What range upgrades are worth the money?
OK, so after 10 years of getting by with the oven/range that came with our house, the Mrs. and I are upgrading --- and discovering that ranges are complicated.
We are waffling over whether to buy one of those split-oven jobs -- with separate 2 cf and a 4cf ovens that can be set at different temperatures. We are also waffling over whether to get a basic quick-convect or "true convection" or "third coil" convection.
I feel like I'd love the split oven -- but only once every three months when I'm really roasting, and am not sure it's worth the extra money. The wife is charmed by the idea of a quick-heating small oven, but I'm skeptical the preheating is *that* much faster.
I'd much appreciate any of y'all's perspective.
I had a Maytag Gemini, with the small oven on top, for awhile and I liked the little oven. It heated quickly(5 min) but this would depend on the size of the element. There have been some people complain that their little oven only had a 120v supply(not sure of wattage) so didn't heat well. The only problem with the small oven is that the element is closer to the food and anything with a high sugar content would burn. I compensated by preheating the oven to about 25-50 degrees higher than called for. By the time I opened the door and put muffins in, it would take a while for the element to come back on. It worked pretty good. It also functioned as a toaster. I kind of missed it when it was gone. I now have a Wolf range with a 36 inch oven and a 30 Electrolux convection oven. The Elux takes 7-8 minutes to get to 350 but the Wolf takes 20 minutes. There are all different preheat time for ovens and some take longer because there is more bulk to heat and they may be more stable in the end. The radiant heat is also very important in even baking. The third element is beneficial in keeping the temp even if you fully load the oven. Ovens are very hard to compare feature to feature, like third element, because the features can work very differently brand to brand. The way the elements come on within the different modes is proprietary. Some ovens have an all convection mode. Most ovens with third element convection also have the ability to direct heat differently for roasting vs baking. Wolf and KA have dual third elements and fans. I have been very happy with my ovens. The down side to the electronics necessary for the third element is that some brands have had them fry when the oven self cleans. I would definitely get the longest extended warranty you can get if you go that route. I personally have not had issues but they are out there.
This may only be somewhat relevent. We have a seperate range top and oven, but I would think the principles apply regardless. We have a full convection oven and a smaller "speed oven" convection/microwave. The "speed oven" can operate like a standard convection oven and in our case, it heats up much faster than the standard convection oven that sits below it. Simple physics at play here, the smaller volume of air heats up more quickly. It's great when you need two temperatures or if you are only cooking a small dish.
Do you mean side-by-side or over/under? Gas or electric? I wouldn't think a large side-by-side would be worth the space and cost unless both ovens were in regular use. The over/under design seems inconvenient to me. I like a gas range with a conventional single-oven configuration. If I wanted a smaller, faster second oven, I would add a countertop electric oven.
"The wife is charmed by the idea of a quick-heating small oven, but I'm skeptical the preheating is *that* much faster."
Seen an Electrolux 30" induction range in action. The second lower oven does NOT heat up any faster. No scientific proof though. Maybe other brands score better?