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Appliances: What Would GE's Sis' Do?


pax
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Cooktops- I have bought a new house which has an old coil type electric range. I tried to cook on it and it was horrible and wimpy. In my current house I have a Viking Pro 6 burner which I have a love/hate relationship with, love to cook on it, hate to clean it. I am used to gas and there is an existing gas line into the house. On the other hand, I am seeing people sing the praises of these ceramic induction cooktops, and I wonder if I'm missing out.

Ovens- I hate my Jenn Air convection oven. I find the baking function makes little difference, but I do like the convection roast. The oven itself is just a pain, the racks don't work for me, it has hot spots (even when the fan is on), the panel computer has gone out twice at $300 a pop. I'm looking at things called Trivection and Invection and VectionVection and TurboVection and I am totally lost. Any advice on ovens? I am not a big baker, so I don't need this to be Super Appliance. I like wall ovens.

Please, if you have the time to let let me know what you have and what you like and what you'd do, I'd love some opinions.

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I'll take a stab, though I think you might be get a good answer searching online, if no one else posts. I grew up on gas ranges, and really love them. Especially the professional lines, because of the higher btus and the speed I can get things stir-fried. In this current house, there's no gas line, and I've had to resort to electric. I'm actually liking it, though I don't think it's any easier to clean the coils. I have found that replacing the coils (they're usually sold at Home Depot or order online, if you have GE) helps the wimpiness of the heat, if that's your main problem. I don't know too much about ceramic induction cooktops, though I've heard if you wait another year, you won't have to install a cooktop, as there are some prototype stand-alones (I may be wrong about this). But that's the biggest turn-off for me: the cooktop. I like the stand-alone feel, but I can't explain why. I guess I've had this notion that it's easier to replace if something ever goes wrong. I also don't think induction tops are any easier to clean, as things can get stuck on them and be hard to clean off as the other types.

As for ovens, if you don't like convections, I've heard that electrics (new models) are getting just as good results as convections, if not better. I've not heard many good things about the Jenn Air convection (for one reason or another), so it may just be yours. But I enjoyed my former convection (DCL), as it did cook faster, heated well all-around, etc. I enjoy my current electric oven as well.

I really like gas stoves (since I grew up cooking on gas), so I would recommend getting this over the others. So my thought is to replace coils for a short-term fix; save up and figure out how much the gas line would accommodate for what gas stove, and see if an electric oven comes with it.

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I've lived in three apartments this year alone, and all have had that glass-top stoves. On the bright side, if you have a small kitchen, they give you extra counter space when you're not cooking, which is handy in most DC apartments. But other than that, I'm not fond of them. If something boils over, it immediately seals onto the surface and is incredibly hard to clean off (though I've heard there are some specialty products that are made to clean most things off these cooktops). In addition, the shiny glass wears into dull circles where the burners are, so it doesn't look pretty after a while. And--this one is totally personal--on the worn burners, shaking your pan makes a scraping sound on the stove top that totally skeeves me out.

I suppose it's all what you're used to, but I was raised with a gas stove, and to me it's still my number one choice.

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I have a Thermador cooktop and love it, except for the cleaning. It is a star burner version and it is a pain to clean. If you go to gas, get one with sealed burners that are preferable plain old round as those will be the easiest to clean. Get a cooktop as big as you are willing to go, you'll love having extra burners. If you stir fry, make sure one of the burners is a bigger btu burner than the rest if possible. We have a 5 burner cooktop but it would have been even better if it was a 6 burner IMO.

Wall ovens. My wife and I love to bake so we did a double wall oven by Miele and we love it. Highly recommended it has numerous baking, roasting, proofing, dehydrating and other settings. The convection works very well and no hot spots whatsoever. Expensive though.

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I have a Thermador cooktop and love it, except for the cleaning. It is a star burner version and it is a pain to clean. If you go to gas, get one with sealed burners that are preferable plain old round as those will be the easiest to clean. Get a cooktop as big as you are willing to go, you'll love having extra burners. If you stir fry, make sure one of the burners is a bigger btu burner than the rest if possible. We have a 5 burner cooktop but it would have been even better if it was a 6 burner IMO.

Wall ovens. My wife and I love to bake so we did a double wall oven by Miele and we love it. Highly recommended it has numerous baking, roasting, proofing, dehydrating and other settings. The convection works very well and no hot spots whatsoever. Expensive though.

Different strokes....I don't think I'd ever get a sealed burner, as the "droppings" pool in the cavities as opposed to dropping down to the slide out pan underneath. Before we had our pro-style stoves, I thought I'd want sealed burners. Our first stove, a 36'" Viking 4 burner+grill, had an enamel top that did need to be wiped down, but not as often as a sealed burner would. It needed extra care especially when we used the grill. (grease goes everywhere, so I mention that to consider if you are looking at an indoor grill) Our current stove is a BlueStar 30" 4 burner, and we love it. I don't miss the extra oven space in the 36" since it takes longer to heat up, especiallly since the BlueStar oven fits 2 half sheet pans on one rack. The entire top is cast iron so we rarely have to clean it. I really love that feature! Our second wall oven is electric, and the one we use most often. It is a GE Monogram European style that we picked up only because it was a steal at $500. It has convection, which I wanted, but is a smaller size than most. (Our last wall oven was a Jenn-Air--servicable, but not great.) We initally looked at the trivection, etc. but all those bells and whistles are more temptations then what we use on day to day basis. I know now that they would be more hassle for us than they're worth. I'm not familiar as much with the induction cooktops, but I know my sister and my mom both have ceramic and neither raves about it, but again it looks nice and does give the extra "counter" space when needed. My mom has complained about cleaning it.

Here's a link for the BlueStar. Some people have had issues with them, we've had one issue that was remedied quickly and easily and have had ours for 2 1/2 years already. We really love it and it's utilitarian appearance (all the colors weren't available when we got ours) and I would be happy to answer any questions you may have about it.

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Please, if you have the time to let let me know what you have and what you like and what you'd do, I'd love some opinions.

If you use cast iron or enamel cookware on a regular basis, make sure that if you opt for an induction cooktop, it can handle them. My brother has a ceramic induction stovetop and he regrets not paying extra for the gas stove (which was an option when moving into his new house). I don't recall off the top of my head what brand he has, but he cannot use cast-iron or enamel pots and pans as they get too hot and can cause the stovetop to shatter. Whee! Hot shattering ceramic!

If you don't use cast iron/enamel, don't worry.

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There seems to be some misunderstanding in this thread about the difference between induction and ceramic radiant ranges. First the induction uses a magnetic field that causes the metallic molecules to vibrate at a high rate of speed and producing heat; so the pot/pan and its contents get hot while the surface stays cool. Ceramic radiant is basically the same as the old coils, but they are hidden under a ceramic top. With induction if a pot boils over it will not burn on the surface since there is no heat.

We are in the initial stages of planning remodeling our kitchen and I have been looking into these since like Goodeats my house does not have gas. The remodel is 2 years away and things could change, but right now I am leaning towards the Diva 365. It currently owns the Consumer Reports record for boiling water. As for the strength of the cooktop, in the latest Art Culinaire it reports that the Diva's ceramic top can withstand the drop of a cast iron pan from 3 feet (this is the commercial version, not sure if the same is true for the residential models).

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Cooktops- I have bought a new house which has an old coil type electric range. I tried to cook on it and it was horrible and wimpy. In my current house I have a Viking Pro 6 burner which I have a love/hate relationship with, love to cook on it, hate to clean it. I am used to gas and there is an existing gas line into the house. On the other hand, I am seeing people sing the praises of these ceramic induction cooktops, and I wonder if I'm missing out.

Since you have a gas line into the house, it may not be too bad to outfit your kitchen for gas. When we remodeled this winter, we added gas to the kitchen plus another line outside for a grill hookup for about $1000. I looked at induction cooktops but they were pricey and I'd need to get new cookware so we went with the Thermador gas cooktop. I have the same star burners as Pool Boy but I don't find them difficult to keep clean.

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V.H. why would you need new cookware? Most of the modern induction cooktops will work fine with any stainless, and cast iron (including enameled). The general rule is if a magnet will stick to the cookware you will be able to use it on an induction range.

Because I didn't want to do all my cooking in my one huge Le Creuset pot or the hodge podge of cheapo stainless pots that got my husband through grad school. The rest of my stuff is Calphalon, which would not work with the induction cooktop.

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Since you have a gas line into the house, it may not be too bad to outfit your kitchen for gas. When we remodeled this winter, we added gas to the kitchen plus another line outside for a grill hookup for about $1000. I looked at induction cooktops but they were pricey and I'd need to get new cookware so we went with the Thermador gas cooktop. I have the same star burners as Pool Boy but I don't find them difficult to keep clean.

What's your trick for cleaning the triangular areas between the stars then? Assume that I hate cleaning and, uh, some stuff might not get cleaned up immediately. :lol:

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What's your trick for cleaning the triangular areas between the stars then? Assume that I hate cleaning and, uh, some stuff might not get cleaned up immediately. :lol:

I think it was Ol'Ironstomach who gave me the idea to put them in my oven during the clean cycle. They come out beautifully.

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I don't know too much about ceramic induction cooktops, though I've heard if you wait another year, you won't have to install a cooktop, as there are some prototype stand-alones (I may be wrong about this). But that's the biggest turn-off for me: the cooktop. I like the stand-alone feel, but I can't explain why.

GE Profile and Samsung now make stand-alone induction ranges. I just ordered the GE to replace a standard electric range that is about to die. One of the fun things was the demonstration where they brought a pot of water to a boil in 90 seconds while an ice cube sat on the same burner - the only melting was on the side of the cube getting heat from the pot.

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I think it was Ol'Ironstomach who gave me the idea to put them in my oven during the clean cycle. They come out beautifully.

This would be for thhe removable tops of the burners, I assume. But what about the bottoms of the star burners -- the part that is not removable? That's where the real problem to clean is....

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GE Profile and Samsung now make stand-alone induction ranges. I just ordered the GE to replace a standard electric range that is about to die. One of the fun things was the demonstration where they brought a pot of water to a boil in 90 seconds while an ice cube sat on the same burner - the only melting was on the side of the cube getting heat from the pot.

Have you installed your range yet? We're debating whether to run a gas line to our kitchen or just go with an induction/electric stand alone but can't find a single person who's actually used an induction cooktop and we're wary of new, and expensive, technology.

Would be interested to see how it's going. Thanks!

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Have you installed your range yet? We're debating whether to run a gas line to our kitchen or just go with an induction/electric stand alone but can't find a single person who's actually used an induction cooktop and we're wary of new, and expensive, technology.

Would be interested to see how it's going. Thanks!

Just for future reference as there were no responses thought I would post:

Friends parents who cook all the time and do some catering just got one installed a couple months ago and they absolutely love it. I think they have the GE one. I have no idea how it wears, in time, but I can say that she cooks all the time and is quite happy with it. I was amazed how fast it would boil water. I would eat much more pasta if I had one.

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We need a new kitchen faucet. I am looking for a commercial type faucet with a high arch and a pull out spray. Suggestions? Brands, where to buy?

I like the Moen ones I've seen, but Grohe and Danze and Kohler all have nice ones too. If you don't mind IKEA, the high arch spray one they have is not shabby.

Where to buy:

IKEA

Home Depot

Lowe's

Great Indoors

Bray & Scarff (I think)

Overstock

Smart Bargains

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I like the Moen ones I've seen, but Grohe and Danze and Kohler all have nice ones too. If you don't mind IKEA, the high arch spray one they have is not shabby.

Where to buy:

IKEA

Home Depot

Lowe's

Great Indoors

Bray & Scarff (I think)

Overstock

Smart Bargains

Ferguson has a beautiful one by Hansgrohe in their showroom on General Washington, but it's almost $1300. Yikes. Did not realize that this is a serious subcategory for the Sub Zero and Wolfe crowd.

Turns out that Home Depot has a large selection in the special order catalog. A nice lady in the design department printed out and faxed me the specs on several that cost a lot less, for my perusal and research. The buzz words are "pre-rinse" and "semi-pro."

Actual pro pre-rinse faucets all have squeeze handles and are many inches tall, and cost much, much less than the Hansgrohe semi-pro. Which is very pretty. Not much more than $1000 from Amazon. Still, ouch.

American Standard has one that looks interesting for less than $300.

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I've lived in three apartments this year alone, and all have had that glass-top stoves. I'm not fond of them. If something boils over, it immediately seals onto the surface and is incredibly hard to clean off (though I've heard there are some specialty products that are made to clean most things off these cooktops). In addition, the shiny glass wears into dull circles where the burners are, so it doesn't look pretty after a while. I suppose it's all what you're used to, but I was raised with a gas stove, and to me it's still my number one choice.

I just stumbled onto this thread, so this reply isn't timely, but I did want to let anyone else that's looking into buying a new stand alone to know that I'm a fan of the glass tops. It is true that if something boils over, it does stick. But I've never had anything I couldn't easily clean away with a product made for cleaning these surfaces. (Which you buy in the supermarket, right next to all the other cleaners). I've had my stove for 8 years now, I cook on it every day, and it looks just like new. Yes, you do have to clean these every time you use them. But, you should wipe down any stove to keep the build up to a minimum. My stove can usually just be wiped down with 409 and I clean it as I clean the rest of my counters after the dishes are away. If something does spill over, you will need to use a specialty product, but it's never a problem that a sponge and a bottle of cleaner can't handle.

If gas isn't an option for you (as it wasn't for me), the glass top stoves on the market today heat water as quickly as gas does, and are definitely many steps above the "burner" type of gas stove.

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Just for future reference as there were no responses thought I would post:

Friends parents who cook all the time and do some catering just got one installed a couple months ago and they absolutely love it. I think they have the GE one. I have no idea how it wears, in time, but I can say that she cooks all the time and is quite happy with it. I was amazed how fast it would boil water. I would eat much more pasta if I had one.

Thanks! We still haven't gotten around to getting a new stove, but I think that we've pretty much decided to run a gas line to the kitchen and either go all gas or dual fuel. We currently have a glass top and I'm too afraid to use our heavy cast iron and think that I'd feel the same way with an induction.

I have yet to have seen an induction stove in action in the wild.

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I have yet to have seen an induction stove in action in the wild.

I've seen a couple of induction burners in action in the wild. For brunch at Brion's Grille in University Mall in Fairfax, the omelets are cooked to order on free standing induction burners. The omelet wallah used to cook the omelets on gas and prefers the induction burner because he thinks it is less dangerous. He looks to be late high school, early college age, and when questioned about whether he would want an induction cooktop when he has his own place, opined that when he has his own place, he won't be doing the cooking, so it would be up to his (hypothetical) wife. But the waffle and pasta wallah opined that he would love to have an induction cooktop but thought that the pots and pans would be very expensive. He is somewhat older than the omelet wallah, but I surmise that at home the pots and pans are made of aluminum.

New Season in Loemans Plaza in Falls Church uses induction cooktops for the hot pot, which one cooks oneself, so I have used that. It seems to be very responsive and fast, perhaps faster and more responsive than gas.

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Thanks! We still haven't gotten around to getting a new stove, but I think that we've pretty much decided to run a gas line to the kitchen and either go all gas or dual fuel. We currently have a glass top and I'm too afraid to use our heavy cast iron and think that I'd feel the same way with an induction.

I have yet to have seen an induction stove in action in the wild.

I use my cast iron pan and casseroles on my glass top all the time. What are you worried about? Dropping them?

The cleaning tips above are spot on and what a sponge cannot take off the razor scraper that came with the stove does.

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Thanks! We still haven't gotten around to getting a new stove, but I think that we've pretty much decided to run a gas line to the kitchen and either go all gas or dual fuel. We currently have a glass top and I'm too afraid to use our heavy cast iron and think that I'd feel the same way with an induction.

I have yet to have seen an induction stove in action in the wild.

I use one every day, and I am sold on the technology. I can bring a large stock pot of water to a boil in under 10 minutes (old electric stove would have taken about 45 minutes, and my mother-in-law's Wolf gas range took about 30 for the same amount), the heating is even and very precisely controlled. The elements turn off after a minute without metal contact, so you never need to worry about leaving an empty burner on by accident. The surface is very durable, and cleans up quickly since the only heat is from the cookware so no more burned on splatter. The elements do get hot, but that is because the cookware will transfer some of its heat to the glass, once the cookware is removed they cool down far faster than a conventional cook top.

On the negative side, if a magnet will not stick to the cookware it will not work (I love using my cast iron on it), and it can occasionally make a buzzing noise (being quite hard of hearing this bothers me far less than it does my wife).

If you do not need to purchase all new pots and pans, I would heartedly recommend it.

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So just a note on appliances- I LOVE my house, and I will keep the appliances until they die, BUT my Bosch oven, dishwasher and microwave, and Kenmore fridge kick the butts of the Kitchenaid stuff I have now.  I have a wall oven- that has a convection feature, but it is super hot and noisy because it vents into the kitchen and not as big as my normal oven.  But the holes are what they are now, I would just prefer something that seemed a bit more true to temperature, you absolutely have to run it convection and even then you definitely have to turn your items, which I didn't have to do in my Bosch, it was just a great baking oven that was really true to temperature and REALLY even in temperature.  I also have a convection microwave- I have not tried to bake in yet, but maybe I should, maybe it will be handy, but again super noisy and vents for what seems like an incredible time after being used, the controls on both are not intuitive, Hubby misses some of his pre-cook buttons as he uses a microwave more than me.  The Kitchenaid fridge has slots the shelves and side containers slide into, instead of the bars in the back that you can hook shelves into, so you have REALLY limited placement on shelves, and despite being bigger than our Kenmore side by side, it fits a lot less.  The dishwasher is fine, it has a heated dry cycle which my Bosch did not, no complaints, but as an overall suite of appliances, I much preferred mine.  Oh well, this is something that will have to be replaced at some point and it likely won't be with other Kitchenaids, I will likely try something else.  My MIL is getting kitchenaids in her new house, I haven't told her how much I dislike mine, as she has already ordered them when I moved in, and she already has the same fridge as us, so maybe she will like them more than me.

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