Wall ovens are a great alternative to a traditional range unit. They are designed to provide an excellent fit in any kitchen, no matter the layout or space restrictions. They offer tremendous placement versatility and can better utilize space in smaller kitchens. Wall ovens also eliminate the need to bend over when removing heavy dishes from the oven, helping to minimize strain on your back and making it easier to keep an eye on what you’re cooking. Paired with a sophisticated cooktop they can provide a stylish, modern look for your kitchen. Consider the following questions to learn more about what types of wall ovens are available and which one might be right for you:
• What are the characteristics of gas ovens?
• What are the characteristics of electric ovens?
• What heating mechanisms do wall ovens use?
• How large of an oven do you need?
• Are there any special features you’d like to have?
Gas vs. Electric, Heating Type, Construction and Maintenance
Before choosing an oven, you’ll want to assess your cooking needs and how frequently you plan to use the unit. Wall ovens are available with a vast array of special features that will help save you time in the kitchen and improve the quality of your cooking, such as a delayed-start mechanism or hidden bake elements. Choosing the right combination of features, oven size and heating type will ensure that you can prepare all of your favorite dishes just the way you like them.
Gas vs. Electric: The first decision you’ll need to make when purchasing a wall oven is whether you want a gas- or electric-powered unit. There was a time when electric ovens took a little longer to heat up than gas ovens, but modern machines don’t tend to have that problem. As a result, which one you choose is largely a matter of personal preference and what type of connection you have available. If you don’t have a gas connection handy, you may end up choosing an electric model by default. Consult the chart below to learn more about the characteristics of each type and a few points of consideration.
Points to Consider
|Electric||• Price range tends to start lower
• More models to choose from
• Have comparatively larger capacity
|• Requires a 230/240 V connection
• Price of electricity determines operating cost
|Gas||• Help food retain moisture
• May have electronic controls
• May be more efficient
|• Food may need to be rotated to ensure even cooking
• Fewer units available
• Must be vented outside
Heating Type: Many wall ovens use standard, or thermal, heating technology. It is not, however, the only option available. You can also choose from microwave and convection cooking ovens. Some units even combine different cooking technologies for increased versatility. Convection heating involves moving air around with a fan to cook food evenly from all sides, allowing for a nicely browned exterior and a fully cooked inside. Though convection cooking can prepare food more quickly, the fan may take up room within the oven cavity, slightly reducing the amount of usable space, and it can add a significant amount to the total cost.
• Some ovens feature standard cooking power combined with a separate built-in microwave while others
combine the two technologies into one unit
• Some models utilize standard, microwave and convection heating technology at the same time to reduce
• Ovens with a convection recipe converter automatically adjust cook times for convection heating to ensure
the best results
Construction and Maintenance: If you have a big family, your cooking needs will differ greatly from people who only have to cook for one or two people. Wall ovens are available in both single- and double-oven configurations. Double ovens provide twice the cooking space, making it easier to prepare large meals. If you tend to cook several dishes at once, look for units with multiple rack positions for maximum cooking flexibility. Multiple rack positions also allow you to accommodate larger cookware. When it comes time to clean up after a big meal, you’ll appreciate the ease and convenience of a self-cleaning oven. Removable oven bottoms will also make cleaning easier, as you can pop out the bottom, wash it and then slide it back into place. Ovens are often made of tempered glass or stainless steel, so make sure to use appropriate cleaners for each. Avoid using abrasive cleaners on delicate surfaces and make sure to rinse thoroughly.
• Some wall ovens feature a one-and-a-half oven configuration, with the half oven providing room for such
functions as warming, grilling and reheating
• Double ovens may offer convection cooking in one of the units
• Make sure shelves are level to prevent food from sliding forward
• Width is generally 24”, 27” or 30”
• Wall ovens often come in black, white or stainless-steel finishes
• Removable doors make it easier to get inside ovens to clean them thoroughly
• Oven knobs can often be removed to make cleaning them easier
Accurate Preheat: Many ovens monitor preheating based on a set period of time. Some, however, actually measure the temperature of the oven, indicating that it is fully preheated and ready for use only when it actually reaches the preset temperature.
Delayed Start: When you’re leading a busy life, it’s hard enough finding time to eat dinner, let alone prepare it. A delayed-start feature lets you program your oven to begin cooking even when you’re not home, meaning dinner will be hot and ready as soon as you walk in the door.
Safety Lock: Safety locks are particularly important if you have little ones who like to help bake their favorite treats. A safety lock feature prevents the oven from being used unless it’s turned off, meaning your children can’t turn the heat on and accidentally burn themselves.
Large Window: With a large window, you’ll be able to clearly see food as it cooks without having to open the door repeatedly, helping to prevent overcooking while providing a tantalizing preview of the meal to come.
Electronic Controls: For maximum effectiveness, look for wall ovens that feature electronic controls, which make it easy to set precise temperatures and program timers while helping you take advantage of all of your oven’s functions.
Hidden Bake Element: Cleaning the oven can be a pain, especially if you have a manual-clean oven. If that’s the case, look for one with a hidden bake element, which makes the bottom of the oven easier to wipe down.
Steam Oven: Steam cooking is a newer technology that combines steaming power with standard thermal cooking to heat foods thoroughly all the way through while helping them retain moisture and succulence.