New kitchen and Lacanche obsession
We are remodeling our kitchen and are replacing everything except the microwave. I like to cook and have 2 smallish kids and work, so efficiency is key. I cook Christmas dinner for 30 people and have maybe 10 small (8 guests or fewer) dinner parties each year, so I'm usually not cooking for a crowd.
We are replacing a kitchen aid stainless counter depth fridge, a kenmore gas stove and a maytag dishwasher, all are at least 11 years old. I've been happy with the performance of all the appliances (especially the maytag, it's great!), and, with the exception of the range (I'm willing to spend more there), want something reliable that works well and isn't super expensive that I can panel. We have very hard water, so I think a dishwasher with a built in water softener would be worthwhile, I'm a scraper, not a rinser, and don't really care if it's not super quiet, but I do need an indicator light that tells us the dishes are clean. For the fridge, it needs to be 36" and counter depth, fit a gallon of milk on the door and have an internal water dispenser and an ice maker. Any thoughts, recommendations, rants or raves? We want something that will go the distance (of course!).
For the range, I have become obsessed with the Lacanche Cluny. I love the Classique top configuration and, of course, the look, and the roughly 40" size and price are right. I've done some soul searching about the small ovens (thanks all for your thoughts in other threads on these), I've visited the NYC outpost of Art Culinaire with a suitcase of cookware and played hide the roasting pan in the ovens, and salivated over those gorgeous knobs and enamels...but when I was told that the preheat time was about 20 minutes, I was crestfallen. The vast majority of meals that I cook are done (and need to be done) in 30 minutes or less. Is the preheat time really this long? I thought with the smaller ovens it would be quicker. Is the only option to get a wall oven in addition to the Lacanche? (I know others have done this, and I may succumb because my love for this range is not rational, but I'd rather save the space for cabinetry). Also, I make a lot of popovers and I think with the rack spacing I will only be able to do 1 batch/oven, which is going to create some unhappiness. Has anyone baked 2 or more pans of popovers in popover pans (deep wells, about 1 1/3 as deep as cupcake pans) in a Lacanche with smaller ovens? Did it impact rising?
Also, I found it nearly impossible to get my roasting pan out (it's large but not huge, and fit comfortably in the Cluny's ovens) without brushing the roof of the oven with my arm. Lacanche owners, what size roasting pan do you use? I was also disappointed with how the racks moved, they seemed really sticky, which was unfortunate because the Cluny's small ovens would be much more user friendly if the racks rolled freely.
I was excited for the Lacanche's over the burner griddle, but my enthusiasm evaporated when I lifted it to put it on the range. Does anyone own and actually use the griddle? If so, I hope you haven't sustained any injuries - it is HEAVY. And how do you know the oven has finished preheating? Do you use a thermometer or time it?
All this said, I can't get over my crush on the looks of the Lacanche. Is there another option any one is aware of at the same price point and 40" size? I've looked at the Ilve, but I prefer the equally sized ovens of the Cluny and the option of one gas, and one electric oven; that said, the Ilve is the best looking alternative I've found (I like it better than the Verona), and I would love to hear from anyone who's cooked on one or owned one. I thought the Aga Legacy was also good looking, but I think the oven sizes may present similar problems. I've started looking at vintage stoves, is anyone aware of models with a similar sensibility to the Lacanche? I'd consider a gas range top with similar looking controls and forego the beautiful enamel ovens if such a thing exists.
And I'd welcome everyone's thoughts for a reasonably priced and reliable electric wall oven in the event I cannot resist the Lacanche. If there's anyone who has had a bad experience with a Lacanche I would love to hear it.
Thanks for listening!