Anyone heard of the "Slide and Hide" oven door?

cramponMarch 25, 2014

Here's a great one for all the totally kitchen obsessed out there. My wife and I were just visiting the in-laws. They have a fairly new house (built within the last 10-15 years) with a nice, big kitchen. There's just one fly in the ointment - the island is a bit too close to the wall oven, so you get a little bit squeezed when opening the oven door.

Thinking about that, I realized that oven doors in general are inconvenient at best, if not downright dangerous. You can imagine how easy it would be to fall into the oven and do a Hansel and Gretel...or at least burn yourself.

Continuing that train of thought, I realized that the oven door is the problem. If the oven door opened differently, ovens would be much easier to use.

"Eureka! I'll build a better oven and retire!" I thought gleefully.

Then I realized I should take a look and see if maybe someone else had beat me to the punch. Lo and behold, the Neff company did, with the Slide & Hide oven door.

Video below for reference. If you don't think this is one of the greatest things you've ever seen, then you don't qualify as TKO:

The money shot (if you will) is from about 30 seconds to 40 seconds. to Google I went. It looks like Neff is owned by Bosch, but as far as I can tell, these ovens are only sold in Australia and the UK. That brings me to my questions for you:

1) Does anyone have any experience with these ovens? Are they as great as they seem from the video?
2) Has anyone ever seen these for sale in the U.S.?
3) Just how painful would it be to import one of these, given that they're likely built for a different electrical standard? Is that even worth thinking about?

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Not sure about getting those Neff's here, but Bosch just released their new Benchmark ovens that feature side swinging doors. Instead of opening a door from top down and then having to reach over it, the door swings like a fridge.

There's another maker with double doors that open french-door style.

Plenty of alternatives to importing something from down-under.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 10:36PM
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That slide and hide door is cool! Wonder if the mechanism is prone to breaking?

I have used a side opening oven door in a commercial setting and actually got the worst burn I have gotten from an oven on that door. Maybe just because I wasn't used to it? But maybe because the door was out of my sight line? It would help with lifting heavy things in and out because of the shorter reach though I assume.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 11:37PM
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    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 12:43AM
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The original reason for the bottom hinged oven door is that it allowed hot pans to be pulled out onto what was effectively a shelf. Of course, when glass was introduced into the doors, this did not work as well.

If I remember, bottom hinged doors came in with gas ranges. The old coal and wood burning ovens had side opening doors.

Live long enough and everything comes back full circle.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 2:48AM
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Gaggenau ovens open to the left / right as well.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 6:10AM
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I would need a pot holder that fit my right elbow if I had an oven door that opened like the one pictured above. I like the idea of being able to reach into the oven more easily but it would just not work for me. The slide and hide would make more sense for me.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 7:09AM
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My neighbor has one of those Neff ovens (I live in France) and is very happy with it. I played with the door once and it is easy to operate. Their oven does not get much use though as this is their second home.

If you factor in the shipping cost, the fact that you could not get servicing from Neff in the USA and that these are 24" ovens, I doubt that importing one would be worth it.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 10:10AM
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I'd like to see one of these: the Siemens liftMatic is mounted on the wall and opens from the bottom, therefore eliminating bending over to fetch things and reducing the amount of heat that escapes every time the door is opened. Not sure if I'd actually like using one of these and it's probably not sold in the US anyway, but it's an interesting idea.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 11:54AM
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How would that last one work with multiple items cooking on multiple oven racks?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 12:11PM
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Does anybody else just feel the burns on their arms from the side swing door? I'm so clumsy I would be burning myself on that on a regular basis or if I was really careful I bet somebody in the family would unintentionally touch it and it would swing towards me.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 12:38PM
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I grew up with a side opening Westinghouse, which was shoehorned in by being in the doorway to the service porch. It was replaced with a Gaggenau specifically because there isn't room for a drop door there, and I have Gaggenau now, in part because once you're used to a side opening door, dropdown doors seem very inconvenient (and I had many in the intervening years).

I should say that side opening doors are meant for ovens mounted at about counter level. It's not required, but it is optimal for getting the most out of your oven. If you have to crouch down, it's not going to be very different.

I don't know about other brands (though Bosch is a sister to Gaggenau), but my oven door doesn't get burning hot unless it's at 500 degree pizza temperatures. Recently, I forgot about that and bumped it with my hip (bare top of leg, below my shorts, is what hit) because I hadn't opened it all the way and was having trouble getting the (overloaded) pizza off the peel. It felt ouch. I put a plastic ice cube on it. Nothing happened. A week later, I found a few dead cells coming up. Not a serious burn by a longshot, but that's the only one I've gotten on the side opening door. My oven is mounted a little lower than optimum, which is how that whole hip temptation happened. :)

I'm pretty sure you could get the lift oven, branded Gaggenau (a daughter of Siemens), in the U.S., at least a few years ago. It's meant as an accessible option for old folks and people with limited mobility. They showed it with food items put directly on the floor, besides having the rack. I don't remember if there were multiple levels, but the oven isn't really for people doing heavy duty cooking so much as those cooking enough to maintain their independence. The lift mechanism is supposed to make it easier to put things in from the counter, where the lift goes down to within a few inches. As shown in the picture posted here, I don't see the advantage, unless it's for short people who want high ovens.

There used to be an off brand American oven that had a retracting door, like the Neff, but in the video it looks like Neff has a much more elegant mechanism. On the one hand, it's very nifty, but on the other hand, I wonder what happens when it gets jammed...

You can check with Neff to see if they make a model that's compatible with American electricity (it's the Hz). There are some Middle Eastern countries, for instance, which run on the same current. Sometimes appliances are made for those even though they don't say so. I have a European induction cooktop which was actually made for either 50 or 60 Hz, but you'd never know it from anything but the installation instructions.

If you do import one, besides being without warranty or a service company (though someone ought to be able to do repairs, it might take a long time to get information and parts), you have to consider code and insurance. Some building codes exclude anything that isn't UL approved, period. Others will allow European certification (which, I believe is even stricter), and might also accept Australian. In addition, you should have a letter from your insurance company--not your agent but the insurers--stating that they fully insure you with this non-UL appliance. My company only required that my Euro cooktop be installed by a licensed electrician, which I'd think they'd want for any cooktop, but I guess not. :)

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 4:33PM
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I have a double French door oven. I have not burned myself yet. No more reaching over a hot oven door with a heavy pan.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 10:18PM
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That Neff is astonishing! On the one hand, I love the idea of being able to position things exactly where you want them, and taking things out easily. On the other, as someone who's burned herself on oven racks many times, when I see those exposed racks, I cringe to think of the damage I could do with them!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 10:40PM
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In the 70's my SIL had a side opening wall oven, but the door opened all the way. For me, I would definitely burn myself on that Bosch. I've opened the MW door, knocked it when taking something out, and had it "bounce back".

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 2:18AM
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That oven is cool! But I am also concerned about burning myself.

Re: importing. I live in Europe and am remodeling in America and have the possibility of self-importing European appliances (no duty, shipped with my household goods). But I have been discouraged from doing so on various boards due to the reasons that pillog explains above. Frustrating, since there are many innovations and cool products here - not to mention they are generally cheaper!

pillog - what brand induction cooktop do you have that is both 50/60HZ?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 4:21AM
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I really love that oven. And while the side opening ovens are nifty....having the door retract is extremely nice. Loved the glides for the racks also.

It seems like the US is so very far behind on appliances (and other things that I won't get into here as this isn't the board for it). We need to step it up a bit!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 7:08AM
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Hi folks, thanks for all the responses! The bottom-loading oven was new to me, as were the side-opening ovens, but I still think that retracting door is just the best approach to this problem that I've seen.

Having said that, the points that people have made about service availability have discouraged me from trying to import one of these unofficially. I guess what I need to do is write Siemens and see if they have any plans to sell these in the U.S.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 10:00PM
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