Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Jun 15, 2012 12:03 PM

Selecting a new range

This is a cross-post from gardenweb. I thought the folks over here might have some thoughts:

Just bought a new home requiring a complete kitchen renovation. I'm trying to pick a gas range. Any thoughts on the choices below would be very much appreciated!

1. Dual fuel or all gas? My current range is dual fuel, and I understand it has some benefits, but it seems my options for ranges are greatly reduced if I go that route. For instance, I was interested in Capital, but I don't see a dual fuel option from them.

2. The importance of sealed/open burners? I hear a lot about the ease of cleaning on the sealed burners and equally enthusiastic reviews of the power and efficiency of the open burners. What say you?

3. Self-clean ovens? My current range has a self-cleaning oven, but I've honestly never used it, and believe me, the oven gets used. I just haven't ever encountered a mess in there that couldn't get cleaned up pretty quickly with a sponge and some water. Convince me I need a self-cleaning oven!

4. Griddle or Grill or extra burners? I'm considering a 36" range for the extra oven space. If I do that, I'd like to get a grill on top, but I've heard from many people that grilling indoors is a disaster. Grease everywhere. Smoke. Hard to clean. Is this true? Even if you have proper venting? Even if most of your grilling is limited to seafood and vegetables? If not a grill, is the griddle a good bet or should I just go with extra burners? If you have a griddle, how often and how do you use it?

5. I know this is a can of worms, but what brands do you prefer? I've been looking at Capital, American Range, Wolf and DCS (Fisher Paykel). I liked BlueStar, but my wife killed that option based on aesthetics. What about Electrolux and Kitchen-Aid? I've heard good things about those. Also, I read the Consumer Reports reviews of most of the ranges I've been looking at, and CR pretty much panned them all. What gives?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. My sister has a Wolf with the griddle and absolutely loves it.

    1. Thank you for starting this post! We are in a similar boat except that the kitchen in our new home is so nice, but has one of those stupid flat top ceramic electric stoves. The furnace is directly below the kitchen so we are going to have a pipe-fitter come in to install the gas line and range. We are looking at Jenn-Air and KitchenAid for ranges, and a 30' range. Will check back to see opinions!

      1. I wouldn't have a grill on a range without extremely good venting. If the vent is overhead, duct work should run from it to the outside. The range hoods with filters and which are not connected to the outside, are lousy,. I can see a grill making a horrible mess if the smoke can't be vented to the outside. I don't know anything about the Jenn Air type vents.

        I am starting to look at ranges too, as it is possible I might have to buy one in future. I can say this--if you can, get the 36". I find my 30" too small for my needs. If you like to cook you will want to be able to fit multiple pans on your burners without handle interference. However, I also want to state that I currently use an electric.

        On brands, if I do get to have a new cooktop or range, I want to look at Bosch. If their cooktops and ranges are as good as their dishwashers, they would be gold.

        I would also want a high heat burner of some sort.

        I've only ever had electric self cleaning ovens. Decades ago the gas self cleans were not so good, but apparently they have improved. I prefer an electric oven, actually. I also prefer self clean. If you buy a good oven, you will probably have to buy self clean. I use the self clean cycle several times a year, and I prefer it to using oven cleaner like Easy Off. If you never have bad messes in the oven, then you wouldn't need to run it very often.

        1. Kurth, if you really want a grill and are worried about too much smoke in your house, you might consider a range with a downdraft as well. I wonder if the added venting from that would greatly reduce the amount of smoke that a grill produces. If you are getting a 36' range (lucky), then a downdraft probably wouldn't take up too much room on the range itself; I think I've seen 30' ranges with a downdraft so it's quite possible that might work.

          1. I had a Jenn-Air with an indoor grill in my last house and never had a problem with smoke or grease. In fact, if there was some other nasty odor in the house, say from something gone bad in the refrigerator, all I had to do was run the Jenn-Air exhaust for a few minutes and it would get rid of it. That said, the Jenn-Air was underpowered, in terms of BTUs to the grill and gas burners, so I didn't consider getting another one after I moved. Though the oven was the best I've ever owned by far.

            We moved across the country and bought a house with no gas and a #%$&*! flat top electric cooktop. My husband really liked the house and promised we'd get gas and a new stove if I'd agree to buy the house. It took two years, but we finally did, and I got a Bluestar cooktop. I love it, and if my husband were foolish enough to say he didn't like its looks, I'd kick him out of the kitchen for keeps.