New gas range that cooks during power outages?

lennon2June 5, 2011

A 40-inch 1915 Glenwood gas range came with my 1835 house. 23 years later, we are down to two stovetop burners and one knob. (We use pliers or keep moving the knob to the burner we want to adjust.)

Through blizzards and hurricanes, we have cooked and baked and roasted through weeklong power outages. (We have a old gas boiler with a bimetal thermostat, so that works without power, too.)

Looking at new ranges, they seem full of electronic controls and features that depend on electricity.

Is it possible to find a gas range with manual knobs, two ovens (or one and a separate broiler) that does not depend on electricity for more than an oven light or clock? Doesn't have to be 40 inches, but can't be wider.

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Many gas ranges, even the fanciest, probably can have their top burners lit with a match during power cuts. Although I have electronic ignition, I always light my burners with a match.

Ovens may be another story because most these days are designed to cycle the gas flow on and off to maintain the temps during cooking. And the cycling requires electric ignition each time. Older ranges simply controlled the flow of gas, so once it was set you got that rate continously.

You might consider having your old range repaired.



    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 3:59PM
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The hard part is the ovens. You can manually light most surface burners on most ranges.

There is the Aga cooker, which is always on and might be suitable for a location like yours, but it was designed for use by the blind. No adjustments at all. The temperature is determined by the location you're using. A "boiling" plate (not so boiling if it's been open a long time) and a simmer plate on top, and four different temperature ovens. It would take some relearning of how you think about cooking. Some recipes, for instance, call for starting something in oven X, and finishing it in oven Y (different temperatures). Additionally, you have to turn things because it's warmer in the back and the side nearest the heat. The range is cast iron, so you'd also need a strong enough floor for it.

You might also see about getting your range restored, or buying a vintage range. That might be worth your while.

I checked out some of the more whackadoo sources to see if there was a work around for the modern ovens. None of them had any. I would have put a frowny face there, but the fact is that the safety gains from not being able to manually light the ovens outstrip the usability factor.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 4:03PM
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I can manually light all the burners and the oven in my NXR no problem if the electric goes out.
There isn't any electrical panel that controls anything on the stove.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 7:44PM
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Yes, but NXR do list electric igniters, and the manual I looked at, which covers several models, gives specific instructions for lighting the burners with a match, but nothing about lighting the oven. Is there a specific model that has an oven pilot rather than electronic ignition?

There's one brand I've heard of, but haven't seen the docs for--Premier maybe?--which is supposed to have a pilot which is lighted when you turn on the oven, then goes out when you shut it off. I don't know if that can be lit by hand or not.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 9:17PM
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Hey Nunyabiz, I saw a glow plug on the NXR picture for the broiler. This cannot be lit with a match. Only the stove top burners, like any other gas stove. Now the Bertazzoni might have a spark ignitor that lites a pilot that then warms a thermocouple, like a wall furnace or water heater but I don't know for sure.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 11:52PM
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I'd guess that Lehman's carries what exists in the way of stoves (and refrigerators) that can operate without electricity. It's the place to go for those who live off the grid.

Here is a link that might be useful: lehman's

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 7:35AM
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Thank you for all your suggestions. I've followed your keywords and come up with a couple of choices. No sticker shock on these 36" stoves!

The Summit WM430 stove is actually a Brown (logo is visible in enlarged photo) like those sold at Lehman's but they only have 20" and 30". $476.

I like the look of the bisque Premier GLK100T a little better, since I don't need much storage except for cookie sheets. $503.

This Premier SLK240T also comes in bisque, and although it has electronic ignition, makes a point of saying in the description that "It also has Electronic Ignition System, which allows ALL burners, including the Oven, to be lit with a match in case of a power faliure." It also has an oven door window and a backguard all for $620.

I'm leaning that way, unless there are any dire warnings about Premier's overall quality.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 10:17AM
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And there's one more, the same Premier with 5 burners/griddle.(Premier SLK249T) I've never had that, not sure if it's worth giving up the space for spoon rests, etc.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 11:43AM
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Check this site out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Off the grid appliances

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 12:39PM
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You're pretty much at the end of my ability to contribute. Just wanted to congratulate you for finding a few choices you're pleased with.

Many people around here do use built in griddles, but just as many, if not more, are just as happy with a griddle pan across a couple of burners. I don't think this kind, which doesn't have the fancy flattop style grease trap or anything, looks all that useful unless you're likely to do a big fry up on the griddle and make coffee, oatmeal, grits and gravy on the burners all at the same time.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 4:46PM
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I suggest you find a showroom that displays Premier and Summit in person before putting them on your short list. I was negatively impressed by their build quality. Flimsy and cheap looking. Sorta like a tinfoil doll house range enlarged to full size.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 5:07PM
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I have never even thought about manually lighting the broiler, that is something I can do without in an emergency cooking situation anyway.
But I would imagine being an infrared broiler that no you can NOT light the broiler.

You can light the oven though, just lift up the bottom plate an light it.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 8:19PM
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Do you lose power a lot?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 12:26PM
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Bill, no we don't lose power a lot. We just love not having to worry about it.

For 22 years now I've lit the burners, oven and broiler with a match. So did my kids, and my grandson does now. No big deal.

Pillog, no grits. We're in New England. And I agree we don't really need the griddle.

maninthefridge, those Unique appliances are amazing. The electronic ignition on the gas range is powered by a 9-volt-battery! (We're not that far off the grid.)

Live_wire_oak, that's disappointing. The picture looks good. After a 96-year-old behemoth, I suspect everything will look flimsy and cheap to me. Nothing in my kitchen seems flimsier than the plastic toy buttons for cubed or crushed ice on my fridge.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 3:04PM
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Well, again, you could always get your old range restored. Quite a number of places in New England do that kind of work. If you don't need it rechromed, reinsulated and re-enameled, and just want the lines, couplings, burners and knobs brought back up to full working order, it shouldn't be too very expensive.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 3:47PM
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