If you’re serious about cooking quality meals in a time frame that matches your lifestyle, the versatility of a speed oven is the latest evolution in cooking technology designed for the way we prepare meals in the modern world. Whether you’re creating a gourmet dinner from scratch or heating up a gourmet-inspired frozen entrée from Trader Joe’s, getting the job done well while also getting it done quickly is extremely important.
The main advantage of a speed oven is that many of them require very little preheat time, and in some cases no preheat time at all. While microwaves offer fast cooking, they can often result in meals that are soggy, tough, ice-cold in the middle, and devoid of quality textures like crispy crusts. Not so with speed ovens.
A speed oven is a revolutionary appliance that gives you the best of both worlds—the outstanding results of a convection oven with the cooking speed of a microwave. They’re designed for the way we cook today, capable of managing a flash-frozen, wild-caught salmon that’s cedar-planked and cooked to a crispy crust then seared.
Gone are the days of defrosting food the night before, rushing through traffic to preheat the oven, then waiting hours for cooking and eating well after bedtime. And no more panicking when you find out you’re entertaining with just an hour’s notice and need to prepare something in a flash.
Speed ovens combine convection, microwave, and grill cooking for something completely original—and as versatile as you would imagine. They’re smaller, more compact, and much faster than conventional ovens, and some even incorporate a toaster oven for a complete cooking experience.
Want to learn more about these revolutionary speed ovens? We prepared this guide to take you through the pros, cons, and top brands in the speed oven market.
Pros and Cons of Speed Ovens
So what exactly are the pros and cons of having a speed oven in your home?
Because speed ovens can preheat so quickly, they’re able to essentially replace your conventional oven as your go-to, day-to-day cooking device. They’re also space savers, combining microwave and oven into a single appliance.
Speed ovens can also act as a great secondary oven, increasing your total cooking capacity—and they do it while bringing a stylish look to your kitchen.
There are also the obvious pluses, like dramatically reduced cooking times (2-4x faster in 120V models and 4-8x faster in 240V models). Select models even include a toaster feature, like the GE Monogram.
If you’re expecting speed oven to have roughly the same cost as a microwave, you’ll likely be disappointed by their higher price tags. But you should think of it not as a microwave replacement but as an oven, with features that justify the higher cost.
Speed ovens are also often smaller in size than conventional ovens, coming in 24-inch or 30-inch frames while the interior dimensions are generally the same in both sizes.
Speed Ovens vs Steam Ovens
We often serve customers who are remodeling their kitchens. While getting new kitchen cabinets most people have the chance to rethink possibilities. Therefore, we get this question a lot "shall I get a speed oven or a steam oven?".
Our quick answer is that these ovens have two different use cases with some resemblance in functionality. Speed ovens are designed to give you rapid cooking options without the rubber-like finish of a pure microwave. Steam ovens, on the other hand, are a true culinary tool designed to provide nutrient dense food using the unique benefits steam provides. Both ovens intesect with their ability to incorporate traditional convection cooking to provide you with extra cooking power.
In short, if you want to skip a traditional microwave, you will be happy to have a speed oven that will get you the microwave features along with a full fledged convection oven. A steam oven, scores well with vegetable and fish. You will still get time savings as you can cook 3 to 4 dishes at the same time without mixing flavors.
We wrote extensively on the benefits steam ovens along with our top picks in our earlier article.
Our Top 5 Speed Oven Brands
Here’s our rundown of some of the top speed oven brands available on the market today and what they have to offer.
Miele’s entry into the world of speed ovens offers M-touch controls that imitate a smart phone screen—or you can opt for the more traditional knob or button operated styles. The 24-inch width is highly compact, but Miele offers 30-inch trim kits to complement the look and dimensions of an existing 30-inch oven.
Miele boasts MasterChef programs with over 100 recipes built into each speed oven, plus best-in-class cooking quality and included features like a wireless temperature probe. You can literally press a button and let the speed oven do the rest of the work. Want pizzeria-quality crust on your pizza? Miele can make it happen in a matter of minutes. You can even save your favorite settings as programs in the oven controls.
Miele offers by far the most sophisticated Speed Oven in the market.
Why settle for a standard microwave when Bosch offers world-class cooking at incredible speeds with the speed oven models? Bosch speed ovens pair the precision and cooking quality of convection cooking with the speed of your microwave. That means fast-even cooking with five specific cooking presets that include Convection Bake, Broil, Convection, Microwave, and SpeedChef combination cooking.
Bosch offers both 120V and 240V models depending on your needs, and also offers European Convection cooking, AutoChef, and Microwave + Toaster modes to meet all of your cooking requirements.
You can install Bosch speed ovens flush with your cabinets. They can also be stacked with Bosch wall ovens, steam ovens, and warming drawers. They’re available in 24, 27, or 30-inch options.
Want over 175 pre-programmed recipes, a versatile design that can be customized to include a built-in installation, over the range format with ventilation, or double-oven? Plus more features than you can imagine? Then the Advantium speed oven from GE is the choice for you.
GE speed ovens use what is known as Advantium technology. It works by cooking the outer layer of food the same way as a conventional oven but uses primarily high-powered halogen lights to produce radiant heat. In addition, microwave energy supplements the cooking process in an Advantium oven when the specific program calls for it. This combination ensures even and thorough cooking while reducing cooking times dramatically. All happens without losing out on natural moisture of your food. Something that can be a risk with standard microwave cooking.
The Advantium technology harnesses the power of convection cooking, light, and microwave to cook your food with incredible even-ness while retaining its original moisture. But that’s not all GE speed ovens have to offer.
GE Advantium models offer Speedcooking, convection baking, broiling, toasting, warming, proofing, and traditional microwaving power.
GE’s Speedcook feature is arguably the greatest advantage of their Advantium oven. It ensures that food cooks flawlessly at every power level, combining the halogen lamp, ceramic heater, and microwave energy for the perfect blend of cooking for the perfect doneness. You can either adjust power levels via the preset menu or adjust them manually.
Want to use your Advantium speed oven like a conventional oven? Convection baking lets you do exactly that, using a 1550-watt heating element that lets you set temperatures anywhere between 250°F and 450°F. A built-in interior fan circulates heated air over your food for even cooking.
Speed ovens from GE take microwave cooking to the next level, letting you manage standard microwave tasks like reheating and defrosting while adding high-end features like a humidity sensor, that automatically detects when food is finished cooking and turns off. This ensures that food never ends up dried out or overcooked. Let’s see your standard microwave do that.
Advantium models from GE feature a 375W ceramic heater on the underside and a 500W halogen lamp and 700W ceramic heater on the top that cook food evenly in Speedcook, broiling, and toasting modes for the perfect doneness.
Warming and proofing modes in the GE Advantium speed oven don’t just do what classic proofing ovens do—they do a whole lot more. They feature special modes and algorithms designed to control the interior halogen lamps and make minor adjustments along the way, ensuring the perfect temperature for warming and proofing food. They’ll even keep cooked meals at the perfect serving temperature so that it’s ready the moment your guests are.
120V vs. 240V GE Advantium Models
Both the 12V and 240V Advantium speed ovens from GE offer the same great cooking options, including microwave, Speedcooking, convection baking, broiling, and warming/proofing features.
The key difference comes down to the cooking speed and the interior light heating functionality.
In the 240V Advantium model, you’ll find speeds up to 4-8x faster than conventional ovens, including multiple heat functions operating at once. For example, during a Speedcooking cycle, you could activate both the microwave and the upper/lower lamps all at once. You also don’t need to preheat the oven, except for convection cooking.
The 120V model, by contrast, offers cooking speeds 2-4x faster than a conventional oven with heat functions cycling on and off one at a time. There’s also a separate light for lighting the interior, as opposed to the 240V model which uses all lights for cooking.
Finally, users of the 120V model are advised to preheat the oven before cooking.
Wolf's speed oven design offers many of the features of other brands in this list including a 24 or 30-inch profile. You can choose to match your existing oven in a stacked formation, go for a standalone built-in look, or even place it under a counter or under a cooktop make the best use of your space. Wolf's timeless design elevates the look of any kitchen.
All Wolf speed ovens make perfect cooking as simple as the push of a button. Here is the overview of some cooking modes available:
- Popcorn - A single touch for the family favorite
- Beverage - Make hot chocolate, boil water for tea
- Reheat - Effective mode to reheat leftovers. Automatically adjusts time and power to retain the moisture of your food, revitalizes flavors.
- Gourmet - Let the oven do the work on pre-prepared recipes. It is like having your personal chef on the control screen.
- Convection - Use the size of your speed oven to your advantage. No need to wait for your large oven to preheat. Trust your convection mode to provide even results.
- Broil - Create a crusty finish or sear your meats with the high power broiler.
- Auto Defrost - Sensor technology allows for quick defrosting.
- Melt/Soften - If your recipe requirest softening the butter, chocolate, or cream cheese use this mode.
- Keep Warm - Turns your oven in a warming drawer for up to 90 minutes
- Micro Bake - Convection oven operates with the assistance of low powered microwave for faster results.
- Micro Roast - Roast chicken or vegetables combining the power of convection heat with microwave
- Microwave - Your oven will act like a traditional microwave in this mode.
Thermador also boasts an impressive entry into the speed oven market with their MC30WP. It features a professional, commercial-grade design that boasts high-end knobs and a thick pro-style handle. Not your style? Then opt for the Masterpiece Series with buttons and a more subdued, less robust handle design.
One of the most impressive features of the Thermador speed oven model is its 1.6 cubic feet of interior space, enough to easily fit a 9" x 13" pan. It may be smaller than your traditional oven, but it's plenty of space for excellent cooking of a wide range of dishes
Speed ovens truly allow users to access the future of cooking today, combining everything that makes conventional ovens and microwaves so effective— without any of the downsides. If you're looking for a futuristic cooking experience that lets you cut down on preheat and cooking times without sacrificing the quality of heating, texture, and doneness, then a speed oven might be just what you're looking for in your kitchen.
Want to find out more about speed ovens and everything they have to offer? Contact one of our pros at Designer Appliances today to learn more.
Can I use metal containers in Microwave mode in a Speed Oven?
Metal containers are not suitable in microwave mode or any mode that combines the power of the microwave.
Can you use aluminum foil in an Advantium oven?
GE's Advantium technology uses microwave technology. Aluminum foils should not be used in an Advantium oven.
Can you use a speed oven as a microwave?
Yes, a "speed oven" can be used as a pure microwave. As we explained in the article above speed ovens can do far more than a microwave such as bake, broil like a traditional oven or a convection oven.