Gas range help
My brother and sisters and I want to buy my dad a new free standing gas range for his birthday. The caveat is that none of us have tons of cash, so I am looking for a decent range that is under $900-$1000. (I would love to do one of the professional ranges, but alas, poor dad is still stuck with young, not-rolling-in-dough kids.) Luckily, pretty much anything we bring in to the house will be an improvement over what he is cooking on now. There are lots of options out there (I was perusing the Sears, Home Depot and Lowes websites) but I know nothing of them, and figured I would go to my deep well of experts here on Chowhound. Could anyone offer any recommendations or advice? Many thanks
For a bargain on new gas range check out Hotpoint -- $500, not too many bells and whistles, but top rated by a consumer magazine for broiling and reliable service.
If you have a Sears outlet near by, or a independent appliance dealer with a section of their showroom dedicated to "scratch & dent" models you might track down a pro-style range deeply discounted due to being "dropped off the truck" by the delivery team. Good way to go for a gas range, as there is not nearly as much electronics that can be damaged...
The latest issue of Consumers Report (August 2008 referenced indirectly by renov8r) has a long list of ranges they've recently tested. In addition to the 30" Hotpoint a couple of 30" Sears Kenmore models (likely built by Whirlpool but that would require checking) also were rated well and in your price range. There was a 36" GE that did well too. You should also check the Garden Web forums---they are usually interested in higher end stuff, but you can likely find some opinions on things in your price range, but opinions can be all over the map so take it with a grain of salt.
If you have a Sears store nearby, drop by and look at the stuff in the little room in back of the appliance section. My daughter bought a beautiful gas range, high BTU output, etc., originally $2000, for $700. New, still in the crate - somebody ordered it and never picked it up. There are slightly damage items (like a little scratch in the finish or a small dent in the side that will be hidden by a cabinet anyway) along with returned items, etc.
It's worth your time and the warranty has, in my experience, been the same as with any other item, damaged or not, that Sears sells.
Just a little suggestion; all other things being equal, try to find one with continuous grates. That is one _without_ big spaces between the grates. It makes moving pots and pans around on the cooktop so much easier.