ovens come in standard sizes, and it should be easy to replace one model with another of the same size. Some mainstream brands offer guarantees with names like Fit Guarantee or Fit Promise, which means that they’ll credit you a few hundred dollars if you need to modify your cabinetry in the course of replacing your oven.
However, every expert I spoke with stressed that installing a wall oven is definitely not a do-it-yourself project. They all said that before you make a purchase, it is essential that you call in a professional to measure and assess the space in your kitchen. If you are putting in a wall oven where one didn’t exist before, it’s especially important to make sure you have the proper electrical connections, and some experts suggested consulting with an electrician.
While any oven will bake or roast your food, there are differences in how well they’ll perform and how convenient they are to use, not to mention how they’ll look. Based on my extensive experience, as well as my conversations with experts and my comparisons of more than 25 single-oven models (as well as their double-oven and combo-oven variants), I think that these are the most important features to look for in a wall oven:
An oven capacity of 5 cubic feet is big enough to accommodate a huge Thanksgiving bird or a half-sheet pan or large cookie sheet, so you don’t need much more space than that. (None of the wall ovens we looked at are large enough to hold a caterer’s full-sheet pan.)
Most wall ovens have an optional convection cooking mode, which uses a fan and usually an additional heating element to speed up cooking and help your food come out crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Most have a feature that can automatically convert the temperature for a non-convection recipe to one that will work best with the convection fan turned on.
Every oven comes with at least two racks, but many models have three. That’s particularly handy for baking cookies or during the holidays, when you’re trying to cram as many dishes into the oven as you can.
Some ovens also have one or more gliding racks on rollers, which are easier to slide out than typical wire racks. This can come in handy when you need to stir a pan of vegetables midroast or take a temperature reading on a chicken, for example.
We think that a high-heat (aka pyrolytic) self-cleaning mode is essential. While several repair technicians have told us that an oven or range’s electronic components can be damaged by high-heat cleaning cycles, we’re not aware of widespread complaints about this from wall-oven owners. If you’re worried about damaging your oven with a high-heat cleaning mode, just don’t use it. But there is simply no easier way to clean a dirty oven. Cleaning an oven by hand, even when you use a fume-free cleaner, is difficult and unpleasant. Some ovens have a steam-based cleaning feature, but I can tell you from personal experience—having tested several ovens with this feature—that it’s not effective for baked-on messes, and it often leaves you with a whole lot of water to mop up. Racks that can be left in the oven during the self-cleaning cycle are also a big plus in our book.
A wall oven is often installed at eye level, so the aesthetics are particularly important, and I took the overall look into account.
Stainless steel is essentially a neutral color in a modern kitchen, and every wall oven I looked at is available in this finish. However, I gave a slight preference to models that came in more than one finish because they give you increased flexibility in your kitchen design.
Round, commercial-style towel-bar handles (rather than curved handles) tend to be popular, and they are a defining feature of many upscale models.
And I noted where ovens can be installed flush with the surrounding cabinetry to give the kitchen a sleeker look. If you are remodeling and aiming for a high-end aesthetic, a flush fit is a good feature to consider.
I also put each oven’s controls through their paces to see how intuitive they were. Most wall ovens come with digital control panels. Some also have color screens that keep the oven looking sleek and help enable high-end features like automatic or assisted cooking modes, which can be useful if you’re willing to embrace them. Knobs aren’t as common as you might expect—they’re usually found on higher-end, pro-style models. Some people prefer knobs because they believe knobs make it easier to select the oven settings than digital controls do.
Finally, I checked for oven doors that opened smoothly and didn’t close with a bang.
Reliability and customer service are difficult to pin down. I took into account some reliability data from J.D. Power and Yale Appliance + Lighting, although neither source is comprehensive.
Over my years of reporting on appliances, I’ve also gathered feedback from repair technicians about the brands they think are the most reliable. While this feedback was highly anecdotal, it was quite consistent when it came to wall ovens.
In addition, I pored over owner reviews to be sure they didn’t reveal any clear, consistent pattern of widespread defects, design problems, or egregiously bad product support.
Almost every oven comes with a temperature probe. In theory this is useful, but to my knowledge, not many people actually use it. A broiling pan is another helpful extra, but these days they tend to come only with high-end ovens. Since they’re either rare or rarely used, I didn’t consider these accessories essential.
Extra cooking modes like delayed start, timed cooking, preset cooking programs for specific foods, and Sabbath mode are pretty much standard in every oven. I don’t get the impression that people use them very much, so I didn’t give them a lot of weight. However, some ovens are beginning to include assisted or semi-automated cooking programs that provide step-by-step directions and, in some cases, photographs of the way your food should look when it’s done. An experienced cook might scoff, but I have plenty of experience myself, and I still appreciate when an oven can give me recommendations on things like the right pan to use, rack position, and cooking time (depending on just how rare or well done I want my roast beef or salmon).
Wi-Fi connectivity is increasingly popular, usually as a way to preheat the oven with your phone or a voice command, or sometimes (more helpfully) for diagnosing problems through an app, so a repair technician will know what’s wrong with an appliance before they arrive to try to fix it.
To be clear once again, we did not test the cooking performance of any wall ovens for this guide. These picks are based on experience, research and reporting, and some time spent pressing the buttons, turning the knobs, and opening the doors in appliance showrooms.
What does convection mean in a wall oven?
A standard oven cavity comes with a heating element in the bottom for baking and a broiler element on the top. Both elements turn on as needed to maintain the set temperature inside the oven. Air does not move much inside the standard oven cavity.
A convection oven comes with a fan on the backwall which helps move the air, so you get even results. You can turn on or off the convection fan in a modern oven to accommodate your recipe.
Over the years, manufacturers added many features to enhance convection cooking. As an example, when you come across terms such as “European” or “True” convection it means that the fan has its own dedicated heating element. This removes the possibility of any cold air pockets remaining in the oven.
Manufacturers such as Wolf with their Dual VertiCross convection or Mieles Dual Convection fans are designed so you can cook on multiple racks and still get even results.
More advanced convection in wall ovens also have the ability to adjust the speed of the fan automatically based on the selected program. As an example, if you are baking pastries you will notice a faster convection fan speed. If you are cooking meat or poultry you can fine-tune for crisp and seared results.
Finally, as air fryers became popular, manufacturers realized that convection in wall ovens could produce the same crisp results eliminating the need for yet another device that clutters your counter. In our review below check out Cafe wall oven for the air fry feature.
There are specialty single convection ovens such as the speed ovens that combine convection cooking with microwave technology; as well as the steam ovens that give you the ability to cook healthy recipes. Since each one of these oven types come with a myriad of features, we thought that it might be the best to review separately.
Most specialty ovens come in a single oven format and can be easily stacked with a convection oven or tucked under a cooktop under the counter.
Many serious chefs like having double wall ovens as it allows them to accomplish more in a given period of time. Over the years, double wall ovens stopped being just two of the same ovens on top of each other. Manufacturers now produce ovens in a combination such as, a convection wall oven with a speed oven, steam oven, or microwave. Thermador even makes a “triple stack” that combines a microwave with a regular convection oven and a warming drawer.
Alhough, the only difference between the French door oven vs. a regular wall oven is the door swing, we think that it is a category that deserves special attention. The reason why we maintain this position is that the ergonomics is sufficiently different in a French door which deserves a deeper look. Therefore, we covered the French door ovens in a stand-alone article.
Ready for our rundown of the best wall ovens with convection available on the market? Here are the freshest, most powerful, and most beautifully designed single oven picks you can get.
Width: 29 3/4″ | Height: 28 5/8″ | Cutout: W 28 5/8″ H 27 5/16″ No flush install | Convection: Yes | Cleaning: Self Clean with Steam Clean Option | Wi-Fi: Yes | Capacity: 5.0 cu. ft.
Why we like it:
Cafe is GEs specialized high-end brand, and this single wall oven from their lineup is a real winner. The first thing youll likely notice is the full-color touch display, which goes well beyond digital number readouts to show full s, a wide range of cooking options, and even disappears completely when not in use.
Youll also love the striking hardware finishes that include stainless steel, black stainless steel, brushed copper, and brushed bronze accents on the handle.
As for the cooking power, youll love the built-in recipe guides and temperature recommendations for specific dishes. The oven even lets you know the ideal internal temperature for a wide range of foods to ensure theyre done, tender, and not overcooked.
In terms of preheating, you can use the Cafe app to get and early start on preheat. Also, many “precision cooking” programs means no preheating time to save you time.
The air fryer replaces oil by a powerful fan that blows hot air on the food. As a results you will get healthier cooking with crunchy and crisp results. All without the mess of deep-frying. Cafe is able to accomplish “air fry” by using the convection fan on a special cycle to target the air to blow from the top. It uses the heating element at the convection fan along with the occasional burst of the broiler.
The Cafe wall oven combines style and substance for a great cooking experience every time, and has one of the most impressive touch displays of any appliance currently on the market. Its a winning model from Cafe overall.
Cafe is working on the dehydration mode for this oven. We expect the programming to be available in early 2020. Thanks to the smart connectivity your oven will get this update automatically.
4) Best Self Clean: Thermador MED301WS
Width: 29 3/4″ | Height: 29″ | Cutout: W 28 1/2″ H 27-28 5/8″ See Specs for Flush Installation | Convection: Yes | Cleaning: Self Clean | Wi-Fi: Yes | Capacity: 4.6 cu. ft. Watch our Exclusive Video Review of Thermador OvensThermador Oven MED301WS
Why we like it:
This high-end Thermador oven features a built-in commercial style rotisserie with 12-pound capacity. How would you like to cook your very own full rotisserie chicken at home, anytime you want? Thermador lets you do exactly that with the MED301WS.
If you want to feel like a master chef in your own kitchen, this oven is a great choice with all the programming it comes with (Bake, Broil, Max Broil, Roast, Convection Bake, Convection Broil, Max Convection Broil, Convection Roast, Dehydrate, Proof, Warm, Pizza, True Convection, Speed Convection, Rotisserie, Slow Roast). Youll love the HomeConnect wifi will allow you to preheat remotely to get you off to the races in no time. HomeConnect app includes many tips and recipes so you can get the most out of your oven.
SoftClose door hinges, easy access 3 telescopic racks provide convenience. Halogen lighting fully illuminates the cooking area.
Quick note on the multi-point temperature probe. Most probes in the market (except for Miele ovens and ranges) come with the ability to take the measurement from a single point at the tip. The new Thermador meat probe takes multiple measurements from 3 different locations which comes in handy on hard to probe types of meat such as poultry.
Thermador also receives high marks for its reliability ratings, excellent customer service, and robust warranty plans that will have you covered in the event that anything goes wrong with your wall oven. You cant go wrong with Thermador, and this single wall oven is a great example of why.
What is the most reliable electric wall oven?
What is the most reliable brand of oven?
Which built in ovens are best?
- Our pick. GE JB735 Stainless Steel. The best electric stove. …
- Runner-up. Frigidaire Gallery GCRE3060A. Similar features, fewer reviews. …
- Budget pick. GE JB645DKWW. Cheaper but still great. …
- Also great. GE Profile PB960. Great double-oven range.