The New Wolf Countertop Oven: Is It Really Worth The Price?

Wolf introduced new high-quality countertop convection ovens to its line of full-size ovens and ranges, including the Wolf Gourmet Elite Countertop Oven that was released in 2018.

These countertop ovens, the original Wolf Gourmet Countertop Oven and the Wolf Gourmet Elite, are part of a new line of small appliances from world-famous Subzero-Wolf.

Wolf Gourmet Elite Coutnertop Oven

Credit: Wolf

This review will show you how the original Countertop Oven and the updated model, the Elite Countertop Oven, compare to Wolf’s full-sized ovens and what they can do for you in your kitchen, even if you already have a full-sized oven.

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Click here if you’re in a hurry and just want to see the latest pricing for each Wolf Gourmet Countertop model, along with any discounts and shipping options on Amazon. You can choose the Elite or original Wolf Gourmet Countertop Oven, and also different knob models for each on the Amazon product link.

Purchase Tip: You should know that Wolf will switch knob colors for you if your preferred color isn’t available so you can order any model and swap the knobs after you receive it.

You just have to call them at (800) 222-7820 after you register your oven. You can reach a live person in Madison, Wisconsin any time, day or night, and they will send you your preferred knobs at no cost.

Keep reading through the rest of this review, or use the table below for skipping to any other part of this review.

What Is A Wolf Gourmet Countertop Oven?

The Wolf Countertop Oven is a small Wolf convection oven that fits on your countertop. It was introduced to the market in 2014, along with the Wolf Gourmet product line featuring several Wolf appliances. A new model was released in 2018 that added some additional features detailed in this review.

In addition to the Wolf Gourmet Countertop Ovens,  Wolf introduced two blender models, two toasters (a four-slice toaster and a two-slice toaster), a slow cooker, a stand mixer, a griddle, and a coffee maker. All of these small appliances are designed to be best-of-class, high-end, highly functional products.

This Wolf convection oven is designed with the same attention to detail, solid construction and signature styling that has made Wolf a world-class brand in full-sized ovens, cooktops, and ranges.

The Wolf Countertop Models

The Wolf Countertop Convection Ovens have two models, the original and the new Wolf Gourmet Elite Countertop Oven.

The original, the Wolf Gourmet Countertop Oven with Convection has three versions based on oven knob colors, the WGCO100S, WCGO110S, and the WGCO120S.

The Wolf Gourmet Elite Countertop with Convection also has three versions,  WGCO150S, the WGCO160S and the WGCO170S.

The WGCO100S and WGCO 150S features Wolf’s iconic red knobs, the WGCO110S and the WGCO160S have black knobs and the WGCO120S and WGCO170S have brushed stainless knobs.

Available Colors for Wolf Gourmet Countertop Credit: Wolf (these are Wolf oven range knobs)

The Wolf Countertop Oven has many of the same features that are standard in Wolf’s full-sized ovens. These include a temperature probe, convection cooking, precise temperature control, timing features, 550 degrees Fahrenheit broil and all in a stainless steel housing.

Wolf: Quality Throughout

Wolf’s longstanding reputation for quality is based on very high standards for materials and construction. Their products are solidly built.

One quick way to test that solid build is to open and shut a Wolf oven door, you will notice the quality there. No rattles or noises.

Wolf designs their ranges to last for more than twenty years of continuous use. They continuously test their ranges and ovens in their factory under simulated heavy use to make sure they will last in your kitchen for years and even decades. So, remember that these products will by almost any estimate last for a very long time.

You are getting something that will outlast the competition. Wolf products are probably cheaper than competitor products when you divide their price by the number of years that you can use them because they are designed to last so long.

Wolf Gourmet brings the Wolf reputation to its new product line. That reputation is on the line with Wolf Gourmet since Wolf wants to make sure that its small appliance line matches the same quality levels as its full-sized ovens, ranges, and rangetops.

Another great thing about Wolf? You can call them anytime, 24 hours at (800) 222-7820 , and someone in Madison, Wisconsin will answer any questions about your product.

Suppose you’re in the middle of preparing multiple dishes for a large dinner party but can’t find your manual. You need to know how to set the target temperature for your probe but can’t remember how to do it. Take comfort in knowing that you can just call Wolf and they’ll be there to walk you through it.

How Old Is Wolf And Who Owns It?

Wolf dates back to the early 1930s in Los Angeles. There, brothers Al and Hyman Wolf started making better ranges for restaurants than those that they were repairing.

From there, the brothers expanded the commercial Wolf brand over several years. The company grew as its reputation for quality products spread across the United States and beyond. It eventually moved headquarters to Madison, Wisconsin.

In 1989, Wolf introduced its separate line of home ranges and ovens. Wolf incorporated the same quality it had built into its commercial cooking equipment into the home appliance line.

That quality was quickly noticed by consumers and its name spread among home kitchens. The Wolf home range division was acquired in early 2000 by another famous brand, Sub-Zero.

The Wolf Sub-Zero combination is a perfect marriage between cooking and refrigeration products. Both brands stand at the top of their categories in refrigeration and cooking products.

Wolf recently extended its quality brand name to Wolf Gourmet. This line of small appliances and cookware includes the Wolf Gourmet Countertop. Wolf has by all accounts also extended its quality focus into these products.

The Wolf Gourmet Appliance Line

Wolf Gourmet is a line of small appliances, cookware and cutlery that was introduced to the market in 2015. Wolf intends to extend its reputation for solid build and lasting quality into this product line.Print

Wolf Gourmet Logo

Credit: Wolf

Wolf developed the Wolf Gourmet line in collaboration with another iconic brand, Hamilton Beach Brands. This longstanding small appliance manufacturer has been building small appliances for about as long as Wolf has been building ranges and ovens.

See the video link below for a brief overview of the Wolf Gourmet appliances:

Credit: Wolf

Wolf Gourmet Small Appliances

Wolf Gourmet appliances currently have three main products, a countertop oven, a blender (Wolf High Performance Blender) and a toaster (two models). Wolf has also just added a slow cooker, a coffee maker, a griddle and even a stand mixer. You can see the Wolf High Performance Blender with other top blenders here in this review.

If you appreciate Wolf’s obsession with quality, you have to realize that none of these products are what you’d find in a typical appliance store.

The Wolf Gourmet Countertop Oven

Wolf’s countertop oven is basically another, small (roughly 1.1 cubic feet inside before deducting racks), Wolf oven in your kitchen.

Wolf Gourmet Countertop OvenCredit: Wolf

It has convection cooking, a temperature probe, multiple cooking modes, including Proof, a high temperature, 550 degree Fahrenheit broiler (same high temp as conventional Wolf ovens) and several timing features.

The built-in temperature probe and high-temperature broiler are pretty unique in a countertop oven and welcome features in this Wolf Gourmet countertops.

The Wolf Gourmet countertop oven weighs 47 pounds! Compare that to the weight of competing countertop convection ovens and you’ll see that they weigh much less. In the case of the Wolf Gourmet Countertop, this extra weight is an indication of the quality of the materials and the build of the oven.

Also important, the Wolf Gourmet Countertops have a decent “usable” interior space, the space that is actually available between cooking racks and heating elements to fit cookware and food. A lot of other countertop ovens are too small inside to fit much. We detail the interior space of the Wolf Gourmet Countertops here (see below).

What Are The Main Cooking Modes And Features?

The seven modes (six modes in the original countertop) are Warm, Toast, Bagel (only in available in the Elite model), Bake, Roast, Broil and Proof (for raising yeast-infused bread).

For the temperature probe, use the “PROBE” function and insert the temperature probe jack in the oven wall and the end of the probe in your food, inside the oven. and tell it what temperature you’re targeting and you will be able to watch the internal temperature rise to reach the targeted temperature. If you don’t want to watch it, it will alert you when it’s ready.

The Wolf Countertop also features a timer that will allow you to set cooking times and is can be set to start once your target oven temperature is reached. The timer can be set for up to 4 hours. There is also a “STAY ON” feature that will keep the oven on at the same temperature for up to 4 hours before automatically turning off.

What About The Main Cooking Modes?

With Broil mode, you can broil just like you can in the standard sized Wolf ovens, with the same high setting of 550 degrees Fahrenheit and a low broiler setting of 450 degrees. This oven is perfect for my favorite steakhouse steak recipe.

Note that Wolf Gourmet’s high-temperature broil exceeds temperatures of any other countertop oven we’ve reviewed. Most other countertops max out at between 450 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Roast mode is designed to cook thicker meats, like roasts, whole chickens, racks of lamb and other large cuts through while also adding a crispy “browning” to the exterior. The range of temperatures available in the Roast mode is between 170 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit, or 77 and 232 degrees Celsius., The default temperature is 350 F (177 C).

Bake mode is great for all things associated with baking (pies, cookies, cakes) but also works equally well for souffles, quiche, vegetables, casseroles, bread and is the best mode to use to reheat food. Bake mode has the same temperature range as Roast mode does, 170 F (77 C) to 450F (232 C) and also 350 F (177 C) as a default temperature.

Roast and Bake modes also work with the convection cooking system, just press the “CONV” button on the control panel and the convection fan will be engaged. The convection fan will circulate the hot oven air evenly around the inside of your oven to eliminate “hot spots”. Better oven circulation, allows you to cook more efficiently and faster than without convection.

For convection cooking, the general rule of thumb is to reduce the temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees Celsius) OR reduce the cooking time by 25% compared with the time and temperatures for a non-convection recipe.

What About The Other Cooking Modes?

The other four modes (three in the original Wolf Gourmet Countertop), Toast, Proof and Warm, round out the this Wolf Gourmet Countertop’s range of cooking performance.

Toast mode allows you to toast your bread evenly on both sides by engaging the heating elements on the top and bottom of the oven. Let your oven know how many slices you want toasted, up to six, and it will fire up those elements. You can choose the level of toast darkness by turning the main control knob one way or another to your preference. The control panel even remembers your last settings if you use the same setting every day.

Bagel mode (Bagel mode is only available in the Wolf Gourmet Elite models) will toast the top side of your bagel or other bread and warm the bottom side. You can control how many slices you want toasted, up to six. You can also choose the darkness level as you can in Toast mode, by turning the main control knob one way or the other for more or less darkness.

Proof mode is another great option to have with this oven. With the Proof setting, the ideal temperature is automatically set to proof yeasty bread (80 degrees Fahrenheit, 27 Celsius), so you can let it rise in your oven safely and out of the way.

Note that the temperature is fixed in Proof mode, it cannot be changed, but you can adjust the timer. As with other modes, the timer can be set for up to 4 hours and you can stop it at any time.

Warm mode is another great option with this oven. As you might expect, this mode uses the oven to keep cooked food warm before serving it, but this mode also turns your oven into a warming oven. The Wolf Gourmet Countertop is much too versatile and powerful to be considered a warming oven, but it’s a nice option to have available when you need it.

Whether you want to use this countertop oven as a first, second, third or even fourth oven, …ln211

The oven is designed to fit most 9-inch by 13-inch dishes, or a quarter sheet pan. The exterior is 22 3/8 inches wide, 12 5/8 inches high and 16 5/8 inches deep.

It still gives you a lot of volume with 1.1 cubic feet of interior space before deducting for cooking racks and heating elements. It’s just not as large as a standard-sized oven. If you want to measure the interior by what you can cook inside of it, know that it will fit a 5 1/2 pound chicken.

Wolf Gourmet Countertop Oven Interior with temperature probe

Credit: NewKitchenLife.com

What You Can’t Find Almost Anywhere Else – The “Useable” Interior Measurements Of The Wolf Gourmet Countertop Oven

If you take into account the oven racks (there are two racks in the Elite models and one in the original models) and rack mounting on the sides, the interior width is 14.75 inches wide, 12 inches deep and about 7 inches high, from the bottom rack.

Based on these internal measures, the interior volume of the oven, the “useable” oven space, is about 0.70 cubic feet after deducting for racks, heating elements, and other oven components. Before deducting for these oven components and racks, the interior is about 1.1 cubic feet. Use this second measurement when comparing to other full-sized ovens.

How D

How Does The Wolf Countertop Compare To Full-Sized Wolf Ovens?

The standard-sized Wolf 30 inch electric oven featured in all of the Wolf ranges  (except the 36-inch range) has 4.5 cubic feet of interior oven space. This interior measurement is based on the interior cavity and not deducting for racks and heating elements.

The 18-inch Wolf electric oven that is part of the 48-inch range has 2.5 cubic feet of interior cooking space, while the 36-inch oven has 5.4 cubic feet of interior space.

So, considering all of these different oven sizes, you might want to look at the approximately 1.1 cubic square foot Wolf countertop as a small oven that you can mix and match with one of these other ranges. You may not need a larger sized range after all, especially if you just need another small Wolf oven but don’t need more burners or other range-top cooking elements.

The countertop will give you extra cooking capacity that is quicker to heat up than a full-sized oven, saving you time and energy if all you need to cook is what will fit inside the countertop oven. It’s the perfect “in-between” oven for extra oven capacity between different range sizes or even instead of a 30-inch range.

What About The Convection Oven In This Countertop & What Is A Convection Oven?

The convection cooking in the countertop oven works the same way as in the standard sized Wolf ovens.

A convection fan moves oven air evenly around your oven to prevent cold spots and produce even temperatures throughout the oven. This convection fan is located on the right side of the oven. When you engage it, convection cooking cooks food 20% to 25% faster because the oven’s heat is much more efficiently spread around your food, enveloping it in a warm “embrace”.

As suggested above, when cooking with convection, the rule of thumb is to reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit, 14 degrees Celsius or reduce the cooking time by 25% from any standard (non-convection) recipe.

One thing to note: the convection fan may not be the best thing to use when cooking “delicate foods”. Souffles or even muffins with high tops might not rise as evenly or perfectly smooth with the convection fan blowing them around!

You’ll have to experiment with your favorite foods to see what works with the convection fan.

What Is The Difference Between The Wolf Gourmet Elite Countertop Oven And The Original Wolf Gourmet Countertop Oven?

The Elite Countertop Oven is the updated version of the original Countertop Oven. The original Countertop Oven was introduced to the market in 2014. Customers really liked the original Countertop Oven except that is doesn’t have an interior light.

Wolf took that customer feedback into consideration with the Elite model by adding a 25-watt halogen interior light in all Elite models. To turn the light on or off, you just press the button with a lightbulb icon on the bottom right front of the oven control panel of the Elite model.

Also added to the Elite, a new Bagel mode that, when selected, will only toast the top side of your bagel or other bread instead of toasting both sides equally as the Toast mode does. A dedicated Bagel mode will be valued by those who appreciate the traditional way of preparing bagels.

Finally, the Wolf Gourmet Elite Countertop Oven has two oven racks instead of just one oven rack that is in the original model. The Elite rack system is also “Easy-Glide” (see below) to make it easier to get hot food out of your oven. The entire rack system in the Elite is removable to make it easier to clean.

The Elite Countertop is basically a replacement of the original countertop, which is slowly being phased out as existing inventory of the original models are sold. The original Wolf Gourmet Countertop will no longer be manufactured after 2019,

How Does The Wolf Gourmet Elite Countertop Compare With The Breville Smart Oven Air And Other Countertop Ovens?

The Wolf Gourmet Elite and the original Wolf Countertop ovens are probably the best countertop ovens on the market today by any measure, but you may still prefer an alternative countertop oven.

You may not need all of the cooking power and the solid build of a Wolf Gourmet Countertop and you might prefer other countertops for their functions, pricing and how they look in your kitchen.

One of the best alternative countertop ovens in the Breville Smart Oven Air. It stands up pretty well in most categories against the Wolf Gourmet ovens (original and Elite) and is less expensive, you can read our detailed review of the Breville Smart Oven Air here.

Note though that Breville’s warranty is only 1-year, way too short for this kind of appliance. So, at the very least, buy an extended warranty if you buy a Breville countertop. You won’t need one with Wolf Gourmet, since their warranty is 5 years, so take that into consideration when making your decision.

A comparison of the Wolf Gourmet ovens and Breville Smart Oven Air can be found in this review of the best countertop ovens. This review also includes reviews of other Breville models and other countertop ovens that you may not have heard of before.

What About Oven Racks And Pans?

The Wolf Gourmet Elite has two oven racks and the original model has one. The racks in both of these models are designed to slide out of the oven with Wolf’s “Easy-Glide” system. This system is meant to slide the oven racks easily out of your oven to make it much easier to remove hot food from the oven.

Wolf Gourmet Elite Coutnertop Oven Interior

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elite model interior with two oven racks, credit: Wolf

Each of the two oven models has three rack positions to choose from, depending on what your cooking and on your cooking mode.

Both Wolf Countertop Oven models also come with a signature Wolf baking pan and broiling rack that fits inside.

What About Cleaning?

The Wolf countertop oven has a crumb tray at the bottom of the oven. The crumb tray is designed to capture crumbs, drips and other cooking residues. It slides out so you can clean it. You can just put it in your dishwasher (it’s dishwasher safe).

Also important, the oven interior is non-stick for easy cleaning with non-abrasive wipes or sponges.

Wolf recommends using Signature Polish on all of its stainless steel finishes.

Is It PTFE and PFOA Free?

The Wolf Gourmet Countertop oven is PTFE and PFOA free.

How Much Does It Weigh, How Many Heating Elements Are There And How Many Watts Of Electric Power?

The Wolf Gourmet Countertop ovens weigh just under 47 pounds.

Compare that to other countertops on the market and you’ll probably find that Wolf outweighs them.

This is a quick way to measure quality but is obviously not foolproof. You can still have a heavy oven that breaks in the first year of operation.

But at 47 pounds, and with a Wolf Gourmet brand stamped on the front of the countertop, you can be confident that a heavy Wolf countertop is a solid quality oven.

There are five heating elements throughout this electric oven to produce the same maximum 550 degrees Fahrenheit as standard sized Wolf ovens produce and detailed above.

Also, the Wolf countertop oven is rated at 1,800 Watts.

Where Is It Made?

Like most other small appliances and almost all countertop ovens, the Wolf Gourmet countertops are made in China.

By all indications so far (it only entered the market in 2015), the Wolf Gourmet countertop oven is a very high-quality oven. Wolf has apparently maintained the same high levels of quality control in the Wolf Gourmet lines as it does with its other products that are made in the United States.

It would be hard to imagine Wolf risking its reputation for quality or risking the Wolf brand name on an inferior product.

The warranty information detailed below should give you even more comfort. The length of the warranty should offset any remaining concerns about Wolf Gourmet products, given their how new this product line is.

What About The Warranty?

The warranty for all Wolf Gourmet appliances is five years. That is a very long warranty.

Most other countertop ovens have only one-year warranties.

The Wolf Gourmet warranty covers defects in materials or in the assembly of the oven. It applies to ovens purchased and used in the United States and not used commercially.

Wolf reserves the option to replace or repair any defective ovens. Also note, any repair has to be made by Wolf certified service providers.

Where To See It In The Store And What Customers Are Saying

You may have already been looking for a countertop oven or even another standard oven. You may have even looked at other brands, and are trying to make a decision about which to buy. What you need to think about is: which one of these brands has the best quality reputation?

You should probably go ahead and buy the Wolf Countertop Oven if quality is your main focus.

These countertops are most likely to last the longest given their solid construction and Wolf quality focus. But even if for some reason they don’t, you have a 5-year warranty to back you up.

Many reviewers, by the way, have commented that they love their Wolf Countertops for precise temperature control and a cooking experience just like cooking with their full-sized Wolf ovens.

Their only complaints, expressed by some, is that they wish it had an interior light in the original model, but the Elite now comes with a halogen interior light.

The Wolf brand, whether on a countertop, oven or range, definitely makes a statement in your kitchen.

Wolf Gourmet CountertopOven 3

Credit: Wolf

 

Your Wolf Gourmet Countertop Oven is most likely going to outlast almost any other competitor.

So, if you’re into cooking for the long run, you might as well buy the best. This Wolf countertop will pay for itself over many years compared to cheaper brands that will require more frequent replacing.

You won’t need to buy an extended warranty with any Wolf Gourmet Countertop Oven, they already include a 5-year warranty.

Also, note that even if the model with the knob colors you prefer is not available, you should still just go ahead and order since Wolf will swap the knobs for the colors you prefer and ship them to you, no charge for the knobs or the shipping.

To see the Wolf Gourmet Countertop Ovens on Amazon, with the latest pricing and shipping options, click here.

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Wolf Gourmet Countertop Oven