Cooktop and Wall Oven
Buying Guide

Picture of a cooktop and a wall oven in a nice, large kitchen.
Photo: Bosch
Cooktop and Wall Oven Buying Guide

The Perfect Cooktop and Wall Oven Combo

Swapping a range for a cooktop and wall oven can be an appealing option. The look is sleek and modern plus you have some flexibility where you install the appliances. Place the wall oven at a height that works for you. Install the cooktop over a cabinet that stores pots and pans. But keep in mind that the cooktop and wall oven combination is typically more expensive than a range.

 

The Perfect Cooktop and Wall Oven Combo

1

Factors to Consider

Size: Most cooktops are 30 or 36 inches wide, so that’s what we test. But you’ll find cooktops ranging from 21 to 48 inches. Some have five or even six burners, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have room to use them all at once.

Available wall oven widths are 24, 27, 30, and 36 inches. Wall ovens 30 inches wide are the most common and what Consumer Reports tests. If you’re replacing a wall oven it’s crucial that you measure the wall oven and the cabinet cutout. GE’s website offers step-by-step instructions, which includes removing the screws that secure the oven and pulling it forward an inch or two.

Fuel: Electric wall ovens are the most popular type and what we test. For cooktops, both electric and gas are capable of delivering a fine performance. You may find it easier to judge heat by the appearance of the gas flame, and gas burners can accommodate a variety of pot types and sizes and let you quickly move from a high to low setting.

Electric elements tend to heat faster and maintain low heat better than gas burners. Electric induction cooktops use an electromagnetic field to directly heat pans, offering quick response and control.

In our tests no other technology was faster than the fastest induction elements, but we're talking 2 to 4 minutes faster to bring 6 liters of water to a near boil.

Capacity: There was a time when choosing a wall oven over a range meant you had to settle for a small oven without a self-cleaning feature. No longer. Manufacturers are finding ways to increase capacity in wall ovens, often now comparable to that in a range.

Of the single wall ovens we tested, usable capacity scores (which differ from the figure supplied by the manufacturer) range from fair to excellent. The smallest in our tests is about two cubic feet and the largest is over three cubic feet.

2

Cooktop Types

Choose from electric smoothtop, electric induction smoothtop, or gas. Each has its merits–and its limitations.

Image of a smooth electric cooktop.

Smoothtop

Electric smoothtops are the popular pick. All of the models we tested have at least one high-power burner. Most have expandable dual or triple elements that let you switch from a large, high-power element to a small, low-power element within it. 

There is a lot of residual heat so when reducing the heat it can take a few minutes to really settle at the lower setting. Smoothtops do make it easy to clean up spills, but require a special cleaner, and dropped pots and sugary liquids can damage them. 

Image of an induction cooktop.

Induction

Induction smoothtops use magnetic coils below the ceramic glass surface to quickly generate heat directly to the pan, offering precise simmering and control. 

Magnetic cookware is needed for induction to work. If a magnet strongly sticks to the bottom of a pot, it will work with an induction cooktop. Some stainless-steel cookware is induction-capable, and some isn’t.

Image of a gas cooktop.

Gas

If you prefer cooking with gas, we get it. The flame makes it easier to judge the heat, to get a feel for it, and to quickly move from a high setting to low.

Response time is particularly quick, especially when compared to a smoothtop.

When you turn the knob from high to medium on a gas cooktop, the pot and the food in it experience that change almost immediately.

With most gas burners you can also strike a match to light them when your power is out.

3

Wall Ovens

Most sold are 30-inch wide electric models and that's what we test. They come with single or double ovens. With a model in mind, check the manufacturer's online manual or when shopping read it to find out exact cutout dimensions for the wall oven.

Some user reviews online complain that a wall oven’s cooling fan can make a loud noise. The manufacturers’ websites explain what is normal and what’s not. Check before you buy.

Image of a single wall oven.

Single Wall Oven

Make sure the controls are easy to see and reach, and that the door is at a height that prevents unnecessary bending. 

Image of a double wall oven.

Double Wall Oven

Having two ovens lets you simultaneously prepare different foods at different temperatures. 

4

Features Worth Considering

The more features the higher the price. But some features really do boost safety and convenience.

5

Brands That Matter

This higher-end brand offers a full selection of German-engineered kitchen appliances. Bosch gas, electric, and induction cooktops are priced from $800 to $3,300. Bosch is sold at Lowes, Sears, Best Buy, and independent appliance retailers.
This midlevel, mass-market brand sells a variety of appliances. The line includes gas and electric cooktops priced between $500 and $1,500 and wall ovens priced from $1,000. The appliances are sold through Sears, home centers, and independent appliance retailers. GE Profile: This midlevel, mass-market line includes gas, electric, and induction cooktops priced from $700 to $2,000 and wall ovens priced from $1,000. GE Monogram: This higher-end line offers pro-style gas, electric, and induction cooktops that cost $1,400 and electric wall ovens priced from $1,500. Monogram appliances are usually sold through independent appliance retailers.
The cooking line from this higher-end brand includes gas and electric cooktops priced from $820 and electric wall ovens starting at $1,500. Jenn-Air was the first to introduce self-ventilated cooktops. The appliances are sold through Sears, home centers, and independent appliance retailers.
This high-end brand sells electric wall ovens priced from $1,500 and gas, electric, and induction cooktops that cost $800 to $2,100. KitchenAid appliances are sold through Sears, home centers, and independent appliance retailers.
This luxury maker sells electric wall ovens priced from $1,500 and gas and electric cooktops that cost $1,450. The appliances are sold through independent appliance retailers.
This luxury brand sells electric wall ovens priced from $1,500 and pro-style gas, electric, and induction cooktops that cost $1,725. The appliances are sold through independent appliance retailers.
This luxury brand sells electric wall ovens priced from $1,500 and gas, electric, and induction cooktops that cost $2,200. Viking is considered the original pro-style brand. The company adds premium features to its ovens and cooktops and offers the Professional and the Designer series, both sold through independent appliance retailers.
This midlevel, mass-market brand sells gas and electric cooktops priced between $630 and $1,000 and wall ovens that cost $1,000 to $1,500. The appliances are sold through Sears, home centers, and independent appliance retailers.
This luxury brand sells gas, electric, and induction cooktops that cost as much as $5,200 and electric wall ovens priced from $2,000. Wolf targets consumers who want a pro-appliance look and high performance. These appliances are sold through independent appliance retailers.
Other brands to consider include Frigidaire, Kenmore, and Maytag.
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