double wall ovens vs 48" double range and related appliance Qs.
Hi everyone. We're contemplating a kitchen redo and hoping you would share an opinion. I've never had more than 1 oven and want 2 because I like to bake. I currently have a 5 year old Dacor gas convection range which I never liked. The cooktop is good, but the oven temp control has always sucked. Worse than anything I've ever had and I'm including all the crappy apts I've lived in as a college student!
I'd prefer electric ovens and a gas cooktop.
So if you had the space for either config would you choose double electric wall ovens with a seperate gas cooktop or a 48" dual fuel range? Why?
Do you think the small oven on the 48" is that useful?
A 48" cooktop seems huge. If seperate range/cooktop what width would you prefer?
Do you have a seperate warming drawer; use it much?
Microwave: prefer wall or drawer model?
Thanks for your help!
There's a very similar thread going on right now here:
Reitred Chef has given some great advice there, as well as here, and I've also made a fairly long contribution there that discusses things from a more "house design/architectural" viewpoint, as well as how you socialize in your kitchen. You might find it helpful.
But I also want to underscore RC's comments about induction. It truly is rearkable, and even if you have to pay to bring 220V into your kitchen, it will pay for itself. Induction is the MOST economical way to use energy for cooking on the market today. Yes. More economical than gas. And it is even more responsive than gas, believe it or not. But it does require ferrous metal pots and pans to work. It cooks with magnetic waves, much as a microwave cooks with that energy If induction hobs get hot, it's from heat transference from the cooking vessel, because the magnetic waves excite the ferrous metal, thereby generating heat within the pan. There are probably lots of stores near you where you can check them out. But then check prices on the web, because I did just that and beat the prices of any and all brick and mortar places on my appliances. Good luck!
Hi everyone. Thanks for all the input and Caroline, appreciate the link too. I'm fairly new to CH and just getting the hang of keeping track of threads. Kitchen plans were on the back burner for the summer and now it's time to get on it. I didn't know much about induction and it sounds like I need to seriously look into that. Thanks for the education!
I have a 48” Wolf AND double wall ovens AND double warming drawers, however I cook/entertain a whole lot and they all get used constantly.
There is no one size fits all answer because it depends upon what you cook and HOW you cook. I am constantly starting items on the range and finishing in the ovens below so I would find it a pain to not have them. However I would also find it a pain to have only 1 ½ ovens you get with the 48” range.
The second item you have to think about is configuration of your 48” – all burners, French top, griddle, or grill.
Personally I don’t recommend the French top for a home because they are expensive to run, create a lot of heat and take a while to warm up. Everyone one of my restaurants used French tops and they serve their purposes but I would never put one in my home.
The griddle option to me seems pretty senseless unless you just love cooking pancakes, grilled cheese and teppanyaki 5 times a week. If you do then go for it otherwise buy yourself a high quality griddle that goes on top of the burners for the rare occasions you may want to cook up a batch of pancakes.
The main reason I brought the Wolf was because of the grill, they have a true infrared ceramic grill that will heat your grates to over 1000 degrees and that is with the blank-off plate installed. So you can get real seared meats on the grill, add a nice hood and a wood-chip box and you can mimic cooking over wood so closely that you could fool 99% of the people. If that is not your thing than you might want to seriously consider how many burners you will be using on a regular basis. 4-5? Than it might be time to consider a 36” cooktop and the double wall ovens. Take the money you save and invest it into warming drawers is you entertain a lot.
If you have more questions please ask – I work part-time as a demonstration chef for an appliance retailer so I have cooked on many of the brands available.
One other thought – if you are going to go the cook-top route have you looked into induction??? I would and I am a stubborn old guy who loves gas, but within 5-10 years induction will have at least 50-70% of the market share if not more – mark my words.
Thank you everyone for the great info! You've given me a lot to think about and also helped me narrow it down.
With this info in mind I headed to an appliance showroom armed with some baking pans/trays and now I'm definitely I'm leaning toward double wall ovens instead of a 48" range. While I have the space to accomodate the latter it really is deeper and more prominent than the look I'm going for. The smaller oven doesn't help my baking needs and man, some of those oven doors are so heavy I thought I'd dislocate a shoulder! Ergonomically it would be much easier to deal with a full Le Creuset from a wall oven.
Hmmm haven't thought about cooktop config since I've never had more than 3 burners going at once and never had a grill or griddle. Retired Chef thanks for your thoughts on that. I never made a pancake in my life so don't need a griddle and I was thinking it would probably be a pain to keep clean. I'll skip the French cooktop too, Don't need any more expense or heat in the kitchen.
I don't need more powerful burners than what my Dacor provides. If anything I need less since simmer always becomes boil even with a simmer plate. Annoying.
I live in a warm climate and have a gas grill just outside my kitchen and we cook out there as much as in, but I can see the benefit of having a small grill in the same area where I'm cooking everything else. Retired Chef do you use your grill option a lot and is that easy to clean? I'm concerned grilling inside will leave lingering cooking smells even if I have a powerful hood. Weird air currents in my house that draw smells (cooking, flowers, etc) to the open stairway to our 2nd floor. Hopefully the remodel will take care of that since the smell of braised short ribs lingering 2 days later is not enjoyable!
Oh almost forgot, induction cooktop? No I haven't looked at that since currently we don't have 220V in our kitchen and gas seems to be the norm in my area. Hmmm maybe I should check it our. I always assumed electric would be more expensive and take longer to heat a pot of water, no? Is it easier to maintain a simmer with electric?
Thanks for your help!
>>>Retired Chef do you use your grill option a lot and is that easy to clean?
I use it a lot, but that is my style of cooking and I live in a harsher climate (avg winter temp is about 25F) When I lived in SoCal we used the grill outside and I didn’t even think about this option.
>>>I'm concerned grilling inside will leave lingering cooking smells even if I have a powerful hood.
I have a custom designed hood (very powerful) and depending upon what I am grilling there are times that the hood can’t keep up, so given where you live and this reason I would probably suggest you grill outdoors.
>>>Oh almost forgot, induction cooktop? No I haven't looked at that since currently we don't have 220V in our kitchen and gas seems to be the norm in my area. Hmmm maybe I should check it our. I always assumed electric would be more expensive and take longer to heat a pot of water, no?
NO – Not induction, it’s a completely different type of electric technology than what you think of. It boils water faster than gas and it is cheaper to use because it is much more efficient. I honestly HATED electric stoves and did not believe any of the hype I heard about induction (too good to be true I thought). Then this curmudgeon actually tried one and I was blown away.
>>>Is it easier to maintain a simmer with electric?
How would you like to go from a roiling boil to a true simmer – instantaneously? Done with induction – absolute simplicity.
Look at this site for more information about induction cooking
Then try one at your local retailer, I love the blue flame, I have worked with gas for 60+ years and I cannot stress how fantastic induction truly is.
dear retired chef, i am writing from ontario, canada. i am interested in double wall ovens. 24" size. i am looking at porter and charles (distributed in canada by euroline). do you know anything about the line. one of my concerns is the noise of venting. is there any product that is considered quiet.
I like separate double wall ovens because they keep the oven heat away from me while I am cooking on the separate cooktop. That is the practical reason, but there is another reason: All of the upscale homes in our neighborhood have high end cooktops and double wall ovens. They tend to look nicer in the kitchen than a big, hulking range that puts out lots of heat and cannot sit flush with most cabinets, even custom made. A friend of mine did a beautiful kitchen, but made a mistake when she put a pro-style range in and didn't do wall ovens. Her range stuck out about eight or nine inches past her custom cabinets. That would bother me. This, however, is an esthetic issue, and it will not bother some people. The practical reason is what I included in the first sentence of this paragraph, which is that I don't want oven heat making me even more hot while trying to cook on the cooktop.
Smaller overs can be used for most pots and small roasting pans, but not half trays. Keep that in mind when you choose a 48 inch range with a full size and small oven if you like to bake. I personally miss my old warming drawer and use one of my ovens on very low to accomplish the same task. Food stays warmer when served on warm serving plates, and it is useful to keep portions of your meal warm as they finish at different times.
I have both a wall microwave, which came with my house, and a large countertop model. I use the countertop model twenty times more often that the wall microwave because the wall microwave sits on top of my double wall ovens, and it is very high for me to work with safely. I put it in use when I have a lot going on in the kitchen, but not unless I really need to.
Hope this helps -- this is just my opinion.
I've got a 36 inch cooktop and at least for me it's plenty big. Five burners, and I don't think I've *ever* had all 5 going. Plus when I was making decisions in my kitchen there is *always* a tradeoff off counter and/or cabinet space. No way would I want to give up 12 inches of counter space for 12 more inches of cooktop.
If I were able to go bigger than my current 36 incher, I would. It gets crowded with too many big pots. I had to stick with that size because of the limitations of existing cabinetry that I was keeping.
40 inches is not that much bigger than 36 inches, and it may make the difference in being able to put a number of large pots on adjacent burners comfortably versus crowding. Make a couple of paper templates the diameter of your largest pots when you shop, and see how well they all fit over adjacent burners. If I could have, I would have gone 48 inches, no kidding, but I had to live with smaller.
BTW, those built in griddles and grills are terrible to keep clean, so if that is what is prompting you to go for a bigger cooktop, think carefully about where your cooktop is and how it will look if it is discolored a bit. My cooktop is full front and center on an island, so esthetics are important and I avoided the grill/griddle. If I had one facing the wall, I might have gone for them.
Is there a significant amount of hot air being transferred into the room when the oven is wall mounted? I think I read somewhere that the range hood helps to extract the hot air that the oven puts out.
Also between the 36” and 40” cook tops, is the difference between the two just how much room is between the burners? Or is there an extra burner?
There are all kinds of configurations for the cooktop. For me, five burners with a little more room might have been nicer than what I have currently. I have four with a bridge, so I have some flexibiity, but I also occasionally need several large pots or pans and they are very close to each other on the cooktop. Five, in a larger cooktop, can be spaced out a bit better if you look.
My wall ovens are electric, and I do not find that they are putting out heat into the kitchen that makes it too hot to stand near them, but you won't be standing near them for too long a period of time at any point. Frankly, I am not sure how they are vented, as these were here when I moved in. They may be venting into the kitchen, as I can see some vents in the front and they get hot, but I don't think much is being vented. I can see that a hood over the cooktop might pull some heat up, but the last time I cooked on a Jenn Air range, I found that I felt really hot if the oven was on and I needed to stand at the cooktop.
Ditto Retired Chef on a warming drawer, but two would be more than I would ever need, and I regularly do parties. When I have a very large group, I am onto steam chafing dishes, and anything that could benefit from a warming drawer is generally cooked for a smaller audience. It's up to you. Like I said, you can also fake it by setting your over at 200 degrees or a little less, but you need to be a bit more vigilant. Warming drawers will never set your covered food on fire, but an oven might.
The concept of a pro style range is really one of personal preference. They are wonderful, especially if you really require a high output burner or two, say for a wok. However you can get cooktops from the very same manufacturers and configure that way. I would imagine that if I cooked in a restaurant for my whole life, I might be predisposed to one, but I don't have a background like RC below. I am more concerned with what the kitchen looks like when it is not in use, as we all need to sell our expensive houses at some point. Let's face it, most people barely use these things to reheat takeout food, so the idea of the pro-style range may be appealing to some, but not to others in terms of what it looks like. Pulling food off the burners and putting them into wall ovens or ovens below the cooktop, as in a range, is really not any different. I cook on the cooktop and finish in the oven too, and turning around and putting the pan in the oven is not a big deal. It's not like I have to walk into the next room to open the oven door.
As I said, for most of us, this is an esthetic thing. My friend who did a pro-range in her kitchen doesn't cook much, and she was basically trying to replicate her idea of a high end kitchen. I cook, and I would have been annoyed by a mini oven instead of two full size wall ovens, and it would also bother me that my expensive custom cabinetry did not sit flush with the hulking range, pretty and impressive as the piece is, red knobs included. This is a personal decision.