Please help: range/speed oven/microwave...driving me nuts

joygreenwaldJune 11, 2014

Hello wise people,

I am driving myself insane. I'm getting very close on being able to pull the trigger on my kitchen redo. But I'm rapidly running out of money. I can't do everything I planned to appliance wise.

In my space challenged kitchen, I currently have an electric wall oven (24"!) and a gas cooktop. The new design works much better with a range. Additionally, I presently have a toaster oven and a microwave each on the counter. And I DON'T have enough counter space to maintain this. (Even in the new design, which will help counter space wise.)

I thought I had it all worked out. I was going to get an induction range. But I only have a 30 amp circuit. Suddenly, that splurge of a range will cost me even more money (to hire an electrician to run a new circuit.) And I was all gung ho to swap out my microwave and my toaster oven for a speed oven hung over my range. But I'm really starting to question that. We use the toaster oven a lot. We actually toast things. (So, I'm not even sure if any of them will do a good job.) We reheat things all the time when we'd prefer not to heat the "big" oven: pizza, oven fries, etc. Generally, we microwave breakfast sausages, oatmeal, and popcorn. Some potatoes. Not a ton. Other things as needed. (BTW, my kids use the microwave.)

I use my cooktop constantly...especially for higher heat applications. I stir fry and sautee a few times a week, make eggs almost daily, and make a fair number of pancakes and french toast. I use my grill pan to do hamburgers and steaks on the cooktop. I do sometimes use low heat for things but not as frequently.

I also bake, but not as often, including baking bread. I want CRISP pizza crusts and excellent cookies.

I'm pretty picky. I cook for my family daily, generally recipes out of Cooks Illustrated and Cooks Country. I need reliable temperatures for both my cooktop and my oven.

Do I just put in a gas range? Will I hate moving to a gas oven from an electric? Single or double? Would one of those double ones frustrate me at Thanksgiving, or would the small oven fill the roll now filled by my toaster oven? (I suppose can get an actual toaster for making toast.) Is it worth going for the induction? I'd really like to, but I'm looking at $1k to run the circuit before I buy the oven. And do I just get a regular microwave? The Electrolux speed oven? The ungodly expensive Miele so I can broil?

Thank you for your help!!! I have read so many threads, and I'm only more confounded. And all the reviews of just about every appliance these days are terrible. The whole thing makes me want to scream!!

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Having cooked in both, I think gas ovens are fine. In theory, electric ovens are more even, but in practice, I've found them both to work equally well. The big reason to go electric is so you can get true European convection (with the 3rd element around the convection fan). While this is not a necessity, it significantly improves even-ness while you're baking on multiple racks at once.

As for the cooktop, have you cooked on induction before? If not, I'd try it, preferably on a demo unit at a showroom, not a plug in induction hob. This is because the plug in hobs only run off 120V and are significantly less powerful. Then decide whether it's worth it to run the circuit. They say once you have it, you can never go back. I really want it, but don't have it yet because my kitchen is set up for a slide in and induction slide ins are too expensive for me currently.

Since you reheat a lot it sounds like a speed oven could be worth it. YMMV but just looking online the difference between Advantium/Electrolux and Miele speed ovens is about $1k. Both the Advantium and the Electrolux have gotten good reviews here. Personally I think that $1k would be so much better spent on induction than the Miele speed oven.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 10:14AM
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I have had the Elux Icon Speed oven for 8 years now.

It has been trouble free, except for a screw that came loose that holds on the handle, (was easy to fix).

As you mentioned, it does not broil, most of the time we do that outside, but I can use the broiler in my regular Elux oven.

We like potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams here, and it sure is nice to be able to do them in 14 minutes (including preheat), compared to the regular oven which takes 45-60 minutes).

The Elux "defaults" to the microwave mode, just enter time and push start, and we have used it a lot as a mircrowave in the 8 years we've had it.

We could do just about anything (except broil), that we could do in our regular oven, and I've baked turkey thighs,
stuffed tomatoes, meatloaf, desserts~~~you name it.

It came in handy as a "2nd oven" during "Thanksgiving", (for some of the "side dishes").

I've found that for reheating poultry and fish, as well as French fries, that these "Somewhat tricky to reheat" items come out best when reheated in the speed oven using "Speed Cook"~~~they don't get soggy like they would if you just nuked them or tried to reheat in a regular oven.

You can watch "The Great Potato Race" on UTube, to see a comparison, (well actually a contest) baking potatoes using the Miele and Electrolux Speed Ovens.
The Elux was easier to use as I just chose potatoes, entered how many and the Speed oven did the rest.

With the Miele, the user had to enter preheat time, (alto he did not use preheat), He had to enter temp, cooking time with convection, cooking time using microwave, etc etc.

The Miele Speed ovens do enjoy a good reputation here in Garden Web~~~~but~~~~~I would invite you to google "Miele Speed Oven Reviews" before forming any opinions about the Miele.

(Likewise do the same for "Electrolux Speed Oven).

Wife still likes her large oven, so it does get some use(Large oven), alto there have been very few times in the 8 years that we've had the speed oven that which we cook would not fit in it!

Anyway, to "Sum It Up", My Speed oven is one appliance I will never be without, ( I even do my toast in it)~~~We don't eat enough toast to merit buying a toaster, and the toast comes out great~~~You just have to "Flip it"! The other appliance I could never do without??????? My Elux Icon Induction Cook Top~~~~~We love that cook top!!!!


    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 11:22AM
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I have a Blue Star gas range and a Miele speed oven. For me, it is the perfect combination--one gas appliance and one electric. I know that induction is all the rage but I just don't see it personally. And I absolutely loathe electronics, so a simple and purely mechanical gas range is great because is lets me avoid an expensive control board to break.

I use the Miele speed oven for most things because it is nice and small and heats quickly, not because electric is better. I don't use it for broiling--I use my range for that, mostly because the speed oven is not that easy to clean. When I do bake or roast in the gas range, I don't find that things come out any differently from how they come out in the electric speed oven.

However, you cannot hang your speed oven over your range so if that is your plan you need to rethink the speed oven.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 11:23AM
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Gary do you have a link to the Youtube video of the Elux speed oven in the potato race? I'm curious to see it. I found the one of the Miele speed oven but couldn't find yours.

1 Like    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 4:38PM
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Well, you re correct, hvtech42, that video is no longer on Utube, (sorry about that).

Now that I recall it, (hard to do at my age), I had a "nasty note" attatched to the video, by Utube, that the video contained "copyrighted material".

Apparently some outfit claimed they had the rights to the song that was playing in the background, ~~~~song was playing in the adjacent family room on the entertainment center~~~~~~and the camera mic picked it up~~~Sheeeshhh.

They threatened to kick me off Utube if I got "another copyright infringement" within 6 months~~~so I pulled the video off!

I could have downloaded that song from numerous posters on Utube, yet they "singled out mine""~~~go figure.

Anyway, if you really want to see the Electrolux Speed Oven in action, I can make another video, and use my cats "Meowing" in the background~~~~~Hopefully that is NOT Copyrighted!!!!

Sorry, that I forgot about having to remove the video from UTube~~~~~~The Electrolux did win, "By A Wisker" and at "least to me", was a lot easier to bake a tater in than the Miele.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 6:00PM
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That's lame! Typical Youtube/Google.

No need to make another video just for me, but thanks for offering. I was just curious. I'm not even in the market for a speed oven (at least not yet).

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 11:23PM
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We were in the same decision making process last week and after much agonizing decided to forgo the Miele speed oven +gas range combo for a MW plus double range. The important factor for us was during a typical dinner prep time, I use the microwave and toaster together all the time. I didn't want it tied up to one machine and have to wait for the oven to cool down before using the MW. Your requirements may vary but I would consider charting your actual usage and see if it will fit your lifestyle. One other deciding factor was Miele was the only speedoven recommended for undercounter installation and that would have put us over the top of our budget. We have tentatively decided on a GE double range and a Sharp drawer MW. I have to pull the trigger and order it anyday.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 4:00PM
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I just finished posting a reply to a similar question that Joy posted over on chowhound and to which I suggested she check here. And here she is!

The chowhound discussion covers other aspects than are discussed here, For anybody interested in those discussions, I've posed a link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chowhound discussion

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 4:47PM
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