French and Italian ranges

SwanMomMarch 9, 2012

New poster here...

I am looking at the Ilve and Bertazzoni Italian ranges, and the Lacanche French range. Maybe there is another I should look at as well?

I want a width of 40-48 inches. All Gas, I think, although dual fuel is a possibility. In addition, there will be a new Wolf wall oven and a steam oven. I will need warming capability, so if I can't get it via the range, I will need a warming drawer. Looks like the Lacanche has models with a warming cupboard, which along with an extra Lacanche oven and my Wolf wall oven would be plenty. My little swans have about flown the nest. I don't need a workhorse for this kitchen. But I do want a range that will be an almost-workhorse. I will probably give up open burners if I go down this path, but I think the Lacanche has semi-open? Is that effective for everyday cooking? Probably would not be Wok'ing. I want a "happy" range for this kitchen! Something with a little style that still does a great job. I've read the Lacanche threads, found some threads on the Bertazzoni. Loved Mohavean's pictorial comparisons of the Berta and the Bluestar. :-) I can't find much on the Ilve, although I've seen one and it was beautiful. I'm very interested in the Ilve. Anyone who could help me in a comparison of these ranges, or toss in a suggestion that I have not thought of? If you take out cost out as a factor, which of these (or similar) would you purchase, and why? Reliability matters a lot. Burner/oven quality matters a lot. Semi-workhorse. And, just this once, in this extra kitchen, something a little off of the beaten path, a little fun, and maybe a little stylish matters a bit too!

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- someone I know has one. How, not sure?
- not sure if you can get these here (USA).

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 5:31PM
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I have a 36" Ilve I bought a few years ago on a good deal. It has its quirks (its not immediately clear what the various symbols stand for on the oven dial and it takes awhile to preheat), but I have no real complaints about its performance. If you search the bottom of the page for Ilve, you should find more.
I can't compare it to your other options. I crossed the Berta off the list because the oven doesn't drop below 275, and I do enough low heat cooking to make that important. When I needed to buy, we were in the middle of the Bluestar door issues, and I wasn't willing to toss the dice.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 6:39PM
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I have the Lacanche Cluny 1400. It's got five burners, a French Top, one gas oven and one electric oven, plus a warming drawer. It's a very solidly built, workhorse of a range and doesn't look like a back hoe in my kitchen. The smaller Cluny ovens have not been a problem for me and I put a large turkey in the gas oven every year. Cookies require a smaller baking sheet but again, no problem. I kind of like using a smaller set of ovens; they're really efficient. The larger American ovens waste a good deal of space and you have to heat all that up plus, more dry air circulating around food can dry it out more than you'd like. I cook for anywhere from two to eight people regularly. It's a simple, low tech range and my husband can repair it - a huge plus, although it's not required repairs thus far. Don't know a thing about the Italian ranges, but I'm sure they're great, too! I hear they're really beautiful - a friend of a friend bought one just on looks alone - and she doesn't cook!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 1:02AM
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Ilve makes the UK Britannia ranges. It is a shame that only the ornate version is available here in the US.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 12:42PM
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AGA, a British company, has a new range called total control. I am not sure if it is available here yet. I saw it at a recent show and it was amazing. It even has a phone ap so you can control your range remotely. I know the range is available in Canada and I assume it will be in NY or California soon. For information you can contact Eileen Slattery -

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 7:40PM
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I have a Lacanche Sully (larger than what you are looking for). It took me a year to learn how to cook with it, which I am sure is true of lots of folks who transition to more powerful ranges.

My husband chose it; I didn't particularly care which range we bought. But, I have to say I love it. The ovens are well-sealed and therefore maintain consistent heat and cook well. My only complaints about them are the racks are not as easy sliding as e.g., a new Wolf, and with the gas oven you need a thermometer to know when the desired temp is reached (there is also no light inside). But this is not a digital range. (The electric oven has a light that goes out when the desired temp is reached.)

The range top burners are sealed, so are easy to clean. And the flame is very easily adjustable with a screwdriver if you want to lower the "low" flame. It's a workhorse of a range and because it's not digital there is very little that can go wrong.

And of course it is GORGEOUS. We got black with silver trim (cheapest version) and it's still a pleasure to look at!

Can't speak to the Italian ranges but if you have the bucks, you won't go wrong with a Lacanche.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 5:33PM
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