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Wolf Countertop Oven: Is It Just A Wolf Toaster Oven? Is It Really Worth The Price In 2022?

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

Wolf Gourmet Elite Coutnertop Oven

Credit: Wolf Gourmet

These countertop ovens, the original Wolf Gourmet countertop convection oven, and the Wolf Gourmet countertop oven Elite that replaced it are part of a new line of small appliances from world-famous Subzero-Wolf.

This review will show you how the Wolf Gourmet Elite countertop oven compares to a full-sized Wolf oven and even a toaster oven and what they can do for you in your kitchen, even if you already have a full-sized Wolf oven.

New Kitchen Life is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you’re in a hurry, yes we really think the Wolf Gourmet Elite Countertop is worth it!, you can see the Wolf Gourmet Countertop Elite on Amazon here with current pricing.

Remember that you can order whichever oven knob color is available and swap out the knobs later with one call to Wolf (see details about this in the section Wolf Gourmet Elite Countertop Purchase Tip – Switch Out Your Knobs After You Buy below).

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

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 in the oven door or anywhere else.

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 range tops.

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 a solid build and lasting quality into this product line of countertop cooking.Print

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 Gourmet

Wolf Gourmet Small Appliances

Wolf Gourmet appliances initially introduced three products, a countertop convection oven, two blender models, and two toaster models.

Wolf Gourmet Products

Credit: Wolf Gourmet

Wolf Gourmet has since added a slow cooker, a coffee maker reviewed here, a griddle, a stand mixer, and even an electric kettle to its small appliance product line. Wolf Gourmet also has kitchen knife sets and cookware. You can see our detailed review of both Wolf blender models here.

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 Elite Countertop Oven

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

image of Wolf Gourmet Elite Countertop OvenCredit: Wolf Gourmet

The Wolf Gourmet Elite countertop oven has convection cooking, an integrated temperature probe, and multiple cooking modes, including Proof, a 550 degree Fahrenheit broiler (same high temp as conventional Wolf ovens and much higher than other models), and several timing features.

The integrated temperature probe and high-temperature broiler are pretty unique in a countertop and are welcome features in this Wolf countertop.

The Wolf 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 oven, 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 convection ovens are too small inside to fit much. We detail the interior space of the Wolf Gourmet countertops here (see below).

Purchase Tip – Switch Out Your Knobs After You Buy

The only real difference between the three Wolf Countertop ovens is the color of the knobs (red, black, and brushed stainless) but they are not always available. You can easily switch the knobs for your preferred color after you order.

Just call Wolf at (800) 222-7820 after you register your oven and ask them to send you knobs with your preferred color.

The Wolf Countertop Oven Models

The Wolf Gourmet Elite countertop oven with convection also has three versions,  WGCO150S, the WGCO160S, and the WGCO170S.

The WGCO 150S features Wolf’s countertop oven with red knobs, the famous Wolf oven red knobs, the WGCO160S has black knobs and the WGCO170S has brushed stainless knobs.

image of the three available oven knob colors for Wolf Gourmet Countertop ovenCredit: Wolf Gourmet (these are Wolf countertop oven with red, stainless and black range knobs)

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

What Are The Main Cooking Modes And Features?

The 7 cooking modes in the Gourmet Elite countertop (6 modes in the original countertop) are Warm, Toast, Bagel (only available in the Elite model), Bake, Roast, Broil, and Proof (for raising yeast-infused bread). Each mode optimizes the 5 heating elements and advanced electronics to produce the best result for each cooking mode.

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 it 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 cooking 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 our favorite steakhouse steak recipe. Use the temperature probe to make sure that you hit your targeted cooking temperature.

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

Roast cooking mode is designed to cook thicker meats, like roasts, whole chickens, racks of lamb, and other large cuts 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). Roast works really well with the integrated temperature probe.

Bake cooking mode is great for all things associated with baking (pies, cookies, cakes) but also works equally well for souffles, quiche, vegetables, casseroles, and 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. Bake also works well with the temperature probe, especially because of the precise temperatures required in baking.

Wolf Gourmet Elite Countertop Oven baking cookies

Credit: Wolf Gourmet

Roast and Bake cooking modes also work with the convection cooking system, just press the “CONV” button on the control panel and the convection fan will be engaged in these cooking modes.

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 cooking modes are Toast, Bagel, Proof, and Warm.

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.

Bagel mode 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, or bagel setting in Bagel 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 mode, 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 cooking 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 with heated air from the oven 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 just a warming oven, but it’s a nice option to have heated air available when you need it.

Wolf Gourmet Countertop Oven

Credit: Wolf Gourmet

What You Can’t Find Almost Anywhere Else – The “Useable” Interior Measurements

If you take into account the oven racks 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.

Wolf Gourmet Countertop Oven interior

Credit: New Kitchen Life

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 these oven components and racks, the interior is about 1.1 cubic feet. Use this second measurement when comparing it to other full-sized ovens.

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

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.

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 full-size interior measurement is based on the interior cavity and not deducting for racks and heating elements.

The 18-inch 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, look at the 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 Elite Countertop will give you extra energy-efficient 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 oven. It’s the perfect “in-between” oven for extra oven capacity between different range sizes or even instead of a 30-inch range and even includes a temperature probe just like the full-sized ovens, and will still fit quarter sheet pans.

What About The Convection Oven In The Elite Countertop Convection Oven?

The Advanced Convection Cooking in the Wolf Gourmet Elite countertop works the same way as a convection oven does in standard-sized ovens.

A convection fan moves heated air evenly around your oven in a convection 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 turn your countertop convection fan on, convection cooking cooks food 20% to 25% faster because the heated air is much more evenly 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 heated air around your oven!

You’ll have to experiment with your favorite foods to see what works with the convection fan in your Wolf Gourmet countertop convection oven.

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

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

Wolf took that customer feedback into improving the original by adding a 25-watt halogen interior light in all Elite models. To turn the halogen interior 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, is 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 Gourmet Elite Countertop 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.

So Is The Wolf Gourmet Countertop Oven Just A Modern Toaster Oven?

A lot of people who remember the original versions of toaster ovens or even more modern versions of a toaster oven might ask, what’s so special about a “Wolf Toaster Oven”?

Probably the best answer is that you can’t cook a pork roast safely and to a precise temperature in a toaster oven but in the Wolf Gourmet Elite Countertop Convection Oven, you can.

And that is the key difference between a toaster oven and a countertop convection oven, especially the Wolf Gourmet Elite, and even if you call it the Wolf Toaster Oven, as many do. A countertop convection oven is a smaller-sized conventional oven but a toaster oven is basically a horizontal toaster good for making toast and heating up or even baking muffins and appetizers. A toaster oven is even smaller than a countertop oven and has none of the advanced modes found in a countertop convection oven.

Toaster ovens also usually have much smaller internal oven space than a countertop convection oven, the one advantage that a toaster oven has over a countertop is that a toaster oven takes up less space on your countertop than a countertop convection oven.

How Does The Wolf Gourmet Elite Compare With Other Countertop Convection Ovens?

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

You may not need all of the cooking power and the solid build of a Wolf Gourmet Elite Countertop Oven 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. The Breville Smart Oven Air stands up pretty well in most categories against the Wolf Gourmet Elite oven 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 Gourmet Elite Countertop 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 countertops that you may not have heard of before.

What About Oven Racks And Baking Pans?

The Gourmet Elite Countertop has two oven racks. The racks 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 your baking pan or hot food from the oven.

Wolf Gourmet Elite Countertop Oven Interior

Elite model interior with two oven racks, Credit: Wolf Gourmet

The Gourmet Elite Countertop has three rack positions to choose from. Depending on the food that you are cooking and on your cooking mode, you can easily move the oven racks to the rack positions that make the most sense.

The Wolf Countertop Elite comes with a signature Wolf baking pan and broiling rack that fits inside.

What About Cleaning?

The Elite Countertop has a removable 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 it’s really easy to clean loose food particles. You can just put the crumb tray in your dishwasher (it’s dishwasher safe).

Also important, the oven interior is also easy to clean with non-abrasive wipes or sponges since it’s a nonstick interior.

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

Is It PTFE and PFOA Free?

The Wolf Gourmet Countertop Elite oven is PTFE and PFOA free.

How Much Does It Weigh?

The Wolf Gourmet Elite Countertops 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.

How Many Heating Elements Are There?

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

How Many Watts Of Electric Power?

Also, the Wolf Countertop is rated at 1,800 Watts.

Where Is It Made?

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

By all indications so far (it only entered the market in 2015), the Wolf Gourmet Countertop 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 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 convection 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.

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 Elite 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. They’re definitely not toaster ovens. A toaster oven roast a pork loin to a precise temperature using the built-in temperature probe.

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

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

image of the Wolf Gourmet Elite Countertop oven in use

Credit: Wolf Gourmet

Your Wolf Gourmet Elite Countertop 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.

How To Buy

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

To go ahead and buy the Wolf Gourmet Countertop today go to Amazon here for latest pricing and other options.

You can easily swap out knob colors if your color choice is not available, Wolf will send you your preferred color choice (see details above in the article).

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