How Much Capacity Do You Need in an Oven?

by Bill Welles

Whether you’re planning a kitchen remodel, aspiring to become the next great home baker, or you’re just tired of being unable to host a proper holiday gathering because you don’t have a large enough oven—capacity plays a big role in the layout of your kitchen and the success of  your meals.  

There are plenty of factors to consider when purchasing a new kitchen appliance. How often do you cook? What’s your budget? And most importantly, how much oven capacity do you need? 

The recipe for a functional kitchen ensures you have a place where preparing and cooking food is easy, and the right oven plays a big part in that. While appearance and function are equally important, it won’t make a difference if your oven isn’t large enough to withstand the amount of food you cook and the volume of meals you produce.  

This quick oven guide will break down oven capacity, size, and model type to help you find the best wall oven to fit your kitchen space and your culinary needs. So, if you’re ready to become an oven aficionado, follow along with us.  

How Much Oven Capacity Do you Need? 

The capacity differs slightly from a range to a wall oven—the capacity of a range is around 5 cubic feet while a standard wall oven tends to be slightly smaller —around 3 cubic feet. If you have a smaller household and you typically cook for just one or two, then an oven of 3 cubic feet will more than suffice. If you have a big family or you’re an avid entertainer, you’ll appreciate an oven capacity of 5 cubic feet or more.  

Of course, the oven size you choose will largely depend on finding the right appliance to fit your kitchen space. If you don’t have the available kitchen space for a larger cooking appliance, then your options are limited. Most household ovens are between 27 and 30 inches wide, so consider which size would work best with your current kitchen design. It’s important to examine the interior cavity and the exterior measurements to make sure the oven is large enough to accommodate commonly used baking sheets, pans, and skillets.  

And if you want to find the exact cubic footage of your appliance yourself, check out this helpful measurement guide for step-by-step instructions. Just remember before you start any measurements to double-check that your appliance is turned off and fully cooled down, and remove any racks or shelves for the most accurate measurement.  

Measuring Your Oven 

What size wall oven do I need? Now that you know how much space you need and what a suitable oven capacity looks like, make sure your measurements are accurate. Before you make a purchase, it’s imperative to ensure your wall oven will fit in its designated location. An oven should fit nicely into the appropriate opening in the wall and lie flush against the rest of the cabinetry. And you also want to ensure there is plenty of clearance around your oven, allowing for enough space for the doors to open and close.  

It's important to remember that size and capacity can differ greatly. Size is equally important, but it isn’t always an accurate measurement for oven capacity. Ovens all have different insulation types, so what might look like a similarly sized oven can actually be completely different when it comes to internal capacity.  

So, while size plays a role in the design of your kitchen space, capacity plays a bigger role in the functionality of the appliance. The internal cubic feet helps establish what cooking needs you’re able to cater to. Most ovens will offer more than enough space to cater to an average-sized family, but if you have greater cooking needs, you may want to consider upgrading to a high-capacity oven.  

Oven Types

Now that you know a little bit about oven capacity, let’s breakdown some of the top wall ovens available.

Single Wall Oven 

Single wall ovens are best used to maximize your kitchen space. They can be installed under the counter or below your cooktop to provide a flush, built-in design. If you choose to install your appliance at counter height, this saves you the trouble of bending or crouching to take food in or out of the oven.  

The cooking zones are similar to that of a standard range—with one cooking area to bake, roast, or boil all your favorite dishes, so they are easy to operate for anyone working the kitchen. And it might be called a wall oven, but you don’t have to limit yourself to in-wall installation. Single wall ovens can still be installed below cooktops, under counters, or between a low set of cabinets.  

This wall oven from Whirlpool (WOS31ES0JS) features a 5 cubic feet capacity that will fit any kitchen space without remodeling—and that comes with the FIT system guarantee. The Delay Start setting makes it easier to get dinner on the table at the right time, and if you’re waiting for the rest of the family to join you for dinner, the Keep Warm setting keeps your meal serving-ready. And forget about special cleaners—this wall oven is self-cleaning. That alone makes this appliance worthwhile.  

Double Wall Oven  

For those with more complex cooking needs, a double wall oven might be a better choice. It's a taller appliance that is split between two chambers, meaning, you can cook at two different temperatures at once. Each oven compartment has independent temperature and features controls that allow you to prepare multiple dishes simultaneously. Many double ovens offer two ovens in one unit, or come equipped with convection or broiling capabilities for greater cooking flexibility.   

Double wall ovens will take up significantly more cabinet and counter space, but the benefit is the cooking space that you gain. This is especially helpful if you have a large family or if you do a lot of cooking during the holiday season. Consider how often you cook and if the additional oven would make for a valuable investment in your kitchen.  

This built-in LG double wall oven (LWD3063ST) features a large 9.4  cubic feet total capacity to handle any cooking needs. It's equipped with True Convection for fast and even cooking results, and the Brilliant Blue Interior provides an upscale look with premium interior design. And featuring the fastest oven-cleaning technology, in just 10 minutes your oven can be sparkling clean, without strong chemical fumes or high heat thanks to EasyClean. 

Wall Oven Microwave Combo 

This brings us to microwave combos wall ovens. This appliance is similar to a double oven except that the top oven compartment is your built-in microwave. Microwave combos are a nice way to save space and feature both cooking options in a sleek, single compact unit. It provides the ultimate convenience to warm side dishes fast while leaving plenty of room in the main oven compartment for the main course.  

Sticking with our friends at LG, this LG wall oven microwave combo (LWC3063ST) provides the hustle of a microwave and the quality results you’d expect from a convection oven. Yes, frozen burritos are still allowed, but this appliance offers a wide range of cooking capabilities from bread, whole chickens, potatoes, pizzas, and more—all with no preheating required. And with cooking speeds two to four times faster than a traditional oven, you’ll spend less time cooking and more time enjoying your meal.  

Additional Oven Models  

And don’t forget to explore additional oven features by way of steam ovens, speed ovens, and built-in warming drawers.

Big Enough?  

Now that you’re a master of oven capacity, it’s time to make the most of your culinary prowess with a new wall oven. If you need more space to handle your cooking needs or you desire a new appliance design to match your modern kitchen, we have the right product to suit your space. Just give us a call or visit us at Don’s Appliances to shop our entire collection of wall ovens and other cooking appliances.