If you’re in the market for a new wall oven, we’ve got you covered. Frankly, it’s slim pickings out there for energy efficient, eco-friendly ovens, but we’ve done the digging and found the two best of the best. Here are my top picks for the best wall ovens in 2020, rated for energy efficiency, performance, and all-round eco-friendliness. You can read about our unique research process here.
Below, we offer our top overall pick for a wall oven. If you want more detail, including technical specifications, scroll down for more extensive reviews.
Best wall oven – Smeg
The Smeg SOU330X1 (View Price on Amazon) is an ergonomic, sleek, stainless steel multifunctional oven with 10 cooking modes (including Warming and Dehydrate) and a self-cleaning cycle, meaning that the oven is highly insulated. Indeed, while the temperature can reach a maximum of 554°F inside the oven, the Safe Cooler Door feature means that during the cleaning cycle the outer door glass becomes no hotter than 131°F. The concealed bake element makes for easy cleaning. With precision even at the low temperature of 86°F, the Smeg SOU330X1 is an excellent wall oven for fans of sous vide cooking. It’s also an unbeatable choice for those who like to proof their bread in the oven prior to baking as it has a dedicated Proofing function.
The best wall ovens – in depth reviews
Smeg SOU330X1 Classic Aesthetic 30-Inch Stainless Steel Electric Multifunction Wall Oven (Overall Winner)
Highlight: An attractive, high-performance wall oven from a trusted European brand.
Smeg products are a little hard to find in the U.S., which is a shame as this European company is known for its high-performance, energy-efficient, safe, and attractive kitchen appliances. Thankfully, Smeg USA offer the Smeg SOU330X1 Classic Aesthetic 30-Inch 4.34 cu, Stainless Steel Electric Multifunction Wall Oven (View Price on Amazon).
This ergonomic, sleek, stainless steel multifunctional oven has 10 cooking modes (including Warming and Dehydrate) and a self-cleaning cycle, meaning that the oven is highly insulated. Indeed, while the temperature can reach a maximum of 554°F inside the oven, the Safe Cooler Door feature means that during the cleaning cycle the outer door glass becomes no hotter than 131°F. The concealed bake element makes for easy cleaning.
With precision even at the low temperature of 86°F, the Smeg SOU330X1 is an excellent wall oven for fans of sous vide cooking. It’s also an unbeatable choice for those who like to proof their bread in the oven prior to baking as it has a dedicated Proofing function.
The Smeg SOU330X1 also features a Fast Preheat Cycle (8 to 12 minutes), which helps save energy and time. It also has True European Double Convection, which means that the oven has two vertically positioned fans, and a circular element. This enables much greater consistency of temperature throughout the oven and no flavor transfer when cooking multiple dishes at once. This feature also means that there’s no need to preheat the oven if your dish will take longer than 20 minutes to cook, and less energy is needed – your food cooks 10 percent faster than in a standard oven.
There are 6 possible rack positions, and the oven comes with a telescopic guide, grid insert for tray, grid top, enamel tray, and a meat probe. There’s a Pizza Function, Intensive Broil Function, and Circulaire Function, so you can meet all your cooking needs, whatever you’re making for dinner. There is also a Defrost System enabling quicker thawing of frozen food without the use of any heat.
Other attractive features of the Smeg SOU330X1 include finger-print proof stainless steel, high-quality control knobs and a touch panel and digital display. This model has a Sabbath mode, which can be activated to override the automated oven switch-off when door is open, and the Child Safety/Control Lock function to minimize the risk of accidents.
Why Smeg get the top spot
Where Smeg really shine is in their safety, sustainability, and environmental policies. The Italian company strongly adheres to and aims to exceed European safety standards for eco-friendly manufacturing practices. The company’s headquarters has won awards for its environmentally-friendly design and policies, which include not building on more than 30-33% of the site, so as to foster habitat conservation (the company also planted more than 4,000 plants).
In addition, Smeg are very selective in all the components and materials that go into their products. They deliberately choose steel, glass, aluminum and brass, where possible, as these can be easily recycled.
Smeg also fully comply with the EU directives RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances), and REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemical Substances). These lay out strict restrictions on the use of hazardous materials and substances such as lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium VI, polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). They also regulate the handling of chemical substances to help protect human health and the environment as much as possible.
Smeg are committed to choosing eco-compatible suppliers. They also use recyclable packaging and take steps to make their transport/haulage more environmentally friendly. Smeg have also committed to further reducing water consumption, emissions, electricity, and packaging materials and have policies in place for improved waste management systems.
On top of all these great steps, Smeg produce kitchen appliances with high performance and low energy consumption top of mind. And, they have their own Quality, Health, Safety & Environment (QHSE) policy, which fully complies with UNI EN ISO 9001, UNI EN ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001 standards. The EU directive UNI EN ISO 14001 outlines the requirements for the adoption of an environmental management system, helping a company draft corporate policy on eco-sustainability and pollution, specifically looking at optimizing the use of energy and natural resources, and quality systems for waste disposal.
GE Cafe CT9070SHSS French Door single wall oven – 30 inch
Highlight: A high-end, high-performing, and attractive built-in oven.
The GE Cafe CT9070SHSS French Door 5 cu, 30-inch, single electric wall oven (View Price on Amazon) is a high-end, high-performing, and attractive built-in oven. It offers European Convection Cooking Capacity, a Self-clean With Steam Clean Option, and Wireless Control with WIFI Connect. The double French door makes it easy to check on food and remove heavier items without having to lean over or around a hot door. In fact, the French door system is so easy to open that you can use just one hand: open one door and the other opens too!
The quality of construction is obvious with this model. Stainless steel and glass make for robust construction, and a well-geared door system ensures an excellent seal. The knobs are plastic, though, but they don’t feel flimsy at all, and they look great! One other excellent feature of this wall oven is the effective forward interior light which allows you to get a great view of your food cooking. The oven also has a smart feature that tightly regulates temperature in convection mode, so you don’t have to do any conversions when following a recipe.
The GE features a glass touch control panel and a dial for oven mode and other settings, of which there are many to choose. This model has a bread proofing mode, demonstrating the oven’s ability to maintain precise temperatures even at the low end. Indeed, the convection system combines a hidden bake element in the floor with two additional elements and two fans. This allows you to select the right combination to meet your cooking needs. There’s also an in-built temperature probe and you can program the oven using an intuitive smartphone app. The GE has a certified Sabbath mode, Control Lock for safety, and miswire detection.
The steam-clean option will save you time and energy when the oven just needs a quick clean. And, while I don’t recommend using the self-clean mode, its presence means that the GE has excellent insulation. This makes it energy efficient and safer as no part of the exterior gets excessively hot, even during Self-Clean mode, which suggests that the oven’s wiring isn’t at risk of frying. If you do use the self-cleaning function, you don’t need to remove the 3 heavy-duty racks. These are enamel coated and smooth glide thanks to heat-proof graphite. This model offers 6 rack positions and 1 full extension option.
Any downsides to the GE Cafe?
The one downside to this wall oven is that it shouldn’t be mounted under a countertop of cooktop, nor flush to the surface of the cabinet, for safety reasons. It can, however, be installed above a warming drawer or mounted above or below a microwave oven. It’s also a good idea, as with any new oven, to read the manual and properly calibrate the temperature. This model seems to be about 5-10 degrees hotter than the readout for most customers. Before you use this oven to cook for the first time, give it a quick clean yourself and then run the self-cleaning mode for 2 hours to burn-off any factory residues.