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Wolf Countertop Oven: Is It Just A Toaster Oven And Is It Really Worth It In 2021?

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

Wolf Gourmet Elite Coutnertop Oven

Credit: Wolf

These countertop ovens, the original Wolf Gourmet countertop 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 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.

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

image of the 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, two blender models, and two toaster models. Wolf has also just added a slow cooker, a coffee maker, a griddle, and even a stand mixer. 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), Wolf oven in your kitchen.

image of Wolf Gourmet Elite Credit: Wolf

The Wolf Gourmet Elite countertop has convection cooking, an integrated 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 integrated temperature probe and high-temperature broiler are pretty unique in a countertop oven and are welcome features in this Wolf countertop oven.

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, 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).

Wolf Gourmet Countertop Oven Purchase Tip – Switch Out Your Knobs After You Buy

The only real difference in the three Wolf Countertop models is the color of the knobs (red, black and brushed stainless) but they are not always available.

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. So that way, you can just order the model that’s currently available, which will almost always be the red one.

Then just call Wolf 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.

The Wolf Countertop Models

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

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

image of the three available oven knob colors for Wolf Gourmet Countertop ovenCredit: 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 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 oven (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 of the cooking modes.

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

Note that Wolf Gourmet’s high-temperature broil exceeds the 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). Roast works really well with the integrated temperature probe.

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. Bake also works well with the integrated temperature probe, especially because of the precise temperatures required in baking.

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. 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 cooking modes in the Gourmet Elite countertop oven (three in the original Wolf Gourmet Countertop), Toast, Proof, and Warm, round out the 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 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 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.

Wolf Gourmet Countertop Oven

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

If you take into account the two 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.

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.

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.

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 Wolf 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 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 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 and even includes a temperature probe just like the full-sized Wolf ovens, and will still fit quarter sheet pans.

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

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

A convection fan moves oven 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 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 in your Wolf Gourmet countertop convection oven.

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 replacement 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 it didn’t have an interior halogen 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 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 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.

So Is The Wolf Gourmet 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”? Is it just a toaster oven, even a convection 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 Countertop Oven, you can.

And that is the key difference between a toaster oven and a countertop oven, especially the Wolf Gourmet Elite and even if you call it the Wolf Toaster Oven, as many do. A countertop 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 convection countertop oven.

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

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

The Gourmet Elite Countertop Oven 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 Elite 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. 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 Oven 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 Gourmet Elite Countertop Oven 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 your baking pan or hot food from the oven.

image of Wolf Gourmet Elite interior

Elite model interior with two oven racks, credit: Wolf

The Gourmet Elite countertop oven has three rack positions to choose from. Depending on the food that you are cooking and on your cooking mode, you can easily slide 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 Gourmet Elite Countertop Oven oven 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, How Many Heating Elements Are There And How Many Watts Of Electric Power?

The Wolf Gourmet Elite 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 Gourmet Elite Countertop Ovens 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 Buy It 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 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, integrated temperature probe, and a cooking experience just like cooking with their full-sized Wolf ovens.

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

image of the Wolf Gourmet Countertop oven in use

Credit: Wolf

Your Wolf Gourmet Elite 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, with no charge for the knobs or the shipping.

To go ahead and buy the Wolf Gourmet Countertop Oven 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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