To me, ovens are like cars. reliability is paramount, but add a couple cutting-edge options, and you’ve got yourself a dream machine. My own oven is as dependable as a rust-pocked Yugo, but I recently test-drove four just-off-the-line ovens, each with the kind of innovative technology that makes gearheads like me run for the message boards. One is unprecedented in its speed and efficiency, another boasts the ultimate rotisserie, a third is equipped for high-capacity dehydrating, and the last brings a chef’s secret weapon—steam—into the home kitchen. I approached them as I would any new car: Kick the tires, take a few sharp corners and goose the engines past everyday speeds to see how they handle the abuse.
TurboChef Double Speedcook 30-inch wall oven
$7,895; 866-543-6569 or turbochef.com.
The new TurboChef Speedcook oven promises exactly what many 21st-century consumers ask for: more speed, less thinking. Originally developed to make fast food faster (you’ll find commercial TurboChefs at Subway and Starbucks), its “Airspeed Technology” cooks food up to 15 times faster than conventional ovens, according to the literature. It works by combining bursts of microwave heat with convection heat blown through dozens of holes in the top and bottom of the oven, hugging the food inside. Plus, the oven knows which combination of heating methods is best for whatever you put into it, thanks to the hundreds of foods it’s been preprogrammed to cook.