There are fewer reviews of wall ovens than there are of ranges, so ConsumerSearch
has to make do with only seven comparisons. Their recommendations are as follows.
There are many characteristics to consider when buying an oven. The most important of these are: '''fuel''' (gas or electric); '''conventional or convection'''; '''width'''; '''single or double'''; '''racks'''; and '''features'''. Although this guide is specifically about wall ovens, the same characteristics apply to ovens that are part of freestanding ranges
Gas vs. Electric
* The debate about the benefits of gas ovens vs. electric ovens continues.
* Conventional wisdom says that electric ovens are superior to gas ovens for even heating, but improved gas oven technology has all but eliminated this difference.
* In order to have a gas oven, you will need a gas hookup.
* Electric ovens will need their own circuits.
* Electric ovens tend to be more versatile than gas ovens and often come in multi-function models.
* The cheapest electric oven is less expensive than the cheapest gas oven, but both can climb steeply in price for the most advanced and specialized models.
* There are more electric models than gas models available.
Conventional and Convection
* '''Conventional''' ovens rely on one or two heating elements to warm the chamber.
* '''Convection''' ovens have a fan that circulates warm air, reducing cooking time and temperature and keeping the oven at a more even temperature throughout.
** Convection ovens are considered the "professional" level, but you will still get good results with a less expensive conventional oven, as long as you are familiar with the way it works.
** The fan in a convection oven takes up space within the oven. If two ovens are externally identical, the convection oven will have a smaller internal capacity compared to the conventional oven.
Singles and Doubles
* The standard widths for ovens are 24", 27", and 30".
* There are also a few models available in 36" (extra-wide).
* Greater width means greater capacity generally, it is best to buy the biggest oven you have space and money for, because you never know when you will want to cook something larger than usual. (A Thanksgiving turkey, for example.)
* If you are remodelling your kitchen or building a house, you will probably have more options available than if you are just replacing an old oven.
* Remember that convection ovens have less internal capacity than a conventional oven of a similar width.
* A greater '''number''' of racks, plus multiple positions for said racks, will give you greater flexibility while cooking.
* Look for '''sturdy''' racks that will not sag when you put a heavy baking pan with a roast on them.
* Make sure the racks have '''safety stops''' that prevent them from being pulled out too far.
* Ovens that can hold three racks at a time may be especially good if you do a lot of baking, particularly cookies.
* '''Self-cleaning''': practically a standard, almost all modern ovens will have this feature.
* '''Timers''': digital or analog are both available.
* '''Multi-loop baking element''': distributes heat more evenly for better baking.
* '''Multiple settings''': bake, broil, grill, roast, etc.
** Don't get suckered into buying an oven that does more than you need it to do.
** Think about your cooking; will you ever use all of those settings?
** However, high/low broil settings are extremely useful.
* '''Oven light''': food cooks better when you don't open the door to check on it, so you need a light to see it!
* Similarly, a large, easy to see through '''window''' is a necessity if you're serious about your baked goods.
** Look for black mesh white mesh is difficult to see through.
* '''Child safety lock''': standard on any self-cleaning oven.