May 25

What Type of Oven Do I Have At Home? | Various Types Explained!

Author: Cornelia Suehr and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

The oven is the heart and soul of any kitchen, as it is where most of the cooking takes place. There are many types of ovens, each with a particular cooking method and other characteristics.

Most people ask a common question: What type of oven do I have? This article will dive deep to answer the kinds of ovens in most households, their features, and how they work.

Once you have sufficient information, it will be easier to assess which type of oven you have and the most suitable for you. Let’s dive in.

What Type of Oven Do I Have?

Conventional and convection ovens are the two main types of ovens. These terms refer to a broader concept of the distribution of heat. Let's define them.

1. Conventional Oven

Conventional ovens contain a bottom-mounted heat source, like a stove. In addition, there are ovens with built-in heat sources and others that you need to mount on a stove. This oven is dependable for heavy-duty use. However, the roasting results are often uneven.

2. Convection Oven

The convection oven, also called a thermal oven, has enough power to cook food in all directions. It gives you the option of convection cooking, such as roasting or baking your food. A convection oven uses an electric fan to disperse heat. However, electrical failure or a small fan might cause inconsistent baking results.

Below is a list of various ovens, their functions, and their optimal uses. It will assist you in figuring out what kind of oven you have.

a person opening oven door

Types of Ovens Depending on the Source of Heat Energy

Gas Ovens

Since the early 20th century, gas ovens have been popular throughout North America. They work by heating the bottom, usually using a gas flame as the heat source. To put it simply, they cook their meals from the bottom up. 

They also contain a separate top chamber for broiling, but some versions simultaneously let you use both the top and bottom functions.

The oven is well-known for speedily heating food and providing precise temperature control. Also, ovens can cook many meals in one go because it's so big.

However, it has the drawback of being more susceptible to temperature fluctuations, resulting in uneven heating. You may require extra time to cook your food in a typical gas oven because it produces a higher humidity level.

Who Is It Built for?

Gas ovens are a great option if you wish to cook food rapidly but don't mind the occasional temperature variations. Since most kitchens already have a gas line, installing a traditional gas oven is simple. However, gas ovens are more expensive than electric ones.

biscuits baking in the gas oven

Electric Ovens

Conventional gas and electric ovens have several features in common, including bottom-up heating elements and many configurations to choose from. The heating element source is the fundamental distinction between the two. 

They use a burner element driven by electricity in electric ovens, whereas gas ovens use a gas flame for cooking your food. It is the only difference between the two.

Most times, electric ovens are less expensive than gas ovens. In addition, they don't produce a lot of moisture and are less susceptible to temperature changes. However, if the power goes out, you won't be able to do any baking or cooking. Compared to gas ovens, they cook slower.

Who is it made for?

If you are looking for reliable and uniform heating, electric ovens are the best solution. These ovens are ideal for baking and roasting since they deliver dry heat. 

It is also easy to use and clean, allowing you to produce excellent results and making your life easier. Finally, if your home doesn’t have a gas line, an electric oven is an excellent alternative.

electric oven on white background

Microwave Ovens

You can use microwave ovens to quickly and efficiently heat a wide range of food. As their name implies, they use microwaves, a type of electromagnetic radiation, to heat food in minutes or even seconds.

If you’re looking for something compact, a microwave oven is ideal. As a result, it’s most commonly used for heating leftovers and making simple meals. 

It also won't brown or caramelize food, which may benefit depending on the baking or cooking.

Who Is It for?

The type of oven is quick, simple, and highly convenient. People who need their food to be ready in minutes will find this ideal.

Remember that a microwave oven can only heat pre-cooked food or make simple meals. Not suitable for those who need to cook at high temperatures, such as frying or baking. However, if you have the money, you can buy a microwave with your regular oven.

a person preparing meal in a microwave oven

Toaster Oven

A toaster oven is a slightly smaller appliance compared to a countertop microwave. You can use it for easy cooking tasks, such as baking bread or pizzas, roasting vegetables, or grilling meat.

A countertop toaster oven is an excellent option if you have little counter space in your kitchen. Installing and using it is easy. However, you can only prepare a limited set of foods. In addition, a toaster oven won’t produce the same quality of baked goods as a larger, more powerful oven.

Who Is It for?

It’s well suited for simple baking and cooking tasks. Toasting, browning, broiling, and defrosting tiny amounts of food are all included in this method. In addition, this sort of oven is a wonderful option if you are on a budget or have a small kitchen. Be careful that it won’t allow you to make fancy pastries or dishes.

a person baking bread in a toaster oven

Steam Ovens

In recent years, water-based steam ovens have grown increasingly popular as an alternative for home cooks who don’t want to use gas. With a steam oven, water is first injected into a boiler and then heated using steam, either from an external canister or directly from the water supply. 

The steam reduces the amount of oil needed, which might be a healthier option for households.

Steam ovens preserve more nutrients and also minimize cooking times, even though they may not be the ideal choice for everyone. Steam ovens are more expensive than standard ovens, costing upwards of $1,000 for the most basic units.

the inside of an oven

What Are the 3 Types of Ovens According to Size?

Ovens come in different sizes, and household ovens often fall into three categories.

Single Oven

Single ovens are the most common choice for households. Small families can get by with a standard oven on their regular cooking schedules. The wall oven can be a stand-alone unit, or you can integrate it into a larger unit, such as a stove.

Double Oven

People with large families or host parties can often benefit from having double ovens. It saves time by cooking two things at once. Convection and conduction ovens are both available for double wall ovens.

Triple Oven

Buying a triple oven is now possible. In 2016, Samsung introduced its first "triple oven," a double oven with cleverly divided space. As a result, there is enough room at the pan's bottom to roast a whole chicken or bake a cake.

double built-in oven by the fridge

Types of Ovens for Different Installations

In a small kitchen, it's essential to know the standard oven types based on installation. Here are a few examples from everyday life.

Freestanding Oven

A freestanding oven is a common choice for modern cookware in terms of setup. You can choose from a wide variety of options with this product type. It's the cheapest and easiest to set up, and you can use it in nearly any kitchen design.

Wall-mounted Oven

It is common to have an oven mounted on the wall in a small kitchen. It's ideal for a kitchen that doesn't have a lot of counter space. However, the installation costs are expensive.

Slide-in Oven

Installing slide-in ovens is as simple as gliding the oven into a cabinet made for that purpose. However, it is more expensive than a stand-alone unit, but not as pricey as a wall-mounted one. The oven and the cabinet gap are narrower than a slide-in oven, making it harder for crumbs to fall through.

Drop-In Oven

You fit drop-in ovens by lifting and lowering them into a specially built cabinet. Compared to the slide-in model, this one is harder to put together. In the end, though, the outcome is a luxury kitchen with a smooth, unified aesthetic.

closeup of an oven in the kitchen

Features of Different Ovens

Many modern ovens now have additional features that enhance their functionality even further. Here are a few different ovens based on the extras they have.

Self-Cleaning Oven

Self-cleaning ovens eliminate the residues, preventing buildup that would make manual cleaning more difficult. The oven has additional insulation that aids in cleaning. However, before starting the cleaning process, make sure there aren't any significant crumbs or leftovers. They will catch fire and emit smoke, so be careful.

Slow-Cooking Oven

You can set a delay in cooking time for this oven's automatic baking and roasting control. When the food cooks to the desired temperature, it will shut off automatically. Using the oven is a good idea if you're prone to losing track of time.

Smart Oven 

Smart home appliances now come standard with built-in Wi-Fi. You can link cooking-related tasks to the built-in Wi-Fi. Even if you're running around the home and still need to bake anything, you can still operate the oven from another room.

Multifunction Oven

You can use the multifunction oven for cooking a variety of distinct cuisines because of its specialized cooking features. Multifunction ovens have features such as:

  • Grilling
  • Fast cooking and slow cooking
  • Defrosting

The oven also makes it easy to proof the dough until it is ready for baking.

hi-end kitchen equipment

An Oven That Suits Your Needs

Modern ovens are much more than a place to bake and roast food. They come with features, heat sources, and installation options that vary widely, making it difficult to generalize about a single model. 

The type of oven you have depends on how often you cook and what you're preparing. Your oven should be able to accommodate your cooking style, regardless of the price or type of your appliance.

About the author

Cornelia Suehr

A professional chef and a passionate writer on all topics related to cooking, baking, appliances and kitchenware. Her posts resonate with foodies, home chefs and professionals.


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