The Autumn Kitchen

I am firing up my oven once again, now that there is a chill in the air. I think “comfort foods” must refer, mostly, to those savory dishes that we cook in cool weather, don’t you? Our beautifully displayed le crueset ovens, ready once again for a long braise, the simplicity of a chicken on the oven rotisserie attachment, pizza on a stone … the cool weather brings back the use of our ovens with great pleasure!

Of course, one of the first questions, when planning a kitchen, is what to design into the kitchen, a range or single/double wall ovens? The answer, I must say, IS subjective. Here are some issues to ponder:

Wall Ovens or Range – Think carefully if a wall oven, designed for best ergonomic use, trumps a range, in a small kitchen especially, considering its seemingly massive loss of counter space. This is one of the top issues that small kitchen owners must resolve. To some, especially if bending way down presents a problem, it just may be worth it.

Wall Oven Placement – In most kitchens, and I know it’s hard to believe, the wall ovens are the least used appliance in the kitchen. Conventional kitchen design wisdom says that the placement of wall ovens can, therefore, be placed a distance away from the busiest areas of the kitchen. That said, don’t forget to design in landing area counter space close to the oven for safety.

My friend, Sean, an awesome chef who cooks in a small kitchen, and author of Spectacularly Delicious, swears by cooking with a 30″ range that houses two separate ovens. Each oven can be set at a different temperature, just like separate wall ovens. Two full size wall ovens are not always needed. Sometimes it’s more important to be able to cook at different temperatures rather than having an extra large cavity which goes to waste more often than not. An exciting product is the 40″ double oven range…two full height ovens side by side rather than one below the other.

Sometimes I’ve had clients who did not want to sacrifice counter space for wall ovens, but who wanted two ovens. In this case, think in a flexible way! Two single ovens can sit below the counter, on each side of a cooktop, or they can reside next to one another in another spot, still saving precious counter space. Alternatively, use a range and put a second single oven elsewhere in the kitchen under a countertop, say, on the side of an island or even a bit out of the way of the busy kitchen area to serve its supplementary/on occasion purpose.

I do know this…I’ve had a double wall oven for 20 years. I only use the second oven one day a year, Thanksgiving, but I am THRILLED to have it on that day!


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  1. good points Sean!

  2. It's Sean here, of the dual ovens mentioned above. I have never had an occassion where I've wished for two full-sized ovens -- and we entertain a lot. So it's a great space saver plus the smaller one doubles as a toaster (does a great job) so one less countertop appliance.


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