What to look for in a luxury oven
Fit, finish, and so much more
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Owning a high-end oven doesn’t make someone a chef, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. These eye-catching appliances offer the unique features, reliable controls, and intuitive design necessary to make the very best meals possible outside a professional kitchen. But where do you even begin to decide what’s worth the investment? Here’s what to keep in mind when shopping for a luxury oven.
Should I invest in a luxury oven?
A high-end oven isn’t for everyone—most luxury ovens and ranges will cost you between $3,000 and $15,000, and that doesn’t include installation. You could also pay even more for a specialty design from a luxury brand. If you can’t afford these prices, you’d be better off with a standard range or oven and cooktop combo from a mid-range brand.
But if your wallet permits it and your cooking habits demand it, a high-end oven is a great investment. Beyond their stylish fit and finish, the best luxury ranges from brands like Wolf and Viking often have greater temperature control, more innovative features like true convection and induction, and better overall performance than their less-expensive counterparts. They’re also more energy-efficient and can even increase the value of your home.
If you’re a serious baker or home chef and you have the money, you’re the perfect candidate for one of these premium appliances.
What does a luxury oven look like?
Luxury ovens are well-designed and sport a professional-grade style. But there’s also a lot of variety within the category to choose from, depending on your needs and ideal kitchen design.
High-end wall ovens will sit flush with your cabinets over your countertop, and double ovens will sit one on top of the other in the same position. They may come in stainless, black stainless, white, or other finishes to match your cabinets and other appliances. Some wall ovens offer a unique French door design that adds a bit of old-world style.
High-end ranges sport many of the same oven components that you’ll find in wall ovens, with the addition of sophisticated cooktops. They may have extra specialty burners you wouldn’t find on standard ranges, or unique designs like the star-shaped burners on Thermador’s gas cooktops. They may also sport smooth electric or induction cooktops that make for flame-free heating and easy cleaning.
What really makes a luxury oven are its accents. Well-constructed knobs and dials, burnished handles, intuitive control panels and more turn a standard oven into a statement piece. And if you’re trying to have fun with your space? You can find a bright pink range that looks like it was pulled from the kitchen of a wealthy Victorian—and it will actually work.
What features do luxury ovens have?
A luxury oven will always have a premium fit and finish. These appliances are desirable, not just for their interior and exterior looks, but also for the technologies they include. Here are some of the features you can expect to find in high-end ovens.
- Dual fuel: Unites the control of a gas rangetop with the even baking of an electric oven.
- Induction: Uses an electromagnetic field to heat the pan instead of the cooking surface. Professional chefs have long loved induction cooking, with its speedy boil and consistent temperatures that beat gas and electric.
- True convection: Uses a secondary heating element, in addition to convection fans, to evenly circulate hot air around the oven for a faster, more even bake.
- Steam: In addition to cleaning your oven, steam can be used to evenly defrost, proof dough, bake, and reheat. Steam ovens are increasingly popular in the States.
- Greater temperature range: Lower lowers and higher highs on your stovetop (and in your oven) make it easier to cook delicate sauces, boil water, broil dishes, and get a crisp crust on pizza.
- Speciality programs: Sensor cooking, interval cooking, air frying, and more features are available in high-end ovens.
- Easy cleaning: A combination of steam and pyrolytic cleaning options will keep your oven sparkling.
- Bright lighting: The oven should be well-illuminated for great food visibility.
- Smart features: You can use your phone to set programs, monitor food progress, adjust the temperature, and help diagnose issues.
What brands should I look for?
Brand recognition is important in the world of luxury appliances. Wolf, Viking, Thermador, Miele, Gaggenau, and Dacor are some of best-known brands of luxury ovens and ranges on the market. Wolf ranges are distinguished by those iconic cherry red knobs, and Thermador ranges sport star-shaped burners. Before you purchase, think about how your new oven or range will speak to the aesthetic of your kitchen, then discuss specifics with your designer and retailer.
Does my luxury oven need to be the same brand as my other kitchen appliances?
No, your oven doesn’t always need to match your other appliances exactly—but you’d be wise to go with the same finish and general style. Unlike some fridges, your oven won’t be tucked away and out of sight. If you’re looking for all your machines to coordinate, kitchen appliances are often sold as package deals, which means that everything will match. Equipping your kitchen that way can usually save you some money.
What are some alternatives?
There are plenty of feature-loaded ovens and ranges with higher-end looks that don’t rock as steep a price tag as a true luxury model. GE and Bosch both offer dual fuel models with customizable accents for more affordable prices. But if you know you want a premium oven for your kitchen, don’t hesitate to shop for one—just choose your fuel source and get to shopping.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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