Your experience with new fangled stove design
I've been looking at new ranges (oven/stove combo) and noticed a new design.
The big eyes (2) are at the front and the smaller ones (2 or 3) or at the back of the stove.
Maybe I'm just too much of a creature of habit, but I don't think I'd like this arrangement. I often am using 3 or even 4 burners at once. I don't mind reaching over a pan to stir a small pot behind it. I don't like the idea of having to reach over a large pot to check on a smaller pot. I know me, I'd get a whole new batch of kitchen scars doing that!
Do you have this design? Do you like it? Aside from being able to squeeze in a 5th burner, is there any other benefit to this configuration?
My mother's has a similar configuration, and I actually prefer it. Hers is electric though, and I have had good fortune in not burning myself reaching the back. I do know, though, that when i've tried to put large pots in the back they don't fit centered on the element because they are too large and hit the back of the oven, so perhaps in trying to squeeze 5 burners they need the flat surface in the front to fit large pots?
We rent, and our landlady knows nothing about stoves. All she knows is that we use gas. With the old stove, which had every part break down within six months, she asked why I needed an oven, for instance.
This time, I asked her for a new stove instead of a second-hand one, and that it have a real broiler, plus auto-clean. She said that gas stoves weren't available with broilers. Hmmmm....
Before it was delivered, she called to tell me that she'd found one with a broiler; not only that, it had two large burners, one with very high heat. I was thrilled and thanked her profusely. It's a nice stove, but the larger burners are in front. I thought that was completely illogical for the same reason as meatn3 does. However, TeRReT makes an excellent point. I have difficulty with regular pots' fitting between the burner top and the back. A stock pot, which I normally would place in back, would never fit properly. So maybe that's the reason.
I'm used to it by now--it's been two months.
Can I say I love your use of the phrase 'new fangled'?
I think TeRReT is right, a back control panel breaches the cooking space and would not allow a taller pot to be fully on a large burner. Mine is set up that way, and only on one of the back burners(that's a little larger) can I put my extra tall saucepan.
Most stoves seem to be designed this way now. But, look more closely and you'll notice that many have a staggared design. My own stove has the back burners offset so you don't have to reach over, you can reach through. I have not had any issues with my configuration. If everyone got kitchen scars from this design they wouldn't be able to keep selling them, I think you're pretty safe. When I was buying, I wanted controls on the front because I thought I'd get burned reaching over the cooktop, but I've come to like the controls on the back and have never burned myself.
Bring your pans to the store and play with them on the stove (or cardboard cutouts of their actual diameter). I did that to find a stove that fit my 12" pans -- some with 12" burners had a lip on the edge of the stove that pushed the pan off the burner, if you can believe such a stupid design.
I don't know that it's all that new - the flat-top electric stove in our place is probably 15 years old and it has its smallest burner at the back, directly behind the largest one. It is sometimes annoying, but I do find myself using the larger burner much more often than the small one, so if it were reversed I might be even more annoyed.
The full arrangement of the burners is:
Front left, large
Rear left, small
Front right, medium
Rear right, medium but with a secondary section that can be optionally turned on, creating a larger oval-shaped heating area (perfect for my oval-shaped Le Creuset dutch oven).
Thanks everyone - this design is making more sense after reading the responses.
I had queried the "sales" people at 3 places about the styling. Everyone of them said people hated it and that they had no idea why the manufacturers were configuring in this way. How can you sell when you offer that up? But that is a thread for another site...