36' Smeg v. Berta?

kumarc42June 17, 2012

We're lurkers on the forum but have never posted - now we're in need of some sage advice. We are in the process of remodeling our kitchen and are researching 36" gas ranges (no dual fuel). Smeg and Bertazzoni are both in our price range. We've read a fair number of complaints about the Berta oven regarding uneven temperatures, burning of baked goods, etc. Some say using convection solves this problem, but we've also read that the convection doesn't work well and isn't appropriate for all baked goods, such as bread baking. We bake bread regularly.

Are these complaints about the Berta valid? We've also read some reviews that love this range, many of them here.

Meanwhile, the Smeg seems like a great alternative, but it has fewer reviews and given its newness on the market, we worry that repairs and parts might be challenging. Has anyone gotten a smeg and used it since the last thread on this topic was posted here? We called AJ Madison and talked to their sales guy, since they sell both brands and seem pretty high volume, and he said he's heard nothing but good things about the smeg and would go with it over the berta. Then we called back and talked to a different guy who said the opposite. Help!

About us: we cook almost every day, but we've always dealt with low-end ranges in rental units. We make jam, beer, can tomato sauce, you name it. The 36" will be a dream for our big canning pots. But we simply can't afford the CC or a blue star. We can live without the 18k btu.

Looking forward to the wisdom of the group. We need to make a decision quickly. Thanks!

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Hi kumarc,

I'm no expert, just someone who is going through the same motions at the same time.

I was really interested in the Bertazzoni--saw it in the showroom, did some research, got excited, looked at it again the showroom. Letdown.

As others have pointed out already. The Bertazzoni is a fairly conventional Italian gas stove. It is very much like the stove you will find in a good rental apartment in Italy, if the apartment is a genuine sublet.

I don't think this has been adumbrated in this forum, but Bertazzoni has been active in Italy for a long time under the name "La Germania" http://www.lagermania.it/

Both the Master and Professional Series appear to be essentially normal La Germania stoves that were rebranded for the North American market. The fact that these stoves are sold in Italy under the name "The German", whereas in NA they are prized for being Italian and from Emilia-Romagna says a lot, I think.

After determining this, I am just going to get something that is actually from Germany. Never should have strayed ;-).

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 3:42PM
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..here's that link again. Notice that the Master Series is essentially identical to their "Americana" series, which they describe as big and tough-looking.

Their domestic stuff looks sophisticated and cool, essentially a cheaper German/Swiss alternative, which has been their stock in trade from the beginning.

They all but say that they deliberately made the Americana ugly. (grandissimo ... audace ...stile transatlantico...Un modello robusto )

Here is a link that might be useful: LaGermania

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 3:48PM
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