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Kitchen Range reccomendations?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by jharkin, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    (Disclaimer: I am cross posting this from another forum also, looking for a variety of opinions)

    So here is the deal. In our kitchen we currently have a relatively new GE Profile smoothtop convection electric range. It came with the house.

    We HATE it.

    The cooktop works fine but the oven is a pain. Its got the hidden elements and takes all day to preheat - 30+ min to 350, sometimes an hour for Pizza temp (475). And even worse it chronically undercooks baked goods - sometimes we have to double recipe times or more. Testing with 2 different oven thermometers indicates the thermostat is calibrated ok, so I'm hesitant to blow a couple hundred bucks on a service call that will tell me its working as designed.

    We have gas in the house, but not in the kitchen and our long term plan was to get the line extended to the kitchen and get a dual fuel range. We are so annoyed with this thing I think we are ready to do this now.

    So my dilemma - what brand to buy.
    * We need a standard 30" slide in size range
    * We want dual fuel
    * We'd like to get a range with a matching microwave/hood combo (to replace our current 80s vintage Magic Chef)
    * We would prefer a model in black


    Lots of searching finds basically only 4 - Im not kidding just 4 - options!!

    GE Profile (either slide in or freestanding)
    http://www.sears.com/ge-profile-30inch- ... ockType=G4
    http://www.sears.com/ge-profile-30inch- ... ockType=G1
    Pro - ?
    Con - Most expensive (2500), See above

    Kenmore Elite
    http://www.sears.com/kenmore-elite-30in ... ockType=G7
    Pro - 5 burner cooktop, would be a matching set with our KE dishwasher, we have had lots of Kenmore appliances over the years without any problems
    Con- Not the cheapest option, matching microhoods are expensive

    Frigidaire Gallery
    http://www.frigidaire.com/products/Kitc ... 065KB.aspx
    Pro - Cheapest of the bunch ($1800 at Lowes), has an inexpensive matching microhood (300ish), some nice features like 5 minute preheat, good looks with all the controls upfront
    Con - only 4 burner (but then again we have never used more than 4 at once), cant find many reviews

    Jenn Air
    http://www.sears.com/jenn-air-30inch-sl ... ockType=G5
    Pro - ?
    Con - no matching microhood, cant find a price ( i imagine its $$$$$)

    Anyone have experience with these brands and would recommend one?

    Of course if we wanted stainless suddenly there are 50 models to choose from !! [​IMG]

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  2. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    We got (I think) a Frigidaire, all gas with the 5 burner arrangement maybe a year ago. Can't speak for the electric oven on a dual fuel, but we absolutely LOVE the stove.

    We got stainless
  3. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Adios... Hmmm - in all gas there are a zillion 30" black options including double oven models etc. Most are cheaper as well. My wife really wants the duel fuel for her baking. Maybe we need to do more research.
  4. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Not sure what the advantage of electric is for an oven. I like gas ovens because combustion produces water vapor- a somewhat moister environment that some claim is a benefit to both bread baking and roasting meats. Then again- I'm only an occasional baker
  5. SlyFerret

    SlyFerret Minister of Fire

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  6. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    A friend of mine has GE Cafe. He has the same problems with slow preheating that I do and has had to have his fixed a few times. Seems to be an issue across the GE lines.

    And they don't produce anything in 30" size that would fit our tiny kitchen.
    Edit - I was wrong, just not in black.

    From what my wife reads in her cooking magazines the benefit of electric is supposedly more accurate temperature control. Might not be worth the added expense and limited options though I'm now seeing.
  7. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I could see the electric having better control. I "cook until done" however, which probably varies/changes results more than a really good cook might allow
  8. SlyFerret

    SlyFerret Minister of Fire

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    Interesting, good to know!

    I was disappointed that GE didn't have an electric double oven range.

    I'm also really interested in the electric induction cooktop ranges. A friend of mine has one and raves about it.

    -SF
  9. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    A 50/50 constructive/not-so-constructive post:

    Constructive part: have you considered the convection feature on the oven. We really like that in ours.
    Edit: oops. I just checked out one of your links and it was a convection model. Never mind.

    The not-so-constructive part:
    Having had every type of oven and cooktop, (except an inductive stovetop) I fail to understand why so many want gas stoves/ovens.
    They're basically a vent-free appliance much like heating units heavily discredited/disqualified on this site.
    They consume oxygen and release CO2 and water vapor and potentially other contaminants into your living environment.
    In the case of propane, they leave an unpleasant odor in the house.
    Its easier for stovetop fires to erupt when frying or using other flammable materials (there's a flame there to ignite things).

    I've found that our electric smooth-top ceramic with convection oven works better than any stove/oven we've ever had.
    The elements heat up fast, adjust infinitely and instantly, and its very easy to clean.
    The electric convection oven does everything we need.
    The only downside that I'm aware of is total burner capacity and (possibly) not being able to use a large pressure cooker on it (per another discussion here). I added "possibly" because many apparently use large pressure cooker on these types of stove without problem.

    Ok, been waiting to get that rant out for a long time. Thanks.
  10. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    For what it's worth, my choice would be gas. I have had both gas and electric stoves, and there is no contest. Gas is cheaper than electricity, it is infinitely easier to cook with. It gives you precise control over the temperature. When you turn the fire off, it is OFF.
    That said, there is some danger with gas leaks, but modern stove today have things like electronic ignition (no pilot lights) and sensor lights. If it is installed by a qualified technician, danger is very low. In fact the smell of natural gas is added--natural gas really has no odor. That smell is there to alert you to a possible leak. If you can smell it, get out and call a pro!
    I do can on my smoothtop, but it is not my first choice. I made the decision that if the flat top was killed by my canner, then I have an excuse to go pack to coil. Of course, if there were gas lines out my way, I'd have that in a heartbeat!;)
  11. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Cooking on a stove with gas is AWESOME.Heat is on fast, or off fast as needed. There's a reason that chefs cook on gas.

    The amount of O2 consumed and CO2 produced is negligible and should not be a concern.

    We have been in this house 10 years (with propane) and I can remember one time I ever smelled gas and it was weak. Never had a fire- but I very rarely fry anything to be fair.
    MasterMech likes this.
  12. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    you can't "cook with fire" on electric. electric broiler? and that should be all the reason you need to buy gas.
  13. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    on a side note, you can still light a gas stove when you have no power....pretty useful during our increasingly popular power outages here in Nude England.
    MasterMech and milleo like this.
  14. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    I want gas because I love to cook. Growing up we had electric coils. Hated them. In my 20s through early 30s every apartment I had was on gas. I got very used to using gas. Smooth-top I will admit is the nicest electric Ive seen and not nearly as annoying as coils but still it takes a while to react and when something is boiling over or my saute pan got too hot I cant just turn it down and have it cool instantly - I have to take the pot off the burner. They retain heat a long time after being turned off. A real pain.

    I also miss being able to use my heavy cast iron pans without fear of damaging the cooktop.

    Induction is out because I wont want to have to buy all new cookware.

    As far as ventilation... I agree I'd never have a ventfree heating appliance in my house but the amount of daily usage on a stove doesn't concern me.

    On another discussion I was pointed towards AJ Madison.. I had forgotten about them, a lot more brand options than the local brick and mortars. I'm also going to take a look at all-gas models - the prices are a lot more reasonable and there are more brands and features (double oven units etc) than you can get in dual fuel at this size. It seems like most of the dual fuel selection are in the 36 and up pro sizes. I'll see what the Mrs thinks for baking.
  15. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    I have Kenmore Elite series and love them. Gas 6 burner cooktop and dual electric convection ovens. No problems at all,
  16. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    So now the better half decided she might want stainless. The options open up more....
  17. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Electric range sucks. I am now using a flat top and when trying to simmer a pot of chili the burners don't just go low as I set them, they cycle more or less frequently from on to off to produce a low average output. That sucks when you're trying to just simmer but not scorch the chili.

    I miss gas and never had a problem with odors.

    Oh and in a power outage the range is great but the oven still requires power for ignition and for stat function. Still, the range top is nice to have.
  18. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Random thoughts . . . some of which may be of no use to the OP.

    I love my gas range . . . doubt I would go back to electric . . . especially when you compare the cost of running the two. On the stove top it gives me more precise cooking . . . and the gas oven works fine . . . actually gas ovens . . . we went with the double gas oven which has been useful on occasion . . . but mainly we use the smaller oven on top.

    That said . . . I have heard gas burners and electric ovens are an ideal combination for the true gourmet cook . . . me . . . my idea of a good meal is Kraft mac and cheese with hamburger added to it, so I'm not exactly what you would call a Rachel Ray, Everyday Italian Girl, etc. Well, truth be told . . . I do some more cooking . . . but nothing too elaborate. For me, the gas range/burners work well.

    We ended up with a Maytag clone/Kenmore Elite . . . I don't see that particular model being sold any more. We bucked convention and went with a white oven . . . figure white really never has gone out of style . . . and as mentioned with with a double oven. I did have one issue with it when a control board for the oven went . . . but thanks to folks here at hearth.com I was able to diagnose the problem and get a cheaper fix by ordering on line instead of Sears and made the repair myself.

    Propane smell . . . only time I smell propane is when a burner (just one) doesn't ignite right away . . . all the other burners are electronic ignition and there is no smell. Other than that, all the other burners always light up right away . . . no smell in the home, food, etc.

    Safety . . . NFPA states that you are more likely to have a a fire involving an electric range vs. gas range. Not sure if that is because more folks use electric ranges (and whether they took this into consideration) or whether it is due to the fact that when you turn on an electric stove top many times it takes a few seconds for the electric coil to start glowing vs. the instant flame of the gas fire and if you have food packaging, oven mitts, etc. on the stove on this burner you could have a fire -- another reason to always keep the stove top clean with everything except that which is cooking. Factor in the safety devices on a modern gas stove, electronic ignition, etc. and I feel these stoves can be as safe as electric stoves.

    Moisture . . . Never noticed this . . . in fact I see more moisture in the house on a cold day while boiling spaghetti than I ever do running the stove for normal cooking. CO levels are also very low . . . low enough to not trip two nearby CO detectors in fact.
    MasterMech likes this.
  19. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    We have an electric double oven (Maytag) and love it. More so the double oven than the electric part. Small oven pre-heats fast, nice for quick dinners. Also can bake dessert while eating dinner! ;)

    +1 on electric smooth-tops not being all that. Cleaning is a pain as well.
  20. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    Odd thing, I most definitely prefer gas for my range, but electric ovens seem to bake more evenly for me.
  21. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

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    I'm in the process of converting our house from oil to propane heat now and plan to switch from electric to a gas range when we remodel the kitchen in a couple of years. I prefer gas for all of the reasons mentioned above. My wife isn't that enthusiastic probably because of the somewhat anemic 1950s vintage gas range in our cabin. We had a glass top electric range a few years back and hated it; not only was it slow to heat up (both the burners and the oven) but the construction left openings into the insulation and mice got in, after which the oven was useless because even after replacing the insulation I could never get the smell out.

    I don't know how far you want to drive, but in Newington, CT (just SE of Hartford), there is a Sears warehouse where they sell scratched/dented, returns, floor models, and overstocks, often for around 30% off. We've gotten several appliances there... who cares if there's a minor dent or scratch on the side up against the counter?
  22. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    Another vote for the gas range/electric oven here. We do a lot of baking and canning (600+ quarts a year canning) and the control ease of use on a gas range is much better. That being said there is no substitute for the temperature control on an electric oven. If you don't have room for a separate oven, dual fuel is the way to go.

    That being said one of my wife's friends has a Kenmore dual fuel for about a year now and loves it. I'm not sure who makes the Kenmore range but I would guess Whirlpool.
  23. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    A small + for an electric smooth cook-top (no oven) is that it can be recessed into the counter-top, leaving about a 1/16" elevation above the counter-top. The result is endless counter-top, fully usable when not cooking, and a counter-top heat protective surface to set stuff on as it comes from the over, or a hot anything. If you're short on counter-top, this is a ++. That said, I prefer gas for cooking; just that we live rural and no gas available, electric our only option.
  24. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    We are still researching. We will get a gas cooktop for sure. We would prefer electric ovens but in reasonable priced 30" models I see a lot more options and much better prices for all gas. My wife is the baker so I need to see whats she wants to do.

    I signed up for consumer reports to read their recommendations and reviews and have also been reading te gardenweb appliance forum and reviews on AJ Madison. CR rates GE as having the best reliability overall but the consumer reviews are mixed at best. Our own experience with GE makes me leery. The higher end options like KithenAid get both poor CR ratings and bad reviews.

    In a lot of reading I've now got my eye on some Frigidaire Gallery models. The prices are very reasonable, they second or 3rd in the CR reliability ratings and are the only models I can find with overwhelmingly positive consumer reviews on both CR and AJM. There is a nice Gallery stainless gas range with 5 burner cooktop and double convection gas ovens for 1800 that gets all positive reviews and a CR commendation for under 1800 (same option with single oven 1600). You cant find anything in dual fuel much below 2500 which is a bit of a budget stretch.

    We also have to go look at some of these in person. I was reminded that there is a great Appliance outlet in Braintree that gets the same scratch and dent stuff FanMan mentioned.

    Decisions decisions.
  25. jonwright

    jonwright Member

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    Had gas. Now have induction. That is the shizzzznit.

    Only a problem if you have aluminum cookware. If its ferrous it will work. Cast iron is great on our stove. Decent stainless cookware is fine.

    The "burners" are smart in that if it doesn't detect a pannit will turn off. Also can detect a spillover and will shut off, too.

    Boil a gallon of water in under a minute. But. Requires a good circuit so if electricity is limited might be an issue.

    Regular electric is horrible and I've had that for a long time. But choosing between gas or induction I'll pick induction every time now that I have one.

    Double Electrox convection oven has been very good to us. Cooking with a meat probe has really made roast and other meats turn out perfectly.

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