And it's done, range, backsplash, and hood ordered

toddrhodesJanuary 5, 2014

I never imagined how agonizing this process was going to be... From my other thread (range on 4k budget), I have been looking for the best way to lose our current micro-hood setup which sits above a 30" kitchenaid range.

Full disclosure - I don't have a BlueStar, Capital, AR, or NXR dealer within 2 hours so I scoured these forums, Chowhound, etc... to find the best fit for me and our home. I've been an inch away from ordering the NXR, CC (manual clean), Performer, and the RNB at various points in this journey. And the winner is?

American Range Performer, 30" - more specifically a floor-model on ebay shipped free to my house for $2999 (linked to me by a fellow GW member). I just can't beat the value of that. I know what you're thinking, but that's $1k more than an NXR? Yes, but I DO appreciate American-made, I do appreciate good parts availability, and 10k more btu is nothing to sneeze at. I was able to find the center grate available at appliancescentral.com so that is on the way as well; I didn't like the giant gap between the grates on the Performer but this fixes it relatively cheap.

I ordered the Broan elite 600 cfm internal hood. I have to recirculate it temporarily, at least until the weather warms up. Having cooked with a recirc for 8 years, I will survive. We will be ducting it out through the roof just as soon as the weather turns this spring. I also ordered the Broan 30" high stainless backsplash with shelves. I'm going to have a little trouble installing it since my tile backsplash only goes up to the bottom of the microwave (about 14" tall or so?) so I'll have part of the backsplash over tile and part over bare drywall. I'm thinking I will put a 3/16" board of some sort above the tiled section, then affix the backsplash to both surfaces. I'll figure something out. I also need to revamp my gas line, it sticks out about 8" from the floor and about 2" from the back wall. I'll likely replace it with a shorter pipe and 90* it right at the floor level. That seems to be a popular option on here but I'll work that out with whomever I get to install the range.

I'm putting a microwave on the counter until we have a budget for renovating our kitchen bar/island when I will look into incorporating an electric wall oven and microwave drawer, or a speedoven of some sort.

I do need to order the wok ring for the Performer as well as a good, high-quality wok. I saw e-woks.com, is that a pretty good place to get one from?

Anyway, in conclusion, this forum gave me SO MUCH to think about, things I'd have never considered when I was enamored with Wolf and Viking. Thank you so very much for all of the information you all have poured out on this board.

Thank you again,
Todd

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barryv_gw

Todd, make sure you post a review after you have had it for a month or two to let people know what you think if its strengths and weaknesses.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 3:03PM
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weissman

wokshop.com is a great place to order woks. Good selection, good prices and good customer service.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 3:43PM
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bmorepanic

Congrats on having made the choice.

I got the chance to examine an american range performer at the same showroom that had dacor which was what we ended up buying. The performer was very well done and the fit and finish were much better than NXR.

I hope you love using it when it comes.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 4:44PM
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toddrhodes

Thank you bmore, that is certainly refreshing considering I purchased the unit sight-unseen. I have reached out to AR to see if they have any local recommended service companies to aid with install.

Thanks for the recommendation on the wok, I will be holding off on that until I have the external ventilation in place. I also have a window practically next to the range to avoid any nasty MUA issues on full-blast in a pinch. Researching MUA was perhaps the worst part of this whole process, lol.

Todd

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 5:04PM
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MzKiz

Todd -
I was certainly smiling as I read your story - it sounded almost exactly the same as ours - we have been all over the map and have changed our mind many times throughout the process - BS, Berta, NXR, AR, Wolf for our long-distance remodel. As the time when we had to make a decision and place the order became imminent, we made one last trip to yet another local appliance store and we saw the Wolf and the 2 AR models side by side. That did it for us - the 36" AR Performer is the range for us. We were able to negotiate a price with a local appliance dealer in our new location which came in at a total price within a few dollars of what we would have paid if we ordered online.

One other thing - I saw the range your bought on EBAY and if I had been in the market for a 30" model, you would have had to beat me to it! Glad to hear it went to a fellow GW'er! Hope you love it!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 7:08PM
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toddrhodes

And it's here! No pics yet, we're still needing to install the hood and backsplash so it's a bit of a mess. But, as expected - install was simple. This range is truly no frills, all business. If you want fancy oven racks, Sabbath mode, timers, and so forth - look elsewhere.

Burner design is great, but I'm not sure if I can put any burner anywhere I want or if I have to leave it how it is. The factory setup is fine anyway, though I could see a need to have both back burners as the 25k's as opposed to being on opposite corners.

The oven door is substantial and seems to have very nice hinges. It has a good heft, but it's not "heavy" per se. I reheated a piece of pizza after doing the initial burn off and it felt like it took longer to preheat than my old KA but since the oven is massive compared to that thing, I'm not surprised. The oven door does not get hot, either. It's warm-ish, that's all.

Going to make a pork tenderloin and some roasted potatoes tonight, we'll see how that goes. I absolutely love it even though it sticks out a few inches farther than the previous setup, I simply don't care.

Question though - the oven has a flat floor which is awesome, is it a huge no-no to set something down there, thinking maybe like a pizza steel? I don't have to, just curious if I even can. Will update with pics as soon as everything's installed and again, thank you gardenweb for even discussing this range, lord knows I'd have never heard of it otherwise.

Todd

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 5:49PM
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toddrhodes

For whatever it's worth, I just made the best roasted potatoes and pork tenderloin roast in my short cooking time. I used convection during the roasting cycle and got a wonderful crisp to the glaze I made for the pork, and the potatoes were crunchy outside and gooey inside, neither part was overdone. I've tried roasted potatoes more times than I can count in the old setup and they always come out "ok." Some are fine, but others are undercooked while others are burnt. I don't think this is placebo :)

Also, the pre-heat time to 400* was fine now that it's been sitting inside the house for several hours. I never even thought about it before but that first time I turned the oven for the initial burnoff, it had just come in from spending weeks on a truck in 10* weather. So anyway, no big deal there.

Lastly, I have to give serious praise to the DeBuyer Mineral B pan I picked up for searing and pan frying. I seared the tenderloin in that, coated it with some glaze (brown sugar and balsamic) and let it roast for around 45 minutes at 375*. This created an absolute tar-consistency mess from the glaze I added which had carmelized. I feared the worst, but I poured in about a cup of warm water, stirred with a wooden spoon, and the pan came 100* completely clean, no scrubbing required. Magic, I tell ya!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 7:59PM
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omega73

Thanks for the link from the other American Range thread Todd. Off topic but I'm curious, you roasted the pork tenderloin for 45 mins? Seems really long, was it tenderloin or loin?

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 11:31PM
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toddrhodes

Omega, the long cooking time was, I think, due to the protein not being fully thawed. We have a deep freeze and I'm still adjusting to how thoroughly a piece of meat gets frozen in that thing. The texture of the meat was odd, especially if you got closer to the center. So I think that one is one me. I generally only need to roast a portion for the two of us for 20 minutes or so and I'm using the same oven thermometer as in my old range so I know that is fine. I use a Maverick meat thermo/probe setup that I've had wonderful results with so I know that wasn't the issue. In short, I think that was more operator error than tool error.

I also redid my boiling water test after reconsidering the overall cold temp of the range after I first hooked it up. 6 cups of water at room temp boiled in 4m 42s in what I believe is a 3Q sauce pan. I'm good with that :)

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 12:45AM
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omega73

Ah, it was still partly frozen, you scared me. lol
I thought either you really like your pork extra well done or the oven in the AR Performer is just slow. Fortunately not the latter.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 8:31AM
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teachmkt

Question though - the oven has a flat floor which is awesome, is it a huge no-no to set something down there, thinking maybe like a pizza steel?

I put my pizza stone on my Wolf AG oven floor all the time. Wolf said they didn't recommend doing it, but Alton Brown did it on a pizza Foodnetwork show--Alton won. Haven't had any apparent damage, but some good pizza.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 9:47AM
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