Are you looking to purchase a wall oven with a proven track record of durability, flexibility, and true value? A Viking wall oven is sure to answer to all your baking, broiling, and roasting needs!
If you've used professional-grade kitchen appliances as far back as the ’90s, you’d remember that Viking was once the gold standard for high-end kitchen appliances.
Viking introduced the first professional-grade kitchen appliance (the Viking range) in 1987. For many years after, the name Viking was synonymous with professional-grade ranges, right until they had some problems in the past decade that cost the company a loss of sales and customer trust.
Viking is slowly climbing back to the top but this time by producing consistently high calibre, top-quality products. In this article, we'll look into their oven models, how they measure up under standard oven features, and we'll also take a look at their best products.
What Makes a Good Wall Oven?
There are some crucial factors to consider before purchasing a wall oven, so let's break it down for you.
Cooking Power & Features
An oven’s most important feature is its cooking power. So, an oven that packs a lot of exciting features, but doesn’t measure up in the cooking department, won’t be so useful in the end.
Besides maximum cooking temperature, you have to look at preheating time, cooking options/settings, and the oven’s convection technology.
First, you certainly do not want to wait half an hour for your oven to preheat. Then you need to ask questions like, can I have two different dishes in the oven at different cooking settings? Can I monitor the cooking to make sure it comes out perfect? Can I control the oven remotely? These are basic oven features you should look out for when choosing.
Viking VDOF7301SS French door oven has an optional preheat feature that allows you to cook certain foods in the Convection Bake mode without preheating the oven. Its 8 1/2-inch fan blade is the biggest in the industry and ensures better distribution of heat.
If you are replacing an existing oven, the size of the oven is something to consider. Ovens come in different sizes depending on your chosen brand. Take appropriate measurements before heading to the showroom. Before you buy, compare the size specification with the size of your oven opening to make sure it’s a match.
Consider a larger oven if you are remodeling your kitchen, and you have extra room. Larger ovens offer more flexibility when preparing dishes for family and friends. Entertaining over the holidays is a game changer with a larger oven.
You can also choose the single ovens or the double ovens, depending on your preference and your baking, braising and roasting aspirations.
No one will be happy spending much money on service repairs especially soon after buying an oven. That’s even the more reason why you should ask questions before purchasing your wall oven. Thankfully, our reviews on popular wall oven brands also cover their reliability. What we've found is that you’re probably safer off sticking to premium and trusted brands.
2008-2015 were tough years for Viking. But Middleby Corporation, which is known for its commercial cooking appliances, retooled the Viking factory, re-engineered the products, and expanded its service network. Thanks to that intervention and the 2-year warranty Viking offers when you purchase their products, the brand is considered one of the most reliable in the industry.
Effective Self Clean
An oven is a really tough to clean manually. That’s where the self-clean option comes in pretty handy. The heating elements takes the oven interior to a high temperature (about 900F), burning off grease and soil and leaving some leftover ash, a little smoke, and a shiny oven when it’s done. Some high-end brands improve the process by adding other factors such as steam into the mix.
But you certainly don’t want an oven that takes the whole day to self-clean, which is why evaluating the self-clean feature is vital.
Viking ovens take between 3 to 4 hours to complete a self-clean cycle (depending on the model). The company also advises you to take out the broiler pan and oven racks before kicking off the cycle. It may not be the fastest cycle in the industry in that aspect, but there are only a few high-end brands that can do better.
Design that Complements Your Kitchen
While the cooking power should be the most critical factor at play in your choice of wall ovens, the design is something you should not overlook. A wall oven with good exterior design adds to the overall style of your kitchen.
These days, brands like to add unique touches to their design finishes to give it a certain visual appeal. It may be a fingerprint-resistant stainless steel finish, stylish control knobs, or an impressive touchscreen display.
Viking’s VDOF7301 French Door, for example, opens both doors of the oven simultaneously when you try to open just one. The stove also has heavy-duty metal knobs that are accented with CoolLit LED lights. There’s also the brilliant stainless-steel finish that adds to the luxury feel of your kitchen.
What Does Convection Mean?
Convection is a word frequently associated with wall ovens, and you may be wondering what it means.
A regular oven has a heating element at the bottom for baking. One prevalent problem this brings about is the irregular distribution of heat. Some parts of the oven receive more heat than the others. Convection solves this problem.
A standard convection fan has its heating element at the back and a fan behind it, which helps distribute the heat equally inside the oven. That’s convection at play, and all good wall oven models use this technology.
In recent years, oven brands have tried to outplay each other by improving on existing convection technology. We now have the dual convection in which the oven makes use of two heating elements and two fans to improve circulation. There’s also the true convection in which the fan is placed before the heating element (each fan has a dedicated heating element) at the back of the oven.
The Viking VDOF7301 is pretty exceptional in this regard. It makes use of the Vari-Speed Dual Flow Convection technology. The convection system has two-speed settings and can turn the fan in either direction. The fan blade is also the largest in the industry, which is technically supposed to improve airflow.
Viking Oven Types
Viking has three oven types (by configuration): single ovens, double ovens (including French Door ovens), and specialty ovens (such as Steam and TurboChef Speed oven). But before we delve into the types, let’s look at the 4 Viking wall oven series and their unique properties.
The 3 series is the least in the total Viking wall oven collection. The electric ovens are purely performance-focused and offer design brilliance for ease in customizing your kitchen.
Viking starts from the 5 series to offer premium oven features. The oven models have the most spacious oven cavities in the industry and are designed for commercial cooking. This is quite convenient if you plan to do some heavy cooking, or you want a commercial-grade oven in your kitchen.
Virtuoso 6 Series (same as the 7 Series but with minor exterior design differences)
Viking introduces optional integrated ovens with the 6 series. Integrated ovens are designed to fit directly into a kitchen cabinet unit, creating a streamlined and flush outlook. The Virtuoso 6 series oven models are equipped with a two-speed convection system for better airflow. Then there is the color interface control display, which improves the modern outlook of your kitchen.
The 7 series contain oven models built for “total convenience.” They have the same superior performance and quality as other Viking models and are equipped with commercial oven technology, along with the unique Viking design.
Double ovens allow you to prepare more dishes simultaneously than a single oven does. Premium oven brands now offer more than just two ovens in one; there is now the combination ovens. You could have a steam oven on a speed oven or a microwave on a standard oven. This gives you more flexibility and space to cook whatever you want. Viking has more than 40 double oven models across all series.
Viking has more than 40 single oven models across all series. They fit nicely under countertops and are suitable for most kitchen sizes. With single ovens, you only have one space for your baking and grilling. This should work nicely for a small household.
French Door Style
Regular ovens may create space problems in smaller kitchens due to their door swings. There are three types of door swings available: the traditional drop-down swing, the side swing, and the French door design.
The traditional drop-down swing may hinder you from taking out the hot dish from the oven properly, leading to possible burns. The side swing solves this problem by allowing you to open the door towards a side and take out you the hot dish easily. But this only works perfectly in a kitchen with enough space for the door swing.
The French door gives you the best ingress and egress of all three. The oven has two doors, which both open at the middle and swing to the side. The Viking VDOF7301 takes the French door technology to another level. You only just need to open one door for the other to follow suit simultaneously.
Specialty Ovens, Convection Steam
Viking has some wall oven models that are classified as “specialty ovens.” There are the speed ovens that combine the convection technology with microwave technology such as the VDOT730. Viking also has the “Combi Steam” ovens, like the MVSOC530, that combine steam cooking and convection technology.
Our Top Viking Oven Picks
Viking has some outstanding wall oven models across the series and configuration types. Here are what we consider the three best Viking wall ovens.
Viking French Door Double Oven (Best Overall)
It’s no surprise that the 7 Series VDOF7301 is our consideration for the best Viking wall oven of all. Besides the French door that makes it very convenient, it has some impressive features.
To start with, it’s a 7 series model, so besides the large oven capacity, it has incredible cooking power and brings professional-grade cooking to your home. It uses the Vari-Speed Dual flow convection technology and has the largest fan blade in the industry. This makes it one of the best in the industry in terms of cooking performance.
The VDOF7301 also has the optional preheat feature, the CoolLit LED light accented metal knobs, three internal Halogen lights, and a 20-min oven steam clean feature.
Viking marketed the 7 Series VDOT730 as the fastest oven in the world. The top oven cooks food 15 times faster than a regular oven. It can cook a 12 lb. Turkey in a little over 40 mins (conventional ovens can take up to 2 hours to prepare the same).
Besides the patented Airspeed technology, the VDOT730 has other impressive features. The top oven can serve as a microwave when desired, and the oven itself has more than 500 predetermined cooking modes. The VDOT730 also has easy-to-operate touch controls and display.
Viking French Door Premiere Single Oven (Best Single)
The last oven on our best Viking wall oven list is the VSOF7301 – the single oven version of the VDOF7301. Just like the VDOF7301, it has French doors for convenience, a large capacity oven, and also the Vari-speed Dual Flow convection technology. It also uses the unique Viking TruConvec cooking system and is equipped with the optional preheat feature as well.
Viking Range has come a long way in providing a quality kitchen experience, and indeed has some of the best wall ovens in the industry. The company offers the largest oven capacity in the industry, better convection technology, and also better convenience. They also provide the standard industry support with the 2-year warranty on their ovens. Going for a Viking wall oven is not a bad idea at all.
Are Viking ovens gas or electric?
While Viking has both gas and electric ranges, its stand-alone wall ovens are all of the electric types.
Is Viking a good brand?
Yes! Viking is one of the top kitchen appliance brands in the industry. Since Middleby Corporation acquired the company in 2012, it has made rapid improvements in both product quality and innovation.
How long is the Viking warranty?
Viking offers the standard 2-year warranty on all their wall ovens. Some specific models have more extended warranty periods for some of the product parts.
How well do Viking ovens stack up against brands such as Wolf, Thermador, Miele, or Viking?
Wolf, Thermador, Viking, Miele, and JennAir are all highly rated, premium oven manufacturers. It is hard to compare all of them. We reviewed these brands and more on our blog. You can find our exclusive reviews and buying guides here.