If you like the idea of checking in on how your roast is doing while sitting outside enjoying a pre-lunch aperitif, a smart oven could be for you.
Smart technology is increasingly part of daily lives, and the latest place it’s making its presence felt is in the kitchen.
Traditional kitchen appliances – such as fridge freezers, washing machines and ovens – are increasingly embracing wi-fi connectivity. In fact, most of the big oven brands, such as Bosch, Neff, AEG and Miele, already have smart ovens in their ranges.
While there are some low-cost smart ovens (see the Hoover model below), prices can be as high as £1,500, but generally you can expect to pay around £700 to £800.
Which? has been testing smart ovens to see what they do, what they don’t do and importantly, what you should know before you buy one.
If you just need a great new oven, smart or otherwise, go to our Best Buy oven reviews.
What a smart oven can do
Once you’ve downloaded the companion app, your smart oven will usually allow you to:
- Adjust cooking temperature and duration while you’re out, using your mobile
- Monitor your cooking remotely in real time – via a camera in the oven linked to your mobile
- Receive mobile alerts notifying you when a cooking programme has finished
- Give a service engineer remote access to your appliance
- Control some functions of your oven with voice control – using Google Assistant, Alexa or Apple HomeKit.
For more information on voice-assisted control, head to our advice page on Google assistant, Alexa and Siri commands.
What a smart oven can’t do
You won’t be surprised to learn that unfortunately, a smart oven doesn’t actually make dinner for you and may not be as versatile as you expect. For example, you won’t be able to:
- Turn on your oven ad-hoc while you’re out of the house. For safety reasons, on each occasion you want app-control, you have to prepare the oven before you go out.
- Operate all oven functions via the app – for example high-temperature pyrolytic cleaning cannot be switched on remotely, also for safety reasons.
- Guarantee how long it will be supported – we expect our ovens to last much longer than our mobiles or laptops. But when we’ve asked, manufacturers have given vague or conflicting responses around how long they will support the ‘smart’ component with updates. Without these, smart functionality could be affected, and like any smart device, it could become vulnerable to cyber-threats.
Still not convinced of the benefits? Read Smart ovens: five ways smart tech will change the way you cook
What is the best smart oven?
Here are three smart ovens – at a range of prices – that we think are worth checking out.
1. Neff B47CS34H0B Slide&Hide single oven
£835 from AO and John Lewis
This Neff oven features the swish Slide&Hide door that keen fans will have clocked in the Bake-Off tent. The door slides under the oven, allowing easier access to your food. A pair of telescopic runners gives additional help for shifting heavier items in and out.
Neff ovens, like Bosch and Siemens products, use Home Connect. This platform allows smart control of other appliances, such as fridge freezers and dishwashers, as well as ovens.
Before reaching for your wallet, don’t forget to check out how well this oven cooks. Head to our full Neff B47CS34H0B/68 oven review to find out.
2. Hoover HOZ7173IN WIFI single oven
£350 from Appliances Direct
This Hoover oven could be tempting if you want to go smart without splashing out a fortune. It’s the cheapest smart oven we’ve come across by a mile and has features you usually only see on pricier models.
It uses the Hoover Wizard App to communicate with the oven, which contains an HD camera, so you should get a decent view of how your dinner is progressing.
It also comes with a cooking probe – good for checking if meat or fish has warmed up to a safe temperature on the inside.
Find out if this oven really is a bargain by reading how it fared in our rigorous tests in the full Hoover HOZ7173IN WIFI oven review.
3. Miele H7164BP single oven
£1,316 from Currys PC World
If you fancy treating yourself to a top-of-range oven, this Miele model has all the bells and whistles going.
Alongside its smart credentials, steam-cooking feature and touch controls, this oven also has a very effective pyrolytic self-cleaning programme.
It uses the Miele MobileControl app to allow you to make the adjustments you need.
Can it be worth the investment? Our detailed Miele H7164BP oven review gives the lowdown on whether this oven cooks as well as it looks.
If you’re tempted to try a smart oven, head to our smart oven reviews.
How Which? tests smart ovens
All ovens at the Which? lab undergo our tough cooking tests. We measure how closely an oven sticks to the correct temperature and how evenly it spreads heat. We also rate ovens on how easy they are to use and clean, and the effectiveness of the grill.
On top of this, we check out the accompanying smart oven apps and report on how they stack up in terms of security, safety and functionality.
- Security An insecure oven app can allow hackers to access your home wi-fi network and gain control of your oven and other connected appliances. This could include your computer or tablet. We make sure that the oven apps are as secure as they should be – looking at firmware, password strength requirements and how much personal data you need to supply. We’ll let you know if we have any concerns.
- Safety If the app allows you to do anything that has implications for physical safety, such as turn it on remotely with the door open, we highlight this in reviews. We tell manufacturers what we find and press them to make changes. We regularly check for app updates and report on any changes.
- Functionality Some apps are simple and intuitive to use, while others can be fiddly. For each app, we check what it allows you to do and how easy it is to use.
Like the sound of smart appliances? Here are a few other smart products we test:
Find out more about how to set up a smart home.