Blog by Beebe Cline

<< back to article list

Find the Right Oven Arrangement for Your Kitchen

In the classic range setup, the cooktop and oven are combined as one appliance, most often a 30-inch appliance with four burners above an oven. The idea of being able to have a separate wall oven (or two!) is pretty exciting for many home cooks thinking about a kitchen remodel.

Are you considering new cooking appliances? Not everyone's dream setup will work in his or her kitchen, and some appliance configurations work better than others in a given space. Check out the options here.

Related: How to Remodel Your Kitchen
Double oven. Ovens separate from the cooktop offer homeowners more flexibility with their layout. Also, many people prefer raised ovens rather than having to bend down to use a range oven. It's definitely better on your back! If you've got room for this arrangement and can find a spot for your microwave, this is a great setup. In a kitchen like this, a microwave drawer hidden on the back of the island is a great solution. The main sink on the island allows for the sleek electric cooktop to be located on the back wall.

Variations: Double ovens typically come in 24-, 27- and 30-inch widths; the overall heights vary.
Stacked double oven. This is the most familiar setup, and most manufacturers carry versions of this appliance. Most cabinet manufacturers also offer standard tall oven cabinets for this type of appliance. The double oven unit often has one or two drawers below; the appliance is about 10 to 16 inches or so off the ground, including the toe-kick space.
Single oven, microwave and warming drawer combo. This arrangement is also pretty typical. It's terrific if you've got room for a tall cabinet. (I like it best next to other tall pieces, like a refrigerator pantry, as shown here.) This setup is also a great way to make the room for all three of these appliances. I even like to do this with a range so you get an extra oven. This kitchen shows this option with a cooktop and an oven below in the island instead, which makes sense for this kitchen.
Raised side-by-side single ovens. This is an arrangement seen more frequently in modern and contemporary kitchens. It's possible that your cabinet company may offer a single-oven tall cabinet. You can do two of these side by side and make the upper and lower sections a food pantry.
In some modern kitchen designs you'll see slightly raised single ovens set side by side, alone or with a warming drawer underneath. This can be used as a design element — it gets you a bit of raised, bar-height counter space so you don't lose all that to a couple of tall cabinets. In this kitchen the design creates a semiopen space with the raised ovens; the framing around the refrigerator unit creates a room partition of sorts.
Base single ovens, alone or in tandem. Another arrangement is a separate wall oven or two in base cabinets. Shown here flanking a range top is a pretty unusual setup. Some might ask why not just do a 60-inch range with two full-size ovens and more burners? Sure, that would work, but in this case the homeowner is getting a bit more counter space.
A setup with two single ovens side by side with base cabinets also works, and it allows you to keep more counter space as well as opposed to having a tall cabinet. Also, some kitchens just don't have the room for tall cabinets, which can make a kitchen feel smaller.
A single wall oven set in a base cabinet under a cooktop is also an option, but be careful — not every combination of this setup works with every manufacturer. You need to make sure there's room for the cooktop to fit above the oven.
In addition to the well-known built-in oven options, there are a few unique models that take you off the beaten path. This 36-inch gas wall oven with French door access is a commercial-style wall oven for the home kitchen.
Rotisseries are fun accessories for your wall oven. My husband went through Cook's Illustrated and its multiple chicken roasting techniques: rotisserie, grilled, grilled on a beer-can stand, in a roasting dish trussed and nontrussed, turned and not turned — try it out for yourself and find your favorite method!
Full extension racks à la the kind you get in your cabinet rollout shelves these days are welcome wall oven accessories.
Don't have room for more than one wall oven? Get two in the space of one.
Steam ovens are a fabulous new addition to the appliance market. Healthy cooking, moisture without added fat and being able to proof bread are just some of the perks that come with this clever unit.