Electrolux Icon 36" Dual Fuel Stove review: high quality, old school
In this thread:
Two or three posters asked me to provide a review after I'd used the stove a couple of months. It's been a little over two months since my first bake, and I feel my opinions won't change much, if at all, in the future.
The Big Picture: I'm delighted with my choice. If, however, you want a stove with bells and whistles like push-button electronics for timers, temperature controls, or mode selection this is not the stove for you. It doesn't even have a clock: eight knobs, one each per burner, oven mode and oven temperature, that's it.
Why I'm delighted: It's high quality.
1. I bought an oven thermometer, and have used it since day one. Once I began paying strict attention to where I was setting the "old school" oven temperature dials, the oven is, overall, within +/- 5°F of where I want it.
2. It's got "oomph" (That's a technical term I learned in grad school). What I mean by "oomph' is both the stove top burners, and the oven is transfering enough energy instanty to quickly restore the desired temperature after opening the door, loading loaves, adding the pasta to the boiling water, etc. I'm particularly pleased that, contrary to the way my old stove performed, I now realize al dente pasta in exactly the time specified on the dried pasta package.
3. It's reliable. When I was still working part of my job, for a few years, included managing quality control. I learned that for some electronics, and mechanical systems if they are going to fail, the vast majority of failures will be early on (Infant Mortality is/was the insensitive term used to describe the phenomena.) I've subjected the ovens controls steam, and its highest temperature (550°F) for tens of hours. We've had no infant failures, and we are well beyond a period of time such that, from here on, a failure would be just that: a failure.
1. The aforementioned oven temperature setting tolerance.
2. Six burners may seem an overkill for a home stove, but I've used five of them at once for Christmas dinner. More, importantly I've got a range of energy output unlike anything I've had before. With 14,400 BTU (15,000 if you us natural gas.)I can boil 5 gals of wort for my one or two annual beers, and heat it to boiling in roughly twenty minutes vis-a-vis the 45 mins it took to bring 3 gals of concentrated wort to a boil with my old stove. Other home brewers will quickly note that dosing concentrated wort with hops (bitterness) gets tricky when the wort's Specific Gravity is much higher than the targeted finished wort's Specific Gravity (You have to add water after the boil is finished.).
On the other end of the spectrum, I can keep finished foods warm, without burning or sticking to the bottom with two burners that crank down to less than 500 BTU.And, with gas burners I've got continuim of energy output settings between these extremes, including four other burners designed for in-between energy ratings.
3. One of the coolest design features: Three of the four oven shelves are mounted on full-extension, roller-bearing guides. You can pull or push any of them with your pinky.
4. The temperature distribution in non-convecton mode within the oven is the best I've ever encountered. There is some, especially near the bottom element (which is not exposed, it's beneath the oven floor), but it's tolerable. In convection mode its tighter, but still measurable.
Cons: And, I hasten to add, these things--neither collectively nor individually--would change my choice buying this stove. Nonetheless, I'll list them.
1. It's noisy. Convection baking or roasting (two choices) are the noisiest, but so is Bake, so noisy, for some enough to be a show-stopper: me and my wife, we can live with it.
2. I wish there were a finer graduation on the oven temperature setting knob. Only the 100° markings are numbers, and only the in-between 50° mid-points are marked with a black square that is, at least, 10° wide. I really have to pay close attention to get the oven temperature set where I want it. (On the other hand, my wife is convinced I have a mild case of OCD)
3. Recall the roller-bearing shelves I praised? Unfortunately, they are in three fixed positions. A fourth non-bearing supported shelf is provided, which can be placed in a generous 9 vertically distributed spaces between the fixed shelves, but, of course, you have to fight typical metal-to-metal friction pulling it out or pushing it in.
4. And, unfortunately, I have to add it's pricy. One can buy an all electric or an all gas for about 2/3rd's the price.
Nonetheless, It's my Christmas present--for the next decade. I'm pleased with it.