The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Range, stove top etc

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Range, stove top etc

I hope it's ok to post about something not completely related to bread baking.... I need some help!

We are moving from Oklahoma to Kansas next month, got a house that has an old induction type range, and we'll have the opportunity to get new appliances (range and fridge)

I am going absolutely CRAZY trying to decide what to get - I would like to finally reward myself with a professional type stovetop, but COnsumer Reports and reviews everywhere only make matters worse.  It is almost impossible to decide which brand is the best, most reliable etc etc.   One thing I pretty much decided: Viking is out.  I heard that the company went downhill in the past 5 years, so we won't be getting one.

 

Of course, I intend to bake bread on a regular basis, and a good oven is a consideration - I am not interested in steam injection, just a simple, possibly convection oven.

 

so, I ask your input - if you had to get a new range - preferably gas, as my husband is adamant against electric stoves - which brand and model would you go for?

 

thanks so much!

 

 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

You can buy a range that has both an electric oven and a gas cooktop. They're called Dual Fuel ranges.

I used to recommend Dynamic Cooking Systems, but they sold themselves and started a new company call Capital Ranges. I don't know enough about the new company to recommend these ranges, but if they're anything like the DCS line, I'd buy one in a second.

What's your price range?

Like many things, the difference between $ and $$ is almost always worth the price, but the difference between $$ and $$$ is not. (And with ranges, it goes from $ to $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$).

-

Also, try this thread: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/26866/viking-ovens-good-buy

Lots of suggestions on what (Wolf, Thermador) and what not (Viking) to buy, but not they're not the most budget-friendly suggestions ($$$$).

LindyD's picture
LindyD

The brand is earning top ratings - including from CR.

http://www.lg.com/us/gas-ranges

Happy shopping!

Frazestart's picture
Frazestart

Check out the Gardenweb appliances forum at http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/appl/ for plenty of  discussion on all manner of kitchen appliances but particularly high-end ranges and ovens (speed, steam, convection and various combinations therof.) The Bluestar and Capital brands seem to be the current faves there for ranges with high-BTU, open burners.

ssor's picture
ssor

We bought a Frigidaire gas range with self cleaning oven four burners. I am basically pleased with it after forty years with our old gas range. The oven is a bit bigger and the burner grates are more substantial. The distance from the burner to the pan bottom is greater with the new range so food is not as prone to stick and scorch while simmering. Baking is quite uniform for six loaves at a time. Temperature control seem to be precise when checked with a supermarket grade oven thermometer. Don't recall the exact price but more than 500 and less than 800. dollars.

bnom's picture
bnom

I did a lot of research before buying.  I am thrilled with the range although it is definitely a learning curve figuring out how best to bake breads in it. Still, I think the issues are more to do with my lack of experience baking with gas than the range itself.  I believe the capital culinarian is the best pro style range on the market---(23,000 BTUs per burner!).  

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Thanks for all your input!

Lindy, I checked LG and it seems like a very good buy, not as expensive as the "big guys", and ranked higher in many aspects.

It won't be an easy decision, I can see that. 

 

will keep you updated, I've got A LOT to read and consider!

Colin2's picture
Colin2

Ditto the gardenweb appliances rec.  

I just did my own kitchen renovation, and it was a lot easier to choose once I separated the cooktop and oven decisions.  When you get to the dual fuel point, there's not much rationale for keeping oven and cooktop in the same metal box.  Plus if you have the design flexibility, putting an oven higher up in cabinetry where you can see and get at it easily is a great advantage for a baker.  I installed a little Gaggenau (second hand) with a lovely big window at eye level, and it makes baking happier.

Bluestar and Capital both make nice cooktops in addition to full ranges.  Do keep in mind that upgrading to a gas cooktop, especially a high-BTU one, can involve significant costs to upgrade your gas piping and meter, and that high-BTU appliances bring with them costly ventilation meeds.

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Yes, we are considering those costs too - sometimes I wonder how much we would really need a very high=BTU.  I do stir-fries every once in a while, but it's not my preferred method of cooking.  

 

FOr some reason, I never considered too seriously separating the stove top from the oven, but what you say makes sense - having the oven installed higher

more stuff to think about....    more variables to add to this complicated equation, right?   ;-)

bnom's picture
bnom

I would have done gas cooktop and electric built in ovens.  But to your question of high BTUs, I have a hunch that if you had a wok ring and 23,000 btus, you would quickly find the stir fries become a very favorite way to cook.  But not just for stir-fries and searing, the high btus make a difference in terms of recovery time -- how quickly, after adding an ingredient, does the cooking medium return to its desired temp.  That makes a big difference in cooking.  (btw, the simmer is also very good - 138 degrees)

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Try one of the Eneron turbopots.  The recovery is fantastic due to the fins on the bottom (they only work with gas but the efficiency is about double a flat-bottom pot).  They have a small (10") skillet on the market now and will be coming out with a wok that should be very nice.  I am hooked.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

I had a similar issue about 12 years ago.  I had installed a Viking 6-burner gas stovetop as a temporary replacement for an electric, intending to reuse it when I remodeled the kitchen in a couple of years.  It was a disaster from a quality perspective - it was delivered with warped cast iron grates, the burners were set to full lean mixture, and after a year the ignitors would click on randomly which the tech rep said was a grounding problem that he couldn't fix (BS - it is a design problem that Viking wouldn't fix).

When the time came to actually select a stovetop and an oven for the new kitchen I sold the Viking and bought a Wolf 6-burner gas rangetop and a Wolfe 30" double electric oven.  The rangetop has been fabulous and the ovens do what they are asked to do (souffles, cakes custards, ... , heating plates, holding food at serving temperature) with convection on or off (your choice), though I usually bake bread in a Henny Penny combi which does have steam injection.  The Wolf burners are all 16,000 BTU/hr which is nice at the high end, but they are dual venturi burners which can be throttled back to 600 BTU/hr at the low end of simmer without any sputtering.  And recently I ordered some Eneron TURBOPOTs which have finned aluminum heat exchangers built into the bottoms -  just about doubles the rate at which you can get heat into the contents - so the pasta pot now boils in 5  min instead of 10 min.

 [edited to correct the spelling of Eneron]

 

mse1152's picture
mse1152

Sally,

We got a Bosch dual fuel range about five years ago, and I really like it.  Well made, good features.  Having spent my childhood in Oklahoma, I know what summers are like in the plains states, and you'll appreciate how well insulated the oven is.  It doesn't heat the entire kitchen when you bake.  But I imagine most of the mid to high end ranges are simularly insulated.  Ours is sort of like this one:  http://www.bosch-home.com/us/products/ranges/freestanding-ranges/HDS7052U.html?source=browse.

Sue

Berti's picture
Berti

but I will do anyways.....despite living in netherlands.

What struck me by surprise here, is that NO ONE above, mentions the working / energy of the OVEN itself....its about baking bread huh?

I still miss my old range that had gas cooking and a GAS OVEN! Never had anything as good as that for baking bread in, because it adds extra moisture and breads had lots more oven spring and browned nicer in the gas oven than in any electric oven I had after that.  

I would love to go back if possible (they are still out there but not many are being made anymore), plus gas is (over here) still cheaper than electric is.

Just my two cents. Otherwise ignore ;) 

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Oh, I would never ignore any input, believe me! 

INteresting that you mentioned gas stove as better for bread, I heard the opposite from a friend of mine, he insisted that gas ovens are better for pastries and things like that (which I rarely do), and that an electric oven is superior for bread baking. 

I swear, it seems easier to figure the mechanism of iron transport through the outer membrane of E.coli than deciding which range to get!    ;-)

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Do I want one with 3.4 gHz and 4 GB of RAM with 2 hard-disks that whiz around at 10,000 rpm while the CD burner thingy burns CDs at 36-48x (times what? times the speed of a merry-go-round?!). Or do I want to purple one with the blinky lights?

Now, the problem is pervasive!

I went to market yesterday for marmalade and was confronted by a wall of jelly. 100+ varieties!

Had there been a selection of nooses next to the jelly, I'd have been tempted to try one on.

-

Interesting read (on the subject) is Malcom Galdwell's The Ketchup Conundrum.

"The mind," as Moskowitz is fond of saying, "knows not what the tongue wants."  Instead, working with the Campbell's kitchens, he came up with forty-five varieties of spaghetti sauce.

 

gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

Really interesting article. I can picture me standing in front of the rows upon rows of spaghetti sauce, trying to remember which one I've bought in the past that was good, well sort of good, well, at least palatable-  This quandry is usually met by the thought, "Oh for heaven's sake you already have three jars for emergencies or natural disasters, you know what the family likes, just make it yourself". 

Moskowitz' comment did help me to understand why when I experiment with a new bread recipe it seems like the only description can be to compare the taste to a couple of others.  Last month it was variations on Silverton's breads and this last couple of weeks it has been to add different fruits to a sourdough version of Floyd's Italian bread.

So many breads, so little time.....

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

.

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I got the stove top I was looking for (with 2 drawers for pots and one for spices) and then I put an electric oven into the wall unit with the raised platform for the dishwasher (drawer underneath for the baking pans.)   At a height that I like and it is wonderful!   Best decision I ever made!  All separate controls. 

BTW what is "an old induction type range?"   I thought induction is equated BTU wise with gas?

Mini

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

I meant old to indicate the range looks pretty beaten up, maybe the owners did not use tender loving care with it

 

We haven t used it, will do so when we move there at the end of this month

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Hi, Sally

I don't know if This brand is available in the us, but i suggest you check out : gorenge ovens. Mine is a convection electric oven with a gas stove. It is a slovenian brand, with parts manufactured in germany. I bought mine for 600$. Very well built.