It isn't easy finding quality equipment anymore. So many companies cut costs, and by extension, cut quality, which can make the hunt for a decent countertop oven feel impossible. From complaints of exploding glass, to knobs falling off, to ovens giving out in under 2 years, there's really no excuse for it.
Thankfully, there are rare companies who still take pride in creating kitchen equipment that borders on the exceptional. After countless testimonies, we're whole heartedly convinced that Wolf Gourmet has created the best countertop oven on the market.
Don't take our word for it though.
We encourage you to do your own research and come to your own conclusion. This guide is meant to help you derive every possible detail about Wolf countertop ovens so you can make an educated buy.
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Who is Wolf Gourmet?
SubZero & Wolf have been manufacturing home refrigeration and cooking products for the past 70 years. Wolf is currently headquartered in Wisconsin, and was acquired in 2000 by Sub-Zero. Founded in the 1930s in Los Angeles by Al and Hyman Wolf, this company has stood its ground for almost a century.
Wolf makes a wide range of food products from pans, skillets, and knives to electrical appliances such as blenders and ovens. If you wanted to, you could furnish your whole kitchen with Wolf products alone!
As Wolf has been around for so long, they still strive to make products that last a lifetime. Wolf is known for using high quality, sturdy materials to make their products the best they can be. So even if you find competitors selling similar items for less, keep in mind that Wolf products can last several decades. You can end up saving money in the long run, as you may have to replace a countertop oven from a different brand.
What’s more is that Wolf well and truly cares about customer service and product satisfaction after you’ve purchased. Their helpline is active 24 hours a day at (800) 222-7820, so no matter where you are or what time it is; someone will be there to help and answer your query.
The Wolf Reputation
Two indispensable qualities that make Wolf stand out from the competition is its unparalleled warranty period and exceptional customer service.
When you buy something from Wolf, you're not just buying a product, you're buying the comfort that comes along with a compassionate company. Wolf usually charges more for its products, yes. But they use the money made to provide people with a service they can feel confident in.
I encourage you to look at other wolf appliances, particularly at the reviews. One testament above all that makes Wolf one of my favorite companies to review is this...
Even the rare customers who were unhappy with the product (usually because they didn't do the proper research), found the helpfulness of the customer service and the easy return process worthy enough to give their product a 4 or 5 star review.
The Wolf Countertop Oven
While Wolf did have 2 available countertop ovens, the Elite model has completely replaced the former. Wolf took the most common customer complaints from the old model and made some noteworthy improvements.
Improvements From the Last Model
3 Defining Qualities of a Wolf Oven
There are three qualities above all that separates Wolf from other countertop oven companies:
1) The Temperature Probe
Yes, one of the defining qualities of the wolf oven is its integrated temperature probe. The temperature probe plugs into the the oven from the inside, so you don't have to worry about heat being lost through the door seal (this was a concern of mine).
Set the desired internal temperature and the Wolf oven will "ding" approximately 10°F below your inputted temperature. The probe maxes out at a temperature of 200°F which can handle 99% of your everyday cooks.
Very curious to know how the probe performed, I typed "probe" into the amazon customer questions search bar, checked the customer reviews, and found that the large majority of people only had positive things to say about it. I encourage you to do the same.
2) Bake/Roast/Broil Functions
One of the major pain points of buying a countertop oven is the chance of hot spots. Hot spots are one of the most common oven complaints and ultimately leads to unevenly cooked food (a home cooks worst enemy).
Wolf's countertop convection oven circulates heated air throughout the oven (like any convection oven), which means everything is roasted, broiled, and baked evenly. However, after reading a ridiculous amount of reviews, Wolf by far has the greatest customer responses regarding temperature maintenance and evenness of cooking.
Wolf countertop ovens offer 5 heating elements, which help to maintain accurate temperatures throughout your cooks. The spring-loaded door is also sealed, which prevents any heat loss, and the halogen light keeps the interior bright so you can check on your food while it’s cooking.
3) Wolf Warranty and Customer Service
Wolf offers a 5 year warranty on their countertop oven, which is 3 years longer than any other brands we've looked into. If your oven is faulty or breaks within the 5 year period, Wolf will be quick to send you a new one. They'll also pay for the shipping of the return.
Wolf’s customer service has been rated second to none. I don't want to overly repeat myself, but if you're interested in the Wolf satisfaction, look here.
Wolf Countertop Oven Vs Breville
If you've taken any measurable time researching, you know the Wolf and Breville countertop ovens are the most highly rated on the market. To give you a better representation of both these products, we've compared their features side by side.
Wolf Gourmet Elite Digital
- Size: 16.7 x 22.4 x 12.5" (2.71 Cubic Ft)
- Internal Dimensions: 14.75 x 11.5 x 6.5" (Approx 0.65 Cubic Ft)
- Watts: 1800
- Cooking Modes: 7
- Convection: Yes
- Interior Light: Yes
- Racks: 2
- Rack Positions: 3
- Heating Elements: 5
- Display: LCD
- Accessories Included: 2 Oven Racks, Baking Pan & Broiling Rack insert, and Temperature Probe
- Extras: Integrated Temperature Probe, Different Color Knobs
- Amazon Star Rating (as of 09/17/2020) - 4.8 / 5 Stars
- Warranty: 5 Year Warranty
Breville BOV900BSS Air Fry
- Size: 18.5 x 26 x 17 inches (4.73 Cubic Ft)
- Internal Dimensions: 16 x 13.5 x 7" (Approx 0.88 Cubic Ft)
- Watts: 1800
- Cooking Modes: 13
- Convection: Yes
- Interior Light: Yes
- Racks: 2
- Rack Positions: 3
- Heating Elements: 6
- Display: LCD
- Accessories Included: 2 Oven Racks, Air Fryer Rack, Round Pizza Pan, Roasting Pan.
- Extras: 2 Convection Settings, Air Fry and Dehydrator Modes
- Amazon Star Rating (as of 09/17/2020) - 4.6 / 5 Stars
- Warranty: 2 Year Warranty
A Quick Note
I contacted both Breville and Wolf to get these internal dimensions. I'm still a little hesitant in believing they are spot on. Just know that both ovens state they will fit MOST 9 x 13" pans. I think they changed this to "most" because there are some abnormally large cornered pans out there that are far bigger than advertised.
Breville states it can fit 9 slices of bread, a 14Lb turkey, a 5 quart dutch oven, most 9 x 13" pans and 12 cup muffin trays.
Wolf states it can fit a 5.5 Lb chicken and most 9 x 13" pans.
There's no losing in this equation. Both of these ovens have had ample time on the market and both share a lot of positive qualities. The most important being that they have the highest reviews of any countertop ovens on the market.
What it really comes down to is what you'll be using your countertop oven for.
The Breville is more versatile because it has more cook options. If you plan to use this oven for dehydrating, air frying, and as a simple toaster, we highly recommend the Breville BOV900BS (Affiliate Link). The Breville also has a larger interior and is less expensive than the Wolf.
The Wolf has more basic functions, but it fulfills these functions better than any countertop oven available (yes better than Breville). This is the only countertop oven that people agree fits seamlessly as a secondary oven. If you plan to bake/roast/proof in your secondary oven, we highly recommend the Wolf Gourmet Elite. Yes, the Wolf is more expensive than the Breville, but the customer service and 5 year warranty also puts Breville to shame.
Again, both fantastic ovens. Just make sure you know what you'll be using it for.
Wolf Cook Functions
Wolf maintains cooking functions that you'd find on your typical household oven (besides toast and bagel).
Cook Functions Explained
Baking often requires heat to rise from the bottom of a cooking space, however, when it comes to fan-assisted ovens, such as convection ovens, the heat is distributed easily throughout the oven. Wolf ovens are perfect for baking, but double-check your recipe's baking times if it specifies whether you need a convection oven or not. To bake using a Wolf oven, set the correct temperature, and remove from the oven after a set amount of time.
The warm function does just as it sounds! The oven maintains a low temperature to prevent food from getting cold. This setting is ideal for reheating cold foods, or keeping food warm until it’s ready for service.
You can toast bread in the oven if you don’t have a toaster. One of the easier methods is to set the oven to 350° F, and toast the bread on a middle rack for 10 minutes, depending on how toasty you like your bread. Make sure to flip it half way through!
The broil setting on an oven turns on the top burner, which provides direct heat similar to that of a grill. Wolf's broil setting goes to 550°F which is one of the highest temperatures available for a countertop oven. The food is kept close to the oven’s heating elements so it can cook quickly. For example, if you’re broiling steak you put a pan underneath to catch the juices, while the steak chars beneath the heating element.
Proofing is mostly for baking bread. The proof function illuminates the halogen oven light which creates the temperature required to help yeast to rise.
Foods that are already solid, such as meats and vegetables should be roasted, whereas foods like muffins which are only solid after they’ve been cooking are baked. The roast function creates a higher temperature and a unique distribution of heat, for example less heat from the bottom than the top of the oven, to create the delicious brown outer layer roast foods are known for.
The bagel function on the Wolf Gourmet Elite Digital Countertop Convection is linked with the toast function. Setting the oven to bagel mode will lightly toast the outside of the bagel, while making the inside crispy. This can also be used for thick breads and crumpets.
Knob Color Options
Wolf offers 3 different control knob colors which provide options for those who'd like to match the oven to their kitchen.
Photos by Wolf
Countertop Oven Price Range
Many competitor countertop ovens average $200. The Wolf Gourmet Elite Digital Countertop Oven costs about two to three times that, so why the high price?
Wolf charges more than other brands because it is a superior brand. They make kitchen appliances to last a lifetime; which requires assembly with high quality parts.
A portion of the prize is to cover the construction of your product, but you’re also paying for a tried and trusted brand name. With over 70 years of business under their belt, Wolf hasn't had to lower the price because they've never dipped in popularity, so there’s no need to try to undersell their competitors.
As Wolf products can last decades with care, they can save money in the long run. Think of it this way; you might have to replace a cheaper countertop oven several times when you could have been using the first and only Wolf oven you would need to buy.
Again, not trying to convince you one way or another, just trying to put things into perspective. It also comes down to whether or not you're willing (or able) to put that kind of money down at one time. If you can afford it, we recommend it. If you can't, there are other suitable models that will run you less money.
Who is this Oven For?
This oven is for those who multi-task, it’s for those who want to cook different things all at once! It’s for people who love to bake, but don’t have the space for a full sized oven. It's for those who'd like to bake without turning on the hot, energy consuming home ovens. It's for those who are looking for the closest thing to a full sized convection oven without all the usual downsides.
If you are a home chef and want an extra oven, we can't recommend the Wolf countertop oven enough.
IT IS NOT for those who are looking for a quick toasted bagel in the morning; a toaster is much faster. This oven is not for those who grab toast and coffee on the way to work. The option is there, but if you're looking for a toaster, you can spend far less money with similar results.
Frequently Asked Questions
The range will depend on the cook mode setting, but for baking it maxes out at 450°F and broil at 550°F. You can obviously go lower than these temperatures (all the way down to the "warm" function).
What Accessories are Included?
The Wolf countertop ovens come with three accessories:
- 2 Easy Glide Oven Racks
- Baking Pan w/ Broil Rack
- Temperature Probe
Is it Chemical Free (PTFE and PFOA free)
Wolf ovens have nonstick interiors, so naturally, whether they are chemical free is a concern. The non-stick coating is PTFE-free, however, exactly what the coating is unclear.
Size and Weight Info?
The Wolf Gourmet Elite Digital Countertop Convection Oven is 16.6 x 22.4 x 12.6 inches externally, and can accommodate most 9 x13 inch baking pans. It weighs 46.5 pounds.
Ease of Cleaning?
It’s recommended to clean ovens regularly for health and safety reasons, and optimal performance. The ovens are a little complex when it comes to cleaning as each part requires a different method, but this is standard when it comes to cleaning any countertop oven.
The drip tray, baking pan, and broil rack are dishwasher safe but can be washed in warm soapy water
Non-stainless steel exteriors and control knobs can be cleaned with a damp soapy cloth, and then wiped down with a clean wet cloth, and dried with a new cloth.
The Control Panel Display can be cleaned with a damp soapy sponge.
If you have a stainless steel oven, then use a non-abrasive stainless steel cleaner with a soft lint-free cloth.
The interior can be cleaned with a damp soapy cloth, but only when the oven has completely cooled down and is turned off. Stubborn stands can be tackled with a plastic scouring pad.
To remove baked-on foods from the glass windows, you can use a razor to gently lift them off. Then spray glass cleaner on a cloth, and rinse with a damp sponge. Dry the glass with a new clean cloth.
Oven racks are to be cleaned with a mild abrasive cleaner and wiped down with a damp sponge to rinse. Make sure to dry with a clean cloth before putting them back in the oven.
The probe can be cleaned with soapy water, and dried before putting back.
Wolf ovens are known for being energy efficient. As they are convection ovens, they save baking time and heat, which saves energy. If you're looking for a household oven replacement that will exert less energy, Wolf is a great product.
It is however, an 1800 watt oven which is a high wattage, comparatively speaking with other countertop ovens. Just something to keep in mind.
We hope this was helpful. We do a lot of research to help expose companies for what they truly are. Wolf hasn't given us any reason to believe they are anything less than what they claim.
Please leave a comment below if you have any questions.
Founder of Robust Kitchen