When you really think about it, every wall oven should be open from the side. You shouldn't have to lift a heavy turkey or roast over a door. A side swing oven allows easy access to the oven.
Yet there are only a few side swing ovens on the market. I see these type of ovens specified on jobs and multi-use dwellings especially for ADA requirements. Most mid level companies stop producing them. Frigidaire was the last recently.
However, there are more companies introducing better products with side swing doors. You should at least consider a few of them depending on how you cook. We will look at the companies and their products.
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Bosch is part of BSH, Bosch and Siemens Home Appliance Group, based in Munich, Germany. As part of the third largest appliance manufacturer in the world, Bosch has been selling high-performance German-engineered home and cooking appliances in the United States since 1991.
They are consistently well-rated, reasonably priced and offer a full range of products. Benchmark is Bosch's newest premium line of cooking, refrigeration, and dishwashers.
Blue Star started 1880’s under the name Prizer-Painter Works, Inc. in Reading Pa. The company started by manufacturing a full line of residential and commercial coal ranges, water heaters, furnaces, and heating stoves.
In 1950’s Prizer –Painter developed porcelain enamel cookware. Plus developing higher end ranges. In 2002 Prizer-Painter manufactured higher end, restaurant type ranges for the residential market. The ranges were called Blue Star. Now today, they have a full line of appliances including refrigerators, cooktops, and ventilation.
Gaggenau was founded in 1681 by Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm von Baden. He started an iron works company in a small town in Germany called Gaggenau.
The company started with coal-fired cookers and gas cooktop. Over the years new technology came in play. Gaggenau embraced it and became a leader in the manufacturing of European convection and paralytic self-cleaning 36 inches wide wall ovens.
In 1995, Gaggenau became part of BSH Bosch, and Siemens home appliance division.
Viking was started by Fred Karl in the late 1980s and was the first company to market a professional range. Middleby acquired Viking in 2013 to improve the company's manufacturing and quality issues.
To be transparent, Yale does not sell any Viking products as of June 1, 2014.
Best Side Swing Wall Ovens
Bosch HBLP451RUC - $2,899
- Genuine European Convection
- Wall oven can be installed flush
- TFT control panel with Steel Touch buttons
- Auto Probe: takes the guesswork out of rare medium and well-done cooking.
- Model needs to be ordered Left or Right Hinge Specific
- Full Extention telescopic rack
- Fits most competitors cutouts for easy replace
Gaggenau BO280/BO281 - $5,619-$6,199
- Universal heating system - 17 heating modes, meat probe, rotisserie, and optional pizza stone functions
- Electronic precision temperature - Controls from 85 to 550 degrees F.
- Paralytic self-cleaning - Heats up to 905 degrees to remove all the leftover splatter from broiling and baking. The oven will determine the length of the cleaning cycle.
- Air cleaning catalyst - The first company to have air cleaning system in the oven. It does not matter at what temperature, the catalyst does not let any grease or odors escape from the oven when is closed.
- Super Quick preheating - When you have the convection mode on, the bottom heating element turns on, and heats up the oven faster. It takes about 8 minutes and then goes back to the normal convection mode.
- Thermo-Test - Temperature display which allows you to check the actual temperature inside the oven at any time. If you raise or lower the temperature it will tell you the temperature at any moment.
- Size - 30” wide (Also 24” wide is available)
- ADA Compliant - No
- Sabbath mode - Yes it will keep nonperishable food warm from 24-74 hours without operating the oven. Plus the light in the cooking compartment is off.
- Door swing - Need to be specific
BlueStar Gas Wall Oven BWO30AGS -
30″ Electric Wall Oven with French Doors BSEWO30ECSD
- Powerful 2,500-watt bake element plus 1,800-watt heat assist for faster preheat
- Commercial-grade intense 5,000-watt Infrared broiler for restaurant-quality results
- Built-in artisan baking stone with precise temperature control
- Extra-large oven with True European Convection
- Intuitive touch screen control panel with 12 cooking modes, including Bake, Convection Bake, Roast, Convection Roast, Broil, StoneBake™, Proof, and Sabbath
- Precision temperature probe that provides perfect temperature control
- Accommodates a full-size 18” x 26” baking sheet
- Eco-friendly Continue Clean™ feature continuously cleans the oven
- Powerful 25,000 BTU burner with 3,000 BTU heat assist for quick start-ups and additional power
- Extra-large oven with True European Convection and 1850° Infrared Broiler that accommodates a full-size 18" x 26" commercial baking sheet
- Features French door design
- 24" depth for compatibility with standard kitchen cabinetry
- Available as single ovens or two single ovens double stacked
- Coved corners for optimal heat circulation and easier cleaning
When comparing different spectrums of quality between side swing wall ovens, Bosch Benchmark is the least expensive yet with great features. It’s a reliable brand and is reasonably priced. The TFT is simple to use.
In addition, Bosch usually has some type of multi purchase rebate incentives. They will offer everything in every category making it super easy to get a full matching Bosch Kitchen, whether for resale or personal use. I really like the styling as well.
Gaggenau, in my opinion, is one of the best appliances manufactured in the world. The fit and finish of the product are outstanding. Features like the Air Cleaning Catalyst keep the smell and grease from escaping the oven.
The precise temperature from 85-550 degrees will allow you to preset any temperature and can cook anything from pizza to roasting meat.
You are also are able to check the temperature inside the oven at any time. The quality and features are a premium as Gaggenau is one of the most expensive appliances in the world.
They test every single unit, so generally, the quality control is the best. They have a solid 20-year life expectancy. Gaggenau also offers a two-year warranty compared to one with most brands.
Blue Star is a commercial grade French door single wall oven at a price between the Gaggenau and Bosch. It features analog controls and commercial grade stainless steel construction. Commercial grade allows for higher watts on the electric and more BTU’S on the gas broilers. It will also accommodate a full-size cooking sheet.
BlueStar is available in both fuel types. As a FYI, electric is a drier heater better for baking. Gas is moister and better for roasting. BlueStar is also the only oven with pure gas convection for better heat distribution
I like the Viking look and features. The issue with Viking, however, will always be reliability. Gaggenau is the lowest service incidence at 2.1% within the first year. Viking is over 50%. I like the product if it works.
So, it is hard to compare these wall ovens. Gaggenau is the standard for product quality with truly remarkable Bang & Olufsen styling. I love this oven, but it is also the most expensive.
Blue Star focus is mostly on commercial brand products. They are built and designed for heavy duty consistent use. You also have the option of over 750 different colors choices. The features tend to be more “bare bones” which sometimes is easier. Is really niched to ovens, and you will have to mix other brands.
Benchmark has great styling and features for less money. I truly believe the fit, finish and feel will give some of the other brands a new level of competition. They offer an attractive price, are high rated and a well-known brand name. This oven deserves consideration even against the more pricey brands.
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Neil Katz has been in appliance sales at Yale for over 25 years. Neil spends time following the Sox and Patriots and watching the stock market.
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