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Double Oven vs Single + Speed ??

  • m

The cabinet maker is going to start in a couple of weeks and before he does I'd like to get some opinions on what you think about double ovens and the new speed ovens with convection/microwave capability. Here's the situation: Currently we have a single 27" oven with a microwave above it, my wife hates the smallish oven so we are going to 30". Initally, she insisted on double ovens, that's been her dream for years, she loves to do it up big for Thanksgiving and Christmas, a lot of food and pies. The kitchen designer we worked with for awhile po poed the double oven and told us he hadn't installed a double oven in years. It got my wife thinking, and now she is leaning towards the single convection oven with a "speed" oven above. Once the cabinet is made, there is no turning back. We only use a microwave to defrost and reheat some items, but we still probably need one. I'm not comfortable that in the end, she will be happy with the smallish speed oven, even though she will have the larger 30" oven as the main cooking device. It seems like I still see a lot of double ovens in the Kitchen Design mags. Your thoughts and comments are appreciated.

At this point we are looking at Kitchenaid KEBS107SSS and KBHS109SSS, I believe these are the correct model numbers.


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  1. The main question will come down to whether or not you will be using the speed oven for anything outside of just the microwave reheat feature.

    Based on a quick look the single+speed combo and the double oven are about the same price so there's no fiscal advantage one way or another.

    The speed oven you've identified is 1.4 cu ft, while the double ovens would offer a second 4.1 cu ft of cooking space. The speed oven is a bit small for a turkey unless you're into deboning and transforming into a roulade but a large chicken would go in okay. The double ovens have a slightly larger visual footprint but you can warm in one while continuing to cook in the other, or do simultaneous moist vs dry which I don't think you can do easily in a speed oven. They also have the advantage for quantity cooking during holiday seasons (or large dinner parties). You can probably cook the same amount of food in the speed oven in the same time, but it'll be in batches so batch one will need to be held somewhere.

    I don't use microwaves so I prefer the double oven route. You can always keep a microwave in the basement if you really need one, but it's your decision.

    If you have the budget and enough wall, you can do double oven + speed oven, which would make this discussion moot.

    4 Replies
    1. re: wattacetti

      Day to day, it's just two, but when the kids come home for holidays with the grandkids, and my mother-in-law is there as well, we have a lot of mouths to feed. That's why I worry about the small speed oven being too small for holiday cooking. But as ziggylu stated below, for two the speed oven would be all we need most of the time and it would save heating a large oven.

      As you mention, if we had the space to do both that would be the best of both worlds and I could squeze it in the budget, I just can't figure out how to squeze it into the kitchen. Houses where we live are built on slabs, so no basement. Which means space is rather tight on a number of levels. It's a good sized house and what I thought was a fair sized kitchen, but it is very limited on storage, so maybe it's not as big as I had thought. My aunt in Chicago used to have identical kitchens, one up stairs and one in the basement just below it. Now that was ideal.

      1. re: mikie

        Wow - tough call.

        Since you've got a cabinet maker I take it that the kitchen is undergoing a full remodel to also improve available storage and so forth. If you are able to do double+speed, my question becomes "do you need everything that you currently store in the kitchen"? Things like wedge plates to serve pizza slices dont' have to be there, and you might not need seven wine decanters. That might be a way to consolidate more space to give up to a speed unit.

        And outside of those two specific holidays, how often do large groups descend upon the abode? if it's infrequent, then ziggylu's direction makes more sense since you can adapt the holiday cooking requirements to the hardware.

        1. re: wattacetti

          The caninet maker is doing a great job of making the most out of the space we have or had. The house was built in the early 80s, so there are cabinets protruding out over the peninsula, which everyone says get rid of and we agree, although we hate to loose that storage. There is also a 30" hood over a 36" cooktop, you can guess how well that's working out. So a 42" hood is going over the new 36" range top, which wipes out a few more small cabinets. We are making some changes to make up for this loss of storage, but it's not going to include an easy space to put in a speed oven or even counter space for a microwave. Unless we put that in the laundry room next to the kitchen??? na probably not a good idea, and that would wipe out some of those cabinets then.

          Other than those two holidays, when the horde decends at other times of the year, I'll typically put a couple of pork butts or packers on the smoker and that clears a lot of oven space.

          Again, I appreciate the dialog and thoughts on the issue.

          1. re: mikie

            Now that I've looked at your profile, you're in Oklahoma so apart from tornado time and the odd cold snap, you have environmental conditions and cooking options similar to Ziggylu.

            The cabinetry changes and corrections reinforce the Ziggylu alternative since expanded architectural changes are not in the cards (gutting a house and completely redoing the interior solves a lot of problems).

            I'd still talk things over with your significant other; as you've mentioned double ovens being her dream for years, there's the issue of how well she'll take any type of compromise. You can present the three scenarios:

            1. double oven; this is what she wanted in the first place. no other changes needed but you may need to give up counterspace for a microwave if a unit is that important to you

            2. single + speed; what makes sense on paper given your location and other options available to you. you can adapt to this, there's also no other changes and you recover a little counterspace

            3. double + speed; theoretically give you the best of both but with storage compromises you might not be able to absorb

    2. I just had to make this same decision myself. When we moved to the house we're in right now I left behind double wall ovens and couldn't wait to have them again. 11 years later however....

      Well with a 30" oven and a countertop convection, I've never missed having the second full size oven actually. It was a rare time that I ran out of oven space despite regular large holiday, family and entertaining dinners. Admittedly we live in Arizona and do a lot of outdoor cooking as well so both our grills(gas and a BGE) serve as an extension of the oven too.

      So, in the end for our new house we're buidling I went with a 30" oven and an Adventium on top of that. I do like having the smaller oven a lot as there are only two of us and it uses less energy, heats up my house a lot less, and is quicker than the big oven. Having it built in will free up some counterspace as both the microwave and countertop oven live on the counter right now too. We don't use the microwave much as well(heating water, melting butter and the like) so it was particularly attractive to get that off the counter.

      I use my countertop oven daily so that was really key in my decision. For her that may not be as much of a reason...

      1. I prefer a speed oven, but it comes down to what you are cooking. The only people I know with 30" double ovens are in the catering business.

        A 30" oven is really big. Having 2 of them would not help me any, because I, personally, would rather have a lot of dishes for a crowd, rather than a ginormous turkey or casserole. So for me, I'd rather have the speed oven and a warming drawer. The speed oven--with its smaller footprint and quicker heating up time--which suits 90% of my oven use far outweighs everything else.

        1 Reply
        1. re: E_M

          Thank you for your thoughts. A warming drawer to keep the things that have been baked in the speed oven might be just the thing, I'll have to look into that. It really hasn't been a topic of discussion. That's one of the great things about posting here, there are many poeple that throw out new ideas and different solutions to problems.

        2. What did you decide to do?

          1 Reply
          1. re: E_M

            Single oven and speed oven is still what's on paper, purchase is still about a month away. I'll post after the remodel and we have it installed.

          2. Don't know if you've already decided but I had the same question and ended up getting the convection/microwave, about 6-7 years ago and have used the convection feature a handful of times, at best. It's our expensive microwave. If I were to do it again, I'd get one of those double ovens but not both the same size. I'd get one like this Maytag (there are many others but this gives you an idea):


            I've been told that the smaller oven feature is used more often than the larger one--most 9x13 pans, casseroles, etc. fit into it and it's much better to heat up the small space. The smaller one can double as a warmer, too.

            1. If anyone has an update about replacing double wall ovens with an oven and speed oven/convection microwave, I'd love to hear your experience.
              I have the same dilemma as I'm coming down to the wire having to pick out our appliances for our kitchen remodel.
              DH and my kitchen currently has double wall ovens. We have a separate microwave that sits above a counter on a shelf, and a gas cooktop.
              My question also is whether I should get a single 30 inch wall oven with a speed oven/convection microwave or just get double wall ovens.
              My sense is telling me to do a combination of oven and micro. With this, I feel a need for a warming oven. Maybe in reality I don't need a warming oven if I choose not to go with double wall ovens, but right now, I envision storing made dishes in the warming oven while the 30 inch oven and micro combination oven take care of the cooking in progress.
              All of this is good on paper, but I find the double wall oven to be the cheapest of the options. Combination microwaves and especially speed ovens are pricey. On top of that, a warming drawer adds about another 1K.
              For example, an Electrolux Wave Touch 30 inch double oven runs around $3000. An Electrolux 30 inch wall oven, Electrolux speed oven and an Electrolux warming drawer runs about $6000. A KitchenAid Architect II Series trio* runs about $4500.
              The warming drawers being almost a wash, I look at the significantly extra cost and wonder if I'm paying for "boutique" and "cachet" cooking appliances.
              It would be great to stack a microwave above my wall oven and not have to think about where to integrate a micro somewhere else in the kitchen and keep it looking great (am looking into drawer micros and micros with trim kits). The cooking/rewarming/micro station would be all in one place.
              *Note, the KA micro/convection is not a speed oven. The true speed ovens are highly regarded but are expensive.
              Any thoughts?

              6 Replies
              1. re: monavano

                Been in our new house since January and it turns out I hate my Advantium that I discussed above. Really sorry I spent the money on it and two weeks ago ended up buying a Breville Smart oven that's taking up counter space.

                Expensive mistake. Live and learn and all that....

                1. re: ziggylu

                  Wow, what do you hate about the Advantium?
                  So, you really liked your countertop oven but when you decided to get the Advantium above your 30 inch oven, it turns out you don't like it.
                  Funny, I am waffling back and forth between getting the Electrolux Wavetouch double oven and getting the Electrolux Pro single with the Electrolux speed oven above it.
                  It's just chafing me a bit that the single pro oven is the same cost as the Wavetouch double oven! That and the speed oven is 2K.
                  Thanks for your input. Good food for thought!

                  1. re: monavano

                    Well...first off I find the Advantium complicated to use...it's preset for different types of food - much of it stuff we don't eat(pizza, french fries, etc). Trying to figure out how to adapt to the things I actually cook seems really complicated. Also, I live in AZ and the main thing I like about a smaller, faster oven is putting a minimum of heat into my kitchen. The Advantium when on speedcook actually vents forward out into the kitchen, blowing warm air towards my island. I use the microwave function and I use the warming function if I'm entertaining but that's it. It's been a big waste of money. With the exception of baked potatoes I haven't been too impressed with the results of the speedcook function and the oven itself is a pain to clean so I avoid anything that would splatter in it.

                    (My appliances are all Monogram so i'm not familiar with Electrolux really. I had to go with GE as that was all the builder offered)

                    So I went back to a countertop oven - preheats ridiculously quickly, hrows very little heat into the ktichen(though the Breville does throw more heat than the Cuisinart convection toaster oven I had previously), and cools off quicker. We are a two person household so I can almost anything I need in the countertop oven and not heat up the big wall oven.

                    In hindsight I wish I'd just gone with a microwave and not the Advantium. It was considerably more expensive and I don't use it's expensive functions.

                    1. re: ziggylu

                      Fortunately, my oven placement will remain the same and be at the farthest point from the island and "triangle'. It's a small kitchen, so it's not hard to walk things over to the oven.
                      I've never thought twice about turning the ovens on in the summer. We're always on AC and the kitchen may need a fan if I have the oven and stovetop going. But, I have older thermal ovens that don't throw on a fan until the oven is turned off. Newer ones seem to run the fan on during cooking.

                      1. re: monavano

                        I never thought it about either...til I moved to AZ. LOL 112 yesterday. The A/C is working hard enough without adding heat to the environment!

                        One other thing about the Advantium I don't like..."Im short 5'2"...the door opens down, like a regular oven instead of swinging open left or right. It's hard for me to reach in and get things in and out. Someday when it gets replaced I will definitely look for something with a swinging door instead.

                        1. re: ziggylu

                          Oh snap! That's my quizzical look when I see drop-door micros at such a high level... and I'm 5'7".
                          We're pretty sure we're going with double KA wall ovens and a KA drop door built in micro... under counter ;-)

              2. I owned a single Kitchenaid oven similar to the ones you referenced. It was a true joy to use.

                My one complaint, it was mounted below the countertop so I had to bend over to get things in or out. As you get older, having a single or double oven at waist height will be a huge asset.

                Speed ovens and built in microwaves should be a avoided IMHO. Yes they look great when brand new but, 10 years later when you need to replace them, do you really want rebuild your kitchen cabinets and deal with the unsightly hole left behind when you replace them?

                Double ovens don't get a lot of use from most people. It's sort of like having a formal dining room for Thanksgiving and Christmas that never gets used the rest of the year or the mobile home/station wagon for that once a year vacation.

                As crazy as it sounds, a single waist level oven and a really good toaster/convection oven works really well. Living alone now, I use the oven extremely rarely and "bake" in my toaster oven which works extremely well and doesn't heat up the whole house during summer. Definitely get a huge high capacity single oven for that MONSTER HUGE turkey for Thanksgiving! ;-)

                1 Reply
                1. re: Sid Post

                  We're considering a Sharp drawer microwave (if we go with double ovens) and it's size and shape are unique. DH is really in love with it, but I'm leery if it goes on the blink, nothing will fit in its space. I think it's better to consider a built in micro with a trim kit. That way, there's lots of options if it breaks down and we replace later.
                  Thanks for your input!

                2. Have had a double oven for years and wouldn't be without one. I can't believe the kitchen Desiger told you that he hadn't put one in in years...would make me wonder what kind of Desiger he is or is he really one.

                  1. After losing most everything in a house fire in 95, including the kitchen stove, I replaced the stove with a Kitchenaid gas cooktop, & a 27in. Jenn - Air, double wall oven, & I love them both. I'd never go back to a freestanding oven/ top burners/ stove

                    My top wall oven has the option of bake only, or convect only, which I love as well. My bottom oven is bake only, which I wish had the same bake/covect option as my top oven. .

                    If I ever need to replace my ovens, I'd be sure whatever brand I buy, that both upper & lower ovens have the bake & convect option. I would never buy convect only, nor would I ever buy bake only.

                    As a previous poster mentioned, there's only two of us in the home now, but when the family comes for dinners & gatherings, there's 20-22 of us at any given time. I can assure you, having a double wall oven with so many people waiting to eat, is a blessing & a lifesaver.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Joyfull

                      We're two in the house too, but I like to have more for the few times we cook for many, than less and have to make due. I like knowing my kitchen can handle a lot, even tho we won't need it most of the time.
                      I'm also going to have the drawer below the ovens rigged electrically so that I can get a warming drawer later if I want. I know I wont need it much, but I just love how luxurious they seem!
                      Oh, and thank you for sharing about ovens that bake and convect and to not get just one or the other. Very important to me too and I'll have to double check my choices now...

                      1. re: monavano

                        Great fan of the triple play option; from bottom up warming drawer, convection oven and then combination speed oven. Counters clear, no more hunky microwave. Speed oven by Miele is bleeping intuitive......if I can learn it using single or multiple modes, anyone can master it in minutes. Great convection oven for roasting and very even heat for baking. The WD is really a third cook source as we can get it up to 190 degrees which is perfect for low and slow BBQ efforts with ribs, brisket and pork shoulders. The only downside is resetting the timer every 4 hours when doing long slow cooking. Yeah it does great with dishes and holding meals or late platters for kids coming home after sports, but using it as a cook source is a great trick!

                        1. re: ThanksVille

                          I have major Miele envy and warming drawer desire now ;-) The Mieles are gorgeous and highly regarded. I don't think it's in the budget, unfortunately.
                          As I said above, I think we're set on the double KA Architect wall ovens and a built in under counter KA micro. I'm definitely going to have the wall below the ovens wired for a drawer warming oven, just in case I want one in the future. Right now, I think 2 large 30 inch ovens should do the trick!

                          1. re: monavano

                            Lucked into the Miele appliances via an architect/designer discount that made them affordable. Great performance and have a very clean appearance. We made do with their metric equivalent of the 27" size for our stack which handles just about everything we cook. Anything larger goes in to 36" range oven. I think it is very smart to put the power in place for a future WD. Trying to fit the power in after your cabinetry has been completed will be such an expensive pain you will be glad you planned ahead. Good luck.

                        2. re: monavano

                          if I were going to remodel, I'd get a double wall oven but have one of them smaller. What I've read/heard is that the smaller oven tends to be the one people use more often--for baked goods, casseroles, etc. and the larger one is used only for larger roasts, braises, etc. Plus, most ovens these days have the warm option so you don't need a warming drawer. Even our 2003 has that option. And, if you happened to get one w/out, just line the bottom rack w/ baking stone/tiles, heat up and then turn off the oven. Instant warming.

                          Years later after getting the convection/microwave, I barely ever use it as anything other than a microwave.

                          1. re: monavano


                            I had two good size pull out drawers, (instead of the usual cupboards) installed under my gas cooktop, for pots, skillets etc.
                            One of my better decisions I must say, as finding a pot or skillet to use, is a lot easier in a drawer, than it is in a cupboard.

                            1. re: Joyfull

                              I'm glad to hear that it works for you. I'm pushing for deep drawers for storage, and of course the lower cupboards will have pull outs. I have zero now, no it'll be so nice to be able to access way back in my storage!
                              Every once in a while, I gook way back under my cooktop and say, "hey, there's that pot! I didn't even remember it was back there!".

                              1. re: monavano

                                I'm so with you on the lower cupboards being pullouts. Something I did not think of at the time & regret to this day.
                                My lower cupboards are deep, & more often than not, I find myself pulling out the stuff at the front I use regularly, to get at the stuff in the back, that I don't use very often. So annoying!