If you’re considering remodeling your kitchen, creating some additional space, or stepping up your cooking game a notch or two, then you may be thinking about investing in some new cooking appliances.
It’s no exaggeration to state that there are thousands of options when it comes to ovens and microwaves and another multitude of combinations within these options. But there are two popular cooking combos that often leave kitchen shoppers scratching their heads, wondering which one would be best – A double wall oven or a single oven and microwave instead?
Picking the wrong combination would be costly, which is why we’ve done the groundwork for you and investigated the pros and cons of these oven options. Read on to find out more…
What is a wall oven?
Wall ovens are cooking appliances that are built directly into your wall space, positioned separately from your stovetop. They’re usually positioned at a height that works best for the homeowner, meaning no uncomfortable bending over to reach shelves or check on items as they cook.
In terms of design, wall ovens are minimalistic and blend seamlessly into existing cabinetry. They work well in both sleek, modern kitchens as well as more traditional spaces and typically use electricity, although there are some gas models available also.
Wall ovens come in double and single configurations – double ovens allow you to cook more and at different temperatures. Double wall ovens are usually much larger than a double oven you might find built into a range.
The main advantages of wall ovens are:
- Flexibility of design
- Eye-level cooking means no bending over to reach shelves
- Choose either a single or double oven
- Space saving
Single wall ovens
Single wall ovens feature an oven and a grill in the same cavity and are a great option for small kitchens with very little space for appliances.
Although it’s called a wall oven, its compact size means it can be installed under a cooktop, under a counter, or built into a set of cabinets.
Double wall ovens
Double wall ovens feature two separate oven areas, each with its own set of controls which allows two different cooking temperatures at any one time – ideal for entertaining large groups of people or for maximizing your cooking efforts.
Some double ovens offer additional cooking methods, such as convection cooking which uses a fan to circulate hot air.
Double wall ovens are great for large families, as not only can you cook different meals at the same time (anyone with fussy kids will appreciate just how useful this is!) but you can cook loads more food than in a single oven at any one time.
Gas or electric?
It’s an age-old debate and one that still has chefs around the world arguing over but making the decision about whether to invest in a gas or an electric oven can cause serious issues within families!
Here are a few of the differences you’ll need to consider before fully committing to a specific oven:
Typically, the type of power you have available to use in your home will determine which energy source you’ll be able to utilize. Whilst most homes can accommodate an electric oven, you’ll need to have access to a natural gas supply to use a gas oven.
Whilst the cost of gas is increasing at a steady rate, gas ovens are usually more energy efficient than electric ovens and gas is still a cheaper fuel than electric. However, electric ovens have the potential to run on renewable energy and therefore may become cheaper in the future, as well as being the more environmentally friendly option.
If you’ve ever baked in a gas oven, you’ll know they are better at keeping cakes and pastry moist, thanks in part to the small amount of moisture that’s released during the cooking process. Electric ovens produce a much dryer heat which isn’t so good for baking, but much better for roasting.
Modern gas ovens are extremely safe, but when compared to electric ovens there are a few more safety risks gas oven owners should be aware of. Gas appliances can be a source of carbon monoxide poisoning, which is a serious health hazard.
What is a microwave/oven combo?
This winning combination features a single oven with a microwave situated above it. Similar in appearance to a double oven, microwave combos help to maximize the space in your kitchen, clear up your countertops and make meal prep an absolute joy.
Ideal for smaller families or for anyone looking for quick and convenient food preparation, a microwave/oven combo means you can cook and reheat food at the same time.
What are the different types of microwaves
The following microwaves would work well in an oven/microwave partnership:
If you want to add the very latest cooking tech to your kitchen, then a smart microwave will tick your boxes! It’s a microwave that connects to your Wi-Fi and uses this connectivity to do several really clever things, for example, barcode scanning ‘scan to cook’ software that can download cooking instructions, and moisture sensors to ensure your food doesn’t get overcooked, and voice assistants.
Low profile microwaves
Measuring just 10.25cm in height, six inches less than a traditional microwave, a low-profile microwave will fit seamlessly into even the very smallest kitchen. It is designed to fit over the top of a range or built into cabinetry this would be a good option to pair with a single wall oven in a compact kitchen.
Convection microwaves combine the best of convection cooking with the speed and convenience of a traditional microwave. Thanks to their versatility and small size, they’re perfect for an oven/microwave combo and are a good choice for smaller families.
Convection microwaves feature two modes – the first is a standard microwave mode that can cook or reheat food. The second is a convection mode which uses a heating element and fan to evenly circulate heat around the appliance.
Which option is going to be best for my household?
Double wall oven benefits
- Ideal for larger families or people who do a lot of entertaining
- Best for people who like experimenting in the kitchen
- Conveniently situated at a height that works ergonomically for you
- Larger cooking capacity
- Enables easy multitasking
- Situates the ovens within existing cabinetry
Oven/microwave combo benefits
- Solid option for smaller families
- Reduces the number of appliances on countertops
- Quickly makes smaller meals
- Good for reheating food or making ready meals
- Quick to preheat
- Makes good use of space in a smaller kitchen
- Keeps the oven and microwave together in one area
As this article has highlighted, there is a multitude of benefits and drawbacks with both double wall ovens and oven/microwave combinations. You must carefully consider several elements before making a final decision as there could be a number of drawbacks and limitations that could significantly impact your use and enjoyment of the appliances once they’ve been installed.
Double wall ovens would appear to be the best choice for larger families or for anyone who enjoys experimental cooking and entertaining friends and family. This is because of the larger cooking capacity, the ability to use two different ovens at different temperatures, and the convenience of having both ovens situated together.
On the other hand, an oven and microwave combination fitted into a wall will provide the same sleek and modern aesthetic as a double wall oven, but with the added convenience of having a microwave instead of an additional oven. This combination would work particularly well for a smaller family looking for simple meals to be on the table quickly.
And then once you have decided on the right cooking configuration for your home and kitchen layout, you then have the task of deciding which oven type and microwave you need! Nobody said that creating a new kitchen was going to be easy!
Is there an oven with a microwave built in?
If you’re looking to benefit from everything an oven can offer along with the convenience of a microwave, then there are a couple of options for you.
Firstly, you could try a convection microwave which combines some of the features of both cooking appliances – you can bake and cook foods just as you would in a traditional oven, but you can also re-heat them as you would in a traditional microwave.
Secondly, if you’re looking for a cooking solution that will give you more features and a bigger cooking capacity than a convection microwave then an oven and microwave combination would be a great option. The microwave sits above the oven meaning you have all your cooking appliances in one space, freeing up space at the same time.
Can you put a microwave above a wall oven?
Yes! You can absolutely put a microwave above a small oven. In fact, this may be one of the most practical design solutions for many kitchens. It’s aesthetically pleasing, makes good use of space in a smaller kitchen, and means your meals will be positioned at the perfect height whilst they’re cooking.
What does a double wall oven do?
As the name suggests, double wall ovens are two ovens that have been built into a wall, usually within cabinetry. The double oven has two equally sized separate cooking compartments that operate completely independently from each other.
Do wall ovens need a vent?
Whilst electric wall ovens do not need to be vented thanks to their internal ventilation systems, there are some exceptions to this rule: If your oven is going to be situated close to a heat source such as a stovetop then you will need to consider ventilation to prevent overheating.
It’s a good idea to vent gas wall ovens to the outside, but you should check with a certified local tradesman for advice if you are in any way unsure.