Tell me about your new oven!
November 22, 2022 5:54 PM   Subscribe

Help us choose a new oven! What do you love about your recently purchased stove/oven?

We are renovating and need to choose a new oven. We have gas already and want to have a gas range, I'm leaning towards a dual fuel because I bake a little and would like to do more of it. The kitchen is smaller so we are doing 30". None of this "two ovens in one" business please.

We are having a hard time deciding whether to get a 4-burner or 5-burner model. Husband points out that more burners isn't necessarily best when you want to use two large pots. My friends talk up their griddles/middle burners but I'm not sure its actually necessary.

Open to fancy stoves and our budget could permit a Wolf or similar if it was really worth it, would love to hear perspectives on this. Otherwise we want to make sure we're getting a good quality appliance that won't need replacing in a decade.

What has excited you about your recently purchased oven? Other features like air fryers etc I am not too sold on, but open to hearing about if you've bought something and absolutely loved it.
posted by dazedandconfused to Home & Garden (23 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The setup at the last place I lived:

Oversized toaster oven + countertop 2-burner + 2 instapots. The only time the toaster oven size would be an issue is if you want to do a TON of baking all at once. The 2-burner languishes because instapots are good for most things stovetop.
posted by aniola at 6:06 PM on November 22

We bought an LG model with air frying, not super expensive but not the cheapest either.

The middle burner for the griddle is useless. We tried it one time and it was just too narrow to do anything. And the griddle ended up getting discolored so it’s just sitting in a cabinet somewhere because keeping it on top it gets in the way of big pans.

I think we have a comparatively large oven, I think 6 cubic ft instead of 5, with a small storage drawer below. I think the larger oven seems to take longer to preheat and it would be nice to have more storage space. We keep our lids in there because nothing else aside from a broiling pan would fit really.

Air frying we’ve used on occasion but haven’t been really impressed with. It seems like it takes longer than it should.

Ours has an oven door that you can knock twice on to turn on the oven light and the kids really like being able to check how things are going themselves without having to have us turn on the light up top.

The power boiler (ours says UltraHeat by the knob) is great and boils water quickly.
posted by cali59 at 6:17 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]

I have a Bosch electric oven and don't have any complaints about it. It has lots of cooking modes that I don't use very often, all you really need is to control if heat is coming from the top, bottom, or both, and if the convection fan is going to be running, but it does have a dehydrate mode that works pretty well for both dehydrating things but also proofing dough or making yogurt. It is much better at keeping a constant temperature than my previous oven, which was gas, but that oven was from the 1950s and I would hope that modern gas ovens do a better job.

I also like that the cooking timer and scheduler functions are fairly easy to use. Maybe they're easy to use for everything now, this is probably my first oven that wasn't from the 80s or earlier, but it is nice to be able to tell the oven to stop after 25 minutes, or to start baking something before I wake up.

My stove has 5 burners and is 36" wide. It's induction and I can join up the two burners on each side to make one long one but it isn't super useful because the heating area is still narrower than the middle burner so unless I had a long pan it wouldn't be an optimal size anyway. Is your stove going to be 30" as well or something wider? If it is 30" then I don't know how useful a 5 burner setup would be.

The oven and stove are separate units. It isn't clear to me if you are looking at separate ones for your kitchen or one unit that has both an oven and a stove. I like having a separate oven because it is higher off the ground and is easier to access the rear rack. Also it means that someone else can get stuff out of the oven while I am at the stove.

Neither my oven or stove are "smart" and at the time we were getting them I thought that it wouldn't be a very useful feature but there have been times that I've left the stove on and didn't realize until I was at work (albeit at a low heat) and it would be nice to be able to check on it, or even shut it off, in such situations.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 6:23 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]

We renovated our kitchen in the late Before Times. We chose a gas Wolf cooktop because every single burner had dual levels so you could keep the heat way down. We use that a lot. And the Wolf was only $200 more than the KitchenAid we were planning to buy. Four burners is enough. I can't remember the last time I used even three burners at one time. Wolf has (or at least had) two lines, professional and gallery, and the only difference was the pattern of the cast iron grates.

We chose an electric oven primarily because the broiler element covers so much more territory than the one in a gas oven, and we're very happy with that. I had anticipated that electric would be superior for baking, but I seem to find myself rotating the pans halfway through every bake in the electric oven, which I rarely did with our previous gas oven. I believe ours is a Frigidaire.

In our case, due to the cramped nature of our kitchen, the cooktop is directly above the oven, even though they are different fuels and different brands.
posted by DrGail at 6:29 PM on November 22 [2 favorites]

I have a new stove it is 36 inches, five burners, it came with a griddle that I stand on one side until I need it, it works well. The thing it has is a continuous cast iron grid top, that is across the whole stove top. It is great because on the side where you aren't cooking you can stack plates to serve onto, or put stuff you are working on when the adjacent cutting board is full. It has a clock, an oven door window, and oven light. I had to buy new turn knobs for it because the galley kitchen is narrow and the knobs it came with would turn the burner on if you brushed by it. That all over top grid is great.Great for canning and such. This is a dumb stove, I wouldn't have a smart one.
posted by Oyéah at 6:51 PM on November 22

Best answer: We have a Wolf dual fuel 30" range and we absolutely love it. It's hard for me to say whether it is worth it because it's by far the nicest cooking appliance we've ever had, so I don't have a lot of basis for comparison. But we have zero regrets and would buy the same thing again in a heartbeat if we needed a new range. It's my favorite part of our kitchen.

That said, there are a couple of considerations I'll mention.

First, the model we have is not the current one, and I think the new ones have more electronics and stuff. That concerns me somewhat from a reliability standpoint, and also I just don't really like appliances to be too complicated from an electronic standpoint. I haven't heard anything specific about them, and electronics are almost impossible to avoid these days, but it is a significant difference from the one we have.

Second, if you're going to get a cooktop or range like this (not just a Wolf, but any powerful cooktop), I urge you to make sure you include budget for a really good vent hood that vents to the outside. These things put off a lot of heat, fumes, steam, smoke, grease splatter, and everything else. You need to be able to efficiently get that out of your kitchen. If you have a bad ventilation setup, I think you'll end up either hating the range or not wanting to use it to its full potential. A hood and installation for outside venting (if not already present) is just part of the cost.
posted by primethyme at 6:52 PM on November 22 [3 favorites]

So the new house came with a 36-inch fancy stove from the late 90s with a permanent center griddle, and we love it. It's great for weekly pancakes or grilled cheez sammichs -- we are not fancy people. But I don't think it would be useful on a 30 inch range. I'd just want 4 burners on a 30 inch, and if for some reason I needed another burner I'd just get an induction hob or electric griddle.

Because the range is already ~25 years old, I've been half-assedly researching what to do when it finally kicks the bucket. The market for fancy ranges is tough because there seems to be a lot of bullshit and a lot of "looks as if it would work well without actually working well." Consumer Reports likes Kucht ranges, reddit threads seem to recommend Bluestar.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:55 PM on November 22

A tiny vote for induction, I have a high end induction stove (wolf actually) and it’s delightful. The learning curve was short and frankly you’ll pry it from my cold dead hands, and has a bonus of helping future proof my home for the transition towards renewable fuels, (your mileage may vary based on where your electricity comes from).

Worth a thought, and definitely something to try out.
posted by larthegreat at 6:56 PM on November 22 [14 favorites]

I've got a gas range with one of the long skinny middle burners. It came with the house, having a stove where every burner worked was a novelty for me, and so I was kinda "that's neat but ok whatever" about the middle burner.

Until I got a bunch of poblano peppers for cheap and used it to set up a pepper roasting assembly line. Perfect use case, incredible, I'm a convert to the middle burner for that reason alone and I don't even eat peppers often.

If you're a pepper person, that's just a little something to keep in mind as you're considering your future options.
posted by phunniemee at 7:13 PM on November 22

From wikipedia on induction cooktops:
Some noise is generated by an internal cooling fan. Also, audible electromagnetically induced acoustic noise (a high-pitched hum or buzz) may be produced by cookware, especially at high power, if the cookware has loose parts or if the multiple layers of the pot are not well bonded to each other; cookware with welded-in cladding layers and solid riveting is less likely to produce this type of noise. Some users are more capable of hearing (or more sensitive to) this high-frequency whine.
I am here to tell you that on a high quality induction burner with a heavy cast-iron pan, the burner will still make that evil electromagnetically-induced acoustic noise. Many people can hear it a little but some people can hear it quite well. It's like going to the dentist's office or something. Probably also an excellent way to keep some children and pets out of the kitchen.
posted by aniola at 7:30 PM on November 22

I inherited an middle-of-the-road induction oven in my new place, and it's great. I like the slight buzzz sound because it means my water will boil in about 2 minutes. It's seriously powerful -- I'm done cooking with gas.
posted by credulous at 7:36 PM on November 22 [6 favorites]

I love our freestanding GE Cafe that we got a year ago (gas). It's 30" but it has 6 burners. And it's roomy, just an incredibly designed cook top. The 2 center burners are identical in BTU and a nice heavy cast iron griddle comes with the stove and can be used in that space, or you can use regular burner grates there that also come with the stove. We find the griddle very useful and kind of don't know how we got by without it. The burner grates and griddle are all of the slide-across design where you don't have to lift the pot to move it.

When we went shopping, we took our canning pots with us. We can run 2 canning pots and two smaller pots at the same time. I frigging love it. Somehow, the layout of the 6 burners on this range was better than the layout of 5 burners on other ranges and this actually leaves us with the most usable space. The high BTU output per burner means we absolutely can use 2 large pots at the same time.

The oven is also quite big, and is one of the reasons we went with this. Also, on a purely aesthetic level, I like the rod-shaped oven bar / tea towel hanger that does not curve in at the sides, it stands proud and allows for nice towel hangage.

The range knobs and oven controls are on the front face, so you don't have to reach across heated surfaces to operate them.

It was retailing at $3,000 and Costco had a deal so it was about $2,500 delivered. I'm very happy with it.

One thing to note, it's sort of between residential and commercial, so the BTU output is substantial. A suitable hood is absolutely necessary.
posted by happy_cat at 7:42 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]

Some people with pacemakers should also avoid induction cooking.
posted by aniola at 8:00 PM on November 22

We recently bought a place that had a large Ilve standing oven with the hot plates on top.
we gave it away, too long to warm up and uneven heat distribution. My souffles came out looking like pancakes. We had previously had Bosch, which was good for its time, and probably still is. We now have a Neff gas on top and an electric Neff pyrolitic steam oven separate. The pyrolitic part means no more arguments about who will clean the oven, and if indeed you bake, the steam is a dream come true. It seems to be smaller (the oven that is) than most people have here, but it makes up for it with its flexibility. Definitely get pyrolitic, and if your budget stretches, the steam is very useful.
The cook top has five burners, one for woks and one for simmer. Very useful, but that would depend on what you cook: we regularly eat Asian food, and sauces do well on the simmer. So I would go with a longer cook top rather than a four-burner compact thing. The mix of burners depends on you.
The only problem seems to be that Germany struggles with software development problems: we had to replace a couple of boards before we got to Nirvana. However the basics hold True: get pyrolitic steam and make sure your cook top is big enough so that your pots don't jostle. (PS, I must brag, my souffles are now gorgeous).
posted by alonsoquijano at 10:22 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]

Because of lung issues and research about indoor air pollutants, we recently made the switch from gas to induction. I had previously thought that I would always forever and ever want a gas stove and was feeling all sad about the switch. I have changed my tune entirely and it’s been less than a month. First, I love that water boils nearly instantly. Second, the oven heats up nearly instantly. I am not kidding when I say that cooking takes me half as long as it did before. Things brown perfectly, the heat is ultra consistent. We also have a 30”. The oven has a plate you can slide in so you have the option of two separate heats. In reality, this just means that we aren’t having to heat the entire cubic footage when we want to do a sheet of roast veggies.

I have never been won over so quickly and thoroughly to an appliance. It’s a Samsung, and we used Consumer Reports to narrow down which model we wanted.
posted by Bottlecap at 3:27 AM on November 23 [5 favorites]

We have an LG range bought 7 years ago. It has 5 burners and the griddle option is ok but rarely used. I like the big power burners and the little simmer one - those are useful. Big cautionary note about stoves with digital controls on a panel at the back - they don't hold up well and at this point I need to have a service call to replace the board controlling it all - which will be very expensive. Any stove I buy in the future won't have that set-up if I can help it. If you do buy a stove with it probably worth buying the extended warranty.
posted by leslies at 4:35 AM on November 23

Finished up a kitchen renovation last week. We have a 30" Kitchenaid wall oven unit that includes a microwave above the oven. We've had a standalone/insert Kitchenaid oven before, without a microwave, and already knew we would love it. We do. Things I like: The temperature is true, as measured by a thermometer inserted into the oven. The controls are easy to use and understand, with no unnecessary buttons for the microwave for things like popcorn or baked potato. I care about the utility and appearance of handles and controls, and the handle of this oven is visually pleasing to me, with its red end caps that match our red fridge, as well as being incapable of retaining fingerprints and being good at holding our dish towels. The inside of the oven is blue, which matters not one bit except that it's pleasing to look at.

And we have a separate 30" Frigidaire induction cooktop--switched from gas because of the indoor air quality risk to health as well as testimony from many professional chefs about how much they love induction for control. We chose it because it's the only one I could find with physical dials, just like a gas cooktop, instead of those godforsaken digital buttons built into the glass interface that seem omnipresent in all other induction cooktop models. I have experience using that type for years when cooking at a relative's house, and they're very very hateable IMO. We did have to swap out a few stainless pans that aren't magnetic, which we replaced with enameled cast iron. Water boils in 90 seconds, and unlike with some gas elements I've used, there's an ability to have very fine amounts of control when simmering. We did have to make sure our old pans that do work with induction cover enough of the heating elements so that the induction magnet will heat. But we don't use expensive cookware, so the replacements were just a minor annoyance, rather than feeling like a huge concession to induction. The glass induction cooktop is a dream to clean, compared to cleaning a cooktop with gas elements.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 5:43 AM on November 23 [1 favorite]

Just got a new Frigidaire gas range to replace a 20 year old Kitchen Aid.

First time with a central 5th burner. Used it twice so far with the included griddle pan. It's fine. Not better than the All-Clad griddle pan that i already owned, but also doesn't take up two burners like the All-Clad.

Love the edge to edge grates--that alone gives me a ton more work space. Also has front controls instead of rear controls (even though its a stand alone, not a slide-in model), which gives more work space as well. So I can fit two full size skillets next to each other on the front high heat burners and have room for pots on both rear burners simultaneously.

The 18K BTU and 14K BTU front burners are great and I'm cooking better than before. Maybe the old Kitchen Aid's burners were clogged, but pots and pans get hot now. I'm mostly using All-Clad stainless steel, a Le Crueset dutch oven, and a cast iron skillet and basically don't need to use full on burners at all. That's been a game changer.

Cleanup without the removable spill plates is more of a pain and cleaning the cook surface has been more challenging than expected (the instructions are not to use anything that might scratch).

So far oven works great. I'm not sold on convection, but I haven't made any cookies yet. Haven't tried the air fryer rack yet, but simple oven perks like the light comes on automatically when I open the oven door is nice. There's a steam pan in the bottom which i used for ice cubes when baking bagels the other day. Not sure how much added steam there can be with a gas oven, but what the heck.

I wish the timer would give a one minute warning like the old stove, but so be it. The buzzer is loud, which i appreciate. Teaching myself to look for the clock on the front is taking some time.
posted by jindc at 9:42 AM on November 23

Response by poster: Thank you everyone!!! This has helped a lot with narrowing down what to think about and also given me some food for thought on induction.
posted by dazedandconfused at 10:49 AM on November 23

We got the 5 burner gas GE mentioned above and the middle burner is useless to me. Love the convection part -that works great. Spouse only uses the biggest burner on it's highest setting regardless of pot size so it's just a matter of time before there's a burn or accident. It's great for big pots, but yikes. Small burner works great with simmering.

The only known issue with these is that the auto clean cycle can cook the control board, so we just don't use the auto-clean. Like the leslies LG the controls are in the back of the unit above the vent. I promptly put a chip in the top, but that's 100% on me.

It was a drop in replacement for an older thing that failed- and if we were to do it over again I would also switch to an induction, even though that would require a retrofit for power.
posted by zenon at 12:13 PM on November 23

I would get a fancy induction hob and one of these. Steam oven! Sous vide with internal and external temperature monitors! Better than a regular electric oven.
posted by lalochezia at 4:05 PM on November 23

Our newly-renovated rental kitchen came with a Bosch electric oven, and a 4-burner gas range cooktop. The oven: While the actual oven performance is fine--quick to preheat and even temperature, I just came here to say how much I hate the touch control panel. It is so sensitive that simply standing too close (not even touching) triggers settings. I routinely set the timer accidentally, only to have the alarm sounding randomly some hours later. Or, I inadvertently engage the child-safe lock, which prevents the heating element from turning on, but doesn't prevent the light and fan from turning on, so I can't tell you how many times I have turned on the oven to pre-heat and 20 minutes later I discover there's no heat because the lock was engaged.

The gas range: I'm a fan of gas cooking (though interested in trying induction), and this particular model is really disappointing. There is one wok-sized double ring burner that burns much hotter in the inner ring than the outer ring, so my pots are developing scorching in the centre due to uneven heat. There is only one small burner at the front of the stove (I wish it was at the back), and even at its lowest setting, the lowest simmer is still pretty strong. The medium rear burners cannot be set low enough for a simmer, and don't heat larger pans evenly, so the front two burners do most of the work.

I feel like there's a lot of subtle usability issues that don't become apparent until you start using an appliance.
posted by amusebuche at 3:40 PM on November 24 [1 favorite]

Inverse of DrGail's choice: We were looking for a Wolf range but ended up with this 30" 5-burner KitchenAid because the oven is so much bigger. We measured all the "commercial-style" ranges' ovens and because they move their huge knobs below a wide lip to look "professional" they end up with very short oven doors and interiors – compare the little doors on this or these to the big ones on these. Seriously, we couldn't fit a 20-lb turkey in the commercial-style ovens, and we can fit a 24-lb bird in ours with a couple of pies on another rack.

(We really never use the 5th burner.)
posted by nicwolff at 4:51 PM on November 29

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