The Fresh Loaf

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Please recommend a good home oven

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Eidetix's picture
Eidetix

Please recommend a good home oven

I am in the market for a new range, and I would be grateful for your suggestions as to make and model.


I am looking for a four-burner unit, gas on gas (because they're cheaper to operate, and because I don't have 220 in my kitchen). I am hoping to spend less than $1K, but I will bite the bullet if I have to.


I am replacing a Jenn-Air. I wouldn't touch that brand again with a 10-foot peel. (See related thread at http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20719/warning-don039t-buy-jennair-range)


Any guidance you could offer will be much appreciated. Thanks!


Bob

TNBentRyder's picture
TNBentRyder

sorry to hear of your troubles with your Jenn-Air. I have had a dual fuel dual oven Jenn-Air range for more than 7 years now and continue to be very pleased with it. With heating ranges for drying and proofing to at lease 550 degrees, I can dry herbs and easily bake breads. I recently had a recall issue with my Jenn-Air fridge and the repairman mentioned that they had gone thru a period of using 'more economical' parts in some instances, however the company had now 'turned around' and is replacing those parts with quality replacements. 

LindyD's picture
LindyD

My copy of Consumers Reports Best Products of the Year arrived yesterday.


They scored (out of 100) the following 30-inch gas ranges as noted:


Kenmore Elite 7753(9), 77 pts


Kenmore Elite 7138(9), 75 pts


LG LRG3097 (ST), 73 pts


GE Profile PGB910SEM(55), 73 pts


Hotpoint RGB745DEP(WH), 72 pts


LG LRG3095(ST), 72 pts


Kenmore 7744(9), 71 pts


Electrolux EW30GF65G(W), 69 pts


Now, I just subscribed and have no idea under what conditions these stoves were rated.  You may want to visit your library and check out past issues to see if you can find the actual issue rating them.


My own Whirlpool Accubake stove (purchased 1/8/2000) has performed admirably, although it tends to humidify the house when I use steam because it vents so well. 


Proth5(Pat) recently purchased a new KitchenAid convection gas range.   You could PM her and ask her opinion of that stove, as she is quite an accomplished baker.


All the best in your search.

Crider's picture
Crider

If I was on the market, first I'd forego the window in the oven door. It's convenient to watch the bread bake, but in reality, there isn't enough insulation in the front door and I really don't like having to move my loaves in the middle of a bake to accommodate the feature.


Next, I'd forego the self-cleaning system. Just nonsense. No self-cleaning, no self-cleaning system to break.


It's a much simpler oven I would get that will perform forever without breaking. So I would pick the 30" Whirlpool WFG110AV. Maybe getting it in stainless steel would be nice, but the white one is a whopping $379.99. Gimmicks are expensive! Sure, my neighbors might look down on such a simple, uncool range, but it's got the lack of features I would want.


But there's also the possibility of a relatively inexpensive, super-sturdy range with nearly the same features. A new six burner restaurant range made by Imperial at $1,497. That's above your price point. It has the same no self-clean-nonsense and also doesn't have a window in the oven. It's burners put out 28,000 BTUs each compared to 9,500 for the Whirlpool home range. Imperials are quite inexpensive for a restaurant range, and it would have all that cachet of having a cool-looking, powerful range without the price of a Wolf.


Then there is the possibility of getting a used Wolf or similar restaurant range at restaurant equipment auctions. The economy is still pretty bad and I was looking for a real bread oven last summer. I never did find an inexpensive, small bread oven with steam, but I saw that prices were quite low for ranges. 

Eidetix's picture
Eidetix

Your feedback is much appreciated. I'll be using it when picking out a new oven.


Much obliged!


Bob


 

msbreadbaker's picture
msbreadbaker

Care has to be taken when choosing a "commercial" type range/oven, as the restaurant ranges heat too high for home use and are generally not rated useable in the home. The regulations for home ranges are not the same, are much more stringent. The commercial type usually do not pass inspection for home use.


Having said all that, maybe someone knows a brand that does. (Hence, the high cost of the name brand offerings, they comply)


Jean P. (VA)

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Crider, do you happen to be a man?


I cannot imagine anybody using the oven not only for baking bread but also for cakes, pies, pizzas and other baked goods that might spill and leave a heavily encrusted mess would seriously forgo the self-cleaning feature in a range!


And if you bake pizzas or pitas, or anything that needs very high heat and has to be closely watched - do you really want to open the oven door in between to check on it - and let all the heat escape?


Karin


 

Crider's picture
Crider

Cleaning the oven isn't really that bad. I'll admit we're vegetarians and don't cook big, greasy roasts which spatter grease. My neighbor has a self-cleaning oven which has a broken self-cleaning feature. They're now in the same boat as we, but I'm not complaining! I have a friend who lives on a 1930s apartment and they're using the original Wedgewood which I would weel like I'd died and gone to heaven if I had -- no snappy 'convenient' features and built like a tank.


As far as opening the door to check on a project's progress, it's done at the end of the bake, when it doesn't matter so much if some cold air wisks in. On the other hand, an oven with a glass door and without convection needs to be opened halfway through the bake to rotate the loaves or pizza because of the cold front in the door. I think that's worse! Riddle me this: why don't commercial ovens have windows in the doors?


 

LindyD's picture
LindyD

http://www.tmbbaking.com/tag.html



Baking chamber windows constructed of stainless steel and tempered glass


LindyD's picture
LindyD

Dirty ovens cause uneven temperatures within the oven, and uneven temperatures affect the baking process.  Manually cleaning an oven is a chore and exposes you to unpleasant chemicals.  


Additionally, modern ovens with glass doors are extremely well insulated.  It's not single pane glass.  I don't understand Crider's statement that:  I really don't like having to move my loaves in the middle of a bake to accommodate the feature.  


Why in the world would you have to move the loaves in the middle of the bake because there's glass in the oven door?  

Crider's picture
Crider

If you have an oven with a glass door and without convection, it's easy to test your own oven if you have a thermometer. Just hang it at the front, then hang it at the rear. I guarantee there will be a difference.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I keep two thermometers in my oven, one in front and the other in back.  It's a very well insulated oven and one of the advertised features is that it will heat the oven evenly throughout.  That's why I use two thermometers - to check.  So far, the claim is accurate.


When I have the oven running, temps are the same on both thermometers.  No convection.  I  baked baguettes today - no need to turn the bread or open the oven door to check their status because I can see them.  There's air space and a layer of material between the glass in the oven door and the exterior of the door.  I can keep my hand on the outside of the oven glass - it's warm, but not hot.


Technology changes and what used to be, is no longer.

Crider's picture
Crider

What oven do you have? I've never heard of such a thing except for a convection.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think that's what it's called.  I bought a gas range once.  Got it used and cheap. Had lots of temp problems and the door seemed to slam so loud.  Discovered it was missing a door gasket so I ordered one from Sears and put it in.  Problem solved.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Whirlpool AccuBake 30" freestanding range.  Purchased through Sears in 2008.  Have baked just about weekly (using steam) and no mechanical problems.  Haven't had to use the self-cleaning function since I wipe the oven down weekly, with water and vinegar.  


Electronic ignition.  Only drawback is that if there's a power failure, the oven can't be used.  But the burners can be lit with a match.


Since Mini mentioned a door gasket, I'll have to note that the gasket in this oven is not on the door.  It's on the stove and the door closes into it.  A nice feature since you never have to worry about dribbles on the gasket if there's a spill moving foods out of the oven.

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

I have two amana very large gas ranges that I use weekly to do my baking for our farmers' market. One has the convection oven option but I don't use that for baking. I love these ranges. They are very well built and have performed like a commercial oven even though they were never intended to be used as much as I use them.

Eidetix's picture
Eidetix

Much obliged to all.


Please keep your comments coming. Testimonials here have a ring of truth I just don't pick up when I do the usual Internet homework.


Thank you again!


Bob