Considering an Oven Without a Stovetop? Here’s What to Know

By Amanda Lutz Updated April 3, 2024

Most traditional kitchens have an oven and stovetop combo, where you can cook on the countertop-height stovetop, and use the oven underneath for casseroles, bread, baked dishes, and other items. However, this setup doesn’t always fit the needs of the modern home cook, making an oven without a stovetop a good option.

You have far more design options and opportunities with a separate stovetop and oven. You can place your stovetop centrally in your kitchen and position the oven along a wall near cabinets or other appliances. Installing an oven without a stovetop also opens additional counter space near your stove, allowing for more storage flexibility. In this guide, we’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of an oven without a stovetop, review key features to consider before installation, and discuss the associated costs of these two appliances.


Benefits and Drawbacks of Ovens without Stovetops

Whether you’re choosing a new oven and stovetop arrangement to match your kitchen’s aesthetic or want to increase your cooking capacity, consider both the benefits and drawbacks of this design choice before installation.

Here are the advantages of an oven without a stovetop:

Allows for more customizability: Because the two appliances are separate, you can optimize both to fit your cooking preferences. For example, you can invest in a convection oven for even heating, a cooktop with large burners, or an induction cooktop with a warming section. A single range offers less flexibility.

Helps with cooking capacity: Wall ovens typically include two full ovens, giving you extra space to cook meals for more people.

Provides more storage space: With a conventional range, your oven occupies the space under your stovetop. With a separate cooktop, you have more storage for pots, pans, and utensils.

Uses gas and electricity more cost-efficiently: Many home cooks want easy access to electricity and gas while cooking and can achieve this with a gas-powered stovetop and an electrical oven. There are dual-fuel units available, but these are often more expensive and don’t get you the same degree of versatility.

While separate cooktops and ovens have their benefits, there are some drawbacks that come with moving away from gas or electric ranges:

Can be hard to match appliances: Some kitchen brands don’t have matching appliances or don’t sell appliances in the same finish and style.

Has a more complicated installation: Stovetops without ovens and the ovens themselves require careful wiring and positioning that must be done by a professional installer. Hiring a contractor to complete this portion of the installation adds to the total cost of replacing your units.

Is less cost-effective: Purchasing a single range unit is more cost-effective than purchasing a stovetop and a separate oven. Many kitchens are also already outfitted with space for a range, further reducing the cost.

May require a kitchen redesign: Not all kitchens are built with a separate oven and stovetop in mind. If you’re making the switch to an oven without a stovetop, you may have to undergo a costly kitchen redesign to convert the open range space into storage and find wall space for your oven.


Types of Ovens Without Stovetops

Once you decide on a separate oven and stovetop, consider the type of oven you want for your kitchen. A small microwave oven might be a good option instead of a traditional conduction or radiant heat oven if you don’t bake or roast large dishes very often. Alternatively, you might want a wall oven for more cooking capacity.

Microwave Ovens

Microwave ovens use high-frequency electromagnetic waves to heat food. If you use your oven to primarily reheat food or prepare frozen and delivered meals, then a microwave oven may make more sense than a traditional oven.

Some common options include slim microwave ovens that double as range hoods, large microwave ovens that can be installed in walls, or conventional plug-in microwaves that you can install in cabinetry or on your countertop. However, microwaves have limited cooking capabilities, so they often work best as a supplement rather than a replacement for ovens. You can also purchase a toaster oven or countertop oven if you only want to reheat food.

Steam Ovens

Steam ovens are a versatile alternative to regular dry-heat ovens. They generate steam to precise, hot temperatures for cooking, making them a popular option for cooking vegetables, moist food, and premade meals. Some steam ovens are stand-alone units, while others can be dual steam and convection or dry-heat units.

However, dual units tend to be more expensive than other types of ovens. They also don’t have the browning or grilling capabilities of conventional ovens and have a slight learning curve.

Wall Ovens

Wall ovens are popular complements to stovetops. They come in a wide range of capabilities, sizes, and cooking options. You can purchase a double oven for cooking two items at once, a small wall unit that fits within a preexisting cavity, or a convection oven for roasting and air frying.

While plenty of wall oven options are available, they can be expensive. Wall units also require you to renovate your kitchen and create a cavity with the right dimensions and wiring.


Key Features to Consider

As you’re comparing different ovens without stovetops, we recommend creating a list of must-have and nice-to-have features. While you may want steam and convection cooking capabilities, your options may be limited based on the size of the preexisting space for an oven. Conversely, you might be completely redesigning your kitchen—in which case you can shop around to find the perfect oven and build the space around it.

Consider the following factors throughout the buying process:

Cooking Capabilities

Different ovens allow for various styles of cooking, such as:

Each cooking style works best with a slightly different method of applying heat, so look for ovens that prioritize your most-used cooking options.

Energy Efficiency

Ovens use relatively little energy because they aren’t on most of the time. However, they can overwhelm your kitchen while they’re in use. Most older homes don’t have the electrical capacity to power an oven, microwave oven, stovetop, and additional cooking appliances all at once.

You can solve this by having an electrician increase the amount of power your kitchen can handle at one time so you don’t have to deal with blown fuses or tripped circuits. Additionally, consider purchasing ENERGY STAR-rated appliances. These options are more efficient and are built to minimize energy waste.

Size

How much space does your kitchen require to manage your typical cooking needs? Think about your household size, the amount of cooking you do on a regular basis, and your cookware. Most baking sheets and pots are built to fit in standard-dimension ovens and may not work well with slimmer or narrower units. Additionally, determine whether you need a big oven that can accommodate multiple meals or a smaller oven so you don’t have to waste time or energy heating a big oven just to cook for one or two people.

Smart Features

Modern ovens offer more than just different cooking options, a clock, and a timer. Look for smart oven features, such as voice-enabled commands, remote access to the oven’s controls from your smartphone, and smart presets for your go-to recipes.

In addition to these smart features, you should also weigh other oven factors, such as the exterior material (for example, black stainless steel versus matte stainless steel), the brand of kitchen appliance (such as GE, Samsung, or Bosch), and specialty features such as warming drawers.


Installation Considerations

One of the biggest challenges of buying an oven without a stovetop is the installation. Wall units don’t have an exterior casing or a plug, as they’re designed to be directly wired into your home and installed within the wall.

If your home isn’t already set up for this style of oven, you’ll need to renovate your kitchen. An electrician and general contractor will create the space in a wall or cabinet and reconfigure your kitchen’s wiring. This step may even be necessary if you have an existing setup, as oven inserts come in different sizes.

Once your kitchen is ready for an oven without a stovetop, hire an electrician for the installation process.


Cost of Ovens without Stovetops

There are two major components to getting a new oven without a stovetop: the price of the appliance and the labor for installing or renovating your kitchen. Here are the average costs of popular ovens: 

Additionally, installation costs around $2,000 and typically includes the basic installation, configuring the right wiring, and retrofitting your cabinets or walls for a wall oven.

*Cost data in this section via Angi, Fixr, and HomeGuide.


Best Ovens Without Stovetops

The best oven for your kitchen depends on your space, cooking preferences, and budget. We recommend starting your shopping process by considering these two popular ovens without stovetops:


Our Recommendation

Replacing your standard electric or gas range with a new built-in wall oven without a stovetop is a great choice for people who love cooking and entertaining. Some benefits include more customization options, increased storage space, and improved cooking capacity, while some drawbacks include a more complicated installation and whole-kitchen redesign.

You can choose from slim models that can fit into small kitchens or find deluxe ovens with a variety of cooking capabilities and fine-tuned control. We recommend carefully evaluating your cooking needs and estimating the prices for both the appliance and the installation or renovation labor before making your final choice.


Oven Without Stovetop FAQ

Can I install an oven without a stovetop myself?

You can install an oven without a stovetop, but hiring an electrician is highly recommended. Ovens have special wiring requirements, and your kitchen might not have the right configuration.

What are the energy efficiency considerations for an oven without a stovetop?

The energy efficiency considerations for an oven without a stovetop are the interior size of the unit, the power source, and its ENERGY STAR rating. Consider the typical energy demands for your unit before making a purchase. You can always buy a smaller, more efficient unit if you don’t cook a lot of food at once.

How do I maintain an oven without a stovetop?

Maintain an oven without a stovetop by cleaning the interior regularly. Replacing these units can be expensive, so invest in preventive maintenance to protect your appliance. You can also familiarize yourself with your oven’s manufacturer’s error codes to respond promptly to issues.

Why are wall ovens more expensive?

Wall ovens are more expensive than standard ranges because they’re less common than ranges, so production costs more. They also have additional costs for specialty installation wrapped into the total cost of the project.