ASKO - Under bench vs wall ovens

Under bench vs wall ovens

Back in the 1970s the wall oven was a major revolution in kitchen design. Sitting at bench height, it took up a whole column on the kitchen wall, taking up valuable bench space. Fast-forward to 2018 and high-density living and, with space a premium, we’re embracing not just free-standing ovens, but combination ovens that help to free up space in our kitchens.

When it comes to designing a kitchen, there are a number of considerations that influence whether you choose an under-bench oven or a wall oven. And, when you’re making your selection it should be less about the pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages of individual models, and more about how you like to cook, your lifestyle, the footprint you have available to you and how your kitchen can support those factors.

Under-bench ovens

The under-bench oven suits two lifestyles; one of the convenience seeker, and one of the minimalist.

From a lifestyle perspective, under-bench ovens tend to suit people who cook by necessity, not as a recreational activity! Maybe you eat to live rather than living to eat, or you’re time poor and really only have time to pop something in the oven between getting home from work and heading out for another fabulous night on the town, or to ferry your kids around the after-school sports circuit.

You are looking for your oven to get the job done behind the scenes, rather than making it a visual centerpiece to your kitchen. Basically, your oven is your workhorse.

A big clue to one of the main benefits of selecting an under-bench oven for your kitchen is in the name. By installing your oven under a bench, you free up bench-top space, which is particularly invaluable if you are space starved and need to maximise the functionality of every inch of your kitchen. This sings to the organized minimalist.

With innovative options like those in Asko’s Pro Series range, you can really start to leverage the space saving benefits of an under-bench oven by selecting a Steam Assist, Microwave Combi oven, or Multifunction oven. That way you get two or more appliances in the same space, freeing up bench space.

You can make your under-bench selection even more space efficient if you opt for a warming draw beneath your oven, and stack a drawer underneath that (hidden in your kicker) for oven trays and accessories so that they are at your fingertips when you are cooking and maximizing every millimeter of your kitchen.

From a design perspective, positioning your oven under your island bench, allows you to create a visually streamlined kitchen with clean lines and uncluttered surfaces. Perfect if you’re on a tight timeline when you’re in the kitchen, or your culinary pursuits are confined to grazing and fleeing with a plate in hand.

Wall ovens

If, however, you’re the sort of person who dreams of starring in a reality cooking show, and your dream weekend involves a food prepping frenzy, a wall oven is probably better suited to your lifestyle. Wall ovens bring ergonomic efficiency to a kitchen. You can install a wall oven at exactly the height you want it so you don’t have to keep bending over to pop things into and out of the oven, and you can easily check how your recipes are progressing.

You can make the working area of your kitchen even more ergonomically functional by installing a wall of appliances that groups your oven with a microwave oven and a steam oven for those big, showpiece baking tasks, a fridge and wine fridge, and adjacent food prep bench, to create a dedicated cooking area with the functionality to create the culinary masterpieces of your dreams.   

A bank of appliances could be just the standout visual luxury your kitchen needs, becoming the hero so you play down the significance of the bench and paneling surfaces. This can be more than enough to achieve your own 10 out of 10 for kitchen styling!

And, if you don’t want your appliances to pop, or dominate the look of your kitchen, you can choose a colour like black anthracite that blends beautifully with cabinetry for a seamless appearance. 

So, if you literally spend your life slaving over a hot stove for pleasure, a banked wall of appliances could be the perfect option when you are designing your new kitchen.

My oven choices

Because I work with Asko I was fortunate to have my choice of appliances at my fingertips when it came to fitting out my kitchen at Borough of Hawthorn.

I am not a big home cook so I didn’t want to have a wall of cooking appliances that took over my kitchen so I chose to split them up.

So, I have split my ovens into a wall stack incorporating a combination regular oven and a combination oven/microwave, and an under-bench steam oven for those special occasions when I’m entertaining and want the flexibility to cook for a large number of people. This means the appliances don’t overwhelm the space, but funnily enough people want to cook there because it feels relaxed and a fun place to cook.