One of the things that makes a luxury bespoke kitchen is its appliances, and no kitchen appliance has greater standing than the oven. There are so many choices when just browsing ovens alone – not to mention all the additional extras, such as separate steam ovens, speed ovens, microwave drawers, blast chillers and wine storage – that it can be difficult to know how to choose what will undoubtedly be the king of your kitchen.
Here, we have researched the very best high-end freestanding and built-in ovens so you don’t have to, bringing you the definitive list.
Our guide to the best high-end freestanding ovens and built-in cookers
In bespoke kitchen design, a big factor that will inform the kitchen layout is whether you want a range oven or would prefer one built in. Many people choose range cookers due to their classic aesthetic, as well as because of the focal point they create, which can be emphasised further by the addition of a canopy or some decorative element. In the past, the heart of a kitchen would have been a fireplace, with the range placed in the fireplace surround. So, particularly in a period home, the natural evolution is to have the range oven sitting under the countertop.
However, today many people find it more convenient to have built-in stacked ovens. For anyone who cooks a lot, having the oven at eye-level is much less back-breaking – you only have to watch the Great British Bake Off contestants sitting on the floor or bending to peer into their below counter ovens to see their downside. When ovens are in a stack you can prepare food on a countertop or island and simply take a couple of steps and turn to glide the pot into the oven. Checking your cooking progress is easy. There are also safety advantages of chest-height built-in ovens, with the oven door being out of harm’s way for children and dogs.
Bear in mind though that if you choose a built-in oven, you will also have to decide on a hob and think about where this hob will be positioned. Usually, people prefer their oven and hob to come from the same brand, so it is important to take this into account and research the styles of hob offered by your oven manufacturer before making a decision on both.
Some people may prefer to place their hob against a wall, allowing for more discrete and efficient extraction options via wall-mounted hoods. This also allows the chef to truly focus on their cooking, without distractions from elsewhere in the kitchen. However, other cooks may prefer to have their hob on the island, allowing them to face into the room and feel like part of the action.
So, cooker choice is not just about practicalities – all the luxury brands are high performance – but also about what you want the atmosphere of your kitchen to be. Ultimately, do you want your oven to act as a focal point evoking cooking traditions of the past, or do you want it to blend in as a neutral and abstract feature of a kitchen that has been designed with the modern cook in mind?
Freestanding ovens: The best range cookers
If you are choosing a range, here are our picks of the best high-end freestanding ovens.
- La Cornue’s are some of the best range cookers available, with their thick strips of metal and large knobs immediately drawing the eye and providing a centrepiece for the kitchen.
- If you prefer a more discrete design, Lacanche is fantastic quality and may suit you better.
- The ultimate statement cooker is Officine Gullo – both their range and built in versions are fantastic. These ovens come highly recommended by bespoke kitchen designer Artichoke – their handmade kitchens often feature the Officine Gullo brand, and the designer credits their commitment to quality, renaissance style and robustness as to why. They suit a more classical design of kitchen, so may not be to everyone’s taste, but we believe them to be one of the best high-end freestanding ovens on the market.
Built-in ovens: The best stacked cookers
Find the best built-in stacked ovens below.
- Another statement brand is Wolf, who offer a wide choice of range and built-in cookers. We particularly like their stacked ovens, which provide a strong, modern design feature in a kitchen. The beauty of Wolf is that their cookers work well in a contemporary setting but also look beautiful when incorporated in a more traditional scheme. The built-in M series is especially stylish.
- Gaggenau is another great brand – like Wolf their ovens are slightly wider than standard ovens – at 762mm rather than the standard 600mm. This wider width will likely require custom joinery, but it means their ovens look more in proportion and more impressive in larger kitchens. We really appreciate their commitment to form and function – combining cutting-edge technology and craftsmanship.
- We can’t talk about high-end cookers and kitchen appliances without mentioning Electrolux Grand Cuisine. It is this brand’s precision technology that really puts them ahead of the game, creating innovative products for professional chefs that quickly trickle down into domestic kitchens. For example, consider their blast chiller, which allows you to seal freshness in with a vacuum sealer after cooking and then blast chill it to preserve it, easily reheating with steam when required.
Whether you choose a range cooker, helping to evoke a more traditional kitchen style, or you decide on a built-in stacked oven, allowing for a more contemporary and sometimes more convenient kitchen design, we hope this list has helped you decide on your ideal high-end cooker. Remember – your oven and the location of it are very personal choices, so take some time thinking about how you want to use your space before committing; this is how you will create the kitchen of your dreams.