The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Your opinions on the ultimate baker's oven please. My lemon must be replaced!

jeromethegiraffe's picture

Your opinions on the ultimate baker's oven please. My lemon must be replaced!

Hello everyone!


I have had it with my Whirlpool self-cleaning convection oven.


I bought it two years ago for the sum of $1,500 plus tax - Not cheap. And yet, it has been problem-plagued ever since.


The trouble began when I started baking bread using the convection feature. The control panel would freeze up and not respond at the end of baking. It had a "touch-sensitive" glass panel, and no matter what I did, it would not turn off.

Fortunately, I purchased a five-year warranty with the appliance.

The repairman has come at least five times and has been unable to correct the problem. He replaced some electronic parts and even the entrire panel at one time. It would work okay for a little while and then act up again.

I am convinced this is a design flaw with this model of Whirlpool convection ovens. This is likely due to the way the convection is vented through the back of the appliance in the same area that the electronic panel is. Extremely hot, humid air and electronic components do not mix, a fact that was somehow overlooked at Whirlpool.

The responsible thing to do is issue a nation-wide recall... But that could affect Whirlpools bottom line of course.

This is a dangerous flaw as it could leave the homeowner with an appliance that will not shut off and could potentially lead to a house fire.

Luckily, I put my stove on appliance wheels, so I was able to pull it away from the wall to unplug it when this happened.

The company that backs the guarantee notified me they now agree the stove is a lemon and will replace it with a new one of similar value.

The question I have is - what would you recommend as a decent range (gas or electric) and why?

I would prefer a quality appliance with none of the features which cause trouble down the road such as self-cleaning, convection, touch pad, control panels. Better off with real knobs to control the stove instead of a digital keypad that costs $500 or more to replace.

I know many of you have had similar experiences and have had to dump an otherwise perfectly good appliance due to this built-in obsolescence. It's a real disgrace.

So thank you for taking the time to read this and hopefully we can begin a lively discussion on which oven is the best value for the home baker!


Thank you and happy baking!


Jerome the Giraffe

audra36274's picture

So if that helps. The digital control panel on the back even gets moisture when you boil water. Give me a break. It just sits there and beeps loudly for at least 2 days until the panel board dries out. We have to turn off the breaker to stay in the house. I'd LOVE to know what brand is a good one. My SIL has a JennAir that is the wall unit with oven and microwave. When the microwave goes out ( and it does about twice per year) the oven won't work either. One problem shuts down both units. So please bread people, we'd love to know.


Janknitz's picture

You have so much control with gas and there are no expensive moving parts or electronics to break down! 

I'd look for one with a light you can control (mine only turns on when the door opens and there are times it would be nice to have one I could leave on to warm the oven).

Self-cleaning is good.  Sealed burners on the stove and not too many hard to clean nooks and crannies. 

We've had the same Kenmore gas range for almost 17 years.  The knob to set the clock doesn't work well anymore (the clock still keeps time, but not necessarily the right time because I can't set it)  but other than the aforementioned lack of a light inside you can turn on and off and lots of nooks and crannies to clean on the sealed burner rangetop I have no complaints.  It's big, it holds the correct temperature beautifully, bakes pretty evenly, and it's self-cleaning. 

I wouldn't spend a lot of money on bells and whistles beyond those features.  Don't waste money on digital this and that--they go bad quickly and need expensive repairs.   You want a good, reliable baking companion for the long haul.  Check Consumer Reports (at the library if you dont' subscribe) for reliable brands with low rates of repairs. 

Hope you find the oven of your dreams! 

Pablo's picture

We bought a Samsung just 1 year ago when I started baking bread and I've been baking bread and steaming the heck out of it ever since with no problems.  This oven has a self-cleaning steam feature, so perhaps it's a bit more impervious to steam than others.  It is not a convection oven, although I think I would try to get a convection oven if I were to replace this one, thinking that it would provide more even heat.  One of the selling points for me was that the oven is quite large, I just bought a 15" x 20" stone and it fits with room to spare.  Another selling point for me is the glass top.  I love being able to wipe clean a single surface instead of the individual burners that were on the old stove.  Our house is all electric, so the stove is electric.  This model is the FCQ321HTUX <-catchy name, eh?  The one caveat is that the relays for maintaining the temperature are pretty noisy.  Our kitchen is contiguous with the living room and we listen to a lot of music in the living room.  The loud clicking was very annoying.  I did pad the relays with some extra insulation to quiet them down, but that's not something that I could recommend.

Good luck with your stove hunting.


jeromethegiraffe's picture

Pablo said:I think I would try to get a convection oven if I were to replace this one, thinking that it would provide more even heat.

However, my experience with my whirlpool convection oven is that this oven did not have even heat even while the convection was on.

I still had to move loaves and/or pans around because there were hot spots especially towards the back of the oven in front of the convection fan.

I would not fork over the extra $500 or so for this feature. If you are like me, you will be on constant watch over your bread while it bakes and the convection will not save you any significant time or effort.

And they are expensive to repair.

I have looked at the Samsung range on line and I would like to know what you mean by the noisy relays. I never heard an oven make a loud clicking sound. Is this just your oven that does this or are all Samsungs unusually noisy like you say?

As for the previous poster's (Jaknitz) comments on a gas range, I agree they were relatively simple at one time and did not have any digital panels etc. However, unfortunately virtually all of them now come with digital displays and controls.

Does anyone know of and recommend a new gas oven with little or no digital controls?

Thanks again

Jerome the Giraffe

Pablo's picture

We hadn't had a range with a digital pad before.  I don't have anything to compare it to.  When I called the salesperson and described the sound to him, he said that they all do it, all the makes that they carry.  We bought it at Sears and they carry a good selection of this level of range.  That's all the info that I have.  It was too loud for us, again because there is no wall between the kitchen and the living room where we listen to music.  Stuffing a bit of inuslation around the relays quieted them down considerably.  We don't really notice it anymore.



PS  Thanks for the convection info.  I'll stop being jealous of all the convection ovens.

flourgirl51's picture

I am thinking of getting a Viking range. Does anyone have any opinions regarding this brand of gas range?

Leah Vetter's picture
Leah Vetter

Can you manage a separate cook top and oven?

 My Fischer & Playkel oven is the best I've ever experienced.  It is very big, incredibly well insulated and heating is completely even and accurate throughout. Has several settings each for both regular and convection modes. 



flourgirl51's picture

I can get by without another cooktop. I may just get another Big Oven as the one I have been using has suited me well and it is something that I can buy locally.

Pain Partout's picture
Pain Partout

Our Dacor wall oven is now pushing five years in age.  We have a Dacor Convection/Microwave oven above the wall oven.  We use both ovens on nearly daily basis, and both perform very well.  I love the way the Dacor cooks/bakes, but I find it slow to preheat, and the digital timer display is slow to set.  The convection is wonderful, and really "pops" breads. 

My only experience with Viking is with my cooktop that I have had in the last two homes that we built.  Love the easy-to-clean cooktop, but get disgusted with the gas ingniters sometimes going on/off if a burner is turned very low.  Had a Thermador oven in the last house, and didn't like the convection for all the noise it made.  Didn't seem to hold a temp as well as the Dacor.  Have a very powerful Thermador fan (in both homes) which I wouldn't trade for anything.   I think it is important, when buying an oven, or any other appliance to not become to brand loyal.   If you can, find a large appliance dealer who can actually run an oven of your choice.  If you are concerned with convection noise, this can be very useful.  Do your homework........