The best ovens all have something in common: they're electric. Before the Aga lovers come to taunt us on Twitter, let us explain: for the vast majority of people, electric fan ovens are the most convenient and efficient way to cook. That's because they circulate air more evenly, helping to banish soggy bottoms and ensure that roasts aren't too rare or not rare enough. And if they're self-cleaning too, that's one less horrible chore we need to worry about.
All the entries in our list are based not just on our own opinions, but also on the opinions of other professionals and lots of end users too. And those people are overwhelmingly choosing electric fan ovens as the best ovens for their kitchens: the humble gas oven has fallen out of fashion. Take John Lewis's range of ovens, for example: out of over 120 different models, just one is gas.
The best electric ovens in this guide all have fans for faster, more efficient cooking, and they have powerful grills too. We've prioritised cooking performance, of course, but we've also taken energy efficiency, flexibility and cleanability into account too.
If you're planning to upgrade your kitchen, our best ovens are all great buys – and if you're considering replacing your other cooking appliances too, check out our guides to the best range cookers, the best microwave ovens, and the best induction 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. We dig more into the pros and cons of this oven in our dedicated 'Should I buy the NEFF N70 B57CR22N0B' guide.
The Zanussi ZOD35660XK electric double built-in oven is a fine choice if you're looking for a model that's going to give you plenty of cooking capacity and some really useful features on top. If you've got a larger family or are keen on entertaining guests at your home, then double ovens like this one can really help you keep on top of everything at meal times.
As you would expect from Zanussi, the ZOD35660XK comes in at an affordable price point, especially when you consider how much oven you're getting back in return. There's a combined oven and grill plus an additional fanned oven here, with the former offering you standard or fast grilling.
There's a Set and Go function, for switching the oven off automatically, and a Multiplus feature that makes sure heat is evenly distributed around the top and bottom levels. It even scores highly in terms of its design, and because of the four manual control temperature dials and bright LED digital display it's a breeze to use as well.
What you really want from the best ovens is to have your cooking experiences improved and made easier, and the Miele H7164BP delivers several times over. The oven is reliable and easy to operate, and it comes with plenty of features that are going to appeal – like its Moisture Plus tech for getting perfect 'bake off' results.
It's expensive, sure, but we think the Miele H7164BP justifies its price. There's a Taste Control food probe to make sure that your dishes don't overcook, as well as a rapid heating feature that means your oven is ready to go at a moment's notice. You can even control the unit from your mobile phone – something that's guaranteed to make you feel like you're living in the future.
You get a total of 76 litres of cooking capacity here, enough to satisfy even the most prolific of chefs, and special mention too to the controls and display, which are sleek and intuitive – the DirectSensor S display panel enables you to choose a programme and start cooking with the push of a button.
The first feature that has us interested in the Bosch Serie 8 HBG634BS1B is the dedicated pizza cooking function – intended to make sure you get a perfectly crisp base every time – but there are plenty of other features here to tempt you into a purchase as well. It's a great all-round package and definitely worth a spot on our list of the best ovens.
There's what Bosch calls a 4D Hot Air system here, which is a rotating fan setup that constantly circles heat around the interior of the oven, so flavours don't get transferred and cooking is spread out evenly. Cleaning is as simple as giving the unit a quick wipe down, because the inside walls are coated in a rough later of ceramic spheres that catch grease and food spatters.
Another reason this Bosch model stands out is the simple touch display up at the top – it's a lot more minimal and straightforward than the controls on many other ovens, and it means you always know what you're doing (and you're always in control) when it comes to your cooking.
It's a little bit amazing how cheap this oven actually is: for not very much money at all you get a very capable, very reliable fan oven with assisted cleaning and some other useful features too. From defrosting to grilling to straightforward heating, the Beko AeroPerfect BBXIF22100S takes everything in its stride, and is going to fit snugly in the kitchens of most people.
You've got 66 litres of capacity, two shelves and five different shelf positions to play around with, and the simple control system on the front of the unit means you won't have to spend any time hunting through the instruction manual to find out how to do something (Beko says the design of the AeroPerfect BBXIF22100S is based on aerodynamics and aircraft design, and we can well believe it).
A note too on the cleaning assistance you get with this: the SimplySteam system means you can pour some water into the integrated tray, which as it starts to turn into steam will soften burnt food and grease on the sides of the oven. A quick wipe down, and your oven should be looking as good as new.
The Steambake brand covers 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 favourites. There are also various colour options to consider, depending on what retailer you look at.
The first thing to say about the AEG Steambake oven 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.
The truth is that this is a great oven for just about everything. It has a massive temperature range of 40ºC-300ºC, with the option of using both 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.
Hoping to cook a roast beef banquet with all trimmings and bake a tricky chocolate fondant at the same time in the same oven? You need a twin oven, like this dapper 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, while the top 43-litre cavity also doubles as a grill big enough to brown six slices of bread.
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.
The John Lewis & Partners JLBIOSB650 is a really impressive fan-assisted electric single oven that also packs a very decent grill. It’s fast and efficient, with an A+ energy efficiency rating, but the 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.
Bosch has proven time and time again that it's 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 oven 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 excellent 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.