Crunch Time on stove decision--HELP!!

muffinqueenMay 20, 2011

We're waiting on bids from the contractors and I have to make a decision about a stove SOON. Here are my parameters: I have room for a 30" range, and I'm pretty sure I want dual fuel. I really want a second oven in the range, but I don't care if it's on the top or the bottom, I just want it to WORK, meaning it should cook a hash brown casserole or warm up some rolls without burning anything. I am not a gourmet, but this oven will get regular use and I want something dependable and easy to use. I enjoy baking, so I want something that will brown evenly and not burn my Snickerdoodles. Please vote on the following possibilities. My budget is a bit north of 2K. Ready, go:

Kenmore Elite 78903-- This is the "safe" choice--a nice ordinary Kenmore A lack of glowing reviews makes me a little nervous.

GE Cafe--Looks so cool, and they've solved the melting knobs problem. But is the fan too loud? And does said fan blow out the back right burner? Can you tell I've read too many reviews?

Electrolux--Home of the famous ball bearings. But are those shelves too much of a pain to take in and out of the oven? And does the second oven really work? I don't want just a warming drawer.

Kitchen Aid--I see you all cringing. But let's be honest; have the CURRENT KA stoves had the problems you all mentioned? I love it that it has a real second oven and not a drawer dressed as an oven.

All of you with double oven ranges--chime in and tell me how well that second oven works. Some reviews complain about the preheaat times for these tiny spaces, which just seems...weird. Deadlines are looming. Please help! Thank You!!!

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What about the Maytag Gemini? I forget whether that's dual fuel, but as I recall its smaller oven gets good reviews, which is more than can be said for some.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 1:21AM
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KitchenAid KDRS505X[SS] is the highest rank 30" Dual Fuel in the current CR. No user reviews on it and I don't have any personal experience, but it seems to have the features you want.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 2:04AM
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I fell in love with the KA, but was discourages by the reviews on this site.But I simply don't have the space or budget for the ovens most of you like so much.
I simply haven't heard much about the Gemini. Anybody have one? I wish somebody would do a study just on double-oven ranges. I still need some respnses from people who own these ovens. I know you're out there!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 9:25AM
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My only experience with Maytag Gemini is my In-laws' example which dates to well before the acquisition of the company by Whirlpool. It is a gas model and has performed well with no failures that I am aware of. I would not call either oven anything special. They are typical American consumer grade with the rear hotter than the front necessitating vigilance in turning of the food. But they do have independent controls.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 11:18AM
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We just got in the KitchenAid KDRS505 range on display and it's a nice unit EXCEPT...... the knobs take up some space on the front/top of the unit, and the distance between the front and back burners is only 8" (measuring from center point of both burners).

So a 6" and 11" pan won't fit front to back without off-setting one of them. Keep in mind I'm talking the measurement at the top of the pot/pan, not the bottom.

Most ranges, like the GE Cafe, have 9.5" distance between burners on the left side, and 9" distance on the right side. This allows a 6" and 12", or 7" and 11" etc etc.

Another thing to consider. KitchenAid has one large burner and it's on the left front. The GE Cafe has two large burners, both in front. I personally use my right front burner all the time (it's the largest) because I'm right handed. Keep this in mind in case you have a favorite burner position.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 1:52PM
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Thanks, Appliance Vet. I love knowlegeable salespeople. So have most of your Cafe customers been happy with their purchase? I'm still having the Electrolux vs. Cafe debate in my head. The KA is fading fast. I am indeed right-handed and use the right front burner all the time.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 2:59PM
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I'm going to bump this in hopes of getting more responses. Those of you that own one of these double oven ranges, give me your thoughts. Is the extra expense of an Electrolus worth it,or since I'm not a gourmet should I just go with Kenmore Elite?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 8:23PM
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I have the GE Cafe all gas. I haven't used the warming drawer, but @ 110v its different than the dual fuel 220v. The fan is moderately loud - I can make it out down the hall, but I can put it out of my mind for the most part. The fan does not blow out the rear flames (the exhaust is vented upwards & the burners sit in a recessed surface).

I thought that pro-style ranges had low ovens - you can't beat an oven *on the floor* in those KitchenAids. Sure, you bend while tending to the oven, but if you want to turn on the light & look inside you squat & your rump hits the floor!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 10:34PM
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I really haven't had many complaints on the Cafe. One customer said the lower oven/warming drawer takes around 20 minutes to preheat to 400 degrees.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 9:19AM
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I'm going to bump this to see if I can get amy more responses before it drops off the first page. I just want some real-life reviews from people who have had a double oven 30" range for at least six months.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 9:42PM
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I just had the GE Cafe duel fuel range installed last week but unfortunately I have not been home to use it yet. However, my friend has owned the range since last summer and she loves it. I was reluctant to order it based on online reviews but she, and someone else I met who owns one, addressed all my concerns based on their experiences. I was looking at the bertazzoni too, but wanted a larger oven. I posted previously on this board after talking with my friend. While my previous post was addressing someone else's questions, you might find some useful information.

Here is a link that might be useful: GE cafe

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 8:58PM
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To throw a wrench in - what about the LG range? I just recently bought it, so I don't have any real life experience with it yet, but it matches what you're looking for...
here is the link -

anyone with any experience with this let me know! and I hope this helps!

FWIW, I was between the GE Cafe and the LG (which isn't a slide in as it seems), and the LG won out due to a deal I got.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 9:35PM
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I'm not sure my experience with Maytag Gemini will be relevant to you since mine is smoothtop electric and oven isn't convection. I'm going out tomorrow to buy a replacement. Mine is about 11 years old. 1 burner stopped working a couple of weeks ago and now the burner on my large oven broke into 2 pieces! Up to now I've never had a problem with this stove (other than uneven oven heating).

Large oven doesn't always bake evenly. Sometimes cookies are more done in back than those in front, and I've never had luck using more than one rack to bake--even more uneven results. But my oven isn't convection.

Little oven is handy. I baked stuffed shells in it last night since my big oven is out of commission. Mostly I've used it for baking casseroles and warming bread. I don't like how it bakes brownies--edges get overly done.

I decided to get a new stove because our kitchen reno is on hold and I hate cooking on the smoothtop.

I hope this helps!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 10:14PM
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I went to look at the Cafe again and had a jolt when I realized the placement of the control panel will force me to crouch slightly just to work the controls. No way, Jose. So it's back to the Kenmore Elite double oven--which I think only comes in all gas--need to double check that-- or the shiny Electrolux. I know almost nothing about the LG ranges, but the lack of information on this forum makes me nervous.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 10:43PM
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Hi! I feel your pain! Two questions:

The KA and the Kenmore Elite almost look like the same unit. Who makes the Kenmore?

Have you ever had a black stove top? The enamel beneath the grates is black on one of these. I've had a black stove top and it was a real dust catcher, as in clean it whether you've used it or not.

Good luck keep us posted as to what you pick and what you think of it!


    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 8:39AM
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My mother has had the GE for a while and absolutely loves it. She bakes in the bottom oven too, loves the griddle option on the top, has never mentioned the fan being too loud. She is one of the pickiest stove people you could meet and raves about this one.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 9:32AM
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Why would you have to crouch to reach the controls? They're on the front of the range -- where they should be so that you're not reaching across your hot pans to adjust the knobs -- but I don't recall them being tucked into a weird place or anything. Stepping back a bit and a slight crouch to read an initial setting maybe, but they should be easy enough to adjust if you're standing at the range.

Don't have a Cafe range -- looked at them last year with a little interest before fully admitting to myself what I really wanted -- but saw one again last week in a nice new kitchen some friends put in. New for them, but they seem happy with it.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 9:50AM
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There is going to be a new double oven GE Cafe. From the picture of the range, the upper oven looks to work via knob & not control panel. Don't know upper oven is electric or gas.

It doesn't solve your crouching issue. Myself I lean to the side a little.

Here is a link that might be useful: GE Cafe double

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 9:10PM
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*Gasp* I hadn't seen the new Cafe with the small oven on top. I wonder if either of the new moels will be out by the beginning of August, which is our dream date for being done with our kitchen. We will be empty nesters in a year or so, so I would probably use the top oven most of the time. Thanks for the pictures. Now I have more to agonize over:-) As far as the crouching,I think my reaction was partly a function of what I'm used to. I have an ancient GE coil top electric, and the knobs are in the back. I'm going to have to go back to Sears and do a dry run and see how much bending is really required. My lower back disapproves of crouching. Kenmore Elite, Electrolux, GE Cafe. What to do...

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 3:13PM
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Of course, right after my new GE Cafe range is installed, I see that a new one is coming out! Not that it will be better, but...

I did check out the link and wonder - since the smaller oven is on top, is it the same type of oven that is the lower oven on the old model? From all that I've read, the lower oven is more like a warming oven and it takes a lot of time to preheat. I wouldn't want that oven on top as I'd primarily be using the regular oven and wouldn't want to constantly be bending that low every time I use my oven.

That said, in my previous post I mentioned that I'd just had the range installed and hadn't been able to use it yet. We finally got back from vacation and I used the oven twice this past week. I wanted to comment on concerns that the fan is loud. While I did notice that the fan was on, it was very quiet. In fact, I think the only reason I really even noticed it is because I'd previously read complaints about it on this board! I only set my oven to 375 degrees, so maybe it's louder if the temperature is higher? Any air that was coming out of it didn't seem strong enough to affect the flame on the right back burner, but I wasn't actually using that burner at the time so I don't have direct experience with that.

I still haven't used the range enough to say much about its features. Unfortunately, we've been crazy busy this week so I really haven't cooked. I used the stove once to boil water and the oven twice - to reheat pizza last night! I am, however, looking forward to getting to know it better.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 4:58PM
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We've owned 2 Maytag Gemini double oven ranges; both smoothtop electric and with convection in the lower, large oven. The first bought in '03 and sold with the house 3.5 years later. The second purchased in fall '06.

We love, love, love the small, upper oven. It is used most often as we are not much for meat eaters so roasts aren't common here. We often bake in both at once as I can make something quick for the kids in the top oven if I have a longer baking casserole in the bottom oven. The top oven heats up VERY quickly. And another great thing, the top oven is also a toaster! So, no extra appliance needed to toast and take up space.

Sadly, our one in '06 was actually a downgrade from our one in '03. Maytag actually pulled features from it. The most annoying one was that they pulled the ability to choose the type of beep when the timer ends. Used to be able to pick one single beep, beep continuously every so many seconds, or one long beep I think it was. Our new one had ONE choice and that was a single beep. So, if you're upstairs and the oven beeps and you don't hear it, when you come down you see the timer has ended but have no idea if it just ended or it's 20 minutes overdue. Unless of course you also bothered to check the clock at the same time but if you're doing that anyway, who needs a timer? LOL

Now, I think those units were actually both Maytag units before Whirlpool took over Maytag (I think they took over in '06? I don't believe our '06 range was made by Whirlpool).

We're moving shortly and I bought the Electrolux induction slide-in. Why not just another Gemini? Well it seems even though Whirlpool took over, they are still getting rid of features. I read the manual of the newest double oven Geminis, and they no longer have a toast feature! So, if I'm going to have to get a toaster anyway, I'd rather have something with an induction cooktop. And this way I get a slide-in as well.

Although I am worried that our most used oven is sitting on the floor and that is has no broil feature. And I've heard it takes forever to heat up? I am hoping that's not true because if the large oven heats up faster, it's obviously going to get the most use. I know I am going to miss that super fast to heat up small, upper oven and toast feature of my Gemini. :(

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 1:38AM
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1. Is there a 30" Gas Range available with rear burners that can fit large pots?

2. The NXR 30" gas range has equally spaced burners but has received some reviews saying the metal is thin. Does anyone know how the NXR customer service is?

3. GE Cafe has many reviews complaining about a very loud fan noise even with traditional oven use. The loud fan noise is described to continue for a substancial amount of time after cooking and after the the oven off. After speaking with a GE representative, he advised that since the electronics are in the front, the fan needs to keep them from over heating. Does this apply to other brands with the electronics in the front?

4. Does anyone know of a 30" gas range with the electronics in the front with a quieter fan?

5. Is there a range with electronics on the top that allows room for larger pots?

When measuring from the middle of the back burner to the back of the range top horizontally, both the LG 30" gas range (model LGLRG3097[ST]) and the GE 30" gas (model CGS985SETSG) range have a distance of 4 and 5/8 inches (about 5 inches).

6. Is there a 30" gas range with electronics in the back (on top) with slightly more distance between the center of the back burner and back of range top?
If we could find a range with 5.5 inches, it could accomodate a 11 inch pot and a space of 6 inches would accomodate a 12 inch pot . One would think that most prefer to have the larger pots in the back, to make cooking easier and especially with young children in the house.

7. How does LG customer service compare to GE customer service, compared to NXR customer service? Is it possible to get parts from these three companies without a hassle?

Please advise.

Thanks for reading!!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 1:15AM
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