what do you wish you'd thought of when you bought your gas range?
January 5, 2014 6:16 PM   Subscribe

I have a very basic Kenmore gas range in my kitchen. I like the gas stovetop and I think I want to keep it (but if I'm making a mistake not switching to induction, feel free to tell me so.) I hate this oven, though, and I want to replace it, but I don't know much about what I need to be thinking of. Tell me what you love/hate/have heard/wish you'd known about your oven.

Some things I'm thinking of:

1. The current broiler situation is completely unusableā€¦ you have to sort of drop your stuff into it from above, as there's no drop down on the broiler drawer, and sort of pull stuff out from aboveā€¦ it sucks. I can't use it. Do you have a drop down drawer on your broiler? Is it better? Are there any where the broiler isn't in that stupid drawer? I hate not being able to see what's going on when I've got something bubbling three inches from the heat.

2. My oven takes a million years to heat up (and even then its temp indicator is a good 40 degrees off from what my thermometer says.) I want one that heats up reasonably quickly and regulates temperature well.

3. I entertain sometimes and having just one oven is a problem. I'm looking at the double ones like this but I'm worried that then there won't be room for a serious Thanksgiving turkey in the bottom one? Anyone used one like this? Does the little top one take less time to heat up, like if I just want to bake something small and fast?

4. If you've switched to induction, how big a deal was having to switch out your cookware? Was it worth it?

5. Am I going to be able to find what I need for under $1500 or would I need to get one of the fancy brands? I'm not a Viking range price point kind of gal.

6. What else should I be asking/researching/realizing?

posted by fingersandtoes to Home & Garden (23 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I hate cleaning my oven. Maybe get a self-cleaning.
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:19 PM on January 5, 2014

The ideal set up in my experience is gas cooktop, electric oven. I know Dacor makes that combo in a range, not sure if others do?
posted by cecic at 6:21 PM on January 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

Seriously reconsider induction. We love ours - not identical to gas, but you will have similar levels control. Cleaning is a dream and it's safe for kids.
posted by NoDef at 6:35 PM on January 5, 2014

We have this Frigidaire model and I really like it. Before we redid the kitchen, we had a gas cooktop and wall-mounted electric oven, but I don't miss the old set-up. Like you, we debated a double oven, but eventually decided against it. It heats up quickly, is accurate, has a self-cleaning function, and you can switch out the large burner grid in the center for a drop-in griddle. Some of the oven buttons seem silly and superfluous (chicken nugget setting? IDK) but they are easy to ignore.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:48 PM on January 5, 2014

A lot of the newer ranges have a blower fan to cool the electronics while the oven is in use. I personally find the fan incredibly annoying, and I would do everything in my power to avoid the noise. Some friends recently got a Thermador (which was molto costoso), and it sounds like a 747 when the oven is going on--like you've got a hair dryer going in a closed drawer.

I think the DCS line doesn't have fans, but the Viking and Wolf (and Thermador) do. Ask around if that's going to be as annoying to you as it is to me.

I cook very seriously at home, and will get a vanity stove when I buy a place. In the interim, we have a simple gas Magic Chef in our rental that is entirely adequate. Burners are not terribly fine-controlled, but the oven is pretty dead-on, and heats quickly. No fan, so it's more or less silent. I really can't recommend it, but I also really can't complain about it.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:49 PM on January 5, 2014

Less of a at time purchase factor, but I wish I'd read the manual and practiced how to light the stove (oven in particular - stove top is straightforward) without the electric starter. We found ourselves without power for a few days about two years ago and it was less fun than I hoped it would be.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:51 PM on January 5, 2014

Double check that it is level in all directions before the installers leave (as the oil pools to one side of my pan).
posted by defreckled at 6:57 PM on January 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

My stove has two high btu burners for things like stir-frying and one little burner for simmering. I like that. Wish it had a griddle. Broiler is just a setting in the oven which is handy.
posted by leslies at 7:13 PM on January 5, 2014

My mom has an induction stovetop and i kind of hate it. Yeah, it boils things quickly, but it seems hard (at least for me, an amateur at these kinds of things) to keep things at a slow simmer. Also, if your pans are not magnetic, or, not magnetic ENOUGH, they don't work, so you will need to add "new cookware" to your shopping list. ALSO, they have a glass top. Man, those things always look dirty unless you carefully and lovingly clean it immediately after cooking with some special glass stovetop cleaner. ALSO, it's got touch controls, which are SO annoying. but maybe you could get some without.

i'm a much messier cook than that. Also, more into turning real knobs and making lots of food. I love gas for the speed and accuracy, but if things splash onto the stovetop, I'm not going to stop cooking and start scrubbing. But maybe I'm a bit stubborn, and you are more sophisticated, technological, and into touchscreens than I am.
posted by andreapandrea at 7:34 PM on January 5, 2014

update: if you like your oven or something about it, feel free to tell me what make/model it is, thanks!
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:47 PM on January 5, 2014

>I love gas for the speed and accuracy

I bought a Bosch gas range recently and was disappointed to find that the control of gas is not at all smooth. There are noticeable jumps in the flame and often the flame I want is in-between those jumps. This occurs on all burners.

Also, the marks on the knobs, rather than being numbers, are imprecise concentric lines, making it harder to remember what setting you used for a frequently cooked item.
posted by SNACKeR at 8:24 PM on January 5, 2014

Gas ovens/ranges I tend to like much more for the more accurate control of temperature on the range, what to me feels like better baking in the oven, and you get the added bonus of being able to cooking of the power goes out. Induction ranges are pretty cool but they (at least used to) require new pots and pans. You can get real crazy and get the convection oven, but you need to really adjust how you use the oven as it heats much more quickly in my experience.

If you're able to get double ovens, go for it. It's pricey, but my parents have that set up (gas range and double electric ovens) and when Thanksgiving rolls around its amazing how two ovens start to feel small.

If it were me I would go gas for everything, but you may want to factor in installation of lines, depending on your situation.
posted by efalk at 8:33 PM on January 5, 2014

Absolutely get a self cleaning oven. With a timer. I don't really care for induction, especially since gas is so cheap where I live. But the gas oven, with an automatic timer, does all I need to do.
posted by calwatch at 8:54 PM on January 5, 2014

keep your current oven and get one of these. That will solve the not heating up fast enough, crappy broiler and entertaining problems. Once you get one of these the only time you will turn on your big oven is once a year to do a turkey.

I love induction, it is worth getting new pans. Fast, clean, safe, efficient and powerful. there are really no demerits. If the cost of pans scares you you can even cook in stainless steel bowls on an induction cooktop. Think about something like this. Buy two if you need 4 burners and spend the rest of the money on a electrician to wire them up for you.
posted by Infernarl at 9:02 PM on January 5, 2014

Make sure repair service is available at your location for the range you're considering.
posted by jorlando at 9:20 PM on January 5, 2014

We had a GE Cafe range with a warming drawer at our old house and I had zero complaints during the several years that we owned it. We cook quite a lot and enjoyed the power of the gas burners as well a a few features of the oven. The oven had convection settings as well as a temperature probe, both of which were really useful. We cooked turkeys each year at thanksgiving as well as whole chickens throughout the year with the probe and had great results. The "baking drawer" was more useful as a warming drawer, but that turned out to be helpful each year when we had larger groups over for a big holiday meal.

Prior to that we had a Kitchenaid gas range, which we had to return to the store after only a few months. There were some extenuating circumstances related to the installer destroying our wood floors during the installation process, but the range itself also didn't work very well. The igniter for the gas oven would click repeatedly each time the gas turned on to keep the oven at temperature - this happens a few times each minute. Our GE is silent because it uses an electric starter element that gets glowing hot to ignite the burner. Also, the Kitchenaid's oven racks were shockingly weak. After heating the oven up to 475 on one occasion one of the racks deformed slightly, almost like the metal softened.

Our new house has a GE electric wall oven that I super duper hate. It isn't vented, so each time you open the oven door you get a huge blast of hot / humid air. It's worse than it sounds. Most ranges have a vent at the back of the cooktop or as part of one of the burners that lets some hot air escape, preventing this effect. We're considering renovating our kitchen in part because I hate this oven so much.

I am only interested in gas cook tops, reinforced by doing a fair bit of cooking at my parent's house this past holiday and using their electric stove. Induction is maybe interesting, but I don't know why I'd switch to it. "Safety" wasn't really a big problem when any of us were kids, so I think this is a little hyped up.
posted by pkingdesign at 11:08 PM on January 5, 2014

You might do some basic research at consumersearch.com, just to help you decide what's most important to you.

You'd be surprised at the features that come standard with ranges these days. We bought ours (a mid-price Whirlpool gas model) in 2002 and yet it's self-cleaning, the burners have different BTUs, and the oven temperature scale can be reset (to compensate for under- or over-heating). I'm sure that current models have more bells and whistles.

My sole complaint is the broiler. It's inside the oven itself, but just runs in a straight line from front to back. Anything you broil has to be lined up underneath and the broiler cuts out when the oven temperature hits 500 degrees or so. While I like having the drawer for storing cookware that's flat enough to fit, I would welcome a different broiler configuration.
posted by DrGail at 7:45 AM on January 6, 2014

When I bought a gas range for out house, we got a Frigidaire and I really loved it. Convection was great, and self-cleaning was such a time saver.

I would normally recommend you check out the Sears Outlet, but my sister bought a range there and has had NOTHING but problems with it, and it's replacement and frankly, until they do right by her, I'm going to stop recommending them.

Induction is interesting, but I love cooking on gas.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:48 AM on January 6, 2014

Mrs Z and I have a gas stove (gas burners and gas oven). However, we found it extremely annoying that thesparker in the oven was electric. So, if your elec is cut out you can't cook. Just a little thing to think about.
posted by zombieApoc at 9:28 AM on January 6, 2014

I don't love my current stove, but I can say that I love gas cooktops, but hate gas ovens. Electric ovens supposedly heat more evenly and have less fluctuation in temperature. My goal is to get a dual-fuel range with a gas top and an electric oven. Likely this one, which has a full-size oven but also a drawer that can be used for warming or cooking things up to 450 degrees.
posted by thejanna at 11:06 AM on January 6, 2014

We redid our kitchen a few years ago and went with a dual-fuel set up as thejanna mentioned above - Electric Oven, Gas Range. Absolutely the best purchase we made for our kitchen.

You would not believe the power that the gas range puts out, and the electric oven (I believe) is much more consistent and cheaper to use than gas is.
posted by getawaysticks at 12:41 PM on January 6, 2014

Mine is an IKEA gas cooktop/ electric oven combination. Something like this, but wider (and set to European standards). I bought it on sale because the model was being phased out, but I think that was only about the design (the width), not the other functions. IKEAs hardware is all made by Whirlpool, as far as I know, it might be interesting to compare prices.
It is not an amazing range, if I could afford a higher quality, I wouldn't have chosen it. But for the price, it is really really nice, I've had no problems, and cooked for 27 people for my birthday (two huge fish) with no problems at all. It has all the functions of a higher-priced oven and I haven't met any problems. I suspect there will be problems - the safety lock on the oven door is really crappy, and cleaning is not easy - I miss self-cleaning, and one can't even use those oven-cleaning products on it.
If I had lots of space and money, I might go for a separate gas cooktop and two electrical ovens one above the other or next to each other built into a cupboard at a practical height. Ovens self cleaning. It would be such a luxury to have an easier route from the oven to the countertop with the pans. And since this is a fantasy vision, the ovens would be Miele or something else German and high-tech, and I'd just buy something OK and affordable for the cooktop.
posted by mumimor at 1:04 PM on January 6, 2014

I've got an Electrolux with easy glide racks. It's possibly my favorite feature ever.
posted by snickerdoodle at 8:37 PM on January 6, 2014

« Older I think I want a graphics tablet?   |   Do we actually share a mysterious lineage, or are... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.