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Bosch Wall Oven Series 500 HBE5452UC review

The name Bosch renders images of appliances that sport a sleek design and scream luxury. Rightfully so, as the company makes some pretty stylish products. The Bosch 24″ Wall Oven Series 500 (£1,999) is no exception, but its Achilles Heel is its attempt at smart home integration.

In fact, if the Home Connect technology wasn’t so prominently featured on both the product and its literature, the oven would have a higher score. Because as a straight-up oven, it does a solid job of cooking food.

Bringing Sexy Back to the Wall Oven

The Bosch HBE5452UC 24-inch wall oven will definitely draw “ooh’s” and “aah’s” in any kitchen — it is that attractive. The oven’s black glass and stainless steel exterior, coupled with its unique ring control panel with TFT display conjures up images of a high-end race car.

You can even watch the progress of the oven heating up and cooking food on the display, thanks to the red line that follows the circle inside the ring control. Additionally, the TFT screen also displays the temperature as it gets closer to the desired heat level.

Bosch Wall Oven Series 500 HBE5452UC review

Joni Blecher/Digital Trends

Bosch Wall Oven Series 500 HBE5452UC review

Joni Blecher/Digital Trends

Bosch Wall Oven Series 500 HBE5452UC review

Joni Blecher/Digital Trends

Bosch Wall Oven Series 500 HBE5452UC review

Joni Blecher/Digital Trends

Open the door of the oven and you’ll find three adjustable silver racks that are easy to remove or re-arrange depending on what you’re cooking. The oven has five rack positions, so there’s a lot of flexibility.

The interior is very small, though, measuring just 14 inches high by 18.9 inches wide and 16.3 inches deep. To provide some perspective, we could fit a small cookie sheet in the oven, but not a standard-sized one. You could cook a whole chicken in it, but you wouldn’t be able to fit a whole turkey to serve at a large family gathering.

The oven is large enough to accommodate the average frozen pizza, but not a larger one. None of these examples are a dig at the oven. After all, this is advertised as a 24-inch oven and handles what it should for its size.

Put a Ring on It

The real eye pleaser is the unique ring that controls the oven settings.

It’s a bit different than the typical push-button controls found on ovens like the GE Profile Series Built-In Double Convection Oven or knobs that are on the Frigidaire Professional FPEW3077RF. Speaking of the control panel, there’s a lot to do with it. While all the options might initially be a bit overwhelming, controlling the oven is actually quite intuitive.

Let’s be clear: As a straight-up oven, it does a solid job cooking food. Bordering the black touch control panel on either side are on/off and start/stop buttons. You’ll also find options for menu, clock, information, and a child’s lock.

Use the menu button to access the operating modes, including heating modes, dishes (things you might cook often, EcoClean (to clean the oven), Home Connect Assistant (to connect the oven to your mobile device – more on that later), and basic settings. The circle in the middle of the display is a touch-sensitive ring that you rotate with the light press of a finger to do everything from determining heating temperatures to selecting cooking options. Essentially, while everything is touch-sensitive, the ring is responsible for making things happen with the oven.

The ring is one of our favorite features on the oven. We just wish it didn’t feel so hot to the touch after the oven has been on for a while. The oven comes with quite a few cooking settings, including one for pizza.

You’ll also find settings for roast, convection multi-rack (for baking or roasting on one or more levels), slow cook, proof (for rising dough or yeast), warming, plate warming, defrost, bake, and broil. With these settings, you can do everything from baking a chicken or bread to serving your meal on a warm plate.

Home Connect: No Love Connection Here

Like many appliances available today, the Bosch HBE5452UC 24-inch wall oven aims to be part of the smart home revolution. In fact, Bosch calls its version of the feature “Home Connect”, and it’s prominently placed on the top panel of the oven.

There are settings on the main menu to supposedly help you connect the oven to your mobile device.

Bosch Wall Oven Series 500 HBE5452UC review

Joni Blecher/Digital Trends The application — from what we’ve read about it – sounds pretty slick. It includes recipes with cooking instructions that you can send directly to the oven once you’ve prepared the ingredients.

You can also pre-heat the oven from your phone and receive notifications when a meal is ready. You can also adjust the oven temperature from your phone — you know, in case getting off the couch is just too much to do, or you’re deep in conversation at your dinner party. If you have a Nest thermostat, you can connect it to the oven and instruct the device to turn off the appliance when you’re away from home.

Bosch Wall Oven Series 500 HBE5452UC Compared To

All those features sound pretty cool, don’t they?

Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the app — and therefore any of those perks — to work. In fact, even our Digital Trends information technology director and foodie couldn’t make a connection after hours of troubleshooting. We’ll spare you the details from his long and very detailed email, but in short, while we could get the oven and the device to recognize each other, they could never make a data exchange, rendering the Home Connect app useless.

We kept getting disconnected and had to start over with the process, only to hit a wall again and again. If three tech-savvy people can’t get it to work, we don’t expect the normal person to be able to, either.

Cooking Heaven

With all of that said, if you’re looking for a small oven that does a decent job at cooking, and you don’t care about connecting it to your home or Nest thermostat, the Bosch won’t disappoint. During the time we had this wall oven in our test kitchen, we used it to heat up food, cook some meals, and even bake some chicken using the convection option.

Overall, the oven performed well and cooked food evenly every time. We just couldn’t fit a lot into it. Our resident IT guru and food enthusiast couldn’t get Home Connect to sync up with a mobile device after hours of troubleshooting.

When the oven is on, the inside light is illuminated, so you can easily monitor cooking progress. You can turn off this feature in the settings, but having the light on is the default setting. When something is cooking, the timer displays the countdown time and predicted end time.

All this information is reminiscent of a car’s dashboard. To test the oven, we baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies using store-bought dough on both the convection and bake settings. The cookies turned out much better on the bake setting.

The convection setting delivered cookies that were a bit too chewy. On the bake setting, the cookies came out perfect, but required the full 15 minutes of cooking time denoted on the dough packaging. Since there was a pizza setting, we had to take that for a test spin.

It automatically set the temperature to 400 degrees. We inserted a Digiorno pepperoni pizza with a cheese-filled crust into the oven and cooked it for 25 minutes. That’s about five minutes longer than the package suggests.

The pizza came out fine, but it definitely didn’t taste like delivery. We also baked a fairly large bone-in chicken breast in a glass dish. Using the “fast” preheat setting, the oven heated from zero to 400 degrees in eight minutes.

That’s not exactly speedy. You can watch the oven’s progress on the TFT screen and judge how much longer it will take to heat up based on the display info. This information is illustrated with a red line slowly moving around the ring controller.

It took 37 minutes to cook on the roast setting, but the chicken came out perfectly with an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Warranty information

The Bosch HBE5452UC 24-inch wall oven 500 series comes with a one-year limited warranty. If the unit fails to operate properly under normal conditions within that time and it’s deemed the result of a manufacturing defect (materials or workmanship), then Bosch will repair or replace it free.

Our Take

There’s no denying that this Bosch wall oven is attractive, and it does a decent job cooking food. But with a price tag of £1,999 and smart home connectivity features that don’t work, it’s hard to recommend an oven that’s so small that you might have to purchase new cookware just to fit in it.

Is there a better alternative? If money is a concern, but you still want a high-quality oven, consider the Frigidaire 24-inch single wall oven. It costs about £500 less and you won’t need to spend countless hours trying to get it to connect to your phone just so you can control the oven remotely.

How long will it last? Product longevity varies among ovens, but a wall oven should last somewhere between 11 and 15 years. Any issues you might have with the unit will likely appear during the limited warranty period.

Should you buy it? If you’re buying the Bosch oven for the Home Connect feature, it’s a hard pass. But if you like the way it looks, value the brand, and have some extra dough to spend to get exactly what you want, then do it.

That said, there are other models that cook just as well if not better for less money.

They just don’t look as good.

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