Kitchen

Expert recommended: The best ovens in Australia 2024

These are the top buys right now according to oven experts.
Modern kitchen with white cabinets and navy island base and Miele ovensPhotography: Kristina Soljo / Styling: Lisa Burden

Wondering what the best oven is to buy? It’s an important decision and possibly the most expensive appliance you’ll have in your home. They should last for years, so it’s worth spending time to look at all the options.

The major choice is between a freestanding cooker or a built-in option. Both have similar functions – it depends on your kitchen, how it’s configured and your aesthetic preference.

“A freestanding cooker can be a centrepiece, making a design statement as well as being an efficient cooking appliance,” explains Wayne Campbell, the managing director of Smeg Australia. “With a built-in oven, consumers can create a vertical or horizontal configuration and customise their appliances.”

While coloured cookers attract attention, most people choose stainless steel, black, white or cream.

Self-cleaning ovens (also called pyrolytic ovens) are a common choice as they turn the grime into dust that can be easily wiped away.

Before you choose anything, think about how your family cooks and how often you entertain. Then pick the right oven for you.

Which brand of oven is best?

These are rated the best oven brands, according to Canstar:

2024’s TOP OVENS

  1. Westinghouse 60cm pyrolytic oven, $1299, The Good Guys (here’s why)
  2. Smeg 60cm pyrolytic oven in Matte Black, $2290, Appliances Online (here’s why)
  3. Bosch Series 4 60cm pyrolytic oven, $1299, The Good Guys (here’s why)

The best ovens to shop in Australia 2024

01

Westinghouse 60cm pyrolytic oven

$1299, The Good Guys

Best for: Ease and versatility

This Westinghouse oven is made by one of the top-rated oven brands. It has 10 functions including AirFry, grill, traditional bake and more. It’s designed to cook perfect roasts, crisp fries and fluffy cakes. It has a programmable timer and cool-touch door for safety. It’s a pyrolytic oven, meaning it’s self-cleaning.

Size: 60cm

Colours: Black

Key features:

  • AirFry feature
  • 10 functions
  • Programmable timer
  • Pyrolytic oven (self-cleaning)

02

Smeg 60cm pyrolytic oven in Matte Black

$2290, Appliances Online

Best for: Speed and precision

This Smeg oven is rated number one by Canstar for customer satisfaction. The electronic controls allow you to manage temperatures with precision. It’s designed for even heat distribution so you can avoid uneven cooking. There’s a rapid heating feature which means it pre-heats quickly.

Size: 60cm

Colours: Matte Black (pictured), Stainless Steel

Key features:

  • Pyrolytic oven (self-cleaning)
  • Even heat distribution
  • Electronic controls for precision
  • Rapid pre-heating
  • Rated highly for customer satisfaction

03

Bosch Series 4 60cm pyrolytic oven

$1399, The Good Guys

Best for: Simplicity

This Bosch oven has easy-to-use intuitive touch controls. There are seven versatile cooking functions that will help you create everything from crispy pizzas to roasted meats. The generous 71L capacity accommodates cooking for large gatherings, with a convenient timer function.

Size: 60cm

Colours: Black

Key features:

  • Pyrolytic oven (self-cleaning)
  • Seven cooking functions
  • Capacity to cook for large groups

04

Electrolux 60cm multifunction oven in Dark Stainless Steel

$999, The Good Guys

Best for: Great all-rounder

Rated one of the top brands for ovens, this Electrolux oven offers eight cooking functions. There’s a SteamBake setting for baking to perfection and a Rapid Heat function for heating a home-made dish or frozen foods fast. The capacity is spacious at 72 litres and there are easy-glide fully-extendable runners for pulling out racks easily. A triple-glazed doors means it’s safe and cool to touch.

Size: 60cm

Colours: Dark Stainless Steel (Black)

Key features:

  • Multifunction electric oven
  • SteamBake setting for perfect baking
  • Rapid Heat function

05

Smeg 90cm ‘Victoria’ freestanding cooker with induction hob in Panna Cream

$8990, Appliances Online

Best for: Overall standout

This oven received five stars across all categories in Canstar’s 2023 ratings: customer satisfaction, performance, design, value for money, ease of cleaning, features and functionality, and ease of use. With a hint of retro – a hallmark of Smeg’s range of retro-inspired kitchen appliances – this freestanding cooker will look right at home in any farmhouse, country or coastal styled home. Painted an inviting warm cream hue and decked out with a multi-function oven that is equipped with a range of versatile cooking options such as Fan Forced, Baker’s Function and Grill, this Smeg oven is a great statement piece for any kitchen. The Vapour Clean function uses steam rather than chemicals to break down grime.

Size: 90cm

Colours: Panna Cream (pictured), Black

Key features:

  • Induction cooktop with five cooking areas
  • Multifunction oven
  • Five cooking levels
  • Vapour Clean function to steam clean oven
  • Overall standout in Canstar’s 2023 ratings

06

Artusi 60cm electric built-in oven

$644, Appliances Online

Best for: Basic essentials

This is perfect for all your basic oven needs, with a spacious 78-litre interior capacity, which is large enough to suit family-sized meals. Five oven functions include fan forced, convection, fan grill, defrost and oven lamp, as well as an integrated electric grill. It has a touch control digital timer and knob control temperature. The glass door is triple-layered and there are five chrome rack positions.

Sizes: 60cm

Colours: Black (pictured), White

Key features:

  • Family-sized capacity
  • Ever-Clean enamel interior
  • Five chrome rack positions
  • Five oven functions

07

NEFF 60cm pyrolytic slide-and-hide electric built-in oven

$2399 (usually $3199), Appliances Online

Best for: Home bakers

Perfect for the avid home baker, this built-in oven by NEFF features a patented Slide & Hide oven door that slips in under the oven cavity, allowing you to access your dishes without any obstruction. CircoTherm technology allows you to bake and roast on three levels without odours mingling. A pyrolytic function turns grease to ash for easy cleaning.

Size: 60cm

Colours: Black/silver

Key features:

  • Pyrolytic oven (self-cleaning)
  • CircoTherm tech to prevent odours mingling across levels
  • Fast heat-up time
  • Best performer in a CHOICE test

08

V-ZUG Combair V4000 60P black glass pyrolytic oven

$3990 (usually $5200), Appliances Online

Best for: Self-cleaning

Consider yourself a home chef? The V-ZUG Combair features a signature black mirror glass finish that will look sleek in any modern or contemporary kitchen. Plus, with a wide selection of cooking programs to choose from, it’s perfect for those who entertain frequently. Soft-roasting technology ensures perfectly roasted meats. The EasyCook function sets your oven to the appropriate settings depending on your desired results.

Size: 60cm

Colours: Black

Key features:

  • Pyrolytic oven (self-cleaning)
  • Programmable timer
  • Wide selection of cooking functions
  • Soft-Roasting technology

09

Falcon Nexus Steam 110cm freestanding dual fuel oven/stove

$17998, Appliances Online

Best for: A large family

Whether you’re frying, grilling, baking or steaming, you can achieve precise results with this comprehensive freestanding oven and stove by Falcon. With four oven cavities – including a dedicated steam oven, electric glide-out grill, multi-functional oven and bread proving drawer – you’ll be able to bake to your heart’s desire.

Size: 110cm

Colours: Black (pictured), Slate, Stainless Steel

Key features:

  • Steam oven
  • Electric glide-out grill
  • Multifunctional oven
  • Bread proving drawer
  • Five natural gas burners and two ceramic zones on cooktop

The showstopping cooker in this sleek and sophisticated kitchen is a delight to use for the whole family.

(Photography: Dave Wheeler / Styling: Lisa Burden)

The best oven for the home chef

The best oven for the home chef is the V-ZUG Combair V4000 60P black glass pyrolytic oven.

Many of the most exciting developments in home ovens have been adaptations from professional kitchens, including combi-steam, sous vide cooking, blast chilling, in-oven air frying, barbecuing and stone cooking.

“The consumer has never had more opportunities to expand their cooking repertoire,” says Wayne. “The oven-size trend is also a benefit for consumers. Previously the most advanced technology, such as combi-steam and speed cooking, could only be found in a compact oven, but now this technology is available in a full-sized cavity.”

Will Cowper, head chef of OTTO Brisbane restaurant, uses the V-ZUG ‘CombairSteam V6000’ 60cm platinum glass oven, which helps him to create restaurant-quality food at home.

“When baking bread and roasting, it ensures the hot air reaches the correct temperature,” says Will. “The steam maintains the climate, preventing food from drying out all while allowing me to achieve a golden-brown surface.” Bruce Cranston of Winning Appliances is also a fan of steam ovens, especially compared to microwaves. “Most people only use a microwave for reheating food,” he says. “Reheating food in a combi-steam is actually regenerating the food so it brings it back to life, as if you’ve just cooked it.”

Some Miele ovens include a wireless food probe, which allows you to set the desired core temperature of your meat. And for something different, the Gaggenau ‘EB’ oven has been an icon for more than 30 years. This oven is 90cm wide and much sought-after by home chefs.

The best oven for baking

The best oven for baking is the NEFF 60cm pyrolytic slide-and-hide electric built-in oven.

Pies, cakes and pastries require an oven not afraid of hard work. The secret to a good oven for baking is having an even temperature, according to Anneka Manning, cookbook author and founder of BakeClub, who says that electric ovens provide the most even heat. “I’m a firm believer in electric ovens and you get very few gas ovens these days,” she says. “For baking, I definitely recommend electric.”

It’s good to have a choice of settings, so you can adjust the heat depending on what you are baking. Most baking is best with a fan-forced function, but pastry may be different, especially if you want a crisp base on a pie or tart. Anneka suggests bakers look for an oven with a baker’s or pastry function. She operates a baking school and did a lot of research before choosing new ovens, deciding to go with Neff.

“I actually went into Winning Appliances and baked a sponge, some bread and a batch of biscuits in various ovens, and just saw the consistency of the results, looked at hotspots and looked at unevenness in baking,” she says. “That’s hard to know before you buy an oven.” Bruce agrees that Neff ovens are good. “If you look at the English TV baking shows, 98 per cent of the time you’ll see they use Neff,” he says. “They are renowned for evenness of baking.”

Another favourite is Miele, with ovens that include an automatic proving function, plus their Moisture Plus functionality creates the perfect humidity within the oven cavity so you can enjoy bread with a glossy, golden crust. Smeg has also just released a multi-cooking technology called Galileo, available initially with its Dolce Stil Novo and Linea ranges. It promises improved airflow – plus, with traditional and steam technology that can be used with the option of in-oven barbecue, air fry and stone cooking, you get multiple cooking options in one appliance.

Of her Miele appliances, homeowner Nerida is particularly fond of the steam oven in her renovated kitchen. “The steamer is amazing!” she says. “It’s on twice a day and we love it.”

(Photography: Kristina Soljo / Styling: Lisa Burden)

The best oven for a large family

The best oven for a large family is the Falcon Nexus Steam 110cm freestanding dual fuel oven/stove.

Busy kitchens demand lots of options and an oven up to the job. Many larger families choose a 90cm oven to give them more space and the ability to cook the Sunday roast, plus vegetables, all at once. Alternatively, you can include a double oven for families, perhaps with the second oven having a combination steam function. This allows the kids to reheat food safely even if you don’t have a microwave.

The Harvey Norman team recommends the Fisher & Paykel stainless steel freestanding cooker for large families, because of its massive 140L oven, large four-zone induction cooktop and nine different cooking functions.

If you cook a lot of meat as part of your clan’s weekly meal rotation, it’s worth choosing a pyrolytic oven, because that is a feature that allows the oven to clean itself. “For fuss-free and chemical-free cleaning, we recommend pyrolytic cleaning, especially if the consumer cooks a lot of meat,” says Wayne Campbell from Smeg. “Although vapour clean is effective, too – simply add a little water and detergent to the oven cavity base and select the Vapour Clean function to soften any residue for an easy wipe-over.” If you have a Smeg non-pyrolytic oven, it’s a handy option.

A Smeg 1100mm freestanding cooker from Harvey Norman was a kitchen must in this modern family farmhouse kitchen.

(Photography: John Downs / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

The best oven for entertaining

The best oven for entertaining is the Smeg 90cm Victoria freestanding cooker with induction hob.

With the right oven, roasting meat, finishing vegies and baking dessert at once is a snap. Do you entertain frequently? It’s best to choose an oven with multi-functionality, for you to quickly move from one task to another, perhaps even with a warming drawer so you can serve everything at a perfect temperature. For cookbook author Elizabeth Hewson, a wide 90cm oven was a must when designing her new kitchen. “And of course, it needs to be pyrolytic for easy cleaning,” she adds.

Falcon’s Classic Deluxe 110cm is a good choice for an all-round entertainer. It also features a bread proving drawer, which doubles as a storage drawer when not in use. With three cooking cavities – a separate glide-out grill, multifunction electric oven and fan-forced electric oven combined with a gas or induction hob – it is an entertainer’s dream.

For a touch of luxury, the Gaggenau double oven awaits. Almost 1.5 metres high, 76cm wide, 220 litres of heating space, 17 heating methods and a multiple core temperature probe measuring the temperature inside your dish to within one-degree accuracy. Immense!

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