What digital or next-gen features will I find?
Ovens especially come with a wide range of advanced features for keeping food toasty and for the gourmet set.
Dehydration: Some models have a setting that allows you to dehydrate fruits and vegetables.
Sabbath mode: This feature keeps cooked foods warm on the Jewish Sabbath and holidays. For any host, this setting can also be a plus when you're hosting lots of guests and need to keep food warmed over a long period of time.
Warming drawer: This drawer warms food or you can use it for bread proofing (letting bread dough rise).
Internet or telephone remote control: Now you can use the Web or a phone to get dinner started. One model allows you to remotely access your oven from the Net or a landline or mobile phone. It works because the oven also doubles as a refrigerator and keeps your food fresh until you're ready to activate the oven remotely.
Touch screens: Flat-panel control screens throughout the house can enable you to control your oven via Microsoft Media Center Home Network.
Speedcook: This oven type is in the microwave family and can, for example, cook a turkey in 42 minutes. You can pick settings like bake, roast, broil, air crisp, dehydrate, or toast along with your preprogrammed recipes. Models can also include profiles (one model boasts 500) to automatically determine cook times and temperature.
Ventilation: Some models include downdraft ventilation that will suck up smoke, steam, and odors, eliminating the need for an overhead hood. Their effectiveness compared with over-the stove hoods, however, is debatable.