The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Can this--should this--marriage be saved?

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bnom's picture
bnom

Can this--should this--marriage be saved?

My love affair with my 50 year old GE Hotpoint 40" range has been, literally, on and off these past few weeks. 



I was so excited to get a new 20 inch Fibrament stone (no more stubby baquettes!) but then my bottom element burned up.  So I replaced it (doing the wiring myself) and was back in love again. But then I started noticing that the bottoms of my loaves were not browning up and I wasn't getting good oven spring. And I had been making such nice progress on my bread too. I was so distraought...was it my shaping?  Was the dough too slack?  Could it be  the baking stone???

It finally occurred to me to toss a bit of water on the bottom element. Dead. All the oven heat was coming from the top element (which I thought only came on if set to broil).  What an idiot! What a relief!  I trewired again. Plugged it in, turned it on and POP! The entire range dead. I finally realized it was time to call a professional.  Except for the indicator light it's working again. 

But I'm wondering....should I keep this baby or finally get a new stove.  Are the stoves on the market right now that good?  I was told by a repairman once that they stopped making good stoves around 1960. Is that still true?

Here's what I love about this stove:  Working space between the two burners. Two ovens of useful size. Temps are spot on.  Never have to worry about steam messing with electronic sensors or breaking glass. I can (usually) replace elements and such myself. No hood interfering with my highly needed over the stove cabinet. As vintage as me and my kitchen. 

On the other hand, I could wire gas to the stove for a dual fuel stove (don't want gas oven). I could get convection. Or I could try induction (if it works with Al-clad and cast iron pots). Smaller oven footprint in my small kitchen.  I don't want really want to spend more than 2000 for a stove btw.  

So, TFL'rs thanks for reading this long post.  I'd be very interested in your thoughts. Do you feel passionate about your stoves?  Am I stuck in the 50s?


 

Comments

reyesron's picture
reyesron

When my 7 year old Kenmore 42" Elite occasionally breaks down, I go to AJMadison.com and fantasize about what I might like next.  You can pretty much plug in what you want and how much you want to pay and get some fairly good choices.  I was looking at ranges that would accomodate a full sheet pan so I could do full length baguettes, but then my Kenmore got repaired.  If you speak with them after you narrow down your choices they'll give you some insight in your picks.  Delivery is free.  I think they're prices are decent, but when you see what you want, you should still shop around to compare.  I sound like a commercial for them, but I have no ties.  In fact, I kind of got interested in a 36" NXR, which I never heard of, and the prices on the NXR website were quite a bit better at the time of a promotion.  $2,000 will get you a dual fuel which is what my Kenmore is although it may have gone over $2000 in the last year or so.     

bnom's picture
bnom

THanks for the suggestion of the site.  I was looking at Consumer Reports buying guide for ranges yesterday and they said "We see no advantage in a dual fuel stove" but that was it...no explanation!  So can you tell me if you think it's worthwhile to have? 

reyesron's picture
reyesron

I like gas on top because I can visually control the heat when I'm cooking.  You can't do that with electric very well.  I like the electric oven because you can hear gas going on and off when it's maintaining temperature, whereas electric might be a click if you even notice it.  I got the dual because my house was wired for an electric range, but I had a gas line installed for the top so I just went with the dual, which I think is the only way the 42" Kenmore came at the time.  The opening I wanted to fill with the range almost required something around 42".  If I were doing it today, I would go with all gas, and a larger oven.  I would go with the NXR 36" which is one of the few that will accomodate a full sheet pan under $3000.  The one I wanted was priced around 2700 a month or so ago on the NXR site.  The only downsides were that it was largely unknown, but I thought all gas, maybe not a problem.  As it turned out, my Kenmore was repaired to my satisfaction so I didn't need to buy a new one.  

TNBentRyder's picture
TNBentRyder

I had my dual fuel Jenn-Air for several years and love it. I got the standard size double oven model that fits into space of standard range. I enjoy the two ovens very much. The smaller oven is on top and preheats super quick for cakes, toast, etc. The larger bottom oven is admittedly quite low and can present a challenge when handling heavy items. Both ovens have warming settings, the larger over had proofing settings and convection settings as well. The gas top has five burners of various sizes.

audra36274's picture
audra36274

  I LOVE it. I bake for as a means of bill pay now, and I can put 9 cake layers in at once and they all come out well without rotation. It is not a fancy oven either. It was less than a 1,000 bucks. Shown here with 3 different cakes of varied stages of doness.

bnom's picture
bnom

What oven do you have Audra? Do you have issues getting a good bread crust? My understanding is that gas ovens have a moister heat than electric...with electric you can add steam when you need it but otherwise have dry conditions which favor a crusty crust.


I stopped by my local appliance dealer and found myself drooling over an AGA...out of my price range however.

bnom's picture
bnom

What oven do you have Audra? Do you have issues getting a good bread crust? My understanding is that gas ovens have a moister heat than electric...with electric you can add steam when you need it but otherwise have dry conditions which favor a crusty crust.


I stopped by my local appliance dealer and found myself drooling over an AGA...out of my price range however.