Wall ovens, designed as companions to counter-set cooktops, allow for flexible appliance placement, maximize space in smaller kitchens, and boast a built-in appearance that generates a contemporary look. Positioned at waist- or eye-level height, wall ovens let chefs quickly see what's cooking and easily retrieve heavy roasts without bending.
Available in widths of 24, 27, 30, and 36 inches, wall ovens are sold as double or single units in white, black, stainless-steel, and bisque finishes. They are equipped with a broiler element and fueled by electricity or gas. Double ovens, which can be stacked or placed side by side, permit simultaneous cooking of dishes requiring different temperatures.
Gas models need to be vented to the outside, are energy-efficient, and keep baked foods moist, but they aren't as prevalent as electric ovens, which bakers prefer because they more accurately maintain temperatures. The electric oven category supplies hundreds of options, with hardworking features in every price range.
Traditional wall ovens might be equipped with convection systems complete with fans that circulate heat and cut cooking times by up to 25 percent. Steam heat and microwave functions are available on a few higher-end wall ovens, while some midrange units combine a standard oven with a separate microwave.
Required cutout depths and widths vary by oven model, so make sure you accurately measure available wall space before heading to the store. Also, compare features and interior sizes associated with ovens in your budget; both can vary widely within a price range. With that said, here's an overview of what your money will buy:
Standard wall ovens, ranging in price from $750 to $1,250, are single units measuring 24, 27, or 30 inches in width with interior capacities ranging from 3.1 to 5 cubic feet. Though some of the less-expensive models need to be cleaned manually, most are self-cleaning. Electronic controls, delay-bake options, automatic shutoffs, and safety locks are found in this price range. Check for models that offer steam cleaning, extra-large viewing windows, and dual-radiant baking and roasting systems that periodically turn the top broiler on and off to ensure even browning and roasting.
Midrange wall ovens, costing between $1,250 and $2,500, provide the features mentioned above and are also available as double oven units and microwave and oven combinations. Many are equipped with convection systems, built-in sensors that make for accurate cooking times, rapid preheat functions, adjustable racks, hearth-shape windows, turntables, melt and soften cycles, and warming drawers.
Top-of-the-line wall ovens, priced between $2,500 and $8,000, supply professional and home chefs with more-is-more convenience. Interiors are larger; there are more racks, and racks are heavier; and temperatures are more precisely controlled. Cooking modes increase, with some ovens providing microwaving, slow-cooking, dehydrating, dough-proofing, pizza-baking, and food-warming functions. Pro-style 36-inch-wide gas and electric single wall ovens with convection systems are offered by high-end manufacturers.
-For maximum design flexibility in your kitchen, try this dynamic duo---- A cook top plus 1 or more wall ovens. Hi. I'm Lacey Howard. -When shopping for a cooktop, your first big choice is gas or electric heat. Gas burners give you greater control, and gas is an economical heat source. Electric burners are less responsive than gas but they're easier to clean. Although many cooks are passionate about gas, the performance gap between gas and electric is shrinking. Whatever your heat source, consider BTU's or British Thermal Unit. Your cooktop should include a choice of burners with different BTU's. For example, 1,000 to 10,000 BTU's is ideal for general cooking. More than 10,000 BTU's is great for boiling, sauting and searing meat, and less than 1,000 BTU's is appropriate for simmering or slow heating sauces. If you want high speed heat, consider including a specialty burner on your cooktop. An induction burner conducts heat magnetically and could bring a pot of water to boil in less than 2 minutes. The standard cooktop is 30 inches wide and has 4 burners, but an array of witthen burner configurations is available. Look for 5, 6 and even 8 burners. Smooth-top cooktops are easy to clean and give your cooking space a streamlined appearance. They can also function as extra countertop space when necessary. Outfit your cooktop with useful features including a downdraft vent that sucks smoke and stain down and out. Downdraft vents pop out when needed and retract when you're done cooking. Continuous grates allow you to easily slide heavy pans from burner to burner. A cooktop drops into a cutout on your countertop as does pop-up ventilation. So plan what storage unit works underneath and around it. Measure and plan carefully, and remember to include adequate ventilation and insulation. -Whether you choose a cooktop or a range, here's a smart but simple tip. Choose a unit with controls in the front. That way, you don't have to reach over a hot burner to adjust the heat.