The 7 Best Convection Ovens of 2023
Our top picks include countertop and set-in models, microwave and toaster combos, and air fryers that provide faster, even browning and crispy exteriors.
Food & Wine / Russell Kilgore
You may have heard ovens referred to as either ‘conventional’ or ‘convection’ — sometimes both. But an oven is an oven, right? Not exactly. There’s a significant difference in how these ovens heat, making them specialized for different cooking techniques. The most common examples of convection that most are used to are toaster ovens and air fryers, though some ovens have convection settings built right in.
So why buy a convection oven? One word: crispy. Convection is perfect for getting that golden brown and delicious crust on everything from crispy-skinned chicken to drool-worthy roasted potatoes. The circulating heat cooks food faster and yields even browning to achieve that crave-able, crispy exterior. We surveyed the market for the best convection ovens out there.
Pros: We loved the smart features of this model, as well as the zoned cooking.
Cons: This oven is an investment.
With a bit of resourcefulness, this appliance can replace nearly every other appliance in your home — and a few you didn’t even know you needed. There are over 7,000 different settings that this oven can be set to via its own app. Due to its smart size and zoned cooking, you can cook on two separate levels, perfectly cooking several different ingredients at once. The ample settings take the guesswork out of cooking; no more burnt or undercooked veggies. Simply select the item on the touch screen, and the oven uses the pre-set specs to do the rest. Meat, especially poultry, can be tricky in any oven, but with the built-in temperature probe, this oven cooked every piece of meat to perfection and not for a second more.
Price at time of publish: $1,195
- Dimensions: 17.3 x 16.4 x 11.3 inches
- Power rating: 1800W
- Weight: 54.9 pounds
Pros: This model is affordable and provides easy-to-use controls for basic toaster oven functions.
Cons: This oven isn’t well suited for big jobs.
This compact toaster oven gives you such a great bang for your buck, you might be surprised at all this little oven can do for its low price. We love the easy-to-read buttons and controls, how the temperature and time gauges are simple to navigate, and how the presets come in handy for quick cooking. This oven is ideal for anyone who isn’t looking to spend a lot or take up much premium counter space. It excels at crisping up frozen fries, making even toast, and reheating last night’s pizza — perfect for the causal toaster oven enthusiast. That said, we wouldn’t recommend endeavoring to make a whole chicken or sheet pan dinner in this oven: It just doesn’t have the size or versatility in heat settings to pull off more complicated cooking tasks.
- Dimensions: 14.5 x 13.5 x 13.75 inches
- Power rating: 1300W
- Weight: 7.5 pounds
Pros: This model heats up fast and cooks evenly, and we love its high-capacity cooking area.
Cons: We don’t like how hard this oven is to clean.
It’s no secret that Ninja is one of the leaders in countertop appliances, and once you use this toaster oven, it’s easy to see why. While still maintaining a compact footprint, this oven is spacious enough to fit an entire chicken. Plus, it fits two racks, so it’s perfect for any family-sized recipe. Like many other Ninja appliances, this oven heats up fast and cooks incredibly even. We think the heating elements here are nearly perfect. The only downside is that this oven can be tough to clean. The runners that the racks fit into can get greasy or covered in baked-on food, and their shape means a lot of elbow grease is necessary.
- Dimensions: 17.09 x 20.22 x 13.34 inches
- Power rating: 1800W
- Weight: 33.6 pounds
Pros: We loved that this oven had multi-stage cooking settings and other standard microwave and convection options.
Cons: It takes a while to preheat.
This microwave convection oven has all the settings you’d expect from a basic microwave, like a popcorn button and defrost setting, but with an extra set of convection buttons for things like roasting and pizza. You can even grill in this device. One of the best features is that it’s programmable for multi-stage cooking, so with just a push of a few buttons, you can easily transition from defrosting to roasting. But just know that it might take some time, this oven takes longer than many others to preheat.
- Dimensions: 12.2 x 19 x 21.2 inches
- Power rating: 1000W
- Weight: 38 pounds
Pros: The extra equipment is a plus, and we loved the performance from the mighty fan.
Cons: This oven is on the pricier side for air fryers.
What sets this air-fryer-toaster-and-convection-oven-in-one apart from others is the fan. The ultra-powerful fan circulates the hot air much faster and more evenly, giving this oven top marks for power and consistency and reducing cooking time even further. It’s more expensive than many other air fryers, but if you ask us, the high price tag is worth the outstanding performance. Though it’s slightly smaller than similar ovens, there’s room for multiple racks, and it has a pizza pan, broiling pan, roasting tray, and an air fryer basket included.
- Dimensions: 21.5 x 17.5 x 12.7 inches
- Power rating: 1800W
- Weight: 38.9 pounds
Pros: We loved the smart oven capabilities and the no-preheat feature of this oven.
Cons: Consistent wi-fi is necessary to use all the cook features on this oven.
If you’re looking to replace your wall-insert stove and oven and want the flexibility of convection built right in, this oven is the best choice. The smart features set this oven apart: You can control your oven from your phone — even if you’re away from home. Preheat the oven on your commute home or program the built-in temperature probe to stop the cooking when the roast is done. This is especially helpful if you have to run out to grab something at the store. Unfortunately, some features are only available when connected to wi-fi, which can be annoying if your connection is spotty or out entirely. That said, we also loved the no-preheat air fryer function. Just pop in your food, and you’re ready to go — no wait time or special basket needed.
Price at time of publish: $2,999
- Dimensions: 29.75 x 26.75 x 28.75 inches
- Power rating: 4300W
- Weight: 161 pounds
Pros: We loved the versatility of this oven and the rotisserie basket that can also be used for air frying.
Cons: This oven is extremely loud.
Most rotisserie ovens are unitaskers — great for chicken but not so handy when it comes to much else. But not this oven: Use the rotisserie function for the best roast and quickly transition to air-frying frozen fries in the tumble basket and proofing bread. This model is an excellent choice for a household with a rotisserie enthusiast but needs a countertop appliance that pulls its weight in other tasks. This oven has a powerful fan, which is useful for even cooking, but unfortunately, it is extremely loud.
- Dimensions: 13.75 x 14.37 x 13.23 inches
- Power rating: 1500W
- Weight: 17.5 pounds
For the best of the best, reach for the Brava Countertop SmartOven for its easy-to-use smart features and convenient zoned cooking. If you’re looking for a compact oven for a great price that can still crisp up chicken tenders with ease, then the Panasonic Toaster Oven FlashXpress is for you.
Factors to Consider
Are you looking for an oven that fits into the wall or on the countertop, or in a cabinet? Are you likely to use it to crisp up a few chicken nuggets or rotisserie cook a whole chicken? Size and capacity are two of the most important factors when shopping for an oven. It’s critical to consider how much space you have to store the oven and where you want to store it. Additionally, thinking about what you want to use it for informs the capacity you need.
When it comes to installation type, your two options are either countertop or wall installation. Pros and cons exist, and your lifestyle and preferences will dictate your best choice. If you rent, likely, you won’t be able to cut into the wall and install a convection oven. But if you’re a homeowner and want to use convection heat often, you might want to consider a full wall installation the next time you replace your stove. If you’re new to convection or just want to use it sometimes, a countertop model is for you.
One of the significant benefits of the small appliance renaissance we currently find ourselves in is that anyone can find a product with the specific features they want. Anyone in the market for a convection oven can find a model with an extra setting they know they want to use. Dehydrating? Broiling? Roasting? No problem! Even a setting for a pizza oven isn’t uncommon to find. Some extra settings will be enticing and a reason to buy, but some will be things you may not use and aren’t worth the price. Knowing what you like to cook and what you plan to use your oven for can really help narrow down which extra settings will be right for you.
When shopping for a new oven, check out the additional features and equipment that come with it. Some convection oven tasks, like rotisserie or pizza making, require special equipment. If you know you’re all about that crunchy exterior on every tater tot, an added air fry basket may be a good investment. If you’re looking for something an app can control to make cooking hands-free, smart features are a worthy addition.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the difference between a convection oven and a regular oven?The regular oven most of us have in kitchens are conventional ovens, and you may have even seen a ‘convection’ button floating around next to the self-clean button and wondered what exactly it means. Conventional ovens work by either an electric coil element or gas flame heating the space in the oven. Convection heat, however, utilizes a fan to move the heat around. This eliminates hot and cold spots in the oven and provides an environment where the entire food surface is heated evenly and more quickly than in conventional ovens.Paul Sidoriak, cookbook author and cook behind GrillingMontana.com, says the most significant difference between these two, besides the mechanics, is efficiency. “Convection ovens have powerful fans that circulate hot air around your food. This allows food to cook a bit faster and more efficiently than in a conventional oven. Convection ovens also often take advantage of dual heat sources both above and below the food.”
- What are the different types of convection ovens?Convection is usually categorized as “European” or “true” convection and “American” or “standard” convection. American convection has a heating element, usually on the bottom, and a fan at the back of the oven to blow the heat around. European convection is set up much the same as American convection but has an additional heating element behind the fan. This provides extra heat that helps with more even heat throughout the oven area.
- How do you clean a convection oven?There’s not much difference between cleaning a convection oven and a conventional oven or other countertop heating appliances, like microwaves. The most important thing to remember is to turn the oven off, unplug it, and let it cool completely before getting started. Two-time James Beard Awards Semi-Finalist, Chopped Champion, and executive chef Frontier and Ina Mae Tavern in Chicago, Illinois, Chef Brian Jupiter, also gave us this helpful cleaning tip: “Make sure there is no dust or impurities on the fans as these will fly all over the oven if it is turned on.”The best way to clean them is also the easiest: warm water, dish soap, and a kitchen towel. Wipe down the exterior with a damp towel or any disinfecting wipes you like. To clean the interior, start with any big pieces or wet spills. Then, go in with a wet towel and some dish soap. Finally, wipe with water and dry thoroughly.
- What shouldn’t I cook in my convection oven?Convection ovens are incredibly versatile, and there’s not much they can’t do. One limitation, though, is recipes with lots of liquid. Because convection utilizes powerful fans to move the heat around, it’s best suited for things that need to be golden brown, so things like braises don’t come out as well as they do in conventional ovens. Delicate baked goods, like cakes, custards, souffle, or cheesecake, are also not well-suited for convection since they require delicate heat and no disruption to cook up properly. Chef Yester Banuchyan of CookOnMonday, a site dedicated to helping people learn to cook, would never put her baked goods in a convection oven. “The airflow will dry them out, and the surface especially will have an unpleasant and dry texture.”Finally, anything that needs to be cooked low and slow for several hours isn’t a great match for convection. The whirling hot winds inside a convection oven can dry things out during long cooking periods. This movement of heat cuts down on cooking time, so ‘low and slow’ dishes might end up with an over-cooked exterior and under-cooked interior in a convection oven.
- What kind of cookware can be used in a convection oven?Any cookware used in a regular conventional oven is safe for a convection oven. That said, some materials are better than others. Nonstick or dark metal pans aren’t ideal since they conduct heat better than lighter metals and can overcook food in contact with the pan. Aluminum sheet rays and bakeware perform best in convection ovens. Pyrex or oven-safe glass is also a good choice for convection.
Additionally, Nick spoke to several experts about their thoughts on convection ovens. Paul Sidoriak of GrillingMontana.com focuses on grilling and meat cookery for the home cook and has a background in butchery. Yester Banuchyan of CookOnMonday helps demystify cooking for the new and enthusiastic home cook. Brian Jupiter of Chicago’s Frontier and Ina Mae Tavern is an executive chef and can speak to the industrial side of convection ovens.
Better Homes & Gardens / Marcus Millan
When it comes to cooking food quickly and evenly—even across multiple racks—nothing gets the job done quite like a convection oven. These appliances rapidly circulate hot air to accelerate roasting and baking, which results in better browning and crisping of your favorite recipes. These ovens preheat quickly to save you time in the kitchen, and you can cook meat, vegetables, casseroles, and even desserts with this handy appliance.
When shopping around for the best convection ovens on the market, there are several things to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to consider the size of your space and how large of a convection oven your kitchen can accommodate. According to Frederik De Pue, chef and owner of The Henri in Washington, D.C., and Flamant in Annapolis, MD, it’s also important to consider what you intend to use your oven for most often.
“The first question people should ask themselves when buying a new oven is, ‘what is comfortable for me?’,” De Pue says. “Pricing grows fast once you add all that is needed to build a kitchen. Buying one single stove that fits your needs can save lots on installation costs.”
We created a list of the best convection ovens on the market for every kitchen and recipe. After extensive research, our top pick out of all the best convection ovens is the KitchenAid Electric Range with Self-Cleaning Convection Oven. We chose it because of its sleek and stylish frame, 6.4-cubic-foot capacity, and ability to cook, bake, and roast, evenly on multiple racks.
Why You Should Get It: It’s a large-capacity range, with true convection, five heating elements, warm zone, and it self-cleans, too.
Keep in Mind: It can be easier to accidentally burn yourself with flat-top ovens.
If you’re looking for a new range, our top pick for the best convection oven will make a reliable addition to your kitchen. The KitchenAid Electric Range with Self-Cleaning Convection Oven was thoughtfully designed to make your life easier, whether you cook on a daily basis or only when entertaining guests.
Its true convection ability provides quick and even cooking, roasting, and baking, and there are five heating elements on the cooktop to multitask. There’s even a warming zone to keep dishes toasty while you finish up the rest of the meal.
It has a sizable capacity of 6.4 cubic feet, which means that you can put several foods on different racks and have them all cooked evenly at the same time. This range also converts the correct convection temperature for you, saving you the hassle of calculating the difference between it and a conventional oven.
The self-cleaning setting gets the oven spick and span in less than an hour—no scrubbing needed. Plus, its sleek flat-top design allows you to easily wipe it clean after every use.
Though it’s a freestanding range, this KitchenAid has an average 30-inch width that can easily slide in between your kitchen cabinets for a seamless look. When it comes to appearance, this oven has a sleek appearance, satin-textured handles, and a tall built-in backsplash with a digital display. It’s available in stainless steel, black fingerprint-proof stainless steel, or white to suit any kitchen style. It also features a lower storage drawer for all those trays, racks, and extra pots and pans.
Keep in mind that the back panel is quite tall compared to other ovens, so it may stick up above your existing backsplash. It’s also important to pay attention to whether or not the surface of your convection oven is hot or not. Because of its flat-top design, it can be easier to accidentally burn yourself or to set something down while the cooktop is still hot.
Price at time of publish: $1,599
Why You Should Get It: This small but mighty countertop oven has an impressive capacity.
Keep in Mind: It tends to get quite hot on the outside—have those oven mitts at the ready.
Around the same size as your average microwave, the Hamilton Beach Stainless Steel Countertop Convection Oven is a budget-friendly way to get the benefits of a convection oven without having to change out your existing range. Though it only has an approximate one-cubic-foot-capacity, there are two adjustable cooking racks that can accommodate two 12-inch pizzas, two 13-inch casserole or cake tins, or 12 slices of bread for toasting.
There’s a revolving rotisserie function that allows you to roast a whole 5-pound chicken of in it comfortably. It comes with all the rotisserie accessories (lifter and skewer) you’ll need, along with two cooking racks, two baking pans, and a broiler rack—quite impressive extras given the unit’s price. This toaster convection oven has an automatic shut-off after two hours for safety and peace of mind, and there’s a removable drip tray for easy cleaning.
For avid chefs, this can still come in handy and serve as an extra little oven, a backup to your range, or a place to bake the desserts while your main oven is dealing with the first courses.
This small appliance can get quite hot when in use, so use extra caution when working near it, and keep it well out of reach from children and pets.
Why You Should Get It: It has a wide variety of capabilities to effectively cook nearly any recipe.
Keep in Mind: You’ll have to purchase a propane converter separately if you don’t have a natural gas supply.
Ideal for larger households, cooking enthusiasts, and even professional chefs, this commercial-style gas range with a convection oven from Cosmo is our splurge-worthy pick of the best convection ovens. Its sleek, contemporary design lends itself well to a wide variety of kitchen styles, and its precise cooking capabilities make it well worth the price tag.
This 36-inch range features a six-cubic-foot oven capacity, so there’s plenty of room to cook for a crowd—whether you’re hosting holiday dinners or meal prepping multiple dishes at a time. Six sealed gas burners range in size and heat capacity, ranging from 9,000 to 18,000 BTUs, making it ideal for a wide range of cooktop needs.
Its rapid and powerful fans allow for even and speedy convection cooking, and a removable backsplash makes it simple to convert from a freestanding range to a slide-in model. Two oven racks and six rack positions let you cook multiple dishes at a time or fit a large dish inside without any trouble.
We also love the Cosmo Commercial-Style Gas Range and Convection Oven for its superior safety features such as a cooling ventilation system that helps rapidly dissipate heat once you’re done using the appliance. It also has a cool-to-touch handle that helps you avoid getting burnt and a thick, triple glass door.
The oven is made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel with a mirrored finish for an elegant touch in your kitchen. It also has a black porcelain cooktop and a stainless steel handle. The range’s seven knobs are backlit with blue LED lights, and there’s a large see-through door with oven lights so you can easily see how your cooking is coming along.
It’s made for a standard natural gas connection, but you can purchase a propane converter separately if you’d like all the benefits of gas cooking but don’t have a natural gas supply at home.
Price at time of publish: $2,600
Why You Should Get It: The smudge-proof stainless steel makes this oven super easy to keep clean.
Keep in Mind: The optional ReadyCook Air Fry Tray must be purchased separately.
If you prefer air-frying your favorite recipes instead of deep-frying them, the Frigidaire Gallery Electric Range with True Convection is a great convection oven with built-in air fryer capabilities. This freestanding oven offers faster, more even baking compared to traditional ovens thanks to its third heating element and powerful convection fan that distributes the heat throughout the oven.
The oven’s air-fry mode gives you all the cooking benefits of countertop air-fryers—such as fast and easy cooking, crispy “fried-like” foods, oil-free meals—with none of the arduous cleanup. The cooktop sports five elements in various sizes, with a large, 3,000-watt quick-boil element that can heat up a pot of water in mere minutes. There’s also a warming zone to keep food hot while all members of the family settle down at the dinner table.
We love that the oven is simple but modern, with a smudge-proof stainless steel exterior that’s easy to keep clean. This means you won’t have to worry about constant marks on your appliance. The conventional oven setting also has fast pre-heating, and a temperature probe is conveniently included. Inside, there are several rack positions that allow you to cook multiple dishes at once.
To keep the interior of your oven clean, use one of several self-cleaning functions, including a quick steam clean. The drawer underneath this oven allows you to store all your baking trays. Although you don’t have to use one, there is an optional ReadyCook Air Fry Tray that promises to achieve perfectly crispy results every time, but this doesn’t come with the oven.
Price at time of publish: $1,249
Why You Should Get It: You want the benefit of convection cooking without having to give up your existing range.
Keep in Mind: The glass on the door is dark and there is no interior lighting, so you can’t see what’s cooking inside.
It may be small, but the Galanz Countertop ToastWave Convection Oven is actually four useful appliances in one handy package. This microwave, convection oven, air fryer, and toaster oven is the perfect solution to small-kitchen woes with a budget-friendly price to boot.
The microwave has an inverter and sensor to both cook and heat foods quicker and more evenly than competing models, and it can also defrost, and broil dishes. You can perfectly cook toast and grilled cheeses to your liking—light, medium, or dark—with the toaster oven setting, and the true convection allows you to cook your favorite recipes or enjoy baked goods. The air fryer allows you to fry dishes with little to no oil, and it even comes with an air-fry kit which is super easy to clean.
There are 11 power levels, and the display shows the clock and cooking time. The appliance comes ready to use straight out of the box, with no assembly required, and the instructions are straightforward. Also included is a silicone cooking mat and a silicone-based (non-Teflon) non-stick turntable tray.
Why You Should Get It: The included heavy duty oven racks
Keep in Mind: The baking elements are exposed, making them harder to scrub clean by hand.
With the largest capacity on our list of the best convection ovens, the GE Double Oven Convection Electric Range boasts an impressive 6.6 cubic feet of combined cooking space in its two ovens. The two ovens work independently of each other, allowing you to simultaneously cook multiple dishes using different settings and at different temperatures.
The sleek, flat cooktop has five heating elements—one of which is a handy warming zone to keep foods warm while other dishes are still cooking. The smaller, upper oven has a capacity of 2.2 cubic feet, which is perfect for cooking casseroles, baking desserts, or making pizza. However, the bottom oven has a 4.4-cubic foot capacity and can comfortably hold up to three trays of food, or even a large 24-pound turkey.
The oven includes three heavy duty racks. The lower oven also has air fry mode, which is suitable for using with broil-safe cookware (darker pans are recommended for better browning and crisping.)
The steam clean function removes light messes in just 30 minutes without the need for cleaning detergents or chemicals, and you can leave the racks in, too, to release any stuck-on residue.
Price at time of publish: $1,348
Why You Should Get It: It’s a reasonably-priced conventional range with convection cooking, air frying, self-cleaning, and smart capabilities.
Keep in Mind: It may not be worth the price tag for someone who won’t use the Wi-Fi features.
Whether you cook a lot or prefer to stick to the basics, the LG Electronics Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Fan Convection Electric Range Oven is a great appliance for any home. This smart appliance is Wi-Fi enabled, and once connected to an app on your phone, you can operate the oven, set timers, and check how your dinner is cooking remotely.
The app provides instructions that make cooking meals super intuitive, and it even allows you to troubleshoot if you face any issues. You can even operate it with voice command via Amazon Alexa, or Google Assistant.
The LG Electronics Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Fan Convection Oven has an impressive capacity of 6.3 cubic feet, allowing you to cook for a crowd without any trouble. It has five cooktop elements on the stovetop, two that you can adjust based on the size of the pan you’re using, and indicator lights let you know when the surface is still hot so you don’t burn yourself. There’s also a warming zone to keep your dishes hot after cooking.
The window on the oven’s glass door is quite large, so you can see everything going on inside with no blind spots, better ensuring even cooking. It comes with two standard racks, and there’s also a roomy storage drawer at the bottom.
Easy-to-use glass controls make operating this range a breeze, and its smooth fingerprint- and smudge-resistant stainless steel finish is easy to clean by simply swiping it with a soft cloth. Keep in mind that, if you don’t intend to use the Wi-Fi connected features very often, you’ll be able to find a convection oven with everything you need at a lower price. We don’t recommend this model to someone who wants an appliance without bells and whistles.
Price at time of publish: $1,049
Why You Should Get It: If safety features are at the top of your priority list with any appliance, you’ll appreciate this oven’s child-lock and auto-shut off settings.
Keep in Mind: It’s a slide-in range.
A large 6.3-cubic foot capacity allows you to cook several courses at once, and its wide-view windowed door lets you clearly see what’s cooking inside.
As our choice for the best convection oven with safety features, this range has a built-in timer ensuring you never overcook your meals, a hot surface indicator letting you know that the cooktop is not safe to touch, and a child lock that won’t allow the oven door to open when it’s on.
There’s also an adjustable automatic shut-off option that will shut the oven down after extended use. Additionally, there’s a delay start option and a Sabbath mode that will disable the lights, audible alerts, and only allow the bake feature to work.
The oven’s steam clean function can get a quick clean without chemicals in just 20 minutes, and the self clean option provides for a deeper clean—which is recommended around once a month, depending on oven use.
The hidden baking element makes for even easier cleaning, and the exterior is made from fingerprint-resistant stainless steel that allows you to wipe away smudges with ease. The oven comes with a one-year warranty on parts, and five years for the electric cooktop.
Keep in mind that this oven is a slide-in range, not a freestanding model, so it may not work in some kitchen spaces.
Price at time of publish: $1,799
The Bottom Line
The KitchenAid Electric Range with Self-Cleaning Convection Oven is our top pick for the best convection oven. This is a beautiful freestanding range with true convection to cook quickly and evenly, and it even converts the convection temperatures automatically for you. It features a large 6.6-cubic-foot capacity, five cooktop heating elements, and a self-cleaning capability.
What to Know About Convection Ovens Before Shopping
There are many different types of convection oven on the market, and the dimensions and capacity of each depend on the style you go for. Countertop convection ovens are typically similar in size to an average microwave, around 15 to 20 inches in width and 12 to 17 inches high, with a capacity of anywhere from 0.5 to 1.6 cubic feet.
Slide-in and freestanding ranges with convection are usually sized at 30 to 36 inches in width and 30 to 47 inches in height. Capacity for these ranges can start at around five cubic feet and go all the way up to 6.5 cubic feet—or even more for commercial, professional-grade ranges.
“The space one has in their kitchen often dictates the size of the oven they might have to work with,” De Pue says, “but for me, it is nice to have at a width of at least 24 to 30 inches.”
Maximum Heating Temperature
The best convection ovens usually have maximum temperature capacities of 450°F to 550°F. According to De Pue, this should be more than enough for your recipes.
“Most of these ovens come with the same options, from convection baking, roasting, broiling, air frying, etc., and there is so little in general that requires the maximum temperatures to cook,” De Pue says.
Your Questions, Answered
The best convection ovens can be used to roast meats and vegetables, make baked goods such as cookies, cakes, pies, and pastries, and even casseroles too—provided they’re covered so as to not lose too much moisture. You can even use it to toast bread and grill sandwiches.
“Convection ovens are pretty much great for everything we want to bake, ranging from pastries to whole fish and roasts,” De Pue says. “I will generally cook with convection, so the item in the oven is cooked evenly and in a shorter time.”
Can you put glass in a convection oven?
“Yes, you can put glass in a convection oven,” De Pue says, as long as the overware is oven safe up to the temperature required. “There are glass oven trays like Pyrex, which are suitable,” he says.
How is a convection oven different from a conventional oven?
The main difference between a conventional oven and a convection oven is that a conventional oven has heating elements at the top and bottom of the oven, whereas a convection oven also has a fan that helps circulate the hot air throughout the oven. This allows you to put several dishes in the oven on different racks and cook them evenly without the need for rotating.
“A convection oven provides a more even cooking experience,” De Pue says. “Conventional ovens either bring heat from the bottom or top of the oven, so the items tend to cook unevenly.”
Who We Are
This article was written by Kat de Naoum, who has over ten years of commerce writing experience. Kat is also the commerce editor-at-large at Thomas-Xometry, the leading U.S. online platform for supplier discovery and product sourcing.
For this article, Kat reviewed multiple convection ovens, researching factors such as each oven’s dimensions, capacity, maximum heating temperature, and wattage. She also spoke to Frederik De Pue, a Chef and the Owner of The Henri in Washington, D.C., and Flamant in Annapolis, MD.
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- Convection Ovens Reviews and Buying Guide
Convection Ovens Reviews and Buying Guide
Ovens are one of the most important pieces of equipment in a restaurant kitchen. Depending on the volume of customers and the cuisine you serve, you may have several ovens in your commercial kitchen, including convection ovens.
Convection ovens offer many benefits to restaurants. Let’s look at what these ovens are, how they work, and some of our top models.
What is a Convection Oven?
A convection oven is designed to cook foods more evenly and quickly. It works differently from a conventional oven, which uses radiated heat from its heating elements to cook food.
How Does a Convection Oven Work?
A convection oven uses a fan and exhaust system to circulate hot air around the food and eliminate cold air space.
Generally, convection ovens deliver a more consistent and uniform temperature, allowing food to cook more evenly and more quickly. Any food that you would normally cook in a traditional, radiant oven can be cooked in a convection oven.
How To Use Convection Oven
Convection ovens have similar controls to a traditional oven, but they should be used a little differently when cooking food.
When using a convection oven for restaurant kitchens, there are a few important things to know:
- Cooking time is reduced by up to 25%.
- Cooking temperatures should generally be reduced by at least 25 degrees.
- Using cooking pans with low sides will help improve air circulation.
- Some foods, especially baked goods, may cook very quickly and should be watched carefully.
What to Consider When Buying a Commercial Convection Oven
When choosing an oven for your restaurant, there are several important things to consider.
American (Traditional) vs. European (True) Convection Ovens
When comparing convection ovens, you’ll likely come across two terms:
- American (Traditional): The traditional convection oven is similar to a radiant oven in that it has heating elements above and below in addition to the fan to keep warm air circulating.
- European (True): The true convection oven adds an extra heating element that sits in front of the fan to heat the air that is being blown. These ovens tend to have even more uniform temperatures and quicker cooking times.
Types of Convection Ovens
There are two main types of convection ovens: countertop and floor. The right one for you will depend on the size of your kitchen and the type of food you serve.
- Countertop: These are, essentially, convection microwave ovens. They’re compact, easy to install, and come in a few different sizes. Countertop models are ideal for cooking pizzas, baked goods, snack foods, and sandwiches. In addition, they’re ideal for food trucks, quick-serve restaurants, convenience stores, and concession stands.
- Floor: These ovens come in a variety of configurations, and just as the name suggests, they are freestanding. You’ll find half and full-size options, as well as single- or double-deck ovens.
Conventional restaurants will likely choose a floor model, but countertops are a great option if you have a quick-serve restaurant or only need a convection oven for occasional use.
- A pure electric convection oven is the easiest to incorporate into a restaurant kitchen because anyone can use it. However, high-powered models may consume a lot of energy.
- Natural gas ovens require the appropriate connections and are typically the cheapest option. They heat up more quickly than electric ovens, but they still require electricity to run the fan.
Weigh the pros and cons of each power option carefully to choose one that will meet your efficiency needs and budget.
Convection ovens come in different sizes:
- Single or Double Deck: Single deck floor models typically have space underneath for storage, equipment, or accessories. Double-deck models are better suited for high-volume operations, as they allow for double-digit racks to be placed inside simultaneously.
- Standard or Bakery Depth: For high-volume operations, models with a “bakery depth” are typically the best option. They have an interior cavity that is 4″ deeper than the standard oven. Pans can be loaded more strategically to maximize airflow. Deeper convection ovens do require an additional exhaust system.
- Full or Half: A half-size oven is ideal for a lower-volume operation, whereas a full-size oven is better for most operations. They can hold five or more standard sheet pans.
Restaurant Convection Ovens Reviews
With the above points in mind, let’s compare and review some of our top restaurant convection ovens.
The AX-HYBRID+ is a full-size convection oven with digital controllers. This model comes with five full-size sheet pans, 99 cooking programs, and a precise core probe. With this convection oven, you can easily roast, fry, gratin, and reheat food. With a power output of just 5.6 kW, this electric oven is highly efficient.
The Nemco GS1200 is a countertop model that can hold three quarter-size pans. This compact model is ideal for restaurants that bake in small batches. The stainless steel cooking chamber is durable and easy to maintain, and the oven can reach temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Turbo Air RBDO-23
The RBDO-23 is an electric convection oven with 2 trays and a digital display. With this versatile oven, you can grill, roast, and bake with ease. For bread baking, the steam injection and stone plate option help produce a crisp crust. Each shelf in the unit can accommodate up to two 16″ x 24″ trays.
These are some of our best convection ovens for restaurants, but they are just a few of the many available in our online shop. With their efficiency and enhanced performance, a convection oven is a great addition to any restaurant kitchen.
The Spruce Eats / Will Dickey
You don’t necessarily need a big, hefty kitchen appliance like a wall oven to do the heavy lifting in the kitchen; the right countertop models can churn out all the power you need to complete a wide range of cooking tasks, from toasting and roasting to baking and broiling. Plus, they require a lot less power than traditional ovens, which makes them much more energy-efficient. To determine which of the most popular models are truly the best, we tested and rated them on performance, ease of use, features, and more—see the winners below.
What We Like
- Uses half the energy of an oven
- Can fit two whole pizzas
- Convenient digital settings
- Easy to clean
What We Don’t Like
- Exterior gets extremely hot
- Glass door is delicate
Though countertop ovens are generally more energy-efficient than wall ovens or oven-stove combinations, this particular model uses an extra-impressive 50 percent less energy while still giving you great results. In our tests, it cooked a juicy meatloaf in just 45 minutes (compared to an hour in a standard oven).
Size is usually the big disadvantage of a countertop oven over a traditional one, but the Oster Extra Large truly lives up to its name. It can accommodate two 16-inch pizzas, 18 slices of bread (seriously!), or—as our tester demonstrated—a full family-size chicken. It has a maximum temperature setting of 450 degrees, and its 90-minute timer automatically turns the oven off in case you get distracted.
It’s easy to use, thanks to convenient digital settings for baking, broiling, toasting, and defrosting. There’s also a dedicated pizza function as well as a warming feature to keep food hot while the rest of your meal cooks. Our tester was particularly fond of the glass door, since it offers a large view window to let you see what’s cooking without having to open the oven, but she did warn that it’s a bit delicate. The bottom line is: Any family would be hard-pressed to find a more spacious option with higher efficiency.
The Spruce Eats / Sage McHugh
“One thing I really love about this oven is how easy it is to clean. The control panel is entirely digital, so there are no dials, knobs, or crevices to collect dirt and grease.” — Sage McHugh, Product Tester
- Exterior gets hot
- Short power cord
- Only one rack
Though many countertop ovens will run you a few hundred dollars, this introductory model is much more affordable. Still, you’ll get plenty of the features and cooking power people love about higher-end models.
As a big bonus for anyone with a small kitchen, this oven is extremely compact and lightweight—it weighs just over 8 pounds-this makes it extremely easy to move in and out of storage. The only downside is that the lightweight construction means the oven isn’t as heavily insulated as some others, so it gets hot on the outside during cooking.
If you can look past that, you’ll be impressed by this oven’s capacity. It easily fits a 9-inch pizza, four slices of bread, or a variety of other snacks and meals. It also has five convenient cooking functions: warm, bake, toast, broil, and air fry. (Previous models didn’t have the ever-popular air-fry option.) As a bonus for anyone just building out their kitchen—college students, recent grads, newlyweds, and so forth—this model comes with a rack, baking pan, and air-fry basket that fit perfectly in the toaster oven for convenience.
Performance is surprisingly good, too. We found that bread toasted evenly, frozen food cooked well, and chicken legs cooked adequately using the air-fry function new to this particular model.
The Spruce / Donna Currie
“While this isn’t going to do as much as one of the large, expensive models, this does a great job with the tasks it’s built for.” — Donna Currie, Product Tester
- Excellent temperature calibration
- Center rack pulls out automatically
- Includes helpful accessories
- Can handle a 12-inch pizza
- Only one wire cooking rack
- Needs circulation space on both sides
Though you’ll pay a hefty price for this countertop oven, it’s well worth the money. The 1,800 watts of power and optional convection heating help to roast meat, toast bread, and bake in less time than traditional countertop ovens. The smart heating system provides more consistent power, so your food is cooked to perfection each time. Altogether, this model boasts nine different preset cooking functions, including a “slow cook” option that can cook food for up to 10 hours.
We were impressed by the LCD screen and tested the various cooking functions by making pizzas, casseroles, cinnamon rolls, and homemade pies, with each test coming out perfectly. It also outperformed expectations when it came to baking cookies, which are notorious for cooking unevenly in small oven spaces. You can even modify the presets to customize any function.
This machine has an interior light that automatically turns on when the door is open, and it even comes with a baking and broiling tray as well as a nonstick pizza pan. If you’re worried about this multi-functional oven looking clunky in your kitchen, we found the stainless steel exterior attractive, and it has an unexpectedly low profile that makes the appliance look sleek and modern—not bulky. Plus, you could always opt for the mini version if you’re really short on space.
The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie
“I have to be honest: I fell in love with this oven from the first pizza. After using it to make bread, steak, casserole, turnovers, and more, I was amazed with its prowess.” — Donna Currie, Product Tester
With the most basic model costing over $1,000, this a big-time splurge, but for those willing to pay the price for convenience, it’s a worthy one. Inside the Brava, your dishes get cooked to perfection by six high-powered halogen lamps that heat to 500 degrees in less than a second. That’s right: The Brava cooks by using light.
We found that we could also cook two different dishes at different temperatures at the same time, which quickly became a favorite feature. The oven has three zones—each with two lamps—that can be customized individually and really can maintain separate temperatures in separate zones.
Price at time of publish: $1,295
The Spruce Eats / Renu Dhar
“After learning how to use the Brava, I quickly fell in love with the custom cook feature. Once I cooked something and touched it up for some extra searing or to reduce the doneness, I was able to add it as a custom cook to save for the future.” — Renu Dhar, Product Tester
- High heat to mimic wood-fired ovens
- Multiple pizza settings
- Manual control for infinite options
Since this particular countertop oven is designed specifically for pizza, it has a slightly different aesthetic than other models. It has a retro design that’s attractive in an industrial sort of way. Outside of looks, the design is convenient enough, since it’s wider than it is tall, which makes it easier to store under your cabinets. If you want to store it between uses, it’s easy to transport, but heavy.
Though functionality is limited—it’s a pizza oven designed to make pizza and not much else—it does very well at what it’s meant to do. There are actually a variety of settings available, designed for a range of pizza styles including frozen pizza, pan pizza, New York pizza, and “wood-fired” pizza. In our tests, it made phenomenal frozen pizza with crispy bottoms and well-browned tops. We also found that this was the ultimate machine for nachos (tortilla chip-based pizza, essentially), as it produced still-crispy chips with gorgeously melted cheese.
One of its few downsides is that it’s slightly hard to clean, and its included metal pizza peel doesn’t work as well as a wooden one. That said, it was the most efficient and fuss-free way we have ever made pizza.
Price at time of publish: $1,000
“I’ve made pizzas at home several different ways, from the large oven to a countertop oven to an outdoor oven, so I’ve got a lot to compare it to. Breville’s Smart Oven Pizzaiolo was undoubtedly the easiest.” — Donna Currie, Product Tester
- Recognizes a wide variety of foods
- App includes video recipes
If you’ve looked at the June Oven before, you might think, “Wait, that doesn’t have a rotisserie function,” but it’s a new feature included with the release of the Generation 3 version. The June is an incredibly versatile countertop oven that can do everything from toasting and air frying to proofing dough and acting like a pizza oven. What’s more, it has a compatible smartphone app that allows you to watch a live feed of what’s cooking via an internal camera.
During testing, it continued to impress whether we wanted to heat up leftovers, toast English muffins, or bake cookies. No matter what we placed in the oven, it recognized the food and gave the correct options for cooking. We also tested the new pizza function, which baked and broiled pizza to crisp precision.
Of course, the rotisserie function truly wowed. The function is a little hidden, but once you place a chicken in this oven, it will recognize it and begin rotisserie cooking. Unlike cheaper rotisserie-only ovens, many of which get messy inside, this doesn’t spin the chicken. Instead, it turns elements on and off, mimicking a spit. The result is one of the best roasted chickens we’ve ever seen in testing, but you’ll pay for that functionality: The June is also one of the more expensive countertop ovens out there.
“The heating elements turn on and off, mimicking the way a rotating chicken heats and cools. The result was one of the best roast chickens I’ve made.” — Donna Currie, Product Tester
- Ease of Use
- Ease of Cleaning
- Produces excellent french fries
- Cooks up to 3 pounds of food at once
It may surprise you to learn that some of the best air fryers aren’t dedicated air fryers, but countertop ovens with air-frying functionality. Such is the case with this model by Cuisinart, which “fries” food to that golden brown, crispy perfection using super-hot air circulated by an ultra-powerful fan.
We found this to be one of the most compact versions of air fryer/oven combos, and it performs exceptionally well as both. It does run a little hot, so even though french fries and chicken tenders came out golden and tasty, a few were a little too well-done. When roasting chickens to test for versatility, this model produced a crispy skinned bird that was also delicious and juicy. The controls are all manual and the inside was a bit tricky to clean, but we found it a very worthy purchase.
“The roasted chicken we made was so incredibly delicious. It really achieved great golden (dark) results, gorgeous crispy brown skin, and a delicious taste—not dried out.”
Breville makes all kinds of technologically advanced countertop kitchen equipment, and it’s no surprise our list includes more than one of the brand’s models. The Smart Oven Air Fryer adds air frying capacity to all the many functions of the standard Smart Oven we feature above, with an according increase in price. After testing, we named the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer one of our top picks for air fryers, and it’s also a top pick for countertop ovens. We found that it did a great job with both oven functions, including baking cookies, and air fryer functions, such as making incredible french fries.
The machine can fit a 13-inch pizza, nine slices of bread, or almost an entire bag of frozen fries. We were impressed by how easy it is to clean, with a removable crumb tray and fully disassemble parts that all clean off with a simple rinse or wipe. Another nice feature is its many color options, which will match any kitchen. Just be careful with the door: Its glass gets quite hot while in use.
Donna Currie / The Spruce Eats
“It is a great air fryer—the fries were very crispy and cooked up perfectly. The baking setting worked really nicely, and I was pretty happy with the broiler, as well. All in all, I would use this machine for all the functions that it offers.”
The overall best option is the Oster Extra Large Digital Countertop Convection Oven because of its energy efficiency, roomy interior, and ease of cleaning. If you’re looking for something more compact, try the Black+Decker Crisp ‘N Bake Air Fry 4-Slice Toaster Oven. Its versatility allows you to warm, bake, toast, broil, and air fry, all while being budget-friendly.
The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie
How We Tested
After researching a variety of countertop ovens, we sent top-rated models to our experienced at-home testers to put through the paces in their kitchens. We also tested two in our Lab as part of an air fryer test. We evaluated each one on its performance, ease of use, features, and more. Our testers cooked everything from whole chickens and baked potatoes to English muffins and tried out special air frying and rotisserie functions when applicable. Testers then offered additional insights on each model’s strengths and weaknesses.
What to Look for in a Countertop Oven
When it comes a countertop oven for your home, there are two size factors to consider: the amount of cooking space you want and how much counter space you have. Ovens with larger interior capacities will generally have a larger countertop footprint, but some use clever design to pack more baking space into less counter space. In addition, many countertop ovens double as toasters or air fryers. These might be bigger than other models, but you can still end up saving space if you combine two or three separate appliances into one.
The Spruce Eats / Donna Curie
Besides baking, many countertop ovens have additional features and functions. While most models have have toast, bake, and warm modes, there’s a wide range of more advanced technology out there. Higher-end models have more specific and elevated options, including a powerful fan for convection baking and air frying, a rotating rotisserie, or a high-heat pizza mode. Some even have smart functionality to take the guesswork out—you simply tell the oven what you’re cooking and it does the temperature and time for you. In general, more features means a higher price, and it might not be worth paying for cooking modes you don’t plan to use.
If you plan to use a countertop oven as your main oven, a great feature to look for is a convection setting. “A convection oven is great to have because it cooks food by circulating air at a consistent and dry temperature,” said Ron Yan, a private chef in New York City who uses exclusively a countertop oven in his own apartment. “This means that food will cook faster, and the surfaces of meats, such as chicken or turkey, can get delicious crispy skin while keeping the insides juicy and moist. It’s particularly great for roasted meats, vegetables, anything potato-based, cookies, and other pastries.”
Power and Heat Source
Nearly all countertop ovens use electricity, which means their power is measured in watts. Higher wattage means the oven heats up faster—but that’s not the whole story. Larger spaces take more power to heat up, so a small-capacity oven might actually work better than a huge one even if it has somewhat less power. The way the oven heats up matters, too. Most ovens use metal heating elements like you’d find in a toaster oven or electric wall oven, but the way those heating elements are shaped and arranged affects how efficiently the oven cooks. (The futuristic Brava oven even ditches the traditional heating elements for super-powerful lights, which gives it some unique abilities.)