Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
9/3/18 6:05 p.m.

I'm looking around the Internet, but realize I'd forgotten to check with my favorite resource: GRM.

We're getting ready to move into what we hope is our Forever Home. We're doing a bunch of work, including building the kitchen just the way we want it.

I could use some help choosing a gas range. This was really driven home to me today when we fired up a... Jenn-Air, IIRC, at the appliance store. I'd just been musing on how we have a couple of small saucepans, and even the tiny burner that puts out little heat on our current GE seems to run half of it up the sides of the small pans. The Jenn-Air's burner seemed to be shaped so that even though the burner was larger, the flames followed the contour of the top disc, and came inward as they came upward, even continuing to do so when I set a pan over it...

The other grouse is that there's only one burner that puts out remotely workable pot-of-water-boiling heat, and it wants to put its flames around the sides of all but the very largest pots. I liked that this range had two rings, so that it wasn't relying on diameter to get more BTUs out the door.

But all of this is really just painting the picture of what sort of stuff bugs me, and how persnickety I am.

Any recommendations for slide-in/drop-in 30" or probably preferably 36" dual-fuel (gas cooktop, electric oven/broiler) ranges? Budget's pretty flexible, but I really want to know that you love it, and that it's holding up well...

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
9/3/18 6:30 p.m.

My house came with an Induction cook top range. I had been raised on gas and always disliked traditional hot-coil electric ranges (and still dislike them ever more.) 

I love induction and I'm never going back to gas! 

Induction does not work on aluminum so not the right choice if you love aluminum pans. But, even if you love your aluminum my recommendation is get rid of those pans so you can have induction. 

Works great with cast iron or any pan a magnet will stick too. 

Aside from what I think is superior heating of Induction the improved safety is what amazes me the most.  Sure, the pan gets hot but the cooktop never gets hot.  I have young'ens and other than touching the pan directly, there is no way for them to accidently place a hand on a still hot cooktop, because it doesn't get hot.    A grease fire from splattering over oil onto the hot flame or coil in other ranges is completely impossible with induction.  No threat of grease fire, ever!  

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
9/3/18 9:59 p.m.

For the time being, we've opted to stick with the pans we love, though we do plan on getting a couple of induction-compatible extras and a separate induction burner. Maybe that'll make us fools in the end... It wouldn't be the first time.

After a flurry of research, we found a well-reviewed Samsung that seemed likely to fix my biggest gripes with the current burner; the right rear is the same BTUs as our current one, but much smaller diameter, hopefully both reducing the side-heating and maybe even applying its BTUs more effectively to the small pan...  And a right front burner which is up from 17k to 22k BTUs, and with a similar diameter, but also with an inner ring, hopefully resulting in a better application of heat.

We also kinda thought it seemed like a really good stove, rather than a crazy-over-the-top über-range, which seems like wasting money. The Jenn-Airs and KitchenAids are nice and all, but... Dang.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
9/4/18 5:52 a.m.

Induction from a 120v plug go to a max of 1800 watts. 

Induction from a 240v hardwire go to a max of 3700 watts. 

The plug in  table top units are about as powerful as the smallest burner on the hardwired models. 

I recommend spending $50-$100 on a table top unit and giving it a try. Be sure it is a 1800 watt unit. Some are only 1500 watt. 

Mezzanine
Mezzanine Dork
9/4/18 9:56 a.m.

I have a Cafe series dual fuel range from GE, and I'm very pleased with it. About 2 years with it now, and I have no complaints. I use the convection settings on the oven infrequently, but I'm glad I have it. The five burners are all different sizes, so you do have to use a little forethought about what pan should go where. The front right burner is the workhorse: it has two rings - big outer, little inner. You can boil water fastest with this burner, but it also has the lowest simmer of all five. The bottom drawer is actually a small second oven, and while it's limited (not much depth, and only goes to ~400-ish degrees) it's a lifesaver when you're doing big dinners and entertaining.

Pic from countertop install two weeks ago. Let me know if you want model numbers.

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
9/4/18 10:53 a.m.

In reply to Mezzanine :

Thanks!

We went ahead (went nuts?) and ordered the Samsung. Looks like your GE has the dual-ring thing that the Samsung has (and which our current GE lacks). Fingers crossed...

Mezzanine
Mezzanine Dork
9/5/18 11:14 a.m.

Interested to hear how you like it! The range we've got is the closest we came to a "splurge" in our remodel, and I'm very pleased with it.

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
9/5/18 11:46 a.m.

In reply to Mezzanine :

The range is... Dang, it's the thing in the kitchen that most impacts how the kitchen works and feels outside of the individual other tools (knives, etc.) I think it makes sense to splurge there more than just about anywhere else. Not being able to get the heat adjusted correctly is so frustrating.

Any thoughts on whether the electric oven is a meaningful improvement for bread? Or current range is all-gas. I can't remember what manufacturer, but there was one range at the local appliance mart that did steam injection, and I got all excited about baguette possibilities, but I've still got a lot of headway to make on the basics. As an aside, Burrito turning me on to the Tartine book (which I gather was a tip he got from you) was a big jump. The Ken Forkish book got me started, but it had virtually no troubleshooting or "how it works" info; it was more "do what I say here for a few years and you'll probably develop some kind of feel." Tartine's info on day-of adjustments to the levain based on state of fermentation was game-changing.

Boy did I just tangent my own thread, but then the initial question is sorted... cheeky

Mezzanine
Mezzanine Dork
9/5/18 1:13 p.m.

OMG, don't get me started down the bread head rabbit hole. I'll focus on your primary question: electric ovens are inherently more dry than a gas oven, but the difference is pretty much negligible. If you follow the Tartine method, the dutch oven eliminates the concern since it is used to maintain the moisture. Baguettes are damn hard to do right without adding a significant amount of steam to the oven.

The beauty of the electric oven is in temp consistency and the convection functions. I'll often switch to convection in the last third of the bake to get a nice dark crust.

That out of the way, definitely pick up Tartine Bread. It's a simple method, and it works. I own Ken Forkish's book and it's solid too. Basically use those two books as a jumping off point. I'm planning a visit to Casa Burrito in the next few weeks...we might need to have a bread party sometime soon.

 

 

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
9/15/18 10:42 a.m.

In reply to Mezzanine :

I did grab the Tartine book, and it definitely improved my bread, and even better, my ability to understand and adjust things, at least a little. It seems much more like a guide to how stuff works, where the Forkish book is more like a trascription of how Forkish does it (though he certainly does point out where he's made adjustments from the commercial bakery for the home baker). I don't mean to knock Forkish, I was just having trouble and wishing it had more troubleshooting info, and then the Tartine book basically seemed to give me exactly what I was after!

Bread party would be awesome!

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo SuperDork
9/15/18 1:34 p.m.

Electric oven with gas cooktop is the way to fly.  Currently on all-electric, have been on all-gas.  Prefer all-electric over all-gas because I always like the ovens better.  But I grew up cooking with electric, so that's where my comfort lies.  

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
9/15/18 3:07 p.m.

In reply to 93gsxturbo :

You like the electric oven that much more? I've spent a fair chunk of my life with electric cooktop and always hated it, with the slow-adjusting heat. I'm pleased to be sticking with gas for the top, but stoked to hear that the electric oven is that much better...

We're still a couple weeks out on delivery of the Samsung and have wibbled a little bit. Keep thinking about how nice it'd be to have a 36" range so having one big pot or pan on doesn't mean you're down to two burners if you can use like the right front for the big pan, offset to middle rear for something, and then still have the left burners... Anyhow, it's looking moot as nobody seems to make "normal-nice" 36" ranges; they're all "pro" ranges which seems to mean "wide, with big, chunky knobs, and at double the price."

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
9/16/18 11:29 a.m.

We spent an hour or so yesterday at the local appliance dealer we've worked with mostly in the past and looked at a bunch of 36" stuff, looked at doing separate range and oven, and even got momentarily excited about doing a Thermador range with a more pedestrian oven since the oven was the more expensive part and the cooktop is the bit we're more fussy about, but in the end it just didn't make sense, and we're sticking with the 30" Samsung and grabbing a standalone induction unit for overflow, and the ability for someone else to have something on heat without trying to occupy the same space at the same time as the other person working at the stove.

A lot cheaper than going berzerk on the range, and quite possibly a better solution to boot.

Jcamper
Jcamper Reader
9/16/18 1:51 p.m.

Did our kitchen remod 4 years ago. The 240V induction glass cooktop is absolutely the way to go. All the heat is generated in the pan itself. It will boil a kettle in about 90 seconds. While doing that you can put your hand right next to it and just barely feel a little heat radiating off. 

It is a flat glass surface so looks brand new still, super easy cleanup. Heck, you can lay towels out under whatever you are cooking to deal with splatter. No need for a huge overhead vent because you aren’t wasting a bunch of heat and moisture. Totally controllable. Can you tell I am happy with my choice?

jcamper

the_machina
the_machina New Reader
9/17/18 10:26 a.m.

If you're going through the trouble of renovating the kitchen, you may want to add a couple extra 240v circuits with counter-top outlets. The ability to buy/use a 240v standalone induction burner is HUGE.

After cooking on radiant, gas, and induction, I'm never going to NOT have a good induction burner in my life.

Mezzanine
Mezzanine Dork
9/17/18 1:10 p.m.

I've never felt crowded on my current 30" range, but have experienced this in the past. Suspect it has more to do with burner layout and design than overall appliance width.

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
9/17/18 2:00 p.m.

Ours is a Kenmore gas top, electric convection oven. It works very well. It has a bridge burner which is nice on occasion. 

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo SuperDork
9/17/18 3:07 p.m.
Toyman01 said:

Ours is a Kenmore gas top, electric convection oven. It works very well. It has a bridge burner which is nice on occasion. 

Thats as close to perfect as I can hope to get on my budget.  If we stay in our current place for 5 more years, which at this point is likely, I would love to upgrade my all-electric rental-in-the-'hood spec stove to something like that.  

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
9/17/18 5:49 p.m.

In reply to 93gsxturbo :

Good news. The above pictured range was bought off Craigslist for $200. Appliances go cheap when people with extra money renovate.

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