The Oven Situation

Up until now, I did not know the difference between a wall oven and an undercounter oven, I pretty much thought that they were one in the same. That is until I called Euro Chef, the American distributor of DeLonghi appliances. A friend had told me that she wanted to have the same set up as I was doing, but couldn’t due to code. In my query, I found out that the DeLonghi was not meant to be an undercounter and that in order for it to comlpy to the national gas code, it has to be 22″ off the floor. Freak out – I already purchased the oven, now I can’t use it? The purchase can be undone, it hasn’t even been shipped to me, but it’s finally time to do homework.

1) Is it really that bad?
Trawling through the internet, I come to find that Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan of Apartment Therapy has the same combo as I do, set in the way that I want to. Now, if this guru of renovation has this, how bad can it be? I e-mailed him and have yet to find out. On one website, a similar question was posed, and the response was that probably nothing would happen, but it would void the warranty and should something happen, it would probably void one’s insurance. That would be bad.

2) The alternatives
Making sure that I’ve checked the “technical details”, that the oven is “undercounter installable”, I think I looked at every wall oven on the web. Most are completely out of my price range, or downright ugly, and not much comes in 24″. So it came down to three:
Fisher & Paykel – the top of my price limit, but a reputable brand
Fagor – never heard of the brand, could be hard to get
Ikea – do I dare?
I gave the choices to my architect and he whole heartedly chose the Ikea. He thought it was the best looking of the three and pointed out that it was made by Whirlpool. Having seen it this weekend, it was neither flimsy or sad.

More recon on the web revealed that all Whirlpool ovens are not perfect. One door shattered, one door got stuck while in use, one control panel melted. Is this better than the inappropriate DeLonghi?

It occurred to me that DeLonghi also makes an electric range – for almost twice as much money – could this work for me? The instruction manual shows undercounter installation, but can I put the cooktop above it? I’ll have to talk to a real person…


2 Responses to “The Oven Situation”

  1. Venson Thomas Says:


    What a great story this is! I discovered you quite by accident while looking for — of all things — an undercounter oven. My problem is that I need a gas version. I do not have ready access to 220 volts usually needed for electric ovens and have a 220 or 240 volt line brought up would cost as more or more than the oven.

    Delonghi I suspect is over-priced but has somehow made its way into “niche brand” status like Miele, Bosch, Viking, Electrolux and Smeg. Even if gold-plated, it escapes me how a 24-inch gas range can run as high as $2,000.

    AJ Madison which carries the wall oven in mention wants over $1,000 for one assured me the gas version can be used undercounter. I plan to contact Ikea to learn if it has gas undercounter or, better yet integrated ovens and cooktops. A consultant at Home Depot told me that “code” is basically nonexistent in New York City and that what Home Depot will or will not do is more due to what it might be held liable for in the end result as regardsw manner of installation. For instance, HD won’t install a cooktop less than nine inches away from a window or less than three inches away from a wall.

    I too have a very limited amount of space for cooking and food prep but can’t afford an architect to help me work the problem out. Anyway. best of luck and thank you for the information you’ve provided.


    Venson Thomas

  2. A Revelation « The Littlest Kitchen Says:

    […] simple? I’m flummoxed. I tried to do the right thing by getting an electric oven instead of gas, because of the gas code, and it’s more trouble and more aggravating than I could possibly […]

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