TYPES OF OVENS: A COMPLETE GUIDE

Finding your ideal oven helps you bake, broil and roast your culinary creations just the way you like them. And you’ve got options: choose from freestanding ranges, slide-in ranges, wall ovens, combination ovens, countertop ovens and commercial-style ovens. Then consider things like convection vs. regular cooking, gas vs. electric heat, as well as oven size and style. This guide will break down various types of ovens, their benefits and how to pick one that will enrich your creative process. 

Black built-in appliances in a kitchen with wood cabinets

What different types of ovens are available?

Freestanding ranges

Freestanding ranges feature a built-in backguard where the oven controls are located. With this backguard and finished sides, they can be installed standing alone, between cabinets, or at the edge of the counter with one side exposed. The backguard also helps protect the wall behind the range from grease and food splatters. Freestanding ranges are versatile and models are available with features that run from the most basic to professionally inspired, like KitchenAid brand’s selection of freestanding ranges

Slide-in ranges

Slide-in ranges are typically designed to slide between cabinets or other appliances to create a built-in look and feature easy-to-reach controls in the front of the range. Since slide-in ranges do not have a backguard, they are ideal for installation in kitchen islands or against a wall that features a decorative backsplash. However, since many of today’s slide-in ranges have finished sides, you can now install one almost anywhere in your kitchen. Learn more by browsing KitchenAid® slide-in ranges.

Wall ovens

Wall ovens install directly into cabinets for a seamless, built-in look. They’re often paired with a standalone cooktop which is built right into the countertop, again creating clean lines in the kitchen. Wall ovens are also available in double models, which will generally have more capacity than double oven ranges if you like to cook large, multi-dish meals. Wall ovens can be installed at waist height for easy access when putting food in, checking on it and pulling it out. To figure out if a wall oven is right for your kitchen, explore KitchenAid brand’s full selection or read about wall oven sizes and dimensions

Combination wall ovens

Combination wall ovens combine a single oven with a microwave on top, an option not available in freestanding or slide-in ranges. This configuration can help get your microwave off the countertop or free up space above the cooktop for a decorative hood or more cabinet space. Combination wall ovens also help consolidate cooking tasks, letting you move easily between the oven and the microwave. Learn more about this convenient configuration by browsing KitchenAid® combination wall ovens.

Countertop ovens

If you’re working with limited space, you have options beyond ranges and wall ovens. Countertop ovens are more than toaster ovens and can offer all the same functions of a full-sized oven. For example, KitchenAid® countertop ovens let you bake, roast, convect cook and even air fry all on your countertop. Some people also use these as a second oven when they need more cooking space.

Commercial-style ovens

Commercial-style ovens deliver restaurant-inspired form and function. They pair commercial styling with features like high-BTU gas burners and grill or griddle inserts to help keep up with your creativity. Commercial-style ovens come in a large range of sizes. For instance, KitchenAid offers models up to 48 inches wide as well as more standard sizes like the KitchenAid® 30'' Smart Commercial-Style Dual Fuel Range with 4 Burners.

Slide-in gas range between cabinets

Slide-in ovens vs. freestanding ovens: What’s the difference?

The main difference between freestanding and slide-in ranges is the location of the controls and whether or not they feature a backguard. Freestanding ranges have a backguard that doubles as a control panel, while slide-in ranges do not have a backguard and all controls are located on the front. You can find both types of ranges in gas, electric, induction and dual-fuel options with a wide selection of features and functions. Learn more about the benefits of slide-in ovens vs. freestanding ranges.

Bread and a roast cooking in the oven

Convection ovens vs. regular ovens

A convection oven features a fan that circulates hot air inside the oven and around dishes to help promote even cooking and multi-rack baking. A regular oven doesn’t have a fan. Another type of convection, called True Convection, offers a third heating element in addition to the fan, usually located in the back of the oven. Even-Heat True Convection by KitchenAid uses a unique bow-tie design that circulates hot air throughout the entire oven for flaky baked goods, juicy roasts and caramelized vegetables.

What is the best type of oven for baking?

There is no best type of oven for baking—it will depend on the type of dish you’re creating. For instance, electric ovens tend to have drier heat than gas ovens so will be better at browning things like biscuits, while a slightly more humid gas oven will help keep breads and cakes moist. 

Convection ovens are good for bakers because they let you choose between a traditional bake or a convect bake. Convection cooking circulates hot air around dishes, which is better for multi-rack cooking like big batches of cookies or pastries. However, you may want to skip convection when cooking dishes that benefit from the stillness of conventional cooking, like yeast breads that rely on the expansion of air bubbles to rise. Learn more about the art of baking with the guide to creating crusty bread.

Man chopping green onions on an island

More to consider when comparing different types of ovens

Style & Finishes

White, black and stainless steel are the most common color options. You can also upgrade to a fingerprint-resistant exterior finish, which is available on most ovens today, often in both traditional stainless steel and black stainless steel. Or opt for something unconventional, like KitchenAid brand’s selection of commercial-style ranges in nine creative colors

What fuel hookups you have

Most kitchens are set up for an electric range or oven—all you need is a 240-volt outlet. To install a gas oven, you’ll need a dedicated gas line, which can usually be installed if you don’t already have one. There are also dual fuel ranges, which combine a gas cooktop with an electric oven.

KITCHENAID HAS THE RIGHT TYPE OF OVEN FOR YOU

 

 

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Black slide-in gas range between cabinets

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