Ovens play a vital role in the kitchen, and you want something that will stand up to your demands. Even when they’re not cooking three meals a day, ovens see a lot of action, so it’s important to consider all your options, like gas or electric, convection or conventional and freestanding vs. slide-in. Whether you’re remodeling or just want an upgrade, use this guide to zero in on the optimal types of ovens for you.
What are the different types of ovens?
Single, double or combination ranges and wall ovens
Ranges come with either single or double ovens, while wall ovens are available in single, double and combination models.
- Single oven ranges and single wall ovens provide a standard single oven cavity in a variety of capacities.
- Double oven ranges feature two separate ovens, typically a smaller on top and a larger below, that can be set to different cook settings.
- Double wall ovens usually contain two ovens with matching capacities, resulting in larger cooking capacity overall compared to a double oven range.
- Combination wall ovens have a microwave on top and an oven on bottom, saving space in the kitchen where the microwave would have been.
Gas or electric ovens
In addition to requiring different power hookups, gas and electric ovens have some distinct benefits. Keep in mind that wall ovens are only available with electric power.
- Gas ranges tend to cook quickly and use more moisture while cooking, making them ideal for bakers. Gas stovetops employ an open flame which can be quickly adjusted for responsive temperature control.
- Electric ranges and wall ovens are known for even, consistent cooking. They use drier heat than gas ovens, making them good for roasting and broiling. Electric range stovetops are flat surfaces with heating coils underneath. They heat up fast for quick boiling and simmering and can often be easier to clean since there are no grates to remove.
Convection or conventional ovens
Convection ranges and wall ovens have a fan and exhaust system that circulates hot air inside the oven to help maintain a consistent temperature, making it ideal for multi-rack cooking. Like conventional ovens, convection ovens can be gas or electric and come in different models with various features. True Convection ovens from Maytag use a powerful third heating element and a sturdy fan to circulate heated air more consistently than traditional thermal bake ovens for ideal roasting and baking.
Conventional ovens, also called traditional, regular, thermal or radiant ovens, have heating elements that are typically located at the bottom and top of the oven. In a conventional oven, the dish closest to an active heating element cooks the fastest. In contrast, a convection oven fan circulates air throughout the cavity and around dishes.
Learn more about the differences between convection and conventional ovens.
Freestanding or slide-in ranges
Freestanding ranges can be found in most kitchens. They feature a backsplash where the controls are located along with finished sides that allow them to be installed on their own or between cabinets.
Slide-in ranges have controls in the front and are designed to sit seamlessly between cabinets for a premium look, which means that most models will have unfinished sides. Without a backsplash for controls, they offer an opportunity to expose more of a tile backsplash. Overhanging sides create clean lines and even help prevent food from falling into the gaps between the cabinets and the range.
Self-cleaning ovens feature a cycle that will use high or low heat to loosen soils inside the oven for easier cleaning. They’re common on all oven types and don’t come with a much higher price tag. Traditional self-cleaning ovens use extra high heat to help burn soils to a powdery ash you can then wipe away. Low heat self-cleaning ovens will often use water and steam along with a special oven coating to loosen soils with less of the smoke and odor that come with high heat cycles.
Steam ovens are often used in combination with standard ovens. They use steam rather than dry heat to cook food, helping lock in moisture and nutrients. Steam ovens are good for gently cooking vegetables, seafood, rice and grains or baking moist cakes. You won’t be able to brown or crisp food in a steam oven, which is why many brands offer combination steam ovens that can switch from a steam to a standard oven.
How do I choose the best type of oven for my kitchen?
Start by thinking through a few key considerations like how much you want to spend, what type of cooking you usually do and which power hookups you have.
PRICES FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF OVENS
Ovens carry a wide price range. For example, Maytag® ranges have an MSRP of around $800 to $2100 and wall ovens around $1900 to $3200. For both ranges and wall ovens, double and combination ovens will cost more as well as models with convection cooking. When it comes to ranges, expect to pay more for gas and slide-in models.
Your cooking habits
Think about what type of cooking you do most often. If you bake lots of pastries and casseroles or when baking multiple dishes, convection ovens help deliver even results and generally offer the best options for many kinds of baking. Double ovens offer more capacity for those who like to make big, multi-dish meals. If you’re a messy cook, consider an oven with a self-cleaning cycle or an electric range with a smooth, easy-to-clean cooktop.
WHAT TYPE OF POWER HOOKUPS YOU HAVE
Most kitchens are set up for an electric oven—all you need is an outlet. To install a gas oven, you’ll need a dedicated gas line, which can be installed for an additional cost if you don’t already have one. There are also dual fuel ranges, which combine a gas cooktop with an electric oven. Learn more about dual fuel ranges.
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