Built-in electric fan ovens are the best ovens you can buy, in our cheffing opinion, and that is what we have collated here. These ovens comes with all the latest and greatest cooking options, including plenty with self-cleaning options, which you certainly won't want to be without after cooking a big family dinner.
Now, before you accuse this guide to the best ovens of prejudice against gas ovens, or standalone cookers, we should point out that all the ovens here have been selected after lengthy assimilation of both professional and user reviews and, as sad as it may seem, the trusty old gas oven just isn’t very popular anymore.
Of John Lewis’s range of third-party ovens, just two out of 209 built-in models are gas. This is hardly surprising since the best electric electric ovens are now more economical than ever, more controllable and fast (or the exact opposite, if you want to cook low and slow) and easier to clean. Electric ovens just have so many advantages and can be installed in literally any home. That said, we do have a guide to the best range cookers, if you have something grander in mind.
All of the models on this page are equipped with fans for faster, more even cooking efficiency and a grill section on top. You know: for grilling (or 'broiling', if you're an American.) And if you need something different, don't forget our gudies to the best microwave ovens, and best inductions hobs
The best ovens, in order
If you’re a fan of Great British Bake Off, you’ll doubtless have spied the Neff ovens with doors that slide beneath the units… and wished you had one of those. Well you can!
True, we can’t be sure this particular Neff is the exact same model as those featured on the TV series but it does come with the company’s unique Slide&Hide door, so that’s a good start – even though it does clatter a bit and, on one episode of GBBO, fell off. But that only happened once, and it was probably due to misuse, under pressure.
Nearly every user of this model has extolled the virtues of its baking prowess and capacity to turn an average baker into a cake-making maestro. This is mostly down to the oven’s exceptionally accurate temperatures and its Circotherm technology that ensures whatever you sling in there is cooked perfectly evenly – and that goes for roasts, too (obviously).
This same tech also allows you to cook a number of different dishes at once without any intermingling of flavours – no more chicken-flavoured apple tarts, then. And speaking of chicken, this oven is by no means only for baking – it'll roast things very nicely as well, although on this model there's no built-in temperature probe to help out more hapless, meat-charring cooks.
The Neff comes with a suitably ample 71-litres of interior space, a grill section – though it doesn’t come with a grill pan – and pyrolytic self-cleaning. According to its army of disciples, it’s very quick to heat up and its 2.5-inch TFT touch screen is fairly simple to use. But it’s that clever articulated oven door that really clinches it.
Steambake is actually an entire range of ovens but this entry-level one and the slightly fancier AEG SteamBake BSE574221M – which comes with a temperature probe for easy roasting of meats – are our top picks. There are also various colour options to consider, depending on what retailer you look at.
The first thing to say about AEG Steambake is that it is definitely not just for baking. You can add a little water to the bottom of the oven and activate the Steambake function and it will waft a little steam over your cupcakes, breads and other baked goods, but that is by no means the only reason to buy this. I'd say if anything, AEG has miscalculated by using that 'Steambake' branding, as it implies non-bakers won't find it useful.
The truth is that this is a great oven for just about everything. It has a massive temperature range of 40º to 300º, with the option of using grill and oven simultaneously – you can imagine how powerful that is. More importantly, it reaches whatever temp you want quickly, and holds it very accurately. That's particularly important if you are doing long, slow cooking – or baking, of course.
The AEG Steambake comes with two standard shelves and a grill pan shelf – if you're not making cup cakes on a regular basis you'll only need the grill and one shelf, but it's good to have the option of the third.
The self cleaning works extremely well and the stay-cool door does indeed seem to stay pretty cool on the whole. Overall oven longevity – often an issue with self-cleaners – seems good so far. We've been testing ours for three years now with no apparent loss of quality.
The fit and finish is not up there with more expensive ovens, but it's fine. In fact, for the money, it's more than adequate. Bakers will no doubt love this oven but it is a great oven for roasts, casseroles, and very suitable for more adventurous chefs who like to go slow and low, or reverse sear extremely hot.
And so we come to the cheaper end of the wedge. But don’t let that put you off because this appliance of science is a great performer for such a low price. You can get even cheaper ovens of course, but it starts to get hard to recommend them once you're below £250, unless they're in the sale of course.
It heats up rapidly (about 10 minutes to reach 180ºC) and its grill is a cracker; perfect for browning lasagnes and boosting the potato crust on a cottage pie. For the price, this 68-litre fan oven’s temperature settings are pretty accurate, so you shouldn’t have any issues with half your roasties looking bland while the other half have a deliciously scrunchy brown top and chewy bottom.
If you’re after an oven that’s easy to use, then this one is a doozy. Simply select an oven function on the left and a temperature (from 60˚C to 250˚C) on the right, tap the electronic timer button and retreat. And lest you forget you have a roast on the go, you can also program the timer to turn the oven off after the cooking process has finished.
This model also comes with catalytic lining on the sides so cleaning it shouldn’t be too much of a faff. Mind, you will still need to clean the oven floor section and inner glass from time to time or so much grease will be burnt in over time that you might never get it off, even using the best oven cleaner. I learned that the hard way.
Need more space for a roast beef banquet with all trimmings while baking a tricky chocolate fondant at the same time? You need a twin oven, mate, like this dapper double do-it-all model from the house of AEG. The bottom oven has 61 litres of room for large stuff like chickens, turkeys and anything else you want to throw in it, while the top 43-litre cavity also doubles as a grill big enough to brown six slices of Warburtons.
Both ovens come with hot air fans that spread the warmth evenly around the cavities, ensuring perfectly even crisping of your mac ’n’ cheese and uniform browning to the top of the lemon meringue pie. However, some users have reported that the temperature isn’t as accurate as they’d like and even more have lambasted the perplexing manual. What’s new? It also uses a hefty slice of electricity when both ovens are at full bore.
On the plus side, the touch control panel is easy enough to navigate (unless you have fingers like pork sausages), both cavities are swathed in self-cleaning catalytic linings and the whole shebang looks pretty darn swish in all that brushed silver trim.
Prepared to pay a sizeable wedge for the privilege of a top-tier Miele? Here we have the H7164BP, which comes armed with a tranche of features that make roasting and baking a breeze.
Our standout from the list is the oven’s capacity for cooking with steam using the ‘Moisture plus’ option which, if you’re tired of dried-out meat joints, will prove to be a revelation. Similarly, the ‘Auto roast’ is the option to go for if your roast beef lacks an appealing caramelised outer. With this setting, the meat is seared at high temperature and then automatically roasted at your selected temperature setting. Crispy outer and moist centre guaranteed.
Another cool feature is the door opening mechanism. While not quite up to the standard of Neff’s all-conquering disappearing door, this one opens and closely softly with just a gentle nudge.
You get a total of 12 different cooking functions in all, which are accessed via the admittedly complicated control panel and its many indecipherable icons. From there it's possible to select a variety of cooking options depending on your chosen recipe. ‘Fan plus’, for example, bakes and roasts a treat, and the intensive bake option delivers awesome pizza with prerequisite crispy base. Lookout for the defrost option, too, which does just that.
The design of the oven’s 76-litre innards is also hugely impressive with loads of space that’ll be able to handle any kind of sizeable option on the menu. Cleaning duties are kept to a minimum thanks to pyrolytic cleaning, while the exterior surfaces come with a mark resistant coating that can be wiped down with the minimum of manual effort.
Given this oven’s super low-maintenance and Miele’s renowned build quality, you’re probably going to be looking at many years of reliable service.
The John Lewis & Partners JLBIOSB650 is a fan-assisted electric single oven that also packs a very decent grill. It’s also fast and efficient, with an A+ energy efficiency rating, which makes it a solid choice. However, this multifunction appliance really comes into its own once you start exploring its array of features.
The fun starts with the white LED digital display, which features a minute minder along with a child lock for safety. Controlling this oven is a doddle, with a beefy selection of functions that cover all kinds of cooking tasks. It’s great for everyday recipes, thanks to rock-solid conventional settings, but the oven is also brilliant for gentler moist fan baking duties. It’s handy for dough proving too.
Remarkably for the price, the John Lewis & Partners JLBIOS634 also boasts a sensor probe which keeps tabs on the food’s internal temperature without ever having to open the door. The interface also sports a selection of different heating functions along with a choice of recipes. Simply select a dish of your choice – within reason of course – and the oven will select the best temperature setting.
With an ample capacity of 71 litres, this oven is more than adequate for most families, and the consistency of heat throughout the oven is impressive. It also copes very well with pretty much all types of baking.
The JL also cleans itself using the impressive pyrolytic method. Simply select the cleaning function and the temperature within increases to such a level that all fats and stray food bits are reduced to ash, ready for a quick vac once it’s all cooled down.
If you’re after a very decent mid-priced single oven with an impressive array of features, then this might be the oven for you. Being of John Lewis origin, it also comes with a three year guarantee.
If you can’t quite stretch to an all-conquering Neff, then Bosch is still a worthwhile mid-priced Germanic option. Its gear is generally well built, efficient and mostly reliable. And it's made by BSH, the same mega-brand as Neff and Siemens, as it happens.
This Which? Best Buy has received a remarkably high score while its extensive throng of users have nothing but good things to say about it. While its oven door doesn’t do any fancy disappearing acts like the Neff, it does at least open and close with Audi-like finesse. In fact, with this model you can shut the door quite aggressively and, like a modern loo seat, it will simply slow to a gentle close.
The Bosch is equipped with 71-litres of interior cooking estate (give or take a few centimetres for shelf brackets etc) and self-cleaning catalytic linings that absorb the fats splattered against its wall by the pork cracking roast you will most certainly rate as one of the best you’ve ever roasted.
Rather like the winning Neff, this model also cooks evenly on any one of its five shelf positions, making it another top choice for discerning bakers who demand consistently accurate results for every bun they bung in the oven.
If you love cooking then the Neff N50 U2ACM7HN0B makes a lot of sense as it’s got everything you need. A double oven, the Neff offers up the best of both world’s thanks to its innovative features, although the overall design is fairly standard. Nothing head turning here. However, it’s the features and functions that really sell the Neff N50 U2ACM7HN0B.
For starters, you’ve got two electric ovens to choose from, which means the capacity for cooking multiple meals in one go is available. And, this Neff model also features CircoTherm, its own hot air system that allows baking and roasting at the same time. The main oven has a capacity of 71 litres, while the secondary top oven sports 34 litres, so that’s an impressive combination right there.
With both working in tandem you’ve got the likes of top and bottom heating available, air grilling and rapid heat at your disposal. We’re also keen on the bread baking capability that the Neff N50 U2ACM7HN0B delivers. That top oven is also great for grilling and boasts a top and/or bottom heat option too. Roll it all into one and you’ve got the potential for cooking a lot of food. Larger households will love it.
Finished in stainless steel the Neff also requires minimum upkeep; a wipe over will keep the exterior looking fine and dandy. Meanwhile, inside there’s a pyrolytic lining, which means that it’s self-cleaning, so you won't have much to do in there either.
How to buy the best oven for you
When it comes to buying a cooking system, there are two choices: a standalone all-in-one range cooker with a hob, oven and grill (and sometimes more). Or there's option B, which is a separate built-in oven and built-in gas or induction hob.
Range cookers simply slide in between your kitchen cabinets and are a good choice if you’re on a budget, have a country-style kitchen or don’t fancy calling in the services of a carpenter or kitchen fitter.
Built-in systems, on the other hand, are a much more elegant solution since everything fits flush with the kitchen cabinets, leaving no unsightly gaps for crumbs, fatty bits and spilt liquids to fall between.
We’ve already covered built-in gas hobs – which are excellent – and induction hobs – which are even more excellent – so hop over for a look, once you’ve finished digesting this carefully curated list of fine food fabricators.
T3's top tip when it comes to ovens? If you can’t be arsed with scrubbing fatty muck off the oven walls every few weeks, we'd recommend a model with fat-absorbing catalytic linings or, better still, a pyrolytic model that uses extreme temperature (500ºC or higher) to carbonise the crap out of everything, reducing stains to a fine, slightly sinister dust. When it’s finished cremating, you simply vacuum out the remnants.
Installing a built-in oven
Even the best built-in ovens are a lot more difficult to install than range cookers. Firstly, you’ll need a big enough cavity in your kitchen cabinets, and one that’s within easy reach of a suitable power supply (most ovens are too powerful to simply plug into a nearby wall socket).
You’ll also need to have a platform constructed that’s strong enough to hold the weight of the oven, and with plenty of clearance to meet the manufacturer’s safety guidelines – in some instances you can purchase a ready-built casing for the particular model in mind.
All of this requires expertise and a pair of strong arms so be prepared to fork out extra on a carpenter or specialised kitchen fitter. You might also need to have your electricity supply beefed up to meet the oven’s power requirements.
Once in position, the oven should fit flush with the cabinets, but make sure that everything is level, works correctly and that the oven door can open fully before handing over the cash.