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Buying a new range for my kitchen - which one?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hello all,

 

Time to buy a new range for my kitchen. However I have no idea where to start. Before going to the appliance store, I thought I'd ask all the experts here. Which brands? What should I be looking for? Convection or not? ...

 

About the only thing I know for sure is that I want gas burners on the stovetop.

 

Thanks for your help!

post #2 of 29
Thread Starter 

OK slowly getting a closer idea of what I'm looking for. We need a 30" slide-in range. I've heard that Kitchen Aid is considered a good brand for home range, so I was looking at their website and found this:

 

http://www.kitchenaid.com/flash.cmd?/#/product/KGSS907SSS/

 

I like the idea of the warming drawer, as I'm assuming I could use it to keep things hot/warm while preparing for example a pan sauce. As for the oven, does convection mean I'll save on my energy costs? What does it mean as far as cooking is concerned? Can it be turned off if I want to use the oven as a conventional oven?

 

It says the burner BTUs are:

6,000

6,000

12,500

15,000

Is that good?

 

Is that a good choice? Any alternatives I should be looking at?

 

Thanks!

post #3 of 29

Those burner ratings are pretty normal. The 15000 BTU burner is a step up as most are in the 12,000-14,000 range. Not a big step up as you see.

 

I like the dual fuel aspect.

 

Convection ovens tend to cook more evenly more quickly and at a slightly reduced temperature. Basically it's a fan that moves the air around. It's a good thing. It can usually be swtiched off but you should check into the details about that.

 

It may be a stupid question as I've not shopped for convection ovens, but how do you clean the fan system? That's something I don't know.

 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by phatch View Post

I like the dual fuel aspect.

 

 

Thanks phatch. Probably a dumb question: what is the "dual fuel" aspect? The fact that the oven is electric but the stovetop is gas?

post #5 of 29

Yes. But it adds a lot to the price of the equipment.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #6 of 29

It depends on the individual range, but there are some advantages to an electric as opposed to a gas oven.  Three things you want are convection, self cleaning, and a really hot broiler. 

 

A few years ago they were either expensive or very rare in gas.  Times have changed -- especially with so many broilers now IR.  But you certainly don't want a range that doesn't offer all three, not if you can help it.

 

BDL  

post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatch View Post
It may be a stupid question as I've not shopped for convection ovens, but how do you clean the fan system? That's something I don't know.


Usually the fan is not exposed.  It's either covered by some sort of plate with holes in it, or behind the back wall of the oven, and the fan pushes air through the vent holes into the oven cavity.  You just run the self-cleaning cycle and don't clean the fan separately.

post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot for the feedback everyone!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

It depends on the individual range, but there are some advantages to an electric as opposed to a gas oven.  Three things you want are convection, self cleaning, and a really hot broiler. 

 

A few years ago they were either expensive or very rare in gas.  Times have changed -- especially with so many broilers now IR.  But you certainly don't want a range that doesn't offer all three, not if you can help it.

 

BDL  


How do I know, before buying, how hot the broiler will go? All I could find on Kitchen Aid's website about that range is:

 

Enhanced broil element with full and center settings provides broad, even coverage

 

Not too sure what that means really.

 

Also, what are the advantages of a gas oven vs an electric one? From what I heard gas ovens take longer to pre-heat and don't keep a temp as constant as electric ones?

 

Thanks!

post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post

How do I know, before buying, how hot the broiler will go?

 

I found out that the broiler is 1,200W - is that good? Thanks!

 

Oh and... I found out that what I'm looking at is a GAS range, not a dual fuel one. I assumed convection meant electric oven, but apparently not. The dual fuel ranges are more expensive. Still unsure about gas vs electric for the oven part?

post #10 of 29

Hi FF - I just put a new 36" Thermador gas range in, and I'm in love.  The broiler is unbelievable - a huge ceramic-type plate that heats up like the sun.  It's like none other I've had.  Fantastic - I equipped the top with 6 continuous burners, which totally KICK. Star-shaped, just like Blue Star - really, really nicel. Two have an extra low feature that cycles on and off, so if you want to put something on to simmer real slow-- you can walk away.  This range is a dream.  The ventilator is piped through the roof, with the motor sitting in the attic.  Even with that, the blower on full tilt is LOUD.  Can't even imagine what it would be like if that blower was directly over head.   But, oh God does that thing pull heat and smoke away from the stove top.  I couldn't be happier!!

Good luck with your new stove!  Cook-E

post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks! But I'm afraid Thermador is out of my price range!

post #12 of 29

Seems like there's a brick wall when it comes to gas ovens, there's garbage in the under $800 range, and then the next range starts at over $2,000.

 

Just for fun, go down to Sears and kick a few tires, here's what to look for:

Burners, MUST be cast alum or cast steel.  Anything made with sheet metal is garbage.

Burner grates.  Should be heavy cast iron.  If they are porcelainized metal, the porcelain will chip, flake, and discolour very quickly.  Thin/skinny castings will break if dropped, so be aware

Drip pan.  Again, if porcelainized it won't stand up to abuse of drips, stains, mini-fires, and other nasties.

 

You will usually find the BTU ratings on a metal tag on the inside lip of the oven door, so you don't need a salesman hovering over you telling you that.

 

You're doing well, studing mnfctr's websites, asking questions, and are hestitant about plunking your money down

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot for the pointers foodpump. I'm at that point where I need to go to a couple of stores and kick some tires like you said.

post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 

Alright some time has passed by and this time I have been doing my homework. I also went to a Universal Appliance store twice, and the second time I spoke with the store manager for about an hour and a half, discussing all my options and weighting out the pros and cons, etc.

 

First, I realized that the KitchenAid I was originally looking at is not for me. Apparently those types of $2,000 ranges are not much better than the $700 ranges you find everywhere (Whirlpool, Kenmore, etc...). I would be getting more features and more looks, but not really more quality. To be honest I kinda had made my decision before talking to the manager, just looking at the range. It looked cheap, flimsy, I didn't like the grates at all, and I realized I've never been a fan of electronics and touch knobs anyway.

 

So maybe I need to raise my budget a bit. After an hour and half talking with the manager and hours and hours of online research, I now feel comfortable buying a pro-style look range in the $3,500 price range that has much less features (all gas range, no electronics) but seems much better built. I'd rather want a very solid, good range that does one thing well, than an "elite" cheap range that does everything but is still a cheap range.

 

One of the things that was important to me was reliability, but frankly I've wasted enough time reading reviews online to realize that you can name just about any manufacturer and any range available today, and I can find you a horrible review or two (or many more) about that range. That makes it very difficult to gauge the reliability of ranges. So in a way I still feel like I'm shooting darts in the dark here, and that maybe I shouldn't pay too much attention to reliability claims, and more attention to my service contract.

 

My current thoughts:

 

1) American Range 30" Residential $3,500

30_stainless.jpg

 

This is most likely the range I am going to end up with. The company has been around for a while and has a lot of experience manufacturing pro ranges. That range has the largest oven and oven window of all the ranges I've looked at. Dual fan convection. The fans are actually inside the oven's walls, not in a box screwed on top of the wall like on a Viking range. Infrared broiler seems powerful (promising 1,500F of heat). The grates on the stovetop look very solid, and you get one grate for 2 burners so if I slide a pot from front to back I don't have to worry about individual grates sliding around like on a Viking range. The burners are sealed on top of a one-piece stainless steel surface which is reported to be easy to clean. I like the different size burners (2x17,000 1x13,000 1x9,000 BTUs), which apparently do simmer pretty well (and I own a heat diffuser anyway).

 

I like the simple look, all SS, or maybe a colored door if we decide to go that route.

 

2) Viking 30" Pro Range $3,500

 

While I considered that one for a while, and the store manager seemed to think that was the best choice for me, I have to say I'm pretty concerned with Viking's poor reliability reputation. The manager told me the Viking had better burners, and demonstrated those for me. While the burners do seem very good, all capable of very low simmer to full heat, I didn't really understand the arrangement: you get four full size 15,000 BTUs burners. Seems to me like the day I just want to heat a little sauce pan or a 8" skillet (which is almost daily), I would get a crazy cold spot right in the middle and flames coming up the sides of my pan? Doesn't make sense to me unless Viking was targeting customers who only use large pans all the time. I also did not like the individual burner grates at the top, as I could imagine one sliding from under my pot as I try to slide it from front to back burner.

 

3) Viking 30" Residential Range $2,550

 

This one I liked a lot. Exactly the same oven as the Viking Pro, but different burners of different size, and a continuous grate that covered two burners. Even tough this is not a Pro-style range I kinda liked the seamless design. But again with the horrible Viking reliability reputation, I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be buying one. Obviously the price is attractive here.

 

4) Bluestar 30" Gas Range (no convection) $2,XXX

 

This one has the incredible Blue Star burners and all cast iron top, and a simple gas oven without convection. The manager couldn't give me an exact price but said it's under $3,000. It looks good, and I'm sure the burners are great, but do I really need Professional burner in a residential kitchen? I'm not cooking with a Wok, and I rarely use my current 13,000 BTU sealed burners on max already. The exception is when boiling water, but honestly I don't think I've ever through that took too long. I usually have time and can wait, not an issue for me. What's tempting with those burners is the promise that the heat will have a better repartition, and no cold spots. But oh well. I thought the design was a little TOO Pro, meaning the finish wasn't really polished and the angles seemed very obtrusive. When I saw the range I had this vision of my toddler bumping his head on one of those sharp obtrusive metal angles and that immediately turned me off.

 

5) Wolf 30" Gas Range $4,XXX

 

This one is expensive, again only has larger burners, and apparently are going to be phased out for newer models pretty soon. The manager said Wolf makes incredible dual fuel ranges with true convection (meaning there's actually an electric heater around the fan which burns all smells and recirculate hot air), but didn't seem to think they were worth the price for gas-only ranges.

 

There were many other contenders (Jenn Air, DCS, Thermador etc..) that I eliminated for various reasons.

 

Thanks for all your help so far and if you have any thoughts or any models I may have overlooked, please feel free to share!

post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 

Ended up buying #1, American Range. Now all I can do is wait for them to deliver it! smile.gif

 

PS: Got the 6 year extended warranty, I don't usually buy those, but with all the range-horror stories I keep reading everywhere it sounded like a good idea.


Edited by French Fries - 11/26/10 at 4:34pm
post #16 of 29

Cook-E

I am planning on buying Thermador appliances for my kitchen remodel: 48 inch rangetop, 30 inch wall ovens, a hood (free) and either the 48 inch frig or the 30 inch fresh food column and either the 24 inch freezer or 18 inch freezer column. Do you still love your appliances. Did you get the whole package? Any input you can give me would be so appreciated.

Maggoo

post #17 of 29

Thermidor,Caloric. Jenn air, Wolf. I have used them all. In my opinion they are all toys for the upscale and wealthy Palm Beach Island Folks..They all try to imitate the look and feel of restaurant equipment or restaurant grade, but they are a far cry from that. I like Garland which the home version is almost the same as commercial one. Except they have those electric igniters which are not good and just make noise. Once the igniter gets wet, either from cleaning or boil-over  you might as well start counting down time till it has to be replaced, and not cheap. Thats why restaurant stoves do not have them.

All restaurant burners have same BTU output. I endorse  Convection ovens  as in long run they save time, therefore energy. You may even be able to get a used restaurant range and oven in great shape  for same $. and it will last you years.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ed Buchanan View Post

 

I like Garland which the home version is almost the same as commercial one.


Garland makes a home version?

post #19 of 29

The house on Jupiter Island  I frequently do parties in has one. From what housekeeper told me it is 9 years old.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #20 of 29

According to :http://www.adcoservice.com/garland.html , Garland quit making residential ranges in 2001 to concentrate on commercial products.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ed Buchanan View Post

From what housekeeper told me it is 9 years old.


Quote:

Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post

Garland quit making residential ranges in 2001.


Well 2010 - 9 = 2001, so that makes sense. Too bad they quit!

post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 

Got the range in today. Right now I'm running the oven to burn off residues as instructed in the manual. Looking goooood!! smile.gif

post #23 of 29

French Fries -- I am really interested to hear about how you like your new range. I am renovating my kitchen and am starting with the range. After years of using electric I want to go to gas and am frustrated by reading all the bad reviews on all of them! I had never heard of the American Range, and it looks exactly like what I want. Since I want to do decorative tile behind the range, I don't like the styles that have the high backsplash with the electronic panel since that reduces the space left for visible tile work. Do you have natural gas or do you use LP? We don't have natural gas in our area so I will be using LP, and I have heard that some ranges don't do as well with LP. 

post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 

I like my new range. It's a powerful beast! There's no backsplash on mine, it came with an "island back" or something like that, which is level with the grates. Grates are heavy!! I find the stainless steel top to be quite difficult to clean, and dirty again within a day or two. That's a little disconcerting. The oven works great, the broiler is very hot (so hot that I'm still adjusting to it). Overall I'm very happy.

 

I use Natural gas, not sure about LP, something to ask the manufacturer?

post #25 of 29

Thanks, French Fries! Initially I was planning to buy an LG range (stainless steel with black top) which has great ratings from both Consumer Reports and owners, but they do not make a dual fuel model and after more discussion with friends and co-workers I'm thinking I should get the electric oven. Like you, I'm starting to feel that I need to pay more to get the range I want.

 

Can you, or someone else on this site tell me what exactly is the difference between a slide-in range and a stand-alone model? It looks like the slide-in ranges don't usually have the back panel. Is there any reason why I wouldn't be able to put a slide-in model in a place where a standalone has been before? 

post #26 of 29

The link below give specs on a Whirlpool model I bought 3 years ago after much research, including Consumer Reports and J.D. Powers. It is not a dual fuel, but I have found the oven to be exceptionally accurate for both baking and roasting. I particularly like the cooktop with the cast iron grids that form a single surface that can take a 20 qt. stock pot or large wok and still have room for 2-3 other pans. The only challenge I have had is remembering that the 15000 btu burners will only get so low and for simmering, I have to move to a back burner to avoid scorching.  While I seriously looked at many ranges at the time and have to do more research since for a client, I strongly feel this is a great 'budget' range at $900.00. Unless you get up to the $2000 range, there is nothing to compare.

 

 

 

http://www.whirlpool.com/catalog/product.jsp?src=RANGES&cat=76&prod=1431

post #27 of 29

Has anyone out there looked at the Peerless-Premier Pro Series ovens?  They have a nice look but there is no one in the Seattle area that has one in their showroom to look at.  I am in the same boat as French Fries but don't have the bucks for a 3500 dollar range...frown.gif  Alas, I love to cook and just want something reliable and would prefer to skip all the electronic junk...

 

Thanks for any input.

 

post #28 of 29

Get the BlueStar  the extra gas output makes everything better Pro or not

 

BlueStar is ALL AMERICAN made Philly and Ohio

 

No gingerbread frills, it just works...perfect

 

The wall ovens are the best of the best and the range is good as any body needs

post #29 of 29

LG seems to have good ratings on both it's refrigerators and stoves, as well a TV sets. Seems like the company has its act together. Most everything I read in consumer affairs seems to rate their products high. Some people dont lke consumer affairs, but I can truly say I have been pleased with everything I purchased over the years that they reccommend.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
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