Recognizes a wide variety of foods
App includes video recipes
Users can create custom programs
Heating elements need gentle care
Gourmet Package adds to the price
Android features lag behind iOS
We purchased the June Oven so our reviewer could put it to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.
***Our reviewer tested a Generation 2 June Oven, but the Generation 3 is now available and it addresses one of the reviewer’s concerns. The Gen 3 oven has guard rails added to the top heating elements, helping to protect them from accidental breakage.
The June Oven plus Gourmet Package promised smart features that we were eager to test. From toasting a perfect tortilla to offering complete recipes with video instructions, this oven promises to do it all. We readied simple ingredients like bagels and bread, and we stocked up on vegetables, proteins, and frozen foods, to see whether it was truly smart, or just a little bit bright. Read on for all the tasty results.
Setup Process: Easy
Setup was pretty typical, washing the included accessories before first use. Once plugged in, it walked us through the setup process, connecting it to our network and our devices.
Design: Large but not overly bulky
This is a fairly large countertop oven, but somehow it appears smaller than it is, perhaps because of the rounded corners and the light gray top and sides. Or perhaps it’s because there is no side panel with controls taking up a portion of the width, giving it more interior space. We tested the size with standard bakeware, and we were pleased to see that all of our 9 x 13-inch pans—even the ones with handles—fit neatly inside the oven. We were even able to fit our 3-quart Dutch oven with its lid when we slow-cooked some soup stock, and we could have fit a larger Dutch oven if we had covered it with foil. While a standard frozen pizza fit, some of our pizza pans were just a bit too large.
The front is all glass, with a black border, a black handle that spans the width of the door, and a control panel embedded in the door between two layers of glass. The control panel is about the size of a standard cell phone, and acts much like one. When not in use, it shows the date and time, but when food is placed in the oven, the oven makes its attempt to recognize the food and displays the menu.
Inexperienced cooks will love that it reduces cooking failures, and experienced cooks will love passing off basic tasks to the oven.
Inside, there is a single oven rack that can be placed in three different positions, a removable crumb tray on the bottom, two convection fans in back for air circulation, and a jack for the included probe thermometer. The standard package also includes a baking/roasting tray with a rack. The tray is super nonstick, so it’s great for baking everything from bread to cookies, for roasting vegetables, and for reheating foods. There are two lights in the roof of the oven on either side of the camera that illuminate the interior brightly, so you can see what’s cooking.
Performance: Smart, efficient, and easy to use
This oven is scary smart. A camera in the roof of the cooking chamber, combined with recognition software, means this oven can tell the difference between a steak or chicken, and it has programs to cook them. Even more impressive, it can count, so it knew when we heated two tortillas instead of one.
Every day, as we tried new things, the oven surprised us with its ability to figure out what we were cooking. It recognized a whole frozen pizza that we needed to cook, and it recognized slices of pizza to reheat, even though we cut them in squares rather than wedges. It recognized the difference between bagels, English muffins, and hamburger buns. It even recognized a peculiarly shaped slice of sourdough for toasting.
The cooking programs in this oven are often more complex than what most home cooks would do on their own, with multiple changes in temperatures and functions during the process.
When it recognizes food, it gives two different options; we found that the first choice was usually the right one. When we baked cookies, our choices were cookies or tater tots. When we placed an English muffin in the oven, the options were white or wheat English muffins. The oven didn’t recognize beets but offered the suggestion of potatoes, which was pretty close.
We brought home a 14-pound turkey that was too big for the oven, so we cut it in half and placed half of the turkey, cut-side down, on the included pan. The oven recognized it as chicken, which was close enough since they cook to the same temperature. It roasted perfectly, with a lovely brown crisp skin.
The cooking programs in this oven are often more complex than what most home cooks would do on their own, with multiple changes in temperatures and functions during the cook—and without user intervention. The asparagus cooking program starts with drying so the surface can roast properly. The pizza cooking function bakes the pizza, then broils it at the end for perfectly bubbly cheese. The oven even has separate programs for rising crust or standard pizza, but it doesn’t have a program for fresh pizza. However, the app has a recipe for pizza made in a cast iron pan. Of course, cooks can follow standard recipe instructions for baking their own creations.
The steak program has six automatic steps based on the internal temperature of the meat. While we liked the temperature the steak was cooked to, it created quite a bit of smoke during the final broil, awakening the smoke detector. We also would have preferred a bit more crust. But for unattended cooking, it was more than acceptable. If this is often used for broiling meats, it might be best to keep it near the stove so the vent can take care of the smoke.
Some of the most impressive things were the simple ones that can be ruined by distracted cooking. We’ve been known to burn flour tortillas or make them crisp rather than pliable, while microwaving them can make them rubbery. We appreciated the perfect tortillas that June took care of for us. And when we wanted to bake a cake using our own settings, the controls were easy to use.
Inexperienced cooks will love that it reduces cooking failures, and experienced cooks will love passing off basic tasks to the oven, experimenting with fun video recipes, and creating custom programs.
App Performance: Truly impressive
The iOS app is a bit ahead of the Android app, but the company is working on catching Android up while continuing to add more functions to both the oven and the apps. Besides communicating with both Android and Apple, the oven can also connect with Alexa devices. Alexa control isn’t as robust as using the apps, but more than once we took advantage of preheating the oven before we went into the kitchen, and it was handy to ask Alexa how much time was left on our cook.
When turning the oven off remotely, we noticed that June “tattled” by noting on the control panel which device canceled the cook. That’s handy if there are too many cooks in the house.
The app doesn’t just control the oven, it also shows progress in three different ways. It shows the temperature and time left, which is much like the oven display. It shows a dashboard with an animated drawing of heating elements and the convection fans. Last, it shows a live video of the food as it cooks. After cooking is done, a time-lapse video and cooking details are available in the history section.
The video recipes in the app control the oven at each stage, so there’s no need to set or adjust time or temperature on the oven itself. When we made air-fried chicken parmesan, the app preheated the oven while we prepped the chicken, and it told us when to turn the chicken over and add the zucchini, and when to add the sauce and cheese. It made sure the oven was at the correct temperature each time we returned food to the oven. The result was a perfectly cooked, well-crafted recipe.
Features: Too many to list them all
The cooking menu on the control panel includes Programs, Bake, Roast, Slow Cook, Proof, Broil, Toast, Air Fry, Dehydrate, Reheat, and Keep Warm. On the final screen, there is Whole Foods (which can be moved to the Programs menu), Devices, Cleaning, and Settings. Even if a cook thinks they’ll never use the dehydrate or slow cook functions, there’s a chance the oven will use one of them in a program or an app recipe, so it’s great they’re available.
Diving deeper, the Programs menu has options for cooking different types of foods, including vegetables, seafood, frozen food, and even leftovers. Of course, this can be operated without using a program by function, time, and temperature.
When we made air-fried chicken parmesan, the app preheated the oven while we prepped the chicken, and it told us when to turn the chicken over and add the zucchini, sauce, and cheese.
One simple thing we really loved was the “almost ready” warning. Rather than beeping when the food was done, it also warned us slightly before cooking time was over, so we could get to the oven to remove our bagel immediately. That feature can be turned off, if desired.
Cooking tips include things like which rack position to use and when to use the temperature probe, but they can be turned off if desired. There are more customizations available, like the choice of the musical ringtone that announces when the food is ready. Some cooking programs include custom options, like the temperature for steak. There is also a function to save adjustments.
The official Facebook group is worth joining for customer support. When we couldn’t figure out how to download a time-lapse video of our cook, the company responded quickly and we had our video ready to share.
One of the newest features is the ability to create custom programs. This is great for folks who want to streamline a family recipe, but it’s also great for creating variations on existing recipes, so shortbread cookies and oatmeal cookies can have their own programs.
Cleaning: Elements require care
The single thing we don’t like about this oven is that the heating elements are somewhat fragile. There are multiple warnings that they shouldn’t be touched, and they should be wrapped with aluminum foil before the oven is deep cleaned with oven cleaner. We were a bit concerned when cheese from our pizza dripped onto an element and we knew we couldn’t scrape it off. We shouldn’t have worried since it burned off the next time we used the oven.
What’s Included: Gourmet option
The oven we tested came with the Gourmet Package, which includes three air fryer baskets, an extra baking/broiling tray, and a three-year subscription to the premium recipes. The air fryer baskets allow air to flow all around food for air frying or for dehydrating, and since all three can be used at once, it means more food can be cooked than with the single oven rack, although some recipes call for lining the bottom rack with foil to catch drips. The extra tray was also welcome, as was the recipe subscription.
One interesting use of the air fryer baskets is for air-popping popcorn. The kernels are placed in one basket and a second basket is placed upside-down on top, creating a completely enclosed basket. While we prefer buttery popcorn, it was a healthy option, and ridiculously fun to watch.
Price: Right for the technology
This isn’t cheap, particularly with the Gourmet Package (the Standard Package is $200 cheaper), but it’s hard to compare it to a standard countertop oven considering the level of technology. If someone is on a budget, the Gourmet Option could be omitted and the trays and recipe subscription could be purchased separately when affordable.
June Oven plus Gourmet Package vs. Amazon Smart Oven
The Amazon Smart Oven, which we also tested, has one function the June Oven doesn’t: microwaving. However, the Amazon Oven doesn’t have a toast or broil function. It also doesn’t have racks like an oven. Instead, it has a rotating glass plate like a typical microwave and metal stands to raise food up higher on the plate for baking or air frying. If you need a microwave and want one you can talk to, the Amazon Smart Oven can fill that space and do a bit more. But overall, we have to give the nod to the June for its versatility and its recipe app.
Yes, you need this.
From the moment the oven recognized a bagel to the point where we completed a video recipe, we loved just about everything the June Oven Gourmet Package helped us create.
- Product Name Oven plus Gourmet Package
- Product Brand June
- MPN JC0HG121901
- Price $899
- Weight 40 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 12.75 x 19.6 x 19 in.
- Power 1,800 Watts
- Material 304 Stainless steel interior, cold-rolled powder-coated steel exterior, edge-to-edge, triple-glazed, thermally coated glass door
- What’s Included (Gourmet Package) 1 removable crumb tray, 1 oven rack, 2 baking trays, 1 cooking rack, 1 thermometer, 3 air fryer baskets, 3-year subscription to premium recipes for the app
- Warranty 2 years