Recognizes a wide variety of foods
App includes video recipes
Users can create custom programs
Heating elements need gentle care
Upgrade options are pricey
Android features lag behind iOS
We purchased the June Oven so our reviewer could put it to the test in her kitchen. Our reviewer originally tested a Generation 2 June Oven, but this review has been updated as of March 2022 after she was sent the Generation 3, which is now available.
Over a year ago, the Generation 2 June Oven landed on my doorstep with a healthy thud. I put it through its paces and reviewed it. For the past year, it has lived on my counter, getting used regularly. Most days, it performs simple tasks like toasting tortillas or making a grilled cheese sandwich. Other days, it makes dinner. It has held up well, updated itself regularly, and has earned the space it takes.
The Generation 3 June Oven was released in 2021, and it addressed concerns I had with the original oven, while also adding new features. Of course, I tested it, shoving the much-used June aside for its clean counterpart.
At first glance, the two ovens are identical, at least on the exterior. Inside is a different story, but it still takes some neck-craning to see the difference. The Generation 2 oven’s biggest flaw was its unprotected upper heating elements. The elements are notoriously fragile, and more than one user accidentally broke one during cleaning. Now, the elements are well protected with metal bars that make it nearly impossible to accidentally smack one of the elements.
Both generations of the June Oven promised smart features that I was eager to test. From toasting a perfect bagel to offering complete recipes with video instructions, this oven promises to do it all. I readied simple ingredients like English muffins and bread, and I 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 me through the setup process, connecting it to my network and other smart devices. While I don’t use the feature often, sometimes it’s nice to tell Alexa to preheat the oven for me.
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. I tested the size with standard bakeware, and I was pleased to see that all of my 9 x 13-inch pans—even the ones with handles—fit neatly inside the oven. I was even able to fit my 3-quart Dutch oven with its lid when I slow-cooked some soup stock, and I could have fit a larger Dutch oven if I had covered it with foil.
The Generation 3 oven has a new pizza cooking setting, so of course, I had to test it with both fresh and frozen pizzas. A new gourmet package includes a cast iron grill/griddle and pizza peel, which are suggested for pizza cooking. The griddle provides a crisp crust, and the peel was handy for getting the pizzas out of the oven.
The front of the oven 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. I had plenty of time to test that feature, and I’m often surprised at how well it recognizes foods and chooses useful settings.
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 I toasted two tortillas instead of one. While heating a tortilla isn’t a major undertaking, it’s one of the things I love about the oven. It heats tortillas perfectly, so they’re warm, pliable, and ready to be used.
Every day, as I tried new things during testing, the oven surprised me with its ability to figure out what I was cooking. It recognized a whole frozen pizza that I needed to cook, and it recognized slices of pizza to reheat, even though I 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.
When it recognizes food, it gives two different options; I found that the first choice was usually the right one. When I baked cookies, the choices were cookies or tater tots. When I 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.
Another new feature in the Generation 3 oven is the rotisserie feature, which is oddly hidden. There’s no button or setting to choose rotisserie, although there are several rotisserie chicken recipes in the app. But that’s not the only way to access the feature. When I placed a whole chicken into the oven, it recognized it and started the rotisserie cooking. To be clear, the food doesn’t spin. But the heating elements turn on and off, mimicking the way a rotating chicken heats and cools. The result was one of the best roast chickens I’ve made.
The heating elements turn on and off, mimicking the way a rotating chicken heats and cools. The result was one of the best roast chickens I’ve made.
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 function bakes the pizza, then broils it at the end for perfectly bubbly cheese.
The steak program has six automatic steps based on the internal temperature of the meat. While I liked the temperature the steak was cooked to, it created quite a bit of smoke during the final broil, awakening the smoke detector. I 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. The reheat function became a favorite, whether I was reheating pizza, ribs, or wings. They all reheat perfectly without overcooking. And when I wanted to bake a cake using my own time and temperature, 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.
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.
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 I took advantage of preheating the oven before I went into the kitchen, and it was handy to ask Alexa how much time was left on the cook.
When turning the oven off remotely, I 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 I made air-fried chicken parmesan, the app preheated the oven while I prepped the chicken, and it told me 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 I 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 those impressive leftovers. Of course, this can be operated without using a program by function, time, and temperature.
One simple thing I really loved was the “almost ready” warning. Rather than beeping when the food was done, it also warned me slightly before cooking time was over, so I could get to the oven to remove my 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. 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 I couldn’t figure out how to download a time-lapse video of one of the recipes I made, the company responded quickly and I had my video ready to share.
One useful feature 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.
When I made air-fried chicken parmesan, the app preheated the oven while I prepped the chicken, and it told me when to turn the chicken over and add the zucchini, sauce, and cheese.
Cleaning: Oven cleaner works
While the heating elements are now protected from accidental bumps, they still need to be avoided during cleaning, and there’s no need to clean them, anyway. When cheese dripped off a pizza onto one of the bottom elements, it burned off with the next cook. Wiping the oven down after cooking something that splatters is wise. When it’s time for deep cleaning, a foaming oven cleaner works well. If the elements have been sprayed with cleaner, they can be sprayed with plain water to rinse them before the next use.
What’s Included: Multiple options
The Generation 2 oven I tested came with the Gourmet Package (now called the June Oven Plus for the Generation 3 oven), 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. There is now another option, called the June Oven Premium, which adds the enameled cast iron grill/griddle, a pizza peel, and a high-end thermometer, along with the standard one. If that’s not enough, there’s a new egg-cooking tray available for separate purchase that has wells for neatly cooking eggs. Of course, it can be used for other things, too. I used it for baking cookies that had a tendency to spread too much. The wells confined them neatly.
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. Bonus: It is ridiculously fun to watch.
Price: Right for the technology
This isn’t cheap, particularly with the upgrades from the standard package, but it’s hard to compare it to a standard countertop oven considering the level of technology. If someone is on a budget, the upgrades could be omitted and the trays and recipe subscription could be purchased separately when affordable.
June Oven 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, I loved just about everything the June Oven helped create.
- Product Name Oven
- Product Brand June
- MPN JCH03
- Price $899.00
- Weight 39 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 nonstick pan, wire shelf, crumb tray, food thermometer
- Warranty 100-day trial period; limited 1-year warranty