Pros: Elegant high-end look and features, 5 year warranty, easy to use, amazing value.
Cons: Only available in white or stainless. Best ovens no longer use exposed lower elements.
Simple, Functional, Elegant, and an Amazing Value
After thoroughly examining my options before making my appliance purchases as part of a kitchen gut renovation, I decided to get Ikea's Nutid 30" Electric In-Wall Thermal Convection Oven on the first day of Ikea's 2010 fall kitchen sale. That meant that by buying 3 appliances from Ikea, I could get 20% off that day on everything I purchased for my new kitchen, including the appliances. Ikea runs these kitchen promotions every fall and spring.
Amazingly, even with such reasonable prices, Ikea's Nutid line of appliances come with a 5-year in-home warranty included in the purchase cost. I felt confident enough to buy Ikea for all the appliances I needed. This was the first time I did not use KitchenAid appliances in a renovation.
It is now 11 months later and I still could not be happier with my purchase. Did have a glitch with the self-clean function (now repaired) and all is well (see Update in the Easy to Keep Clean section below). Even at its full price of $899 (for the white model), the Nutid 30" In-Wall Convection Oven is an incredible value - - try buying a built-in convection oven with all these features for less than $1000. Ikea has obviously used their tremendous buying power and design savvy to come up with efficient, desirable, feature-rich, affordable appliances. A similarly-outfitted Whirlpool 30" built-in convection oven lists for $1199, close to $300 more!
Ikea Design - Whirlpool Quality
The odd thing is that these appliances are actually Whirlpool built. So why the price differences? In 2009, Ikea jumped into the appliance market in an integrated and coordinated way for the first time. All of Ikea's appliances are now designed by them and manufactured to their standards exclusively for them by Whirlpool. Ikea's family of appliances includes different "lines" offering different price points and finishes. As a result, each Ikea appliance may have specifications or attributes that are similar to other quality Whirlpool-made names such as Whirlpool, Whirlpool Gold, and KitchenAid. By balancing features and design elements, Ikea has hit on the perfect balance of high-end appearance and practical features. Sometimes simpler is better and less is more.
Ikea's Nutid line appliances all have matching handles and includes appliances priced from Ikea's medium range to their high end. Careful cross-evaluation of offerings from Whirlpool and Ikea's Nutid line specifications has led me to think that the most expensive Nutid appliances are similar to the "better" Whirlpool Gold line (also sometimes seeming to be branded for Sears as Kenmore or Kenmore Elite) with Ikea's design enhancements leaving the finished product nearer KitchenAid's level of high-end look and feel.
So the real difference with these Ikea Nutid appliances is the unique balance of features, design, and price. The Ikea Nutid appliances are just prettier, plain and simple. Following their philosophy of clean lines and ease-of-use, the Nutid line reduces visual clutter and provides high-end look and feel at low-end cost. Available only in white or stainless steel, the Nutid 30" In-Wall Thermal Convection Oven features smooth, flat, squared white glass door and control panels, brushed and polished stainless steel trim, handles, and knobs, and simple knob/button controls with a large flush-integrated electronic display. There are no logos, no permanently stuck-on labels, no clutter. Nowhere on the exterior of any of Ikea's Nutid appliances do you see any cluttered reference to the manufacturer - - only the interior serial number plates say "Ikea by Whirlpool". The integrity of the design is unspoiled by what I refer to as corporate acne.
Another example of Ikea's design sensibility is that the Nutid 30" Convection Oven (and all other Nutid line appliances) comes with oversized, elegant, brushed stainless steel handles in an Ikea design called Vinna. Vinna handles are relatively inexpensive despite being solid and having a high-end look and feel. They can be purchased separately at Ikea and you can install them on your kitchen cabinets to integrate the look of your appliances with your entire kitchen.
In terms of price, Ikea's Nutid 30" In-Wall Thermal Convection Oven is in a class by itself - - you simply cannot find a 30" in-wall convection oven combining its features and high-end look anywhere near this price.
All The Features You Want, None of the Bloat
Ikea did not skimp on this oven. The appliance exterior is smooth and simple with a front door of white glass that is completely flat and very simple. Once installed, the oven fits perfectly flush to the cabinet with the control panel white glass extending beyond the cabinet approximately 1/2" and trimmed in rich brushed stainless steel. There is nowhere for dirt or grease to hide on the exterior of this in-wall oven. The design is as thoughtful as it is elegant and truly looks high-end.
If you use Ikea's tall oven cabinet, this oven may be mounted at whatever height suits you best so that you can save your back when taking things in and out of the oven and still maximize remaining space for storage.
The design of this oven matches Ikea's Nutid In-Wall Microwave which I mounted on a shelf directly above the Convection Oven in a tall Ikea cabinet. The look is of a single, integrated device but without the extra cost (or the concern of repairing a single, complicated unit). To achieve a similar matching look with separates, I would have had to spring for KitchenAid's matching pair and that would have more than doubled my costs for these pieces alone.
Belying its low cost, the Nutid 30" In-Wall Thermal Convection Oven has all the bells and whistles you could want or need but leaves out some of the expensive bloat:
-Simple 2-Knob, 2-Button controls use universal icons for no-brainer use
-Easy-to-read Electronic Display (fahrenheit or celsius, you choose)
-Dual oven lights are extremely functional and bright and the large viewing window in the door makes checking on food easy
-Standard Thermal Oven function
-Convection oven function for faster, more even cooking
-Self-cleaning function (pyrolitic cleaning action) with automatic door lock that prevents opening the oven door during the high-heat clean cycle
-Pastry function for even heating of pastries, cookies, cakes, etc.
-Custom Broil function for even grilling of vegetables, meats, and chops allows you to set the broil temperature for perfect results
-Easy electronic timer function with locking function allows you to set cook time and prevent accidental erasure by locking in the current settings
-Minute-Minder timer signals the end of the cooking cycle and automatically turns off the oven
-Signal indicates when the oven has reached desired temperature during preheat.
-2 racks are included (but you must purchase a broiler pan separately)
-Digital thermometer with probe is included. Battery operated, the thermometer is perfectly designed to hang off the oven door handle and uses the wired probe you place in food to signal when food has reached temperature.
-The inner door glass is flat, smooth, and the entire oven door is removable for cleaning.
-4.1 cu ft capacity
-weighs 153 lbs.
-29 3/4"" wide X 23" deep (including handle) X 29" high
-shipping package size is much larger!
So What Don't You Get?
Obviously, at this price point, some features of more expensive ovens are missing. So what features are NOT on this oven? Do you care?
1) Concealed Lower Element: Better ovens, like KitchenAid's $1649 models, have a concealed or sealed lower heating element so that the bottom of the oven is completely flat with no exposed heating element. This means that any drips fall on a completely flat oven floor and, in theory, become easier to wipe up. In practice, the Ikea Nutid oven bottom is very easy to clean and the exposed heating element is, for me, a non-issue.
2) Built-in temperature probe: offered on pricier models from other makers allow non-cooks to let the oven cook roasts and poultry to a specific temperature and turn off by itself. I have other ovens with this feature, used the probe for a few years and then found that, over time, the probe or the probe-connection jack would prove problematic and an expensive repair job. Ikea's included battery-operated digital thermometer with probe more than compensates, will be cheaper to replace, and keeps the oven itself simpler.
3) Oven light control during cook cycles: Should you wish to look inside the oven when the oven is off, Ikea has you turn the left control knob to an oven light on position. Otherwise, the oven light is off except when the oven is in use. During cooking cycles, the interior lights go on automatically for the entire cycle until you turn the oven off. Kind of how a microwave works, I guess, but I found this odd at first. I am used to it now. Oh, those wild Swedes!
4) Mylar Control Panel: if you are a fan of those control panels without any knobs or buttons where you just push a bubble of plastic to run your oven, look elsewhere. This device uses 2 knobs and 2 buttons. I can't tell you how much I prefer Ikea's design. One thing they don't tell you about those touch panel controls is how they yellow and discolor over the years so they no longer match the appliance exactly. This oven has none of those plastics.
5) Many Color Choices: Ikea appliances tend to come either in white or in stainless steel and that is it. No red, no purple, no bisque. Just the classics. If you're looking for gimmicky, these aren't the appliances for you.
Only you can decide if you simply can't live without the above features. Having some of these features on other ovens in other kitchens, I can honestly say I don't miss them on the Ikea Nutid oven. And I will never buy anything but white or stainless steel appliances again - - the fashion colors just look too sad in a couple of years, sort of like the brady bunch kitchen. The lower cost, better styling, and simple good looks of the Ikea oven make it a personal favorite.
Easy to Use
Less is more, especially when it comes to controlling your appliances. Who wants to be faced with an overwhelming flimsy touchpad full of hard-to-read options that you rarely use?
Ikea has brilliantly reduced all the functions of a modern, sophisticated oven into a control center that uses 2 knobs and two buttons and one easy-to-read display. Brilliant. And easy enough for my 80 year old mother to figure out without a manual.
The knobs and buttons are elegant brushed, matte, stainless steel that does not show fingerprints. Very handsome and they have a quality feel, especially as they are fitted on white glass panels, not plastic.
The left knob selects the mode. Turn the knob to the indicator you want: Bake, Roast, Convection, Pastry, Broil, Clean, Light On.
You almost don't need to even look at the indicator because as you turn the left knob, the oven display shows the default temperature for that setting, for example 325F for convection, 350F for standard bake and roast, CLN for clean, etc. Very simple.
The right knob adjusts temperature and time. So after making your mode selection with the left knob, use the right knob to adjust the oven temperature you want. Don't want to use convection at 325 but instead want 350? Just rotate the right knob until the display reads 350 while in convection mode.
The single button to the left of the display turns off the oven and cancels the cooking timer settings. This is its only function.
The single button to the right of the display cycles the display to access the timed cook settings. Once you have the oven preheating at the appropriate temp and mode, press this button once to set the length of time you want to cook for. Baking frozen fish fillets that need 17 minutes? After pressing this button, rotate the right knob until the display reads 17 minutes. Press the button again to set the start time of the cooking cycle, and rotate the right knob to change the start time if desired. Either way, just push the right button again to start the countdown and the cook cycle.
It reads harder than it is to do - - if you can read this review on the internet you can have this oven cooking your food on a timed cycles with only a few taps and twists. And the oven will beep and tell you when your food is ready to eat. Gotta love it.
Easy to Keep Clean
This oven's simple lines and glass exterior finish make a it a breeze to keep clean. It helps, too, that the unit is self-cleaning. Simply turn the knob to the cleaning icon and either accept the fixed 3 hour clean cycle or turn the oven off earlier (note: my repair tech - - see below - - recommended never self-cleaning ANY over 2 hours and never running a self-clean cycle in ANY oven unattended or when you are sleeping). Like every other self-cleaning oven I own, the Ikea Nutid 30" In-Wall Convection Oven stinks up the place when it cleans itself if there is a great deal of burned on food stuck to the interior.
**** UPDATE: 9-19-2010 Had my first repair experience and the problem was caused by the self-clean feature. Happy to report all is now well and, overall, it was an extremely positive repair experience. During the automatic 3 1/2 hour self-cleaning cycle, the oven went dead. Checked that the electrical circuit was still on & it was. Called the # in the owner's manual for repair. This happened on a Friday and repairman came on Monday morning. So far so good. He evaluated the situation and said the oven blew two internal fuses, most likely due the internal fan running too slowly (so it was not evacuating hot air from the the self-clean cycle effectively). Needed to order parts (including new fan, 2 new fuses, and a plastic door bezel he had to break to get the door open as the self-clean funciton locked the door and it never released automatically). Took less than 2 weeks from first call to completion of the final service. The oven is back up and running without incident. Everything was covered by the warranty and there was no out of pocket expense (they did want a copy of my receipt so make sure you keep your proof of purchase!). Even though this oven defaults to a fixed 3 hour 30 minute clean cycle, the Repair Tech recommends never running self-clean for over 2 hours on ANY brand of oven as this is a common problem, especially for in-wall models. So from now on I will cancel the self-clean cycle manually after 90-120 minutes instead of letting it run the full cycle. ****
You Do Not Have to Carry Home an In-Wall Oven: In-Home Delivery is Available
Well, you can carry it home if you want to. The Nutid Oven is a cash & carry item at Ikea, meaning that you arrange to buy it in the kitchen department upstairs (all Ikeas are arranged the same way) and then pay for it and go downstairs where it is brought out to you on a dolley from the back warehouse by an Ikea employee.
If you are strong and have a truck and some friends with you, you can then load the oven into your truck or station wagon or hatchback and take it home.
I got in-home delivery. The Ikea employee wheeled the oven (and everything else I was buying that day) right to the home delivery desk and I arranged to have it all delivered. They were willing to deliver the next day but that was too fast for me. In-home delivery in my area begins at $99 but the more you buy the better deal delivery is. I got four appliances and all the cabinets and accessories for a complete gut renovation of a 16' x 8' galley kitchen delivered for $238.
The packaging on this oven is simply amazing and it comes completely encased in layers of dense cardboard tubes like wood, styrofoam and plastic. There was no damage from delivery and the delivery men were prompt, courteous, clean, and neat. It is always surprising to me when deliveries go smoothly given all that can go wrong. Ikea's delivery proved a very positive experience.
Documentation and Installation
The appliance comes with a specification sheet, installation manuals, instruction manuals, and the five year warranty agreement. There is a great deal of packing material and tape to remove from the oven before you can install it and there are many warnings so you do not harm the door hinges.
If you are using the Ikea tall cabine for in-wall ovens, simply place the special heavy-weight shelf at the desired height once the cabinet is in position. Make sure you have the necessary wiring in place for this appliance.
I had an electrician professionally install the oven electric. The oven requires its own dedicated 30 amp 240 volt circuit. The oven comes only with the pigtail needed for hard-wiring, not with the scary large plugs required for some locales. Your electrician will know what is needed in your area. This is something I recommend everyone leave to a licensed electrician since they know the legal and safety requirements for your installation.
My cabinet installer put the oven in position and attach it as per Ikea's instructions. Pretty much, the oven sits on and attaches to a very heavy duty shelf that Ikea supplies with the cabinet. It also screws directly into the cabinet (which in turn is attached to the wall). Once installed correctly, this baby is not going anywhere and looks beautifully flush. You can pick the placement with Ikea's system so think about aesthetics and practicality for the height. One word to the wise: if you will be installing an in-wall Ikea microwave directly above the oven, put the oven in position, determine where the microwave shelf is to go, install the oven completely, and then install the microwave support shelf above it (the one for under the microwave). Then install the microwave before installing the shelf that goes above that. Remember, too, that drawer fronts for the drawer beneath your in-wall oven, if from Ikea, will only come in certain standard heights. If you want a custom height for your drawer front that is taller than their limited choices, just have your cabinet installer cut a 30" wide cabinet door to the desired height (cut the end going on the bottom so you will never see the cut) and use as it as a drawer front on a standard 30" Ikea heavy-duty drawer.
The Ikea Nutid 30" Electric In-Wall Thermal Convection Oven is easy to live with and is proving itself a workhorse. Everyone who enters the kitchen comments how attractive the oven and microwave are.
Temperature appears to be extremely accurate, consistent and uniform. Baked goods, frozen foods, poultry, roasts, etc. all seem to cook evenly and according to standard times. Of course, convection mode speeds things up but cooking times are consistent with my other convection ovens from KitchenAid in other houses. The custom broiler function is among the fastest and best I have ever used.
The clock and controls are very easy to see and use. This oven is so simple and elegant that I have grown even fonder of it as I get to know it better and use it more.
Very Highly Recommended
The Ikea Nutid 30" Electric In-Wall Thermal Convection Oven is an excellent choice and an amazing value. It is at least $300 less than its nearest competitor yet looks better, works as well, and compares admirably to any Whirlpool or KitchenAid product. I highly recommend you consider it whether or not you intend to buy a kitchen at Ikea - - the Nutid is worth a look if you are in the market for a simple, functional, and elegant in-wall oven with an exceptional warranty at an extremely competitive price.