One shot to install a gas range/ range-oven
My crappy electric glass cooktop cracked. I have the appropriate gas line to install it for the kitchen. I have one shot to pick the right appliance. Thoughts? I will take any and all input; don't know whether we will spend top cash or mid-range for an acceptable second.
We suffered for almost a decade with an anemic, glass top range that showed ever fingerprint smudge, required scouring pads and razor blades to remove 90% of the baked on strawberry preserves, you could ever tell from the dial how hot a burner might become, and other disappointments. We had one shot to turn it all around and move up to gas stovetop as part of a serious gut and rebuild makeover. We spent almost a year doing the research, checking out the websites, visiting the showrooms, going to food prep receptions and then test cooking on our top 4 or 5 stoves and baking in several ovens. What worked for us may have no relation to your needs , expectations, images, etc but the one aspect of our process that is transferable is the research. We were probably completely insane in the effort we put into the search, but we had been so disappointed with our prior cook appliance purchase.....(which happened to be a consumer report best buy that we followed like lemmings to the sea) that we refused to buy on blind faith again. We researched and hired a designer of commercial kitchens and we imposed on our relationship with a couple local chefs who's restaurants we patronize. We then did four or five rounds of architectural drawings at a very large scale to coordinate every bleeping detail we could imagine including ordering a full mock up of one of the cabinets to dry fit in place and schlepp when we were selecting our stone slabs for countertops. We were anal about the hunt. In the end, we were thrilled, no surprises, no gaps and a gas stove that does everything our old CR BB failed at.
Same thing happened to us. Got a KitchenAid. The gas oven is fine. One of the burners is good. One is meh. The other two suck. Moral: buy plenty of burner power. Also, we have had the motherboard fail twice. I'd look for something with no computer chips in it, but that is probably a Luddite fantasy.
We were in that situation as well. We researched it to death. You might want to take a look at the Gardenweb appliance forum. There are lots of opinions there. We spent $10,000 on a range and wall oven that never worked. After 7 mos of replacements and repairs they did buy them back. We then were gun shy to buy. This was around 5 years ago and we now have a range and oven we love. There is no perfect range but one that will fit your needs the best.
What I learned and if I were buying now-
Read as much as you can and try to understand the different features and how they relate to your cooking style. Avoid internet hype and hype from sales people. Read the appliance use and care manuals (online) for any appliance you are considering.
If you can try to cook on the range you are considering. At least see the range in person. We did drive almost 300 miles to see one range we were considering and did not buy it based on that trip.
Buy from a reputable dealer. Read reviews about the dealers you are considering. This can be almost as important as the appliance if you have problems. They have more leverage with the manufacturer than you do. Get all terms of the sale and extended warranties in writing. I would give them a few prebuying tasks and see how they respond. If they don't respond before the sale, then you know what it will be like after the sale. When we bought our second oven they had a two week window to return it.
Put it on a credit card. You will have certain rights then if it doesn't work out of the box. The warranty starts at delivery usually so whatever you buy put it in right away and use it. Run the self clean if you have it a few times within the warranty period. If you have any problems, get on it and document everything. Pay strict attention to the warranty period and be very firm in dealing with any problems. If they miss a time frame they give you get on them.
If you buy anything with electronics buy the longest extended warranty you can. They can be subject to failure.
Gas any day of the week. Flame and heat are instantly adjustable. Gas is very cheap today (due to modern fracking tech) and if lucky your utility is pricing it lower or will do so in the future when it negotiates new supply contracts. I have electric and wish I had gas. Just heard my local utility (FPL) is moving to using more natural gas for making electricity and phasing out coal and others.......
So if your utility is burning natural gas to make electricity....... You are going to take that electricity to cook food? It is much more efficient for you to burn that gas directly for your cooking instead of them doing it for you. By the time your utility burns natural gas, makes electric from it and transmits the electric into your house>>> You have lost at least 40% of the natural gas heating value. But when you burn that natural gas you get 100% of its heat
Even if I got 100% hydro electric into my house I would still get a gas stove, the fuel of the future. Propane is also very good. I see 4 huge propane tanks at the rear of my local Chinese restaurant. No restaurant will ever cook with electric if gas is an economic enough option, most especially a Chinese one with those huge blow torch burners for huge woks
I have no natural gas lines here. I would have to go propane. And I just might but so far it is too expensive for a new install with all the plumbing etc. If the plumbing was there I would move to propane tomorrow
Other than my home experience using, at present, a KA that was about a grand five years ago, I have cooked a fair amount on an old Chambers I liked, a newer (25 years old) Chambers I also liked, a Viking a couple of years ago that was surprisingly "meh," a Jenn-air that was probably developed by the devil, and a true commercial older Wolf I loved. I have a coworker who got a fancy new GE that was pricey but has four high powered burners. If I were in the market I'd check it out. If I were looking at cooktops as well, I once had a Thermador I liked a lot and I have used a Dacor that was very nice.
I recently bought a portable induction cooktop. I'm really liking the speed, efficiency, and safety of induction. The unit is way easier to clean than other burners that I've used gas, electric coil, and radiant glass.
Heat is distributed evenly when I cook eggs. It has digital temperature control. Induction reacts better than gas because it heats faster and cools down just as quickly. I've only had the unit for almost a week and I already like it more than my non pro gas stove. You have a second vote to check out induction.