GE Cafe Couture Oven with Air Fry Review, Tested and Approved

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The Couture Coffee Oven, a new all-in-one countertop oven from GE’s premium Café line of appliances, offers the convenience of several different appliances – it can do things like bake, roast, broil and even air fry – in a sleek, compact design that’s a no-brainer for those with small kitchens. And, he looks gorgeous doing it all.

I’ve been using the Café Couture oven in my kitchen for a few weeks now, instead of my usual Wolf Gourmet Elite Countertop Oven. And despite a few minor quibbles, I’m satisfied with the performance of the Café Couture oven. Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning on making room on your counter for this fashionable and functional kitchen appliance.

The Café Couture oven is a stylish appliance that will save space in the kitchen by combining baking and air frying functions. It runs 14 different cooking modes and does them all well.

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Key specs

  • 14 cooking modes: Air Fry, Crisp Finish, Bake, Broil, Roast, Toast. Donut. Pizza. Cookies. Rise, dehydrate, simmer, reheat, keep warm
  • 0.8 cu. ft. of cooking space (fits a 12 inch pizza)
  • Temperature range: 80*F (steaming) to 450* (air frying and roasting)
  • Smart features: Oven status monitoring by app, new features via over-the-air updates
  • Includes: 2 grids; air fryer basket, pizza pan, griddle

Besides looking good, the oven cooks well, heats quickly and evenly, and offers plenty of options. While many basic toaster ovens have simple cooking modes such as bake, broil and broil, some more expensive models like my Wolf oven offer proof, warm, bake, roast and broil as well what to grill. The Couture Coffee Oven covers it all with 14 different cooking modes, including my favorite, a “crispy finish” mode that I use to brown fish and vegetables.

In the past, I’ve typically stuck bread and bagels in my freestanding toaster, as I’ve had less than stellar experiences with previous toaster ovens. Only one side would be toasted, or it would take three rounds of “toast” for it to be really to my liking, so I was pleasantly surprised at how well Café Couture performed this most basic function. With four elements on the top and two on the bottom, broiling and baking in the Café Couture oven produces even temperatures and results.

I especially liked using the “crispy finish” to brown vegetables after they’ve roasted. You can broil, but it tends to cook too quickly and sometimes splatter, so I prefer this mode.

Dial-style oven control knobs are easy to use. I like that the settings are displayed on an easy-to-read LCD screen at the top of the oven, and I didn’t have to squint or grab my glasses to read the wording on the dials. This was my first experience with an oven that mounted the controls above the door (as they would on a full size oven) and I much prefer this position to the dials and settings placed lower on the front panel, at right of the door, like those on Breville and Wolf countertop ovens.

sewing coffee top panel

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The dials show the cooking mode, temperature and cooking time, if using a timer. There’s also a progress bar at the bottom to show how close you are to your desired temperature when preheating.

The oven has 0.8 cubic feet of cooking space, which is slightly smaller than other high-end countertop models such as the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro or the Wolf Countertop Oven that I use, but still big enough to make a 12 inch pizza, roast a whole chicken, and cook with 9 x 13 baking or pans.

All that space makes room for 2 racks – there’s plenty of room to cook a piece of fish on one rack while vegetables cook on the rack below, making dinner prep a breeze.

If you wanted to experiment with different types of cooking, this makes things very simple. It comes with an Air Fry basket as well as a 12-inch pizza pan, rack, and griddle. But unlike Breville’s Smart Oven Pro, which has lines on the oven to tell you which rack to use for each cooking mode, you’ll have to read the instructions on the Café Couture oven. show you which of the three rack positions to use for each cooking mode.

For example, for air frying, you would use the basket in the middle rack position, but for reheating or slow cooking, the lower rack position is recommended.

cauliflower-couture-café

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I tried different cooking methods and found that the oven, while not perfect (my vegetables weren’t always crispy enough), did most things well enough. It maintains its temperature and cooks food evenly. It is ideal for heating food, grilling and cooking several things at the same time.

The surprisingly quiet air fry mode cooks at higher temperatures of 400-450, but because I’m used to the deeper basket of a freestanding air fryer, it took some getting used to. use the Café oven’s shallow basket (more on that below).

The salmon came out crispy on the outside and still moist and evenly cooked on the inside. Ditto for just reheating leftovers. I was able to reheat already cooked chicken in about 10 minutes, without drying it out.

One of the best things about using the Café Couture oven is how quickly it heats up and how little heat it gives off. For anyone who hates turning on a large kitchen oven in very hot weather, this is a godsend.

While cleaning an oven is never a fun idea for anyone, the removable rack system and slide-out crumb tray make it easy to access interior parts, which inevitably get dripped and splattered.

You can put the rack, basket and pans in the dishwasher, but I prefer hand washing with soapy water. The crumb tray should be hand washed.

Can we talk about the elegance of this oven? It’s not that anyone would spend $499 on a countertop oven just for looks, but this oven definitely looks good.

Most countertop ovens are short and wide, but this design is taller and narrower than most. This gives it a more commanding presence in the kitchen, standing two inches taller than my Wolf oven. It also has slightly rounded corners and a soft curved design.

sewing cafe open

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At 14 inches tall, you need to make sure you have enough space between the bottom of your kitchen cabinets and the top of the oven, and this height may not work for all kitchens. That said, at about three inches narrower than my wolf, it takes up less space in width.

The Cafée Couture oven is available in matte black, matte white and stainless steel finishes with polished copper knobs and door handle. I opted for the stainless steel finish and it almost looks like rose gold, blending beautifully with my other stainless steel appliances. But the two-tone finish and rounded edges also give it a sleek, modern design that should look great in any kitchen.

I have some minor issues with the Couture Coffee Oven but none of them are deal breakers.

I’m used to a freestanding air fryer, which has a deeper basket with a tighter weave, so I usually turn my food around with a spatula or shake it as it cooks. The Cafe´ Couture, and most countertop ovens that double as air fryers, use a shallow basket with larger holes. This means that in addition to the unexpected mess of small pieces of food falling through the basket, I also had to use a fork or a set of tongs to reposition things like the cauliflower to make it brown and crispy all over .

And for anyone who is used to adding salt and other spices directly to their food inside an air fryer, you will need to consider marinating and seasoning the food beforehand to limit drips and spills. I did notice, however, that anything that landed on the heating coils burned quickly – although you had to get some smoke through first.

One option my editor pointed out is to line the bottom of the oven (the broiler pan pulls out completely for cleaning) with aluminum foil so it’s easier to clean up spills.

smart screenshot of couture cafe

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This smart oven connects to Wi-Fi for remote control with a smartphone as well as easy access to recipes in the app. But I had a lot of trouble logging in and eventually had to call for help. Once we got the hang of it and started using the app, I was able to turn the oven light on/off and see the status of the oven (on or off) as well as program a cooking mode. But once I chose the mode, temperature, and set a timer, I still had to press the “start” button on the oven to activate the remote start. It seems counter-intuitive.

Most smart devices require a Wi-Fi connection and I appreciate that product updates and new features can be pushed as over-the-air updates through the app, but I don’t think the current state of smart features adds a lot, which makes me wonder if the oven needs connectivity.

The Couture Coffee Oven is a stylish appliance that will save space in the kitchen by combining baking and air frying functions. It runs 14 different cooking modes and does them all well.

You can get better performance on individual recipes or foods from a single-function stand-alone appliance like an air fryer or slow cooker, but if you’re short on space and want a superb appliance that can replace several , this oven will not disappoint you.

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