The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

buying a new stove oven "advise please"

nebetmiw's picture
nebetmiw

buying a new stove oven "advise please"

OK with our tax money we are going to buy a new stove.  Ours came when we built the house and is mid grade electric.  I want better and glass top.  We have been looking But we do not have many stores that sell applainces here and few stock high priced since this is a low income state.  I want convection (a must) freestanding double oven.  I am alone since hubby drives so using big oven when he is gone makes no sense.  After looking at what is available we are thinking GE since it seems to be the better made product line.  So I need suggestion of other lines since we have only seen 3.  GE, Whirlpool and Fridgeair.  Price wise under 1800.  Yes, I am looking for bread baking ability in them.

Thanks

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

I'd suggest that you avoid the glass cooktop and buy one that has a gas cooktop.  I lived with the glass version for the past two years in a rental house and couldn't wait to get back to cooking with gas.  Much better temperature control and response, with the added bonus of being able to use it during power outages.

We opted a few years back for a Jenn-Air that has the gas cooktop and two electric ovens, in the same price range that you are looking at.  One oven is full size with convection and one is great for things like cookies, pizzas, cakes, and other items that don't require much height.  Given the smaller volume, the smaller oven preheats very quickly.  I don't know that they have the same type range in their current product line but you should be able to find something equivalent in other brands (note that Jenn-Air is just one of numerous brands owned by Whirlpool).  Here's a Google link that should give you a place to start evaluating different possibilities.

Paul

LisaAlissa's picture
LisaAlissa

I'm guessing that the glass top Paul was using was a halogen glass-top range--and I agree that they are to be avoided.  Gas (and even the classic coil electric element) are clearly preferable.  However another glass-top features an induction element--a completely different cooking technology, which is reputed to have even better temperature control and response than gas.  Since you're interested in a glass-top range, I'd look into induction elements when making your decision.

I'm anxious to try an induction range.  Here's a link to a description of the various technologies: http://theinductionsite.com/how-induction-works.shtml  My plan (when next I have the opportunity/need to buy a new stove-top) is to buy or borrow a portable single-element induction burner to try it out before purchasing.

HTH,

LisaAlissa

 

 

pjaj's picture
pjaj

Induction hob technology isn't really that new, I saw it demonstrated on BBC television 20-30 years ago, but I'll admit that it hasn't been readily available for all that long. The main disadvantage is price, they tend to be much dearer than other types, but the are getting cheaper. My first induction hob, 6 yeas ago, cost the best part of £1,000 but you can now buy one for around £300. Having said that the rest is nearly all all win-win. The top gets no hotter than the contents of the pan so spills don't burn on (unlike halogen hobs) and are easy to remove from a flat sheet of glass. Control is as easy as gas, there is virtually no residual heat, so when you turn down the power the heat reduces instantly. Nearly all the power goes into heating the food and isn't wasted heating the hob itself or spilling round the side of the pan and heating the kitchen. The only downside, at the moment, is that you need pans that are either stainless steel, iron or have a slab of ferrous material embedded in the base. Aluminium and copper won't work.

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Quote:
The only downside, at the moment, is that you need pans that are either stainless steel, iron or have a slab of ferrous material embedded in the base. Aluminium and copper won't work.
I believe you have been misinformed. Induction does not require a magnetic material, else air-core transformers would not work. Since they obviously do, we may presume that only a pan bottom's conductivity matters.

Induction heating depends on the heating element, a multi-turn coil, inducing eddy currents in the pan's single turn, shorted coil bottom. Heat (Watts) is proportional to the square of the current times the conductor's resistance.  P=I2R

There is a question of efficiency. An iron core transformer, at power frequencies, is more efficient than an air core.  Likewise, some metal cores, brass for example, reduce the inductive coupling.

Aside: Cast iron is non-magnetic.

cheers,

gary

pjaj's picture
pjaj

I agree that induction does not require magnetic materials, but in the current generation of induction hobs it does. The rule of thumb test for a pan is "will a magnet stick to it?"

I've had an induction hob for 6 years now and I can assure you that it will not work with aluminium or copper pans, only ones with a significant magnetic material content.

In industrial induction heating processes non-magnetic metals can be heated. There are two separate heating processes going on, eddy currents (the shorted turn) and hysteresis. Heating non-ferrous metals, eg copper, can only employ the former, but hobs seem to rely more on the latter and this only occurs in materials with significant relative permeability (mu-r) and preferably high coercivity - iron, nickle and their alloys (mu-r ~= 100+) (plus some other things of no significance to cooking). Copper and aluminium have a mu-r ~= 1.

To quote the "How Induction Cooking Works" link above, slightly edited:-

How Induction Cooking Works:

  1. The element's electronics power a coil that produces a high-frequency electromagnetic field .
  2. That field penetrates the metal of the ferrous cooking vessel and sets up a circulating electric current, which generates heat. (But see the note below.)
  3. The heat generated in the cooking vessel is transferred to the vessel's contents.
  4. Nothing outside the vessel is affected by the field--as soon as the vessel is removed from the element, or the element turned off, heat generation stops.

Note: the process described at #2 above is called an "eddy current"; heat is also generated by another process called "hysteresis", which is the resistance of the ferrous material to rapid changes in magnetization. The relative contributions of the two effects is highly technical, with some sources emphasizing one and some the other--but the general idea is unaffected: the heat is generated in the cookware.

There is thus one point about induction: with current technology, induction cookers require that all your countertop cooking vessels be of a "ferrous" metal (one, such as iron, that will readily sustain a magnetic field). Materials like aluminum, copper, and pyrex are not usable on an induction cooker.

 

 

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Quote:
The element's electronics power a coil that produces a high-frequency electromagnetic field

Ah, there's the key to my blunder. I was not aware of the frequencies involved.  At slf (30-300Hz), I don't think hysteresis would be very effective. At hf (3-30MHz), it's a totally different story.

cheers,

gary

nebetmiw's picture
nebetmiw

As we are not set up for it.  Would be too costly to install.  Thanks for the liks will check into the inductions some more.  Most are price out of our range right now.

 

Tamara

utahcpalady's picture
utahcpalady

The induction cooking is very neat but since it is so new it may be out of your price range. Iwasn't to agree with the others don't buy a flat top electric range. They are terrible. You wouldn't believe how long they take to heat up. Then after cooking a couple batches of English muffins on my stovetop it will arbitrarily heat up and burn a whole batch. 

kmrice's picture
kmrice

Normal steel is, of course, ferrous and magnetic. Certain high grade stainless steels are not magnetic; one way to field test the quality of stainless steel is to see if a magnet sticks to it. If it does, the stainless is not high quality (or at least it is not one of the non--magnetic high quality stainless steels). I'm not at home, so I can't check if my stainless steel cookware is magnetic, but I'm wondering it this would be a problem. Does the cookware have to be magnetic?

Karl

pjaj's picture
pjaj

Although a UK site, I think that this link and subsequent pages will give you all the technical information you ever need.

http://www.controlinduction.co.uk/control-induction-company-service-/control-induction-company-service/induction-hob-pans.html?Itemid=94