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Do You Love Your (Relatively New) Wall Ovens?

CindyJ Feb 2, 2009 08:29 AM

If so, I want to know what brand/model you have, and what you love about them. Also, if you're unhappy with your oven, I'd like to hear about that, too.

I've read some threads on this topic and, based on what some folks have written, I've already eliminated Viking ovens from my search. I'm looking for replacements for my very old electric double wall ovens. I'd like one oven to have convection capabilities. I don't want or need a warming drawer or microwave. I need my ovens to be consistently accurate and reliable. I've looked at Bosch and Electrolux, but I'm not convinced I need to spend $3000+ to get what I need. Can anyone help make my shopping a little easier?

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  1. c oliver RE: CindyJ Feb 2, 2009 08:39 AM

    If I may be so bold and add on to your enquiry...does anyone have experience with ovens where the door(s) swing to the side rather than opening down. I saw something in a mag that show both a single door and a French door. But they're probably in that price range that you (and I) want to avoid! I'll be interested to hear opinions on all.

    5 Replies
    1. re: c oliver
      CindyJ RE: c oliver Feb 2, 2009 08:43 AM

      I'll be interested in those responses, too.

      1. re: c oliver
        v
        valerie RE: c oliver Feb 2, 2009 12:57 PM

        I have a GE Profile double wall oven. I did not put it in..it was installed by the previous owners of the house that we bought. It is about 8 years old, so I don't know how it compares to what's out there now, but I do like it.

        I would like to say, though, that when re-doing my kitchen (one of these years), I would love to have a top oven with a door that opens to the side. I didn't even know that they exist (I guess because I'm not in that mode right now). Reason being that I am fairly tall and when I go to lift up one of my Le Creuset dutch ovens to put it into the top oven, it always seems like the door is in the way. As we all know, those LC's are might heavy when full! My mother-in-law, who is under 5 feet tall, would need a stepladder to lift a full LC into the top oven!

        1. re: valerie
          CindyJ RE: valerie Feb 2, 2009 01:46 PM

          I was out oven-shopping this afternoon and asked about a side-opening oven door. I was told that Frigidaire used to make one, but there were safety issues -- it was too easy to bump into an open oven door and get burned by the hot inside door surface. Yes, it's possible to bump into an oven door that pulls down from the top, too, but it's not as likely that you're going to get burned. Also, the ovens I looked at all have easy-glide-out shelves that can hold up to 75 pounds. That makes it much easier to load a full LC pot into the oven.

        2. re: c oliver
          Caralien RE: c oliver Feb 3, 2009 10:50 AM

          My grandparents had one with double french doors. It's long gone, but was in their house, built in 1950. I could never figure out how to use it properly (my grandfather knew), but it was beautiful. Stainless doors.

          My in-laws have double wall ovens which were incredible for the holidays, even if used only once per year. When we get to the point of owning a house, that is definitely something I will install.

          1. re: Caralien
            CindyJ RE: Caralien Feb 3, 2009 01:14 PM

            There are many, many times when I've been so happy to have double ovens. Any time I'm making two things that have different temperature requirements (roast beef and popovers) they've been great. And, of course, holiday/special occasion baking & roasting, when the ovens almost need revolving doors for putting things in and taking things out.

        3. d
          DGresh RE: CindyJ Feb 2, 2009 10:48 AM

          I have a GE Profile wall oven, couple months old.It is convection and has a probe (though I'm not a big one for probes). I like it fine. The only thing is that I wish the broiler was a bit higher power (but I've never had a broiler I was absolutely happy with) I have a single wall oven and paired it with a microwave; some people pair it with another oven, and others with an Advantium (super-duper microwave). I think my single oven was just over $1000, but it was bought at the same time as a lot of things so I'm not precise. My contractor recommended the Profile line; I'm not sure it's better than others in that moderate price range, but it seems ok to me.

          1. m
            MakingSense RE: CindyJ Feb 2, 2009 03:46 PM

            I have a GE Profile Convection Oven that I installed about 3 years ago to replace the 20 year old convection oven that died. Can't remember the brand. JennAire? KitchenAid? Whatever it was, I loved that one and I love the new one.

            This is a single oven that everyone discounts at around $1300.
            I love it. Consistent heat, steady, the self-cleaning cycle is great.
            It heats to 350 in 8 minutes.
            Jfood complains that his GE Monogram ( the next line up) takes a very long time to heat to the desired temperature - so CHECK that before buying.
            There are a few wonky things like it shutting off the bread proofing cycle after XXX hours which is a pain if I use it to make yogurt - but the yogurt comes out fine anyway.
            The convection fan keeps going for awhile after the oven is turned off to cool it down - kinda disconcerting at first but I'm used to it now.
            This oven is very well insulated and does not throw heat into my room. That is a major plus for me.

            My long-time appliance repair man always cautions NEVER to buy the top-of-the-line anything. Too many bells and whistles mean a lot of stuff you'll never use and stuff that is guaranteed to break. He says to look for something in the mid-range that has what you need.

            Ask YOUR repairman. He can probably give you some advice too. My guy knows well which brands he has to repair frequently, why and how much those repairs cost.
            After talking to him, there are some appliances that I wouldn't have as gifts, and I've saved a ton of money over the years.

            11 Replies
            1. re: MakingSense
              CindyJ RE: MakingSense Feb 2, 2009 06:53 PM

              I don't have an appliance repairman. Guess I've been lucky with appliances. I use them until they just die one day, and by then it's time to replace them. My old double ovens (the ones I'm replacing) are 34 years old; one of them still works just fine. My old cook top (Jenn-Air) lasted 30 years. I hated it and I kept wishing it would break, but it never did. I finally replaced it with a new Dacor, and sold the old one for $50 less than I originally paid for it. Then there are the appliances like washers and dryers that are so (relatively) inexpensive to replace, it doesn't pay to get someone out to fix them, especially when they're beyond 7-8 years old.

              1. re: CindyJ
                m
                MakingSense RE: CindyJ Feb 2, 2009 08:06 PM

                You've more than gotten your money's worth out of your appliances! Mine usually last a long time too. And thanks to the good repairman, they get fixed more often than not.
                The problems have been with the newer ones which are getting crappier and crappier. That's why I try to repair when I can.
                Some of the new ones are almost like Bic Lighters - use them and throw them out when they go! Plastic parts that aren't worth replacing. It costs more to fix them than to buy new ones.
                The old ones seem to go forever. When we sold my parents' home after they died, my sister took Mama's old Maytag washer. It's still going strong with no problems. We can't even remember how old old that thing is and it's wonderful. Real quality.

                1. re: MakingSense
                  CindyJ RE: MakingSense Feb 3, 2009 06:01 AM

                  That's what I've been told. The salesman I spoke with yesterday said today's ovens are only meant to last 7-8 years. Makes me wonder if I should spend a few bucks and fix the old broken one... NAH!!!! I deserve a couple of new ones!

                2. re: CindyJ
                  flourgirl RE: CindyJ Feb 3, 2009 09:59 AM

                  That's usually what happens with us too. I think our DW is over 18 yrs old, our washer and dryer are going on 16 yrs old and the fridges are on rotation. A new one in the kitchen and a 16 yr old in the garage.

                  As for repairs, we have had to make some repairs to the washer & dryer. We did them ourselves for just a few dollars for the parts - has kept the machines going for a few more years. The one appliance though that I have had to have repaired professionally was the ignitor on our old gas range. The range was only 6 yrs old at the time and the repair was very expensive. And the repairman told me that was a typical lifespan for a gas ignitor - 6-7 yrs. That just pisses me off. I wasn't ready to buy a new range at the time so I had to fork over for the repair. And if the ignitor goes in 6 yrs on our new range, I'll have to do the same, because I am not buying a new $2200 range every 6 yrs...

                  1. re: flourgirl
                    m
                    MakingSense RE: flourgirl Feb 3, 2009 11:56 AM

                    Try a box of wooden matches. That's how people lighted stoves before electronic ignitions.
                    You can buy a LOT of matches for the cost of fixing that ignitor.

                    It's funny how some of the fancy expensive "trophy" appliances have these problems on an on-going basis. I can't remember which brands they are, but my repairman said that some of them have small things that break constantly and the repairs are not cheap. The parts are expensive, not his labor.

                    1. re: MakingSense
                      flourgirl RE: MakingSense Feb 5, 2009 09:40 AM

                      Thank you for your little history lesson - you might be surprised to know that I was already aware of that little factoid. I'm not sticking my head in the oven and using a match to light my pilot light every time I have to turn on the oven. You go right ahead and do that if you like, but I'm not doing it.

                      1. re: MakingSense
                        OCEllen RE: MakingSense Feb 8, 2009 02:19 PM

                        The gas won't flow, period, if the igniter isn't working, a safety feature!

                        1. re: OCEllen
                          d
                          DGresh RE: OCEllen Feb 9, 2009 01:33 AM

                          I've heard about this feature on newer stoves. What a drag. That's always been a great trick when the power goes out. Mines still old enough (about 5 years) that the trick works.

                          1. re: OCEllen
                            m
                            MakingSense RE: OCEllen Feb 9, 2009 07:51 AM

                            What a dumb idea! Terrible for people who live in areas with frequent power outages. Many buy gas stoves and cooktops because they're dependable - even w/o electricity.
                            I wonder if there's a way to disable that "improvement" by the nanny-state.

                            1. re: MakingSense
                              flourgirl RE: MakingSense Feb 9, 2009 09:04 AM

                              If there is you will have a very hard time finding someone to do it - unless you can do it yourself. Nobody with a brain in their head will do this and not worry about being sued. (I'm not defending the nanny state, just pointing out the realities of a litigious society.) We faced a similar situation a while ago in terms of people being rightfully scared of being sued. We have an old Ford Bronco that does not have shoulder harnesses in the back seat. We were going to be traveling with our young son and needed the truck, but couldn't put his car seat in the truck without a shoulder harness. I found a harness system made for off-road vehicles online and asked our mechanic to install it and he refused because of the liability issues. Same with the Ford dealer. In fact, his suggestion was "buy a new truck." and I replied - "I'd be happy to, if you're paying." (Our truck is old, but has hardly any miles on it.) Anyway, we did finally find someone to install it - an old friend of ours whose a backyard mechanic and a bit of an outlaw himself. But I couldn't believe how ridiculous the situation was - I needed a harness - found said harness - it COULD be installed, but no one would do it thanks to the lawyers and the greedy people who feed them.

                    2. re: MakingSense
                      d
                      DGresh RE: MakingSense Feb 3, 2009 02:40 AM

                      My old oven was a GE (not profile), about 5 years old. (I replaced it redoing the kitchen to go to a more standard 30 inches from 27). It wasn't convection, but the fan went on for hours it seemed after using it. Drove my husband crazy; I didn't care. My new one doesn't do that.

                    3. f
                      FriedClamFanatic RE: CindyJ Feb 3, 2009 03:41 AM

                      Cindy

                      I have a set of Dacor ovens. Got them through the place that does kitchen makeovers on route 1 where it meets route 52...by the consignment shop. One is convection, one regular. Both electric (wife is deathly afraid of propane).

                      We've had them for over 10 years now, back when we re-modelled. Nice even heat. The only problem we have had was something in the self-clean feature went ker-flooey after about 7 years and we had to have a part replaced (was about $125 with the labor).

                      I keep old unglazed tiles in the bottom oven for cooking bread. Take them out if I need it for other cooking.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                        CindyJ RE: FriedClamFanatic Feb 3, 2009 05:58 AM

                        I'm trying to picture the kitchen makeover place you're referring to -- is it, maybe, just a little further south on Rt. 1, on the left as you head toward Kennett?

                        I'd love to get Dacor, but my budget won't allow it. I looked at ovens yesterday at ABC Appliances in Wilm. I saw the Dacor but it was almost twice the price of the others, and truthfully, I can't justify it. I replaced an old electric cooktop with a Dacor propane cooktop last year. But in that case, Dacor offered a product that was far superior to the others, given that I wanted gas, but had to use propane. It was money well spent.

                        1. re: CindyJ
                          f
                          FriedClamFanatic RE: CindyJ Feb 3, 2009 09:22 AM

                          It looks like a house......has great dahlias in summer...if you were coming up 52 and took the shortcut beside the consignment place to get on rt 1 north, they are right there on the right, just on rt 1

                          1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                            CindyJ RE: FriedClamFanatic Feb 3, 2009 10:10 AM

                            Wow! I probably pass that spot a couple of times a day, and never noticed it. Is there a sign outside?

                            1. re: CindyJ
                              f
                              FriedClamFanatic RE: CindyJ Feb 3, 2009 11:25 AM

                              there might be a very small one. Half of the bldg is their showroom/office, the other half their residence

                              1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                CindyJ RE: FriedClamFanatic Feb 3, 2009 01:14 PM

                                I'll have to pay closer attention next time I pass by.

                                1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                  CindyJ RE: FriedClamFanatic Feb 5, 2009 07:02 AM

                                  I *think* I saw the place you're referring to, right where that shortcut road comes out to Rt. 1. The only sign I could read as I drove by was one that said "Open." How did you ever know it was a kitchen place?

                                  1. re: CindyJ
                                    f
                                    FriedClamFanatic RE: CindyJ Feb 5, 2009 08:10 AM

                                    My wife found them when we remodelled.....probably through the architect or friends

                        2. alanbarnes RE: CindyJ Feb 5, 2009 10:09 AM

                          For an upcoming kitchen remodel I have my eye on the GE Trivection oven. It cooks with hot air like a regular oven, and can circulate it around for convection, but also adds halogen lamps for instant-on radiant cooking and a magnetron for microwaving. I'll pair it with the Advantium oven I already have - it's primarily a microwave, but also has halogen and convection features.

                          They may be a little gee-whiz, but after using the Advantium for a couple of years I'm sold.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: alanbarnes
                            CindyJ RE: alanbarnes Feb 5, 2009 02:40 PM

                            Well, another shopping trip this afternoon is leaving me even more confused. There are two double ovens that are being sold at deeply discounted prices. One is a floor sample, the other is a discontinued model. The first is Dacor, the other is Thermador. I can get either of them at a lower cost than the Electrolux (which has two convection ovens) and the Kitchen Aid, and for about the same price as the Bosch.

                            By the way, I don't know if this is true for the GE you're considering, but I've been told that many of the GE convection ovens don't have a separate heating element for the convection feature -- all they have is a fan that circulates the hot air. Maybe that's what you're referring to with the "Trivection." The three that I'm considering all have separate heating elements for the convection feature.

                            1. re: CindyJ
                              vicarious RE: CindyJ Feb 8, 2009 11:23 AM

                              Hi Cindy!
                              A year ago I replaced my six-year-old Thermador wall ovens (top convection, bottom regular ) with Dacor (both convection). I had already poured too much money into repairs on the Thermadors, and when I was facing a another massive repair bill, I opted to replace. IMO, the big negatives of Thermador are reliability and fan noise. The positives are that it has the largest interior capacity and cooks absolutely evenly in the convection modes. My Dacor, so far, has been problem free. It's also quieter and very well insulated. It does not, however, cook as evenly as the Thermador, so I end up moving pans around a lot. I also lost a few vertical inches of cooking space.

                              1. re: CindyJ
                                g
                                gordeaux RE: CindyJ Feb 8, 2009 11:54 AM

                                fwiw,
                                Thermador's reliability or customer service ranking was very low in the Consumer Reports rankings.

                                After all of my research. I went with the Icon "pro."
                                It's been installed for about a week now, but as tempting as it is, I'm going to wait for the cooktop and countertops to be installed before cooking in the new kitchen. Oh yeah, I should probably read the nanual too.

                                The research I did pointed me to Electrolux. The 20% off rebate made the Icon a slam dunk. All of the dealers I went to said elolux was price controlled like Viking, and that there was no way that Sears is going to approve my rebate (it was a mail in.)
                                I refused to take delivery until I got my rebate check. I had to call a few times, because of screw ups, but I actually got it! After a little more digging, I still don't know if I cheated the system. I read somewhere that regular Elolux is price controlled, but the Icon is not. (??)

                                Check out the garden web forum if you have not already:
                                http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/appl/

                                Although I have no firsthand exp yet, there have been some great posts about elolux customer service.

                                1. re: gordeaux
                                  f
                                  FriedClamFanatic RE: gordeaux Feb 8, 2009 02:08 PM

                                  I have a Thermador cooktop................one of the burners had intermittent response...........after several trials on at Thermador through my repair guys, we finally got the right part..........$250!

                                  a bit much for my book

                            2. s
                              shallots RE: CindyJ Feb 8, 2009 05:10 PM

                              My double ovens are about twelve years old, Jennaire, electric with the upper convection.
                              When I bought them, I looked at the pricier ones, and settled.
                              So far, I don't miss what I don't have.
                              (My cooktop is propane specifically for long term loss of power situations.)

                              I am short. The placement on the wall was decided by me, for me. Because I have heavy things that have to go in and six to eight inches higher makes a less safe loading for a lot of loaded cookware.

                              And re the loss of power: I chose many appliances so that I'm not greeted by blinking green lights if there's a break in electric service while we're out of the house. An electic wall clock tells us how long the electricity was out and if I have to worry about the frig.

                              1. CindyJ RE: CindyJ Feb 9, 2009 10:16 AM

                                The one feature that's keeping me from the Dacor is that unlike the Electrolux, Bosch and Thermador models I'm now considering, the Dacor does not have a hidden lower element. The more I look at ovens, the more certain I am that this is a feature I'd like to have. I know it may affect the preheat time, but for me that's not a major drawback.

                                And now this is going to sound like convoluted logic, but the more I think about the Electrolux, with all of the added features I'd get for exactly the same price as the Bosch, the more I'm leaning toward the Bosch. I'm thinking that all the features of the Electrolux make it sound almost "too good to be true." The Electrolux has two convection ovens, four glide-out shelves and a glass touch-screen control panel, whereas the Bosch has one convection oven, no glide-out shelves and manually-controlled knobs. For an additional $150 I can move up to the next model of Bosch more and get a second convection oven, one glide-out shelf and a glass touch-screen control panel.

                                Added to the information overload, I've been told that Electrolux appliances are made by Frigidaire -- not a positive point my book. One salesman told me that since Electrolux ovens have only been available for a couple of years, he hasn’t had enough experience with them to be able to compare their reliability with some of the other brands. And I’ve just read through some of the posts on the gardenweb link that gordeaux offered (thanks, gordeaux!) and it seems that Electrolux owners have had problems with the temperature control.

                                I wasn't aware of the problems with Thermador (which I'm told is made by Bosch) reliability and fan noise. I also don't know the "history" of the specific Thermador model I looked at that's been discontinued and deeply discounted, and don’t know if there’s a problem with buying an oven that's already been removed from the carton.

                                So where am I? Right now I’m leaning in the direction of the upgraded Bosch, which is the most expensive of all the ovens on my list. Choice #2 is a tie between the discontinued Thermador and the lower level Bosch. The Thermador, BTW, is about $600 LESS than the upgraded Bosch. My bottom choice (for convoluted reasons) is the Electrolux with all the features I’m looking for, and then some. I think I’ve completely lost my ability to rationalize and I’m going NUTZO!!!!

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: CindyJ
                                  f
                                  FriedClamFanatic RE: CindyJ Feb 9, 2009 04:10 PM

                                  time to roll the dice, Cindy.....or use one of those magic 8 balls! Remember, the oven is only 10% of the equation.......the chef and the recipe is the other 90%

                                  1. re: CindyJ
                                    g
                                    gordeaux RE: CindyJ Feb 10, 2009 04:06 AM

                                    CindyJ -

                                    I'm not saying that this is correct, but I read somewhere that Elolux actually has been making ovens for other brands for years. Most of their appliances do seem to pack more features for the price. The reason is, as it was explained to me, is that you are not paying a premium for repackaging. You are purchasing a product in a more direct fashion instead of buying a product that another mfr has put their name on, and thusly wants a piece of the pie. Again, I'm not saying that it's correct, but I read it somewhere (can't remember where.) I'm just saying that if that's a make/break part of the deal for, you might want to dig a little further, and get the truth about it. As far as Frigidaire making Elolux appliances, that seems a little bit suspect, as Elolux dishwashers follow the European model (no heated dry cycle, stainless tub, no food grinder.) I'm not saying that Frigidaire doesn't make their appliances, it just seems a little suspect to me. And oh yeah, you might not have a eureka moment, don't pull your hair out. My decision was based primarily on features, price, customer service, and looks. The 20% rebate I got on the Icon made my choice fairly simple, but if I couldn't get it, I would have gone with the regular Elolux 30 inch double. Good luck! And be sure to check for rebates from whatever brand you choose.

                                    1. re: gordeaux
                                      CindyJ RE: gordeaux Feb 10, 2009 05:53 AM

                                      The rebates I've been finding all seem to be applied to multi-appliance purchases, but I'll look a little more. Once I've settled on an oven, I'll probably be able to negotiate my way to a bit of a savings.

                                      I have to remind myself to look at the larger picture, too. What I mean is, $600 is what's separating the two models I'm now considering. $600! In the grand scheme of things, that's a small price difference to pay for the ovens I really want. And, if I can close that gap with a little negotiating, all the better.

                                      I did read the Consumer Reports report on wall ovens, and the service/repair data convinced me to knock Thermador out of the running. So as of right now, it looks like I'm going to get the Bosch HBL8650. And I think I'm going to be very happy with them.

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