One of the year's best kitchen gadgets is a professional oven the size of a microwave

Our smartphones and TVs don’t just do one thing, so why should our kitchen appliances? Released earlier this year, a new Samsung oven is deliciously versatile — and it radically reduces cook time, too.

As part of this year’s International Design Excellence Awards, top honours were bestowed on Samsungs Hot Blast Combi Oven for its internal and external design. From its sleek black case to the high-tech guts powering the machine, the oven isn’t just a pretty face. It might be the best way to cook food at home.

The Combi Oven marries the crispiness you get from grilling, the succulence you get from roasting, and the crunch you get from frying.

“Users can experience the world of professional cooking as if they were working with an expensive, high-end oven,” the Industrial Design Society of America states on its award page. “The Hot Blast Combi Oven design generates a luxurious look compatible with professional cooking — with simple lines rather than exaggerations.”

According to Samsung, the 900-watt oven offers 35 auto-cook programs, so users never have to select popcorn mode when they really want to defrost chicken.

The oven can also cut cook times by up to 50% over traditional microwave ovens. It does this without sacrificing the food’s texture or taste, the company says, leaving roast chicken juicy on the inside while preserving its crispy skin.

The oven’s thin walls and roomy interior are by design. The added space allows for a significantly larger fan — 1.6 times the normal size, Samsung says — to blow hot air through 60 carefully distributed holes.

The HotBlast oven can also grill and fry food thanks to the even distribution of heat as it circulates through the oven.

Samsung says that with just a little bit of oil, users can eliminate “excess fat without compromising on the quality and taste of meals.” Its ceramic interior means users won’t have to worry about hard-to-clean splatter.

Robert King, vice president of consumer electronics at Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland, says the emphasis on health was present all throughout the design process.

“As people lead increasingly busy lives, they need appliances that make life easier,” King said. The oven “is fast, powerful, and comes with a host of settings to allow users to enjoy their food exactly how they like it, and its sleek design adds a touch of sophistication to any kitchen.”

Those benefits add up to a retail cost of roughly $US622, or £399, as the product is currently only available to ship from the UK.

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