Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Stoves?


From the mail bag:

Hi.

Did you get a new one? If so, what did you get? If not, what do you have and do you love it? Thanks and keep up the awesomeness.

Dana




Dear Dana,

I have a pretty basic stove. I don't love it. It's one of those stoves with the electric top... where it's all one glass or ceramic top. Hate it. It's never very clean. If I could have my way I would have gotten gas, but we're really not big cooks so the cost didn't seem worth it.

I'll do a post on stoves and ask people what they think. A handful will surely respond, "Oh, gas! Viking! Spend $5k!" And then hopefully the regular folk will chime in and let us know what is really good at a real price, you know?


Excellent, can't wait to see the responses. I currently have the smooth ceramic top too, hate it!

Dana



Readers - - what say you?

67 comments:

hunkate said...

ugh... i also have a ceramic top. they make a "cleaner/polisher" and while it makes it shiny-er and more mirror like, i still have crusted on crud that won't scrape off even with the scraper tool... i can't wait to move to a place with gas again!!!!

Paul Anater said...

No one should buy a Viking. If you're in that price point please buy a Wolf. If you're not in that price point, get a KitchenAid. And I don't care how cool they look, anyone who buys a range at Ikea is asking for a whole lotta heartache.

Elizabeth said...

I also have the glass top and it's the suck. I can't wait to get rid of it - we have a gas hook up, so it shouldn't be too hard to get a different one in there. I've been looking for one without a weird digital display, and so far no luck whatsoever on that.

Anonymous said...

This house came with a cheap Kenmore gas range - it's white. It works. It looks clean.

It's better than my old electric Jenn Air. I had to have one with an air vent. It always looked like I'd wiped it with a dead squirrel. The stove came with a ton of accessories -griddle, grill, etc. I never used any of them. I stashed everything in a corner cabinet when I sold.

I like having control of burner heat - adjusting an electric burner takes too much time. Go with gas if you can.

Somebody will tell you to get an Aga duo-fuel. I looked at the tiny 24" models when I redid the kitchen. It would have cost a lot of money, looked out of place, and made everything else look cheap -er.

Anonymous said...

i have a kenmore elite (scratch and dent) with gas range and oven- for the price it has great options- cast iron griddle with bridge burners, simmer burner, convection oven option and warming drawer. I've had it for 4 years (paid $800, but even new now- I think the stainless version is $1500. My husband does all the cooking, but for me- the top is easy to clean, comes apart and a lot of parts can go in the dishwasher.

cats said...

i got a 36" stainless frigidaire with 5 burners. it looks exactly like a viking, but it only cost $1400. the oven itself is a little small, but the only time that's ever been a (minor) issue was on thanksgiving. i love it, and can't recommend it enough.

Susan said...

We have a Viking and love it. I'm sure the Wolfs are fabulous also.

Anonymous said...

We got a GE monogram stovetop and shoved a GE oven underneath. I think it looks a little cleaner than the whole "range". The guy who sold it to us (at Crossroads in Seattle) told us it was "very Euro" which made us crack up, and as I was pregnant at the time, the laughter made me pee a little bit. Fun times. We looked at those induction cooktops - they are electric but use magnetic resonance (or something like that) to heat pans. They seemed pretty awesome (no baked-on yuckiness) but they were a little too expensive for us.

DesignTies said...

I had a ceramic top GE Profile stove and hated it! When we remodeled my current kitchen we opted for a KitchenAid gas range which I love! Highly recommend KitchenAid!!
Victoria: EdinDesign Interiors @ DesignTies

Anonymous said...

Paul, I'm curious why you say no one should buy a Viking? I've been a professional chef for 12 years and it's all I've ever cooked on. When we remodeled our kitchen we chose Viking. I love it at work and at play. Wolf is a lot more expensive. I guess to each his own.

Anonymous said...

When we remodeled our 1920's kitchen 6+ years ago, I put in a 1950's Wedgewood Double Oven Gas range that had been completely refurbished. Shiny crome top, new porcelain on the burners etc. Looks AMAZING (get loads of comments), cooks like a dream and it is super simple to clean. Love, Love, Love. They definately don't build them like this anymore!

Linda/"Mom" said...

*** Though not much of a cook anymore, I absolutely LOVE my Wolf more than ANYTHING I've ever had (except an 8 burner "5-Star", which was "something else"(!), & altho I never USED it much, it WAS FABULOUS when I DID!!!)~~~ everything about this Wolf just works so beautifully & effortlessly... I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND it, but don't see what Paul Anater doesn't like about Viking... Just out of curiosity, can you get him to explain "why not"? Good luck!!! GREAT BLOG you have ~ I always enjoy visiting here!!! Warmly, Linda

Linda/"Mom" said...

(BTW, I canNOT "tolerate" (hate's a pretty strong word for me!)an electric stove!!! Had one, ONCE (and that WAS enough!), w/ that awful flat top too, when we were younger ~~~ "ewww!"~~~ at least for ME!)~~~

the sweet life with olives said...

I once had a fabulous Dacor gas range. It was stainless steel, substantial and stunning. We got a great price as it was the floor model at the store and it was without a doubt the best range we've ever had. When we sold the house, it meant leaving the Dacor behind. I was so excited about doing a new kitchen I thought it was time to take 'the next step' and we got a huge Wolf gas 6 burner with all the works. Three years later it's been nothing but a big expensive trouble maker. We constantly have the assistance here taking it apart and putting it back together. Simply a nightmare, and a costly one at that.

Renate said...

I still have to find a person who actually prefers to cook on electric and has more reasons for this than that it's so easy to clean the stovetop.
We have a tiny 4-hub single oven white stove but we're getting a great big 6-hub double oven Boretti. In cream. Still arguing about which style the windows are going to be. Chrome hardware.

Anonymous said...

The stove was the first thing I bought in our whole house remodel...it is a bit non-traditional (it's aubergine) but I love it...well I haven't used it yet but I LOVE how it looks in the garage! LOL

http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/photo/2883226870104809636KieTyq

Anonymous said...

We replaced our crappy drop-in electric cook-top last year, and to avoid the added mess and cost of having to cut more of the countertop, I scoured the web trying to find the dimensions that would most closely fit the existing hole. Closest fit was a Viking. It has so much power, I'm kinda afraid of it! Like at any moment it's going to singe my eyebrows right off my face. LOL

my favorite and my best said...

i have a crappy flat top bullshit stove too. i would love to have an aga. my mom has one. it is beautiful- a work of art, really.
however...it is weird in the size department. she can't use conventional baking sheets or roasting pans b/c of the narrow but long insides. but it does cook like a dream. i think one of those restored oldie but goodies would be nice..but often times they can be pricier than the wolf/viking models. for now i will continue to cook on my shitty one and dream of having a nice one. as usual.

Anonymous said...

I have the ceramic top too, and hate is as well. My MIL got an AGA and it is AMAZING. Love cookin' on that thing for Thanksgiving! Then we come to my house for Christmas dinner and have to cook on my ugly ass ceramic top stove. UGG! Hey...love the pic you chose for this topic, but I have to have counter tops on either side of me when i cook....I think I would feel a little claustrophobic cooking surrounded by all that stone and wonder if you would get really tired of having to reach behind you all the time for things you need???

Anonymous said...

I am an avid cook (even attended cooking school) and the best affordable home stove I have ever had was a gas GE Profile 30". It was about $1200, and had many features you find on professional ranges. I am upgrading to a 36" for our new house, as it is part of the bargain made with my DH for leaving my GE Profile behind for the new owner :)

Corey said...

I've got a GE profile slide-in gas range. It looks good, cooks great, has a lot of power on the stove top gas burner. Since it is slide in there isn't a huge instrument panel at the back - the controls are lower on the front. I think this makes it look cleaner and less obtrusive. What I don't like is the stainless steel top. While it looks nice when clean, it is impossible to keep clean.

tawn said...

the home we purchased in september came with no appliances (unless you include the wood panel dishwasher that was in the garage).
i cook more than once a day and could absolutely justify a gas range. we have a kitchenaid architect series II slide in convection range. nothing but great things to say. the US price is around a couple grand.

i don't know how to hyperlink. here it is:

http://www.nextag.com/KitchenAid-KGSS907SSS-30-0-518045394/prices-html?nxtg=2c5a0a24052c-E0559117137FF309

erika said...

Jenn Air makes an awesome 30" pro-style dual-fuel (gas cooktop, electric oven) with a downdraft... great for remodels. Wolf is better than Viking... and an inbetween good price-point is Kitchen Aid.

modernemama said...

Love my halogen cooktop - as fast as gas without the flames. WIll upgrade to induction eventually. I've cooked on everything: Thermador multi-fuel, AGAs, an ancient electric stove and a multi-burner Wolf that just frightened the appetite out of me and singed the hair off my arms (post here.

Anonymous said...

At an accessible price, I've had good luck with the GE Profile range and I cook everyday.

The convection oven made dishes that I'd cooked for years turn out better than ever before. I was kinda amazed.

Anonymous said...

I warm tortillas on the flat-top, ceramic surface of those ranges.

I slather the tortillas with butter, and my kids love them.

How would I do that on a gas burner?

Nicole said...

Hands down, the Electrolux EW30GC55. It's a nice, simple 4-burner gas cooktop that looks sleek, cleans up easily, and has a really broad range for the flame it puts out (really low simmer up to super hot boil). I was anti-Wolf/Viking, but I DO like to cook, and this one does everything I need.

mudrick said...

I currently have a ceramic top and hate it. Since we're moving into a home where we are renovating the kitchen I'm looking for gas and am considering the GE Cafe line which looks pro but isn't priced pro.

I found a great blog about all things appliance related - http://yaleappliance.blogspot.com/ - definitely worth checking out.

katek said...

Ok, I'll be one of the brave few to admit to having a Viking. We got a 30" and it wasn't anywhere near $5K! My mother-in-law had had a lot of trouble with her Wolf so we ended up going with Viking; I was replacing a vintage 50s stove with incredible BTUs (and an unfortunate half-oven that didn't allow anything bigger than a quarter sheet, sob) and I cook all the time, so we splurged on the stove. (All-Ikea cabinets/counters/sink; high-end appliance....It has worked great for us.)

BTW I got the white enamel, because I can't stand cleaning stainless steel. Looooove it. It looks sharp and it's easy to clean, plus it's a better match for our, um, vintage space. Oh, one last thing I learned about appliances: Jenn-Air makes the "Viking" fridges; you can pay like $600 bucks for chunkier handles and a scary huge Viking logo, or you can just go with the Jenn-Air. We got the counter-depth french door style and it is awesome; holds way more than I expected and has a nifty hidden water filter thingy.

katek said...

Oh, and Mudrick--I didn't see you comment until after I posted. Yale is where we bought our dishwasher and fridge; they have a virtual monopoly in the Boston area! We got a much better deal on the stove from a different vendor somewhere outside the city.

Iheartfashion said...

Hated the ceramic top too. I've enjoyed my GE Profile convection oven a lot for baking and roasts.
Type of stove really depends on how much you cook. My chef friend couldn't live without his giant stainless steel Garland with restaurant-strength BTU, but your basic KitchenAid 4-burner suits me fine.

Kristen said...

We replaced an antique Chambers stove and wall oven for a GE Profile gas oven that was just under $2K. We cook quite a bit and love everything about this stove. It has a long central 5th burner that we often use the griddle on, and instead of a broiler drawer, it has a second oven that goes up to 450 degrees. It was a powerhouse at Thanksgiving. And it's pretty.

Anonymous said...

Decorno, I have a Viking ceramic top 4 burner stove. I like that I can move the pots around so easily, sometimes part on the burner, part off. You don't have to lift something heavy you can slide it to another burner. I cook a lot. I bake a lot. I love standing there, stirring the risotto. Concerning the glass top--I sure didn't like it when I had a G.E. electric stove and stuff would foam over and burn on underneath the burner. You have to clean any stove top when stuff spills. It seems to me with the smooth top there are no crevices to fool with. anonymous

Averill said...

We have a Jenn Air gas range with a GE hood (OMG -- we don't match!!) and they both work great.

I love gas stoves; but I live in Texas where natural gas is king and it's what I grew up cooking on.

David said...

If I were building I'd do a Wolf, but in the last kitchen re-do we got a Frigidaire Gallery from Sears. Gas top, electric oven, stainless, maybe 1400 bucks if it's not on sale. I loved cooking on it, it looked great, and wasn't expensive.

The only thing I disliked about it was that the knobs ran along side the burners and were a bitch to clean between.

Colleen said...

I splurged and bought the Wolf...had planned on buying Viking until I read so many negative reviews from Viking owners. Love the Wolf and yes...I had to cut back in a couple of other areas of my remodel to afford it. Well worth it. I WOULD NOT ever buy a Jenn Air appliance again. Our fridge broke down so often that after 3 years and 16 service calls they replaced it...for free...now the new one is acting up. Run...fast...from Jenn Air.

Anonymous said...

We got a screaming deal on a brand new 36" Blue Star range- half price! We haven't installed it yet- still some demo to be done.

Anyone have experience with Blue Star?

Kim said...

I have a Bertazzoni -- an Italian stove that has just recently started being imported to the US. Gorgeous, powerful (I used to be a pro. cook-am a food writer now), and waaay more reasonable than a Wolf or Viking. My husband is a designer and loves the clean, modern look. I love how minimal it is-not too many bells and whistles.

http://www.bertazzoni-italia.com/

Lauren said...

Anon 8:30
WHERE did you get the great deal on the BlueStar? I have some clients in search of one right now.

Anonymous said...

Look people, a stove is a hot box. That is, a box that gets hot enough that you can put something in it, and it will cook. I have a cheap-ass from Lowe's Frigidaire. Yeah. I said that. It cooks my pies jes fine.

I have a Gaggenau (floor model hey) electric ceramic cooktop and I love it: the temp is constant, heats up super-fast, and it always looks brand new.

Here is my cleaning method: soapy Dobie pad after cooking. Scrape off big bits. Polish with ceramic top polish and an old sock. Presto. New cook top.

Wolf/Viking ranges for home use are really Emperor's new clothes. Go to the Caribbean instead with your savings.

kellyt said...

When we did our kitchen remodel, I was adament about getting a gas stove (which meant about $500 in getting a gas line run to the new stove). We bought a Kenmore Elite duel fuel range with a gas stovetop with electric oven. It's not a Viking but the stainless steel looks nice and it was a lot less; we've been very happy with it both in performance and in looks. Having gas for me was totally worth it; I cook just about every night.

juniperberry said...

Are there any suggestions for those of us who do not have access to gas (WISH I did)?

Rachel said...

Yes, I have electric. And my house is not hooked up to natural gas, so I won't be getting a gas cooktop anytime while living there.
I don't even have a ceramic surface stove - I have one of the old tops with the coil burners!!!
But seriously, it cleans easier than the glass top I've had previously in another place. I couldn't seem to ever get it perfectly clean- and I'm a total clean freak. I tried everything.

I'm saving up for an induction cook-top.

Oh, and my oven is an old double oven circa 1979. Maybe it will come back into style? ;-) It's silver, and actually cooks well!

Ms. Pea said...

What's the problem with electric with a glass top? I like mine very much. Easy to keep clean. No spots. No crud. No nothin. Better than gas where the little bits fall down under the burners and you have to take the whole damn thing apart to get at them.

puck said...

For those who asked, gas is better for cooking in that you can control the heat better. I turn the knob on the gas, the flame instantly goes away. Electric, you have to wait a while for the burner to cool down. For those who aren't really into cooking, they probably wouldn't care either way.

My kitchen came with (older) Jenn Air appliances. When I went to price out new comparable ones, I freaked. We have 2 wall ovens, one with convection baking. Then in the island, a thing that can be 6 gas burners or 4 burners and a big griddle. I leave the griddle in for a place to put my olive oil and spices. Never actually used the griddle to cook yet.

With our billion dollar remodel, I dream of an AGA. Gorgeous. But Smeg makes awesome stuff, too. Getting it to the US would be fun times though. Yikes.

L.J.T. said...

Does anyone actually know how to effectively clean those ceramic types?

ks said...

my husband's a savant in some ways, and on sunday mornings he likes to stand at the stove and scrape those crud bits away with a rubber scraper. it takes about an hour and keeps him very focused. then he likes to use the cleaner/polish and "make it shiny."

Anonymous said...

I must have a gas stove....the thought of using an electric range would make me ill....I am a man and I need FIRE!!!!!

Saga said...

Get yourself a quickie subscription to Consumer Reports. They'll give you the skinny. Even though CR usually directs you to the no-name brand at Sears, they can at least tell you which ones are total crap (usually KitchenAid).

Our gas GE Profile rocks this house and we got it a scratch-n-dent place for $1000.

Anonymous said...

I love my viking stove and would highly recommend a professional stove. It makes cooking a pleasure.

when pigs fly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

re: cleaning glass cooktops. try some easy-off.

i recently bought the ge cafe' gas range, basically because i liked the actual color of the stainless steel finish. couldn't do wall oven/range top due to space restrictions in my very old house. i really love it, but i've never used a professional range before. i thought about all the great meals my mom and grandma made on kenmore stoves when i was growing up and decided i didn't need a viking to cook as good as they did. BTW i bought from sears and they had a great no-questions-asked replacement policy. the first range had a big dent in it.

Alice Almighty said...

Smeg. End of story.

Anonymous said...

The key to cleaning a ceramic cooktop is to not let it get too filthy in the first place. It helps if you don't let things boil over on a regular basis.

If I don't have time to properly clean it, I at least scrape off the mess with the metal blade that came with it, and wash it with a soapy sponge.

The thing that takes time is using the polish to get off the residue, that takes some elbow grease, but it always looks brand new when I'm done.

Anonymous said...

I will soon be in the market for new range, and enjoyed all of the comments. I have cooked on gas and electric, but am an ordinary cook. Both have their strengths. Both kinds easily get icky, and are a project to clean. I have not yet used a flat-top, but was thinking of getting one. (Does anyone know--can I use my Grandma's Revereware copper pots on a flat-top? I can't find a definitive answer anywhere, and that will be part of the decision.) I don't understand why so many of you hate them, and would love to see an explanation. Is it the look? The performance? A built-in preference for gas?
At this point in our lives, the kids are gone, so cooking has gotten smaller. With gas, I always found it difficult to get a simmer temperature for a small amount of food--electric seems to do this task better.

I do love all of the comments and points of view--what a fun place to visit!

when pigs fly said...

As a bride in 1975, I joined the foodie revolution with Julia Child. My dream stove was her Garland—complete with salamander. Those stoves were the ones with the heat and no insulation—and no insurance coverage for residential owners!!! I grew up with gas, but for the last 24 years I've had electric. I've been waiting for the BIG GUT, but my garden took over my pocketbook. When my downdraft JennAir (hated it) conked out, still was not ready to spend big, big bucks. My latest "temporary" has been using german made portable cooktops and 2 counter commerical convection ovens. Along the way I bought an induction hob to try it out. It's faster than gas, does not smell, easy to clean and green. My $13000 Wolf Dream has died. I'm going to use Elecktek induction hobs and keep them portable not built in. Easier to clean and replace and use double wall ovens. I realized that not cooking with gas all these years and getting a wee bit older, I'd probably catch my bathrobe on my Wolf big girl BTUs and have a Viking funeral!

hello gorgeous said...

I love gas. Something good enough to be able to control the low heat is great. I used to covet Viking and all those European ovens and cookers which are becoming so popular but I have a gas cooktop on the island now and I love it (so much space for all my cooking shit). And so much less to clean. I do wish I had two ovens, though (it looks like I have two wall ovens, but one's a microwave).

I have glass- or ceramic-topped electric at the beach (no gas hookup) and I burn everything. I hate it.

However, there is a ceramic cooktop cleaner from Lowe's or somewhere that works great to keep it sparkling clean. Yes, I have the time to worry about such things... (this concerns my daughter greatly)

thevioletpear said...

We just bought a bosch electric smoothtop since we don't have gas - chose it because it's the only white/stainless steel stove I could find - love the way it looks and cooks - since I've never lived in a house with gas I guess I don't know what I'm missing.
http://www.abt.com/product/34322/Bosch-HES7132U.html?utm_source=scfroogle

cameron said...

Instead of a more expensive professional looking range I also went for the Bertazzoni 36" 5 burner. It now comes in 24" 30" and 48". It was $2500. I've had it for 3 years now and I think it's amazing quality and value.

Next house I'm going for an induction cooktop - it has as much heat control (for me at least)as gas and it uses way less energy. They have been using them in Europe for over 2 decades so it's nice that they are finally catching on in North America.

Chris said...

I have a Kenmore Elite ceramic top electric. I selected it carefully after hours of reading reviews and Consumer Reports ... and I am very disappointed. It scratches, doesn't do well at low heat and always looks cruddy.

I do like the convection oven, but the burners are awful. Def. not recommended.

I also had a heck of a time trying to get Sears to service it while under warranty.

miriam said...

The glass top ROCKS!! I can't believe the numbers of people posting here who don't like it.

I have a pretty small kitchen with very little counterspace and the stovetop is very helpful in that department.

Yes, you have to scrape off the burnt-on crud and use the cleanser (although Bon Ami or SoftScrub will work as well) but for me, there's no going back. It's a gajillion times easier to maintain than a regular gas or electric range. I don't know about the super high-end ones because I've never cooked on one of them--but seriously, $5000 for a stove? To cook one meal a day, maybe 2?

I agree that the flames on a gas stove are much more flexible, but we don't have gas in the house and it just didn't seem worth it to add. That said, gas burners are almost as big a pain to clean as electric ones--even "sealed" gas burners.

So, I'm giving a shout out to glass/ceramic cooktop--2 snaps up!

Anonymous said...

I went on Craigslist and bought a 4 year old Thermador (had been on display in a cabinet showroom and never been used)..6 burner for 1700...retailed for 6500. Super, super happy w/ it. Craigslist rocks!

:peace and love said...

Let's be honest, people. For the amount of cooking that we all do (3-4 times a week) and the type of cooking that we all do (ramen with an occasional night of inspired spaghetti), it's not that difficult to clean up an electric ceramic top. If things get crazy and out of hand, there's a white pasty scrubby goodness that you can get at a hardware store that works similarly to wax for a car. And it's fantastic. I can't wait to get rid of the old, possibly explosive gas range and get back to the electric-

Anonymous said...

My hsuband and I buy and renew/renovate old houses, mostly high end properties. When we started, we used Kitchenaid. Subsequently I had a Viking at home and used it in one house; in 4 others we have gone with Wolf. The very best one had a French cooktop. The best thing I ever cooked on. But I dream of testdriving an Aaga or La Cornue (drool). But I am such a sucker for packaging.

swdesign said...

Like some of the other commenters, I have the GE Profile gas range, and am totally happy with it. I love the look of pro-style equipment, but frankly, I don't cook a lot, so I couldn't justify the expense of a Wolf or Viking.

The absolute best thing about my range is the built-in warming drawer. I will never have a home without one now. Glad to hear others are as pleased with their Profiles as I am with mine....

JoAnn said...

I have gas at home and electric glass-top at the beach. I hate gas stoves and when the one I have dies, I will replace it with a Maytag Gemini glass top, which has 2 ovens in a 30 inch range.

I hate all the crevices that need to be cleaned on a gas cooktop because I am very particular. My glass cooktop is no problem to clean...there are lots of products out there now for this purpose, including wipes made by Weiman.

When we first moved to the house with the gas stove (I had previously had electric) I could not believe how long it took water to boil for pasta. It took F O R E V E R. Then I read an article that said that in tests, electric cooktops boil water faster than gas. I see evidence of this all the time in my own kitchens and have since read the same thing in several consumer magazines. Who woulda thunk?

Anonymous said...

We bought a Kenmore dual fuel - gas stove with electric oven, purchased on clearance when we remodeled our kitchen, and really liked it.
We now live in Europe and have a glass top, and it is a royal pain to keep clean.