June 13, 2006
Calling on the Experts

Hello loyal readers and those dropped here by Google looking for dirty pictures of celebrity chefs.

I need your help. No no no, that's sweet but put those checkbooks away. What I need is educated advice. Our new house has a kitchen with a major defect, in my opinion - an electric range top. When it comes to cooking in saucepans, skillets, or even just blistering peppers, I like the responsiveness of gas fire. The fact that the rangetop is attached to a desirable even temperature dry heat electrical oven is a comfort, but not enough of one to make me want to keep the unit.

So here's my question for you (especially if you've remodeled your kitchen relatively recently): Which dual-fuel range/stove combination would you install to replace the current all-electric one and why? I'm not immune to snob appeal but if a Sears model will do the job as well as a Wolf or Viking unit, I'm perfectly happy to go with the Sears product.

Restrictions - The space is 30" wide, and I'd rather not spend more on the oven/range than on my car. What would you get for under $1500? Under $2500? With no spending limit?

Specific model recommendations are especially appreciated. Thanks.

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at June 13, 2006 1:25 PM Print-friendly version
Comments

Hey Barrett,

I used to have a Wolf in my last house and loved it, but then it came with the house. Now I'm temporarily with an electric range - don't get me going on this one. I'm looking forward to hearing what people have to say about the various "pro" gas ranges. Something to dream about...

Posted by Elise on June 13, 2006 at 10:51 PM

I work all over Boston teaching cooknig and I have worked on many a range.
Personally I ahve a Thermidor professional series and I love it.
I also can highly recommend Blue Star.
You can actually fit a FULL professional sheet pan in the 30" range. The broiler is amazing. Nice piece of equipment.
I have been working on Viking 3 days a week for the last several months and I hate it. Burners are uneven. The wall oven takes 30 minutes to come up to proper temperature during that time it uses the broiler to help heat the oven. Anything above dead middle gets burnt.
Good luck in your hunt!

Posted by jo on June 14, 2006 at 7:59 AM

Hi! I am a food professional with a summer cottage in Maine. With some good advice, I chose a GE range ("XL44 Self-Cleaning Dual Fuel Convection" according to the owner's manual). I think it may be just thing for you and in your price range. I love mine! In fact, I wrote a poem about it:

RANGE

Burners, four
Warming drawer
Duel fuel
Cool tool

Posted by Deb on June 14, 2006 at 12:06 PM

There was, last year, when I was looking, a Kenmore Elite stove that was a dual fuel, 30" that had five burners. The BTU ratings on the burners were as follows:2 @ 9,500, 1@14,000, 1 @ 15,000 and 1@16,200. Here are the specs for it: http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?BV_SessionID=@@@@0029778913.1141318399@@@@&BV_EngineID=ccceaddhefjljljcegecegjdghldgfm.0&vertical=SEARS&sid=I0093600010003900085&pid=02279389000

GE Profile (model number--j2b198) that had five burners and two ovens, dual fuel. The top BTU burners was 17,000--perfectly good for a stir fry with a great wok. Here is a link to the complete specs for it: http://www.absolutehome.com/web/catalog/product_detail.aspx?pid=82158

I probably would have gone for the GE if I had not gotten the AGA.

As a personal chef and culinary instructor, I have gotten to work with nearly every brand out there, and so here is what I think of them:

Thermidores are nice, but a bit pricey.

Jennaire is nice also, especially if you like indoor grills and such, but they are pretty pricey and somewhat underpowered.

Wolf is overpriced and underpowered. They have them in Sur la Table stores' teaching kitchens and they really do not put out any more BTUs than you can get with a conventional gas range--they just look spiffy professional. They are also a pain to clean.

Vikings are pretty, and they work well--until they break. Their service record sucks. I have had lots of clients rue the day they bought their Vikings.

Gaggia makes superlative equipment, well powered, very pretty, nice design--but they are very expensive.

AGA--well, I love mine, but it is a bear to clean, and is VERY expensive. And the small sized ovens take getting used to. Oh, and it weighs a lot, being made of cast iron.

So there it is--I would go for the GE profile, personally, were I you. Good price, great specs and a good piece of equipment. I have a friend who has one and she loves it.

Posted by Barbara on June 14, 2006 at 2:18 PM

Poetry about major appliances? That's enthusiasm! Thanks Deb. I will check out the source of your dedication.

Jo, that's very very helpful information. I will investigate both brands.

Anyone else have any info?

Posted by barrett on June 14, 2006 at 4:54 PM

Barrett, I replaced my stove/oven 6 months ago and got a Maytag gas stove. I LOVE it.n Never a problem whether I'm making soup, frying or baking>

Posted by Meg's MOM on June 14, 2006 at 5:22 PM

I'm with Deb. I've cooked on lots of pro stoves, and I'm very satisfied with the GE dual- fuel convection rig I have at home. Continuous burners, so you can do some real sauteeing, warming drawer, electric convection for good baking, plus I think they're right around $1500.

Posted by the pragmatic chef™ on June 14, 2006 at 7:17 PM

I've been using the Kenmore Elite gas stove for about 6 months now. It's a slide-in model. This was tricky to install, because getting the heights of the floor, counter and stove calculated and perfect was critical for the slide-in to look good. Measure twice, cut once!! The oven converts to convection when you need it. Overall, I love the look of the stove, and I'm happy with its performance. There are 4 burners, with varying BTUs. There was an option for a bridge burner, but we decided against it. My only complaint is that the second hottest burner is in the back, and I'd rather cook on the front 2 burners when I only have 2 pots on the stove. It's easy to clean the stove, and it has a nice, professional look. It costs about $1700, on sale. Let me know if you are interested, and I will dig up the exact model number.

Posted by Jen on June 15, 2006 at 6:04 AM

I just redid my kitchen and went with the Kenmore Elite 40" dual fuel. Five gas burners on top and two electric ovens. The ovens are smaller than the semi-pro models but I didn't have the room so this suits me fine. I couldn't be happier with the Kenmore. The two front burners are the hot ones and I love the simmer burner in the back. Duel fuel is the way to go.

Happy hunting

Posted by mooncrazy on June 15, 2006 at 10:03 AM

Hmm, well. I had a 30" range as well and found myself wanting to slit my wrists each time I did a decent sized meal on it.
I used a circular saw and cut me a larger hole, about 36".
I looked at gas ranges, not dual fuel and came to the conclusion I could get a FAR better cooktop by buying an old gas range from the '50s. For a total of about 600 bux, this included the range and a few repairs, I got a range that a 2500 dollar range couldn't touch for burner power.
The oven got a new thermostat and some baking stones. We do bread, cookies, turkeys and well, you get the idea. The oven does FINE. The knob gets me within about 2 degrees of accuracy and is preheated in about 12 minutes. Plus it looks totally bitchen.

Biggles

Posted by Dr. Biggles on June 15, 2006 at 12:59 PM

We recently replaced our old gas range with a dual fuel 30" Bosch unit. It has 4 burners that are 12000, 15000, 25000 btu and a simmer burner. The convection oven can handle 2 sheet pans side-by-side on each shelf, and there is a warming drawer. The price was under $2500

Posted by Jack on June 15, 2006 at 2:02 PM

Alright Jack! Now there's some serious shopping. I have no idea what my burners put out. The older ranges are adjustable and I've got them jacked in to flame throwers. Plus they have that little simmer ring in the center. That coupled with the built in heat diffusers can bring the heat down to a gnats behind.
When I need the big boy, I pull out my dual burner Camp Chef propane stove and it has 2 60,000 btu burners. Nothing says love like frying chicken and hushpuppies outside in the garden.

Biggles

Posted by Dr. Biggles on June 15, 2006 at 2:16 PM

Maytag (!) makes a 30" 5 burner gas range with the broiler ABOVE the oven (it is SO much easier to deal with) and a regular oven that also does convection. I've had mine about a year, and I can't say enough great things about it.

Posted by Din on June 15, 2006 at 2:58 PM

Do we know who actually makes those Kenmore Elites? I think it's Bosch, but I'm having trouble confirming.

Dr. B. I think you are a bit more ambitious than I am willing to be with this kitchen. And I think the fire department may be outside waiting to have a word with you... :)

Jack do you have a model number on that Bosch unit, possibly?

Posted by barrett on June 15, 2006 at 4:50 PM

The Bosch model we have is HDS252U. It was $1750 at Trage Bros. in Forest Park, IL. Check out the Bosch web site.

Posted by Jack on June 16, 2006 at 1:28 PM

I have a dual-fuel DCS range which I love, but it ain't cheap. I can't remember the model number off hand.

Posted by Matt on June 19, 2006 at 10:48 AM

Hey Barrett,

I'm here to keep your options open baby.

Biggles

Posted by Dr. Biggles on June 19, 2006 at 12:41 PM

I purchased the 5 burner, dual fuel, double oven Kenmore Elilte range over 4 years ago. I have been very happy with it. Then one day the beeper that lets one know when the oven is up to temp was silent. Never to beep again. Had 4 repair visits. New computers. Still no BEEP! Finally the last word from Sears was that the stove never did beep. I know I am not nuts as other people have used the stove and heard the "beep" Does anyone have this stove? If so, could you let me know if yours beeps? I am so fed up with Sears that I refuse to write to them again unless I can have some proof that it, indeed did once upon a time, BEEP. I would be so happy if someone comes to my aid.
Thanks....

Posted by Elise TB on January 6, 2007 at 4:13 PM

How does a convection oven do regualar baking with out having the lower calrod unit?

Posted by Duncan on February 19, 2007 at 7:12 AM

How does a convection oven do regualar baking with out having the lower calrod unit?

Posted by Duncan on February 19, 2007 at 7:13 AM

Barrett - what did you get???

Posted by bill on March 7, 2007 at 9:20 PM

I'm about to purchase the Kenmore Elite dual fuel, double oven range. My neighbor has one, loves it. Another friend says she has heard this range is problematic. Any testimonials - pro or con - regarding this item would be greatly appreciated. Putting my house together after flooding by Katrina - the time has finally come to get the appliances!
Many thanks!

Posted by Lita on July 27, 2007 at 4:11 PM

After six years, my GE XL44 gas stove's timer/clock has gone dead. Is there a simple solution to this problem or should I just learn to live with it? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Posted by Shaki Commissariat on September 8, 2007 at 8:30 PM

I have had the Kenmore Elite 5 burner Duel Fuel for over two years and love it. And yes... the oven does beep with it reaches it's tempature. Only complaint is that the oven takes a long time heating up when using the conventional bake mode. I prefer the covention mode. Heats faster and cooks great. Warming drawer in the bottem is great for keeping dishes warm when cooking large meals.

Purchased at Sears Outlet store for less that $1,000. Great bargain for a great product.

Posted by Debbie on January 12, 2008 at 3:46 PM

Lita,

My timer on my GE XL44 did the exact same thing. What did you end up doing? Did you ever get it fixed and if so how did you do it??

Thanks

Posted by Lon on February 6, 2008 at 4:15 PM

Has anyone used the GE Cafe Dual-Fuel slide-in range? Comments? We're deciding between that one, the GE Profile and the Kenmore Elite. The Cafe looks good and I like the idea of the center griddle burner. But I'd welcome reviews from actual users. Thanks!

Posted by susan on February 24, 2008 at 3:21 PM

I READ SOMEWHERE ON THE INTERNET THAT THE GE CAFE DUAL FUEL SLIDE-IN WITH THE BACKFLOW FAN WAS NOISY WHEN THE FAN WAS RUNNING AND THAT THERE IS NO WAY TO TURN IT OFF. WHEN I READ THAT, I GOT TURNED OFF BY THE GE CAFE SERIES. THEY HAVE A GREAT LOOK, BUT UNTIL THE KINKS ARE WORKED OUT. I WILL WAIT.

Posted by nancy on February 25, 2008 at 11:08 AM

I am trying to decide between the Samsung smooth top convection oven with the warming drawer or the GE Elite Electric oven with the baking drawer. Have heard lots of good about the Samsung and like the the size-5.7 cubic feet but I like that the GE has the baking drawer. Could you use the baking drawer as a warming oven? the lowest temperature of the baking drawer is 155 degrees

Posted by heather on March 15, 2008 at 7:16 AM

Please help! We bought a duel fuel aga 36" last Aga and the multifunction oven won't bake on the conventional and fan assisted modes. It quickly browns and leaves the batter raw. Aga has replaced 3 parts to no avail. Must we give up on it? We love it's looks, but the dealer has offered an exchange. If so what is the best oven for baking bread and pastries?

Posted by Danni Sherwood on January 31, 2009 at 6:38 PM

Best gas range ever made, in my opinion, was a Maytag I used to own. Had it for 16 years! Only had to replace inside burner once Think it was due to daughter putting wet pots in low heat oven to dry. Daughter left home, no more problems with stove, ever. Sold it with my house 6 months ago, it still works. My husband loved it, me not so much. Cupboards above stove got an oily reside on them, major scrubbing to remove, often. But it was the BEST.

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