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.