30 inch slide-in dilemma

speedleverJuly 19, 2014

Our ancient (inherited with the house 14 years ago) Magic Chef all gas slide-in has been dying for a long time. I've managed to work around the electronic issues by just unplugging it after use. But now the oven is becoming tempermental and we never know what temp it's going to provide. Parts are non-existent per my repair guy.

The range started out all electric and the prior owners converted to gas. So there's an electric outiet in back with a blank on the front. I assume I still have 220v available there. So I'm assuming we have maximum flexibility with minimum setup hassle.

That being said, we had an OTR microwave that vented internally. It died and I just removed it and put a table top MW in. My wife wants another gas range, but I am highly interested in induction ranges.

If we go with another gas range, I'm sure it will have higher output burners than the old MChef. I do not want that setup without having an externally vented OTR microwave or venthood. The latter would likely require some relatively expensive cabinetry modifications.. and maybe affect the 12" soffit over the 14" cabinets over the range.

Seems to me the extra money might be better spent on a slide-in induction range (we need new cookware anyway).

But my wife is adamant about wanting gas. I feel my efforts to educate her about induction have been in vain!

What to do?

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"I feel my efforts to educate her about induction have been in vain!"

The best way to educate her is to take her to a showroom where she can try out an induction cooktop. I did exactly that with my wife before we upgraded to induction, although I did not have much convincing to do since we didn't have gas before, just plain electric. She figured anything could be better than that!

If I didn't have to do any electrical work, I would definitely take induction over gas. I like induction cooktops better than most gas ones, as they are quicker, more responsive, and ventilation is less of an issue (although it's still important). Plus, you'll have the advantages of an electric oven: true 3rd element convection for more even baking with a full oven, less heating up your house, and no need to worry about burners that need adjustment or carbon monoxide.

Before I got induction I looked into converting to gas, and of the ones I tested there was only one gas range (Capital Culinarian) that I liked as much as induction. But induction looked downright cheap compared to that!

This post was edited by hvtech42 on Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 11:00

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:57AM
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Send her to my house and I will cook her dinner. In 15 minutes. Seriously, does she realize the safety and ease of cleanup induction will provide? We put ours in exactly a year ago -- it was the primary reason for our remodel -- and at the time, my appliance guy said he was selling gas/induction at about 80/20. Now it is more like 40/60. In one year. (The dealer is an indy, pretty upscale, and does not sell, or at least does not stock, standard electric.)

I do believe that in 10 years, gas will date a kitchen, if that matters. (It would not matter to me.)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 11:11AM
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Thanks for the good ideas. What time is dinner tomorrow night? ;)

I'll have to see if I can find a way for her to actually use one somewhere. That might be a bit of a challenge since locally we have the big box stores (HomeDepot, Lowes, Best Buy, HHGregg, etc.) and very few mom and pop appliance stores. There's a Fergusons, but I don't think they are setup to actually cook either.

Initially, I was looking for a gas range with minimal electronics... which points straight to the pro-style ranges. Or NXR. But I am gun shy of the quality issues with NXR. And I still have that excess heat issue without being externally vented.

Furthermore, in my state (NC), there's a new code requiring some sort of ventilation modification if the venthood exceeds a certain CFM. I don't know the number.

And of course, my wife, being female, considers excess heat a good thing. Hah!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:19PM
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The CFM "modification" thing is usually for make-up air for what the vents suck out of the house. You want to avoid backdrafting gas burners on water heaters and furnaces. Generally, the regulatory threshold is 400 CFM capacity. Depending on your house and the specific codes, it could be a simple thing to add make-up air for the furnace and water heater, or it could be complicated. ALso, depending on how tight your house is, you might be well advised to consider make-up air even if your hood or OTR is under 400 CFM.

For a demonstration of induction, you might consider looking for a high end show room as those may well have an induction cooktop or two hooked up. That's what I'd do and I live in a pretty rural state, as well.

If you can find one to check out, here's something that may persuade you wife to reconsider induction. Take a cast iron fry pan and some tortillas. Put a some paper towels or a piece of parchment paper over a burner. Put the cast iron pan on the burner and set the burner to a medium setting, say 4 or 5. Wait 30 seconds. See how quickly it takes to toast the tortilla. Put a couple cups of water in the pan and see how long it takes to boil. Turn off the heat and see how quickly the heat comes down. Parlor tricks, of course, but may be impressive enough to change the minds.

Having owned an NXR for a couple of years, I can tell you they don't seem to have any more quality contorl slip-ups and shipping damages issues than most brands but what they do have that will be offputting for many is warranty and support issues for those few stoves that show up with quality control errors or shipping damage. They also are stoves you can work on much as you could fiddle with craburetors and timing on old trucks. But just as having a truck you can work on means that you have a truck that you must work on, so also with the NXR and some other pr-style ranges. That will also dissuade some and make others gun shy.

There is almost no getting round the trade-off with having electronics in stove. On the one hand, they provide a lot of features and functions. On the other, their longevity is uncertain and the repair costs can be much higher than with a simple gas range and what goes wrong can be beyond the skills and tool kits of many homeowners. As you have discovered, it is very hard to find a gas range without electronic circuitry.

As for kitchen heat, and where you live, I personally would not have even considered a gas stove. My tolerence for summer heat has declined considerably from what it was when I grew up in Virginia. I got my NXR only because I live in the Northern Rockies where winter can often last 7 months and the summers aren't anywhere near as hot -- or humid -- as you folks have to live with.

If you wife wants more kitchen warmth in your cooler months, it is hard to beat the NXR in winter. But, maybe its time to think about more baking. :>) Baking with convection oven can really warm things up in the kitchen! Although, I have to say that the one thing I had not counted on when I bought an all-gas range was that their ovens pump out significantly more heat than the ovens on electric ranges. I do a lot of baking in the winter and the extra heat is okay when we get a week of -20F, but when the weather is less cold, I really notice the excess heat in the kitchen. YMMV, of course.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 11:48PM
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Do you by chance have any friends with induction? They might tell her what they like about it and let her see it in person. I couldn't find an induction stove to try out either, but I learned enough online to want it without ever seeing it in action, except on YouTube videos. TheInductionSite.com is also pretty persuasive (link below).

If you happen to have children and your wife happens to be a member of an online moms group -- I mention this because my area of NC has a very large and active moms forum -- she could post there and ask for opinions/demos. There are occasional threads on my local forum about induction, and although there aren't many members who have it, those of us who do are very enthusiastic about it.

On the other hand, if she is the main cook, then you might need to let this one go. And I am thinking that not many wives like being "educated" by their husbands, so if you are getting a lot of resistance, that would be another reason to leave it alone (also another reason to let other people besides you talk to her about it). My DH had never heard of induction and didn't care one way or the other, beyond not seeing anything wrong with our coil stove (which worked absolutely fine; I had a fit of avarice when I came across a very inexpensive induction floor model and he, characteristically, did not interfere). All he asked was that I not get a gas stove, so... different strokes.

You could also send her to this forum, if she is interested.

Good luck! Induction is great. And I rewarded myself (because spending $ on a new range wasn't enough) with a beautiful new enameled cast iron Dutch oven, which is so much fun to cook with on induction, and also a new pressure cooker, which is also lots of fun on induction (brown rice for dinner in 20 min? sure!). But not everyone can be convinced. I didn't convince my mom, who replaced her coils with smoothtop electric instead (personally I would rather have a coil top than a regular smoothtop, so again, different strokes). Still, if you point out that getting some new cookware can be a bonus instead of a drawback...

Here is a link that might be useful: theinductionsite.com

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 12:27AM
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speedlever, where in NC are you? I will demo mine for her if you're near RTP. (We seem to have a lot of NCers here . . .)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 7:54AM
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Thanks all for the good ideas. Unfortunately, we don't know a soul with an induction range. Thanks for the offer MizLizzie, but we are in the triad area, a good ways west of you.

We split the cooking about 50/50, maybe 60/40 her. The range project is at a standstill until we can resolve the direction we need to take. While we could really use a full kitchen remodel, that is not in the budget anytime soon. However, the unreliability of our current range is going to force the issue one way or another pretty soon.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 9:38AM
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Aw, that's just a jaunt, speedlever! I make it at least every couple of weeks. ;-). If you change your mind, email me from my profile page. You would surely be welcome. Hopefully someone will pop up here from the Triad and offer. What about Hart's? Have you been by there?

I hope your wife comes around. I guess I had it easy. My husband does 0% of the cooking and when I said I wanted to gut the kitchen to the studs and put in Induction, he said, "What a lovely idea," without looking up from his newspaper. I am still not sure he knows what induction is . . .

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 10:10AM
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I live farther away from you than MizLizzie does. With your division of cooking, you do both need to be happy with the range. Would your wife be willing to post on GW, or just read all the induction threads here, or look at videos on YouTube? It might be helpful for her to hear from (or read posts by) people who have gone from gas to induction.

Double check with Ferguson too. I was under the impression that they do have some of their cooktops hooked up, but I never found out for sure.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 11:49AM
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MizLizzie, I have shown her threads here about induction, and just sent her an email with a link to the induction site. But to this point, she remains a gasaholic. ;)

While we drove to Raleigh earlier this year to check out a piece of exercise equipment at a business, she would not be comfortable invading someone's home as generous an offer as it is. (and I thank you). If you were a business, that would be different. But I'll keep that option in my back pocket anyway, just in case. ;)

I'll have to check with Ferguson and see if they have anything live in their showroom.

I really think this is an education/comfort issue, but as brought up before, there are valid reasons spouses should not educate the other half. At least in certain areas. You think I would have learned that lesson by now. Heh!

Regarding Hart's, I don't think they have a working model on the floor. In fact, we just bought a Speed Queen 432 toploader washer from them the other day.

This post was edited by speedlever on Sun, Jul 20, 14 at 15:30

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 3:27PM
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MizLizzie? I don't find a working email option anywhere. Can you email me: speedlever at gmail dot com?


    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 7:06AM
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MizLizzie, I found it is a bit tricky setting up the ability to email from your profile. Mine should now be active. Yours has not been set up. Yet. ;)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 10:33AM
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Before I committed to buying an induction range (no one I knew had an induction stove), I purchaced a Nuwave portable hob to try cooking with induction. Using it two times convinced me that an induction stove would replace my 30 year-old stove.

Safety is a BIG issue for me. The induction glass top gets warm but not so hot that it will burn skin; I did manage to touch a recently used hob that definitely HURT my hand but no burn or blister. Additionally, if the pan is off the nob, the burner does not work and the stove eventually shuts off the hob.

I love my Samsung induction stove!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 11:57PM
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Thanks Ranton. I considered getting a portable hob, but figured a 120v hob would be a poor representative of the 240v induction range in terms of performance... at least from the perspective of cheaply demonstrating the technology. Perhaps my thinking is in error in that regard.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 12:14AM
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