Double Oven Or Single Oven And Combi Microwave?
[Cover image – Nordiska Kök]
Struggling to decide between a double oven or single oven and combi microwave? 🤔
Selecting the right oven setup is a common dilemma for many of my kitchen design clients, often sparking lively discussions!
Added to this is the frequent misunderstanding of the differences between the two options. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, making the choice far from straightforward.
In this post, I’ll explain what a double oven or single oven and combi microwave setups are and go through the considerations of both to help you find your perfect oven setup.
Let’s get into it!
In a hurry? Here’s the key takeaway:
- A double oven is a single appliance with two smaller ovens, offering a space-saving design and cost-efficiency but limited cooking functions.
- A single oven and combi microwave setup, while providing more functions and larger combined capacity, requires more space and incurs a higher cost due to being two separate appliances.
Read on to learn more…
The Double Oven Setup
A double oven consists of two separate oven spaces that enable simultaneous cooking of different dishes at varying temperatures.
While each oven generally offers less capacity than a standard single oven, they come in various configurations, including designs with one larger and one smaller oven, or two ovens of equal size.
The standard dimensions for these units are approximately 90cm in height, 60cm in width, and 55cm in depth.
Designed to integrate seamlessly into kitchen cabinetry, a double oven is commonly installed within a tall, full-height cabinet usually at the waist or eye level for convenient access to both compartments.
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The Single Oven And Combi Microwave Setup
A single oven with a combi microwave setup comprises two distinct appliances: a full-sized single oven and a compact combination oven featuring a microwave function.
These units are designed for built-in installation, typically arranged within a tall, full-height cabinet where the combi microwave sits conveniently above the single oven, both positioned at an accessible waist or eye level.
Although, technically, they can be installed in separate cabinets, side-by-side with a warming drawer beneath the combi oven is also popular. It really depends if this benefits your kitchen’s layout.
Standard dimensions for a single oven are 60cm in height, while the compact combi microwave measures 45cm high, giving a combined height of 105cm.
Both appliances are 60cm wide and have an approximate depth of 55cm, ensuring a cohesive fit within kitchen cabinetry.
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Double Oven Vs Single Oven And Combi Microwave Considerations
A double oven typically comes at a lower price compared to the cumulative cost of a single oven and a separate combi microwave, serving well for those who require two separate ovens without the necessity for microwave functionality.
On the other hand, while a combi microwave is generally more costly, its value is in the dual functionality it offers.
It’s essential to evaluate the practical use of the combi’s features in your daily cooking to determine if the investment is justified, considering it provides both oven and microwave capabilities in one unit.
A double oven generally offers between 100-120 litres, suitable for larger meals or simultaneous cooking of multiple dishes.
In contrast, a single oven and combi microwave setup provides a combined capacity ranging from 90 to 130 litres, with single ovens around 60-80 litres and combi ovens between 30-50 litres.
This means the single oven and combi microwave combination potentially offers greater capacity, but it’s important to note that exact capacities vary depending on the appliance’s make and model.
If choosing appliances on the smaller end of the capacity spectrum, the total might be less than that of a large double oven.
Therefore, it’s always advisable to check the specific oven specifications to ensure they meet your cooking needs.
In terms of size and the impact on cabinet space, a double oven setup typically occupies a 90cm vertical space within cabinetry, which might allow room for an additional drawer compared to the 105cm required for a single oven and combi microwave combination.
Also, a single oven and combi setup can often lead to a higher placement in a standard ‘stock’ oven housing cabinet, potentially making the combi microwave less accessible and too high for some.
While a double oven needs a full-height cabinet, a single oven and combi microwave can offer more layout flexibility as these can be built under the counter or placed separately within the kitchen, potentially allowing for more kitchen design options.
The functionality of a double oven setup is straightforward: it provides two ovens that can cook at different settings simultaneously, which is ideal for baking and roasting different dishes that require separate temperatures.
On the other hand, a single oven and combi microwave setup extend beyond mere oven cooking; they offer the versatility to bake, roast, grill, and microwave, sometimes even allowing for combination cooking using microwave and convection modes.
As well as this, typically, single and combi microwave ovens come with a variety of multifunctional cooking features, more so than standard double ovens.
Again, the exact features, however, will depend on the specific make and model of the appliances chosen.
Aesthetically, both double oven setups and single oven with combi-microwave combinations can appear very similar at a glance, which often leads to confusion; I’ve had many clients mistake the latter for a double oven due to their cohesive design.
However, from an aesthetics point of view, the single and combi setup provides the added benefit of incorporating a microwave into the oven unit, eliminating the need for a separate microwave on the countertop.
This can contribute to a cleaner look and more free counter space for food preparation, enhancing the kitchen’s overall neatness and functionality.
Ease Of Use
Double ovens offer straightforward functionality, with each oven operating independently, which many users find intuitive and user-friendly.
In contrast, combi ovens can sometimes be perceived as complex, with some users not favouring the microwave function or not utilizing the combination cooking settings.
This complexity can make a combi oven seem like an expensive investment for features that are not fully utilized.
For those who prefer simplicity or are less technologically inclined, a separate microwave—either built-in or countertop—might be a more practical choice, keeping the cooking process uncomplicated and familiar.
While combi ovens offer advanced features, they come with the caveat that if the microwave component breaks, repairs or replacements can be costly due to their complex technology and integrated design.
On the flip side, should a countertop microwave malfunction, it is typically much less expensive and simpler to replace.
|Feature||Double Oven||Single Oven + Combi Microwave|
|Cost||Generally less expensive||More expensive due to two appliances|
|Functionality||Two ovens for varied cooking settings||More versatile with multiple cooking modes|
|Installation||Requires full-height cabinet space||Flexible installation options|
|Flexibility||Fixed positioning in design||Adaptable to different kitchen layouts|
|Aesthetics||Symmetrical, built-in look||Streamlines design, frees counter space|
|Size||90cm height required||105cm combined height when stacked|
|Ease of Use||Straightforward, separate controls||Potentially complex features|
|Complications||Straightforward replacement||Costlier and more complex to repair/replace|
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Alternative Oven Setup Option
Exploring other oven setups, a popular alternative I’ve been designing more of lately is having two single ovens with a separate stand-alone microwave.
This configuration offers ample cooking capacity with the straightforward functionality of a traditional microwave, which can be neatly housed in a wall cabinet or a larder/pantry cupboard.
This keeps countertops clear and maintains a streamlined kitchen design. Alternatively, you could go for a countertop microwave model to save money and keep things even more simple. But you get the idea!
However, this setup lacks the advanced features of a combi microwave, so you wouldn’t have the option for combination microwave and convection cooking, which can be a drawback for those who appreciate the convenience of multi-mode cooking.
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Double Oven Or Single Oven And Combi Microwave: Which Is Best?
As with almost everything related to kitchen design, it depends! 😂
Personally, I’d pick the single oven and combi microwave oven, but that’s just me!
The choice between a double oven and a single oven with a combi microwave isn’t about right or wrong, it hinges on which setup suits your cooking habits and kitchen space most.
And only you can know that!
By thoroughly evaluating each aspect I’ve discussed, from cost and capacity to ease of use and potential complications, you’ll ensure that your choice aligns with your lifestyle and kitchen design.
Ultimately, trust your gut to guide your decision!
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Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.