June Oven review: ideal for stress-free cooking
The June Oven takes all of the guesswork out of cooking, and takes the place of several appliances.
The June Oven is an investment that will pay off for those who want to cook at home but lack kitchen confidence
12 cooking functions
Plenty of accessories
Camera in oven identifies food
Can be controlled remotely
Above-average price for a toaster oven
Smartphone controls can be fiddly
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The best toaster ovens have made it both easier and quicker to cook entire meals. However, the June Oven elevates the entire countertop oven experience. Most countertop ovens allow you to toast, broil, bake, and several other functions – and June is one of those ovens, providing the ability to use up to 12 different functions. That in and of itself is a fantastic feature that allows one appliance to take the place of several different machines.
But what makes the June Oven truly unique is that it claims to be the world's first smart oven, and it guides you every step of the cooking process, eliminating any guesswork and the potential for errors. It truly is cooking for dummies. And in this fast-paced world, who wouldn’t want that? The oven even has a camera that can identify food, a 5-inch touchscreen display panel, and the ability to control the oven via the mobile app.
I’ve used the June Oven to cook almost all of my meals, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed not having to look up cooking times or temperatures – in fact, not having to think about the cooking process. I have the June Oven Premium, which includes more accessories, but all of the June Ovens work the same, so if you’re on a budget, you can save several hundred dollars by purchasing the standard June Oven, which comes with everything you need: a nonstick pan, wire shelf, crumb tray, and food thermometer.
June Oven review: specs
Dimensions: 12.75” H x 19.6” W x 19” D
Weight: 39 pounds
Cooking modes: Convection Bake, Keep Warm, Toast, Broil, Reheat, Slow Cook
Volume: 1.0 cubic foot
Comes with: Nonstick Pan, Wire Shelf, Crumb Tray, Food Thermometer
Warranty: 1 year
I’ve had the June Oven since October, 2021 – and I threw that box away a long time ago, so I can’t show you the unboxing process. However, I recall that it was well-packaged, and I had to remove a lot of protective film and tape. In the photo below, you can see the wire shelf in the middle rack position, and the crumb tray inserted beneath the heating elements.
You can also see the two convection fans in the back of the oven, and the thermometer jack on the top left side. What you don’t see on the top interior side are the carbon fiber heating elements, camera, and LED lights.
To ensure proper air circulation, June recommends leaving at least 2 inches of space on either side of the oven and at least 4 inches above.
To get started, I needed to connect the oven to Wi-Fi so I could set it up. I chose my network from a list of available options, and entered my password. And then there’s an on-screen notification which requires you to agree to the terms and conditions.
The next step was to download updates to the oven. Afterwards these downloads occur automatically – in fact, one night I heard a sound in the kitchen, and went to investigate, but it was merely the oven updating.
I also downloaded the June app on my smartphone. The oven alone comes with a complimentary 100-day trial period, but the annual app subscription costs $120 on top of the purchasing price, which is a shame given the ongoing cost.
Connecting to the oven provides the ability to remotely preheat the oven and adjust the temperature and time, watch the food cooking, get alerts on your phone when the preheat segment is complete or the timer has ended, etc. You can also view recipes on your phone (or go to June’s website). The June Oven is also compatible with Alexa, so you can also issue voice commands to preheat the oven.
I’m sure that many people will appreciate the ability to control the oven remotely, but it was just as easy for me to use the controls on the oven itself.
Since I have the June Oven Premium, it comes with a ton of accessories: 3 air fryer baskets, roasting rack, 2 nonstick pans, wire shelf, crumb tray, and food thermometer.
There are many attachments, from a (very heavy) enameled grill/griddle to a lightweight pizza peel, which also doubles as a stain-resistant cutting board that won’t dull knives, an additional roasting rack, and a 2nd thermometer.
Using the June Oven
The June Oven comes with a touchscreen for easy controls. Under Programs are various selections, including vegetables, seafood, poultry, meat, and vegetarian (so you can purchase, for example, Chickenless Nuggets and Impossible Burgers and cook them as well).
Swiping to the next Program window reveals other options, such as frozen food, baked goods, toast, leftovers, fruits, and nuts.
For example: If I wanted to cook burgers, I would go to Meat, and the select Burgers. The oven tells me that it takes 23 ½ minutes to broil the burgers.
I’m also instructed to put the pan of burgers in the middle shelf position in the oven.
In addition, the oven recommends that after cooking, I remove the burgers and let them rest for 5 minutes.
Cooking chicken in the June Oven
My first test was cooking chicken thighs. I placed them in the oven and selected Programs, and then Meats, and then Chicken Thighs. The June Oven chooses the cooking method, temperature, and time, which takes a lot of stress out of the equation.
Once finished, the chicken thighs were tender and juicy, and were neither overcooked or undercooked.
Once the cooking cycle is complete, you have an option to keep roasting, or select Finish and take the chicken thighs out.
Making cookies in the June Oven
I tested the June Oven for several weeks, and sometimes, when I was distracted, I would put the food in the oven before I choose anything on the screen. However, the camera was able to recognize what I was putting in the appliance.
For example, when I put a tray of cookies in the oven and closed the door, a menu would pop up for me to choose either “cookies” or “meatballs” since the oven detected that I’d inserted something small and round.
The photo above shows the chocolate chip cookies as soon as I put them in the oven. Note that the oven once again set the time and started baking.
The finished cookies were gooey in the middle and crunchy around the edges – the way I like homemade cookies.
Grilling pork pork
My final test was grilling pork chops. I had a choice of grilling them using the ridged cast iron plate or roasting them in the non stick pan, but if you opt for the June Oven without the premium package you won't get the cast iron plate.
I chose to try the grilling function. The photo above shows the raw pork chops when I put them in the oven.
The chops came out perfectly and I especially liked the char-grilled effect and taste. One thing I really like about the June Oven is that it doesn’t smoke up my kitchen regardless of what I’m cooking.
How to clean the June Oven
The company recommends cleaning the oven with Easy Off, Barkeeper’s Friend, or Thieves Cleaning Solution. It is recommended to gently wash the June pan, roasting rack, crumb tray, air basket, and thermometer with soap and warm water, but not to put these items in the dishwasher. (That may be a con to some people, but I like to hand wash items anyway.) The display touchscreen can be wiped with a glass cleaner and microfiber cloth.
There’s also a cleaning app on the June Oven. When activated, the lights will stay on, but the heating elements won’t come on.
If, for example, I select Oven Interior, on the next screen, I can select Regular Cleaning or Deep Cleaning. The oven will also blow itself dry at the end of the cleaning cycle.
How does it compare?
I’ve tested over a dozen countertop ovens, including Wolf Gourmet, Breville, Tovala, Brava, De’Longhi Livenza, Ninja, Calphalon, and this is one of my favorites.
Sure, all countertop ovens can roast, bake, toast, and on and on. But they don’t walk you through the steps and make recommendations like the June Oven. The closest competitor is the Brava Oven, which is also a smart oven, and it also uses a camera, so you can view the food on your phone.
The Brava has the advantage in not needing to be preheated unless you’re baking. However, the Brava is also much more expensive, doesn’t recognize food, and requires a dedicated circuit. Brava’s controls are on the top, instead of the front, which you may or may not prefer. Both countertop ovens do a fantastic job of cooking food to perfection.
Should you buy the June Oven?
For consumers like me who consider cooking to be a necessary evil, the June Oven is a godsend. In fact, it might inspire me to become more adventurous since I don't have to worry about trying to figure out how a particular food should be cooked, at what temperature and for how long. In addition, I don’t have to figure out rack placement and all the other factors that can make or break your meal.
The June Oven almost made it fun to cook – and it was certainly fun demonstrating to others how it operates.
On the other hand, if you’re a seasoned cook, I’m not sure you would be as impressed, as you may already have an idea of how you like to cook your meals, and already know the temperature and desired time.
I definitely think it’s worth the price, especially if you opt for the original June Oven, which is several hundred dollars cheaper.
About this review, and the reviewer
Terri hates cooking – but loves testing kitchen appliances. She’s tested over a dozen countertop ovens, and has written buying guides on countertop ovens and other kitchen appliances and home goods for several popular websites.
Terri has had the June Oven Premium since October of last year, so she’s been able to test it long-term, and will work it back into rotation to provide updates on the appliance’s performance.
Terri Williams is a journalist with real estate, home improvement, and product review bylines at Architectural Digest, Real Simple, Realtor.com, Bob Vila, Yahoo, MSN, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Houston Chronicle, and Apartment Therapy. She also covers business topics, with bylines at USA Today, The Economist, US New & World Report, Verizon, and several other brands that you’ve probably heard of. Follow her adventures on Twitter.
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