Ranges

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
46,273
Location
New Jersey
Our 1950's kitchen is bright, comfortable and very functional. But our kitchen includes a large butler's pantry and the home has back stairs coming down, and we think that we could do better with arrangement from a workflow and convenience perspective. While the cabinets are sturdy and solid and nicer than much that I've seen in "high end" kitchen stores (minus the fancy closing mechanisms and under lighting), we also think a few variations on drawers and cabinets, plus a new granite or quartz counter would be nice... And I fell in love with a checkerboard cork floor pattern that I might try to DIY... But appliances are an important factor, and the range is one of the more important elements. We have a 40" electric range in there now, and it works great and looks good. We live the dual side by side ovens, and the electric elements work fine enough. But 40" is not a common size, the options out there, electric or gas (we have NG supply right below the kitchen so it's not an issue at all) don't necessarily get great reviews either. So were thinking of our plan. I'm generally not a fan of the look of 30" ranges, 36" are a little better... I like the look of the 40". A 48 or whatever the next size up is would be overkill. Has anyone used 36" and 30" ranges back to back and seen any real big differences? The 30" ranges we would buy all seem to have five burners, while the 36" and larger have five or six. What about dual fuel??? We currently have two electric ovens. We like the way that certain dough-based stuff like cookies come out from a gas oven versus an electric, but folks seem to pay a premium for electric ovens with gas cooktops. Is it worth it? Right now we just put some water in an oven safe bowl if we want moist electric heat. I already have 50A service there so power isn't an issue. It is hundreds of dollars though. So, 40" vs 36" vs 30" and dual fuel or all gas? Thoughts and recommendations? Right now were looking at bosch for range and dishwasher, but we're not tied to anything. We would need a counter depth refrigerator if we go through with our new design, and saw an LG that is better than any of the others, but it's Chinese made so I have to look long and hard for a eg or kitchen aid. We love our old kitchen aid dishwasher, so I'm happy to consider them/whirlpool or whomever else. But for ranges first and foremost, what brands and features/layouts do folks like best? We are thinking of slide in vs freestanding, if we do indeed replace our 40" unit. I'm not opposed to sinking money, but I think if I were to spend >$5k on a range, I'd buy a like new refurbished Merritt and O'keefe versus a Wolf or Viking. Not sure though, and Id rather have a down brand model and a few thousand more in our child's college fund I think... Looking forward to opinions.
 
Messages
709
Location
Northeast
I can't comment on the ranges - hope you don't mind if I chime in on the dishwasher We have a Bosch dishwasher, Ascenta model, that is about 3 years old. Without question, the quietest, most efficient we've ever owned. However, given the usage our dishwashers get, we also bought the extended warranty and, within the last month, started hearing some noises from the pump. Called in for service and when the guy came, he was surprised that we hadn't called in sooner stating that he gets a lot of calls for Bosch units. With 4 kids, we use this dishwasher a lot and a simple drain hose replacement was all that was required. Of course now I'm paranoid after hearing what the service guy had to say but our experience with Bosch has been very favorable. Wish I could help you with the ranges... Good luck
 
Messages
8,154
Location
The Midwest
I wouldn't buy a refurbished/modernized range from the 1950's. I'd get a dual fuel range. Jenn Air is the top of the line manufacture offered by Whirlpool. I think it's a dying name brand. Kitchen Aid has some nice appliances but the ones at the Lowes and Home Depot are rebadged Whirlpool. But you knew that. My wife recently bought a new refrigerator. It's a bottom freezer with french doors for the refrigerator. I hate it. You have less overall room for door storage and I end up swinging both doors open, grabbing whatever with one hand while the one door I cant hold swings into my shoulder. A dumb idea but every woman wants one.
 

JOD

Messages
3,577
Location
PNW/WA
A while back I posted a pic of our 36" Wedgewood Range (dual oven/broiler, 4 burner and grill in the middle). You'd have a hard time convincing me to go any other direction or to buy a modern range. The only one I'd consider is a La Cornue, but I'm just not willing to spend that sorta money on a range. I love to cook, but I have my limits... Convection ovens are nice if you're doing serious baking. The flip-side is that my pre-regulations oven can hit almost 700 degrees! Great for pizza and certain breads. There are other advantages, too: 15,000 BTU burners, and a true "simmer" (ranges that use piezoelectric work in "reverse", so you generally can't get the simmer as low). The big thing though is that any repair can literally be made with a flat blade screwdriver. I love the fact that there's no planned obsolescence with the vintage stoves--60 years old and it should go another 60 without a problem. I got mine for cheap and did the restoration myself (sending out some of the parts for re-chrome and porcelain), but even if you're paying for one already done I think it's it's worth it. 2cents
 
Messages
4,912
Location
Lakeville, MN
On the range side, been happy with our gas whirpool unit from a few years ago. No issues to report, but I suspect you are looking at a higher end product. I'll also chime in on the dishwasher. Another brand to consider if cost isn't a huge driver. Meile. Another German brand. We have a Meile Incognito dishwasher and love it. Quiet and their customer service is excellent. Holds more dishes than any other dishwasher I've ever seen. They will try very hard over the phone to help you fix anything that goes wrong (all two times we've had issues - one was a pumpkin seed that lodged in the outlet (don't ask), and the other was a broken filter). We'd highly recommend one.
 
Messages
6,367
Location
Midwest
If you want to preserve the vintage look and feel of your home then you'll consider a restored vintage stove and skip the granite and quartz. If you want to modernize it, then there are a lot of options available. I most certainly wouldn't go anything smaller than a 36" range. Unless it's a very small kitchen or apartment, a 30" range is just too small for serious cooking. I prefer simple, non-electronic cooking system. Needless to say I'm a fan of gas cooking. However, from some of your previous posts you have a strong aversion to gas cooking, touting the benefits of your vintage existing coil-electric range so I'm surprised that you're even considering it. Given your aversion to gas cooking, I suggest staying away from it. You probably won't like all the benefits. You may be better off keeping your existing range and working it into the design. Although in a vintage home, a 50's style electric range is out of place. If you go to a commercial level unit you'll need to remember that you need an upgraded gas supply, upgraded venting system, and you may need to advise your insurance company-some either won't insure commercial equipment in a residence or charge extra. Given all that you may want to stay with residential quality equipment-there are some great products available.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Thread starter
Messages
46,273
Location
New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Pop_Rivit
If you want to preserve the vintage look and feel of your home then you'll consider a restored vintage stove and skip the granite and quartz. If you want to modernize it, then there are a lot of options available. I most certainly wouldn't go anything smaller than a 36" range. Unless it's a very small kitchen or apartment, a 30" range is just too small for serious cooking. I prefer simple, non-electronic cooking system. Needless to say I'm a fan of gas cooking. However, from some of your previous posts you have a strong aversion to gas cooking, touting the benefits of your vintage existing coil-electric range so I'm surprised that you're even considering it. Given your aversion to gas cooking, I suggest staying away from it. You probably won't like all the benefits. You may be better off keeping your existing range and working it into the design. Although in a vintage home, a 50's style electric range is out of place. If you go to a commercial level unit you'll need to remember that you need an upgraded gas supply, upgraded venting system, and you may need to advise your insurance company-some either won't insure commercial equipment in a residence or charge extra. Given all that you may want to stay with residential quality equipment-there are some great products available.
LOL, pop, I was hoping for something more useful from you given your self-professed cooking skills and supposedly "superior" kitchen. I have no aversion to gas. I do have an aversion to circuit boards that can be prone to failure in any appliance, but some do have their place. My discussion of using and having fine success with electric cooking is unrelated, but remember in your chest thumping that "It's a poor craftsman that blames his tools"... and add "It is a stupid carpenter that buys [censored] tools". So if Im considering spending money, I want to get the smartest thing. What I have owned and have been able to use just perfectly for making all kinds of things and entertaining plenty of people at our home is moot. Given your love for gas, which I have zero issues with, and which I have the full diameter feeder pipe close to where a range would go, adding gas supply is easy. But let's not forget that people pay good money to get an electric oven, supposedly for better control. "Dual fuel" trickled down from higher end ranges. I can go either way, I have both services handy, just looking for opinions for the OVEN portion. I actually prefer gas for the top. Interesting how folks in Europe make fine meals using standard 24" cooktops in fairly small kitchens. Of course bigger is better mentality exists here in the USA, but some of it is just silly (recall the It's a poor craftsman that blames his tools"). And then there are those who have to chest thump because they spent thousands upon thousands to get a large piece of cast iron with fancy dials and a fancy name. Im not a fan of the 30" aesthetic, but thus my question, because 36" is some more cooktop space, but if you have a big pot on the center burner, I have to wonder if it is still cramped on the corners, thus making the supposed benefit moot. The decision is about convenience and workflow, and coming from a 40" unit where I had no issues whatsoever with spacing, Im just trying to think it through. The oven interior spaces dont seem to be overwhelmingly bigger for a 36" vs 30", and there is a pricing economy of scale for 30" cooktops, ranges and ovens. Ill use the best materials and design attributes that fit MY desires for MY liking. There have been lots of fads and stupid aspects of stuff built in the last 20 years (and any other time period), and also plenty of good things. I can strike a middle ground that I desire and that gets functionality and good design attributes of old and new.
 

Win

Messages
4,705
Location
Arkansas
I just bought (last year) a 60 inch Sunfire (Canadian made), 8 burners, a griddle the size of probably another four burners, and double ovens for, IIRC, $2200 ish and I think that included freight, for a small commercial kitchen. However, because of the massive heat output, putting a commercial item in your residential kitchen would probably violate numerous building codes and your fire insurance policy, but, it might be worth taking a look at your codes, and insurance, and seeing if it's feasible, because the cost, variety, and utility are much better in the commercial market. If you want to keep the vintage look, you might be able to find an old 50's pull from a commercial kitchen. Their heat output is pretty low, about like a modern residential unit. We have an old Majestic ten burner, double oven, that came from a school kitchen in our primary residence. It took a roll back car hauler and four strong guys to move it. Rust can be a problem on this older stuff. I kind of like some of the new Electrolux slide in ranges. I've had my eye on those for an upgrade to our lake house.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Thread starter
Messages
46,273
Location
New Jersey
Good point about the added heat and other gasses (CO/CO2/SOx). I'm not tied to a 50's look, or anything. I like the old 40's Merritt and O'keefe and other similar stoves, but there are improvements (and liabilities) with the newer stuff. A 36" range won't have the same total capacity as my 40" unit, and actually a lot of the newer 30" ranges seem to have similar oven capacity to the 36" units. I'm interested in the practicality of using all five burners on a 30 or 36" range. I've heard mixed reviews for both sizes. We will buy what meets our need for practicality, value, style, features we want and utility. I'm not tied to any brand. But the refurbished old ranges sure look nice. Then again, ours looks and works fine. But that gets me back to square one... If/when ours fails and doesn't have an available replacement part (so far, appliance stores still have microfiche and have pulled parts info for ours, with parts availability), the 40" options aren't great. So if I'm moving cabinets, I'll buy what makes sense for the long run, perhaps. I don't need/want huge, but 40" seems about ideal to me...
 

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Messages
46,199
Location
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Our 1950's kitchen is bright, comfortable and very functional. But our kitchen includes a large butler's pantry and the home has back stairs coming down, and we think that we could do better with arrangement from a workflow and convenience perspective. While the cabinets are sturdy and solid and nicer than much that I've seen in "high end" kitchen stores (minus the fancy closing mechanisms and under lighting), we also think a few variations on drawers and cabinets, plus a new granite or quartz counter would be nice... And I fell in love with a checkerboard cork floor pattern that I might try to DIY... But appliances are an important factor, and the range is one of the more important elements. We have a 40" electric range in there now, and it works great and looks good. We live the dual side by side ovens, and the electric elements work fine enough. But 40" is not a common size, the options out there, electric or gas (we have NG supply right below the kitchen so it's not an issue at all) don't necessarily get great reviews either. So were thinking of our plan. I'm generally not a fan of the look of 30" ranges, 36" are a little better... I like the look of the 40". A 48 or whatever the next size up is would be overkill. Has anyone used 36" and 30" ranges back to back and seen any real big differences? The 30" ranges we would buy all seem to have five burners, while the 36" and larger have five or six. What about dual fuel??? We currently have two electric ovens. We like the way that certain dough-based stuff like cookies come out from a gas oven versus an electric, but folks seem to pay a premium for electric ovens with gas cooktops. Is it worth it? Right now we just put some water in an oven safe bowl if we want moist electric heat. I already have 50A service there so power isn't an issue. It is hundreds of dollars though. So, 40" vs 36" vs 30" and dual fuel or all gas? Thoughts and recommendations? Right now were looking at bosch for range and dishwasher, but we're not tied to anything. We would need a counter depth refrigerator if we go through with our new design, and saw an LG that is better than any of the others, but it's Chinese made so I have to look long and hard for a eg or kitchen aid. We love our old kitchen aid dishwasher, so I'm happy to consider them/whirlpool or whomever else. But for ranges first and foremost, what brands and features/layouts do folks like best? We are thinking of slide in vs freestanding, if we do indeed replace our 40" unit. I'm not opposed to sinking money, but I think if I were to spend >$5k on a range, I'd buy a like new refurbished Merritt and O'keefe versus a Wolf or Viking. Not sure though, and Id rather have a down brand model and a few thousand more in our child's college fund I think... Looking forward to opinions.
Have you considered a Miele unit? http://www.mieleusa.com/Product/List/11
 

JHZR2

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Thread starter
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46,273
Location
New Jersey
They seem to be separate cooktop and ovens. I love our Miele vacuum, but I think we want a range. Is there a benefit to have a separate cooktop and oven?
 

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Messages
46,199
Location
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
They seem to be separate cooktop and ovens. I love our Miele vacuum, but I think we want a range. Is there a benefit to have a separate cooktop and oven?
Other than the obvious: being able to put them in different spots, I don't think so shrug That's the way Miele makes them. We are seriously looking at them but we are also considering a larger house/land, so things are up in the air at the moment.
 
Messages
9,794
Location
Ontario, Canada
A downside to separating them would be needing two fume hoods or perhaps all built in stoves have built fans that can be vented outdoors? We just have a 30" Kenmore gas stove. Main features we like is having a "flattop" grill system which handles different sized pots and pans, etc. Get that at a minimum. Down side is that it doesn't a have a serious burner for making stock or maple syrup in the 50L stockpot, but I assume most people don't cook like my wife. We just use an outdoor burner for the initial boil. Where I would spend some more money is on the vent hood. Route it outside and get a quiet one. Ours will nearly implode the house, but only on the higher speeds which are too noisy for prolonged use. My wife makes her own chili sauces and they need to be vented well.
 
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