30" Range Replacement - Help!

hannah1787September 5, 2013

My 30" Frigidaire Gallery just died (well, the oven won't heat up) - it's dual fuel and I've had it 12 years, but it's at least a year or two older than that. So I don't really want to fix it - it has the knobs on the top, which makes for a lot less cooking space.
The problem is, I don't know what to replace it with. I'd like dual fuel again - heats up fast in the oven, even cooking temps, and I love the gas top. Everything else in the kitchen is stainless. We like to cook, don't have money to burn but willing to pay for quality. Reviews on product sites are all over the map! Here are our basic wishes:
> knobs in front, that do not light when brushed against (know of a Viking that does this, yikes)
> cannot require a huge hood (old house has no space/vent available - currently has a microwave with fan over the stove)
> easy to clean top
> top must be gas
> slide in/controls in front for oven, not on back or sides
> 30" width
> self-cleaning would be nice
Wolf looks beautiful (and expensive), Electrolux looks nice (but is it good?), GE series - I'm open to any suggestions. Consumer Reports and Consumer Search are just not cutting it.

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Frigidaire Professional Series FPDS3085KF ~$1600 is my best buy

GE Cafe Series C2S985SETSS ~$2300 is best in what seems your price range. This range is quite popular with the ladies in the Kitchen Forum.

I think I would rather have the Frigidaire Pro rather than the Electrolux IQ Touch and the GE Café over the Electrolux Wavetouch.

Or are you seriously looking at the Wolf $5K plus class?

Then there are the beautiful Italian ranges in the $3k-$5.5k class. Beautiful but tend to have small ovens by American standards. There are a few cheaper than $3k but not very beautiful and/or have small electric manual clean ovens.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 9:29PM
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I you have not looked at this site yet during your searching, you may find it helpful.

Here is a link that might be useful: Appliances and Problems

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 9:31PM
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A non-scientific self selected sample of people who are so angry they went on the internet to look for sites to vent is not that helpful IMO.

Shockingly companies that sell the most ranges and ovens in the USA and Canada had the most complaints. And companies that sell less ovens and ranges had less complaints.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 10:02PM
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I may be one of the only people around here with Dacor but I love my all gas, 30" range. I have had it for two years.

I did find it on clearance in a going out of business sale, for $1800. I think list prices was around $3400 then? We also bought a matching hood.

I looked at absolutely every range available. Would I have purchased it at full price? It is hard for me to say. But, I have loved cooking on it and the hood has been amazing.

Good luck with your decision. I know how hard it is.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 10:55PM
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odiegirl13, where were you a few months ago when I was desperately searching for Dacor all-gas owners for feedback? :-)

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 11:06PM
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I have been reading this site (thus the post), but I guess I wanted a more targeted response based on my specific issues.
I'd buy Wolf if I heard it was absolutely awesome and totally worth it. Where do you even find reviews for Wolf? And the Electrolux just looked so pretty (I'm a sucker for that cobalt interior), but I can't buy on looks alone.
I don't look at just the bad reviews, I look at the good too - the problem (for me) is that for most, it's split 50/50. If it was more heavily weighted to the good, I'd assume people were just venting.
I did think the GE Cafe mentioned above looked like a good possibility, but some reviews mentioned that the top scratches really easily - my last top was black and a real pain to clean unless you use oven cleaner (just a tad toxic for my taste), so I'd prefer not to get "burned" again :-)

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 8:33AM
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With you being limited to an OTR MW as a vent, just go back with a plain consumer grade oven. No need for pro grade high BTU's that cannot be vented out of the house. If you liked the Gallery, go back with it again. Or have it repaired. If it's just the oven that's not working, that would probably be a simple repair. They're not overly complicated.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 9:56AM
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but I guess I wanted a more targeted response based on my specific issues.

Sounds like your specific issue is that you want us to convince you to buy the Wolf and short of that another range with cobalt blue interior.

Save for Bosch and Gaggenau, all the other manufactures have had problems in the past with their pretty blue interiors. Two veteran GW members recently have had problems with their Wolf blue interiors. One usually tells all Wolf intenders she does not recommend Wolf anymore and would stay away from Electrolux too. I have a Gaggenau wall oven with the cobalt blue interior. After a year the "wow" has worn off.

Black cooktops like the Wolf are hard to clean and the SS cooktops like the GE Café and Electrolux can scratch and discolor easily. The solid cast iron enameled cooktops of the Bluestar and almost solid cast iron cooktops of the Capital Culinarian ranges tackle both issues but you discounted those in your first post.

I think the Wolf oven's performance is totally awesome but the cooktop is just mediocre. Some Wolf owners hail the low simmer. The 350 btu low on Wolf burners are not really a simmer because nothing simmers that low it is really a luke warm or warm plate feature. Wolf itself advertised you can melt butter "delicately". I can melt butter without burning on my Culiarian just fine.

The Frigidaire Pro IMO is a better buy than the least expensive Elux because it has higher output burners and the only functional thing missing in the oven is a proof mode. If you would rather buy the Electrolux Wavetouch over the GE Café (both have SS cooktops) because of the cobalt blue interior and you are willing to take what seems like a small added risk of porcelain oven interior failure go for it. The failures usually result from using the self-clean feature. Maybe use that feature sparingly.

BTW Gaggenau does not make ranges and Bosch parent company BSH now reserves the blue interior for Gaggenau only.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 4:47PM
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Sorry jellytoast! :-(

I hope you love your range no matter what you chose.

Best of luck hannah1787. It is a hard decision.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 11:31PM
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Venting about crappy appliance design and bad build quality is a right given to lemon owners in most free countries.
What is even more germane for our situation as potential customers of such companies is that they are informing the rest of us that those responsible for making amends (instead of doing the right thing) prefer to stock their call centers with cretins in obstructive ***hole mode.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 3:09PM
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I don't understand why people say that the black stove tops are hard to clean. Mine cleans up beautifully and easily, but I don't let things burn on and dry on there, so maybe that's what it takes ... if something boils over, I move the pan and wipe up the spill, then continue on. And I wipe down the stove top whenever I finish using it. It only takes a minute, and since it looks so gorgeous when I'm done, I can't help myself. The cast iron grates, on the other hand, don't clean up nearly as nice, so I'm glad that my entire stove top is not made of cast iron.

The Wolf burners on the all-gas model definitely have a simmer feature that works very well, but maybe the simmer on the dual fuel models doesn't work as well ... I don't know. I would not rate my cook top as "mediocre" ... in fact, it is the best range top I've ever had, has all the power I need, and I really enjoy cooking on it. Not everyone needs (or wants) the most powerful burners on the market.

Hannah1787, you might want to look at the Dacor as odiegirl suggested. It's really pretty and might serve your needs and work well with your ventilation issue. It has a black range top, but it looked like it would be very easy to clean.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 8:18PM
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Although you mentioned gas now might be the time to consider a GE or Electrolux induction top range. Ventilation requirements are reduced by an amount at least equal to the waste heat from open flame burners. And ask anyone about keeping the top clean with a damp cloth.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 11:52PM
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As much as I love my Dacor range, I think dan1888 is right.

My range can really generate heat and I love it for that but without my hood, I would be in trouble. I don't use the hood to help with the heat per se but I certainly use it otherwise. The broiler is great but I need my hood at full power if I am using it.

(During our remodel we found at the the original hood never vented to the outside. The duct was there but the siding guys covered over the opening. It is pretty wonderful to have one that really works.)

The Dacor is very easy to clean. The black top is a snap to wipe down. It has two large grates that are easy to handle. The burners are easy to take apart and clean.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 9:27AM
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I ended up getting the GE Cafe Dual Fuel. I couldn't justify the $$ on a Wolf (and I'd probably not be able to vent properly), and I also could not buy a stove purely for the blue interior (that was not my specific issue, seriously). It's very shiny; I asked how to keep the top clean without scratching and the installer suggested using WD40 - something that would never have crossed my mind - curious if anyone has tried that here?
This seemed like the range with the best overall reviews in our price range with dual fuel. It also has a fifth middle burner and a griddle that fits on top (something we've long coveted). The probe in it is really nice - we've already tried it out on a roast and it worked perfectly. The installer also suggested avoiding use of the self-clean unless in a dire state, as the heat level that gets to isn't great for the electronics in the range anyway, and is just generally hard on it. So we'll keep that in mind.
So far (and that's only 2 days), it's been great (and it's my first new stove), with nice quick boiling on the high intensity burner and a good low simmer. I may test out the cleaning if I make the rest of the jam I am planning on.
Thanks for everyone's ideas and suggestions.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 3:11PM
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Just chiming in to say how much I love my GE Profile slide in 30" induction range - I've had it nearly 6 months now - it fits all your requirements, except that of course the top is induction, not gas.
Clean up is a breeze, the oven is huge, bakes evenly, has a probe, a slow cooker feature, a warming drawer etc. I can't say enough good things about this range. Kitchen does not heat up etc.
Yes, you may have to buy new pots - I got a great set of Cuisinart induction ready pots and pans on sale for about $150 (from $450).

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 5:59PM
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WD-40 is thought to be a lubricant but it is actually a solvent. Great for removing decals and plastic sales tags, too.

It never occurred to me to use WD-40 on a stovetop because of the odor and because it is not considered food-safe. I would probably start with something like Pinesol and a microfiber cloth, Resort to a blue scrubby sponge for the baked-on stuff. I also would get Bar Keepers Friend for scrubbing the stubborn stuff and the aluminium burners and caps (used a lot of that on my former stove, a GE Profile dual-fuel.) For shining up the surface, try a stainless polish like Weiman's.

Be aware that stainless on stoves inevitably scratches, If it bothers you, there are numbers of posts here on polishing minor scratches.

BTW, which Cafe DF did you get: the one with "warming drawer/baking oven" or the one with the two full 240v ovens?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 3:52PM
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Hannah - WD-40 is flammable. Do not use it on a stovetop. And it's poisonous and should not be used around food. What in heck is wrong with people? There are dozens of kitchen cleaners on the market, but let's try WD-40 instead? Also, what does the range's manual say about cleaning recommendations? How about Fantastik, Formula 409, Lysol Kitchen Cleaner, Seventh Generation All Purpose Cleaner, etc. etc? Or a simple Dobie Pad and dish soap?

This post was edited by akchicago on Mon, Sep 16, 13 at 19:29

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 7:20PM
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Yikes - won't use WD40 - I did not try it and was going to read the manual first.
I got the one with the warming/baking drawer. I don't know if I'll use it but it's a nice possibility. The oven itself somehow fits my baking pans much better, very exciting!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 11:57AM
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akchicago - you have obviously not met the glue that defeats most of those. I tried a whole bunch of stuff with nothing more than minimal results on the wrapping plastic residue. Wd40 was amazing.

The wd40 removes the glue residue pretty immediately and completely. Then I removed the dw40 with a typical cleaner. It also comes off with simplegreen.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 7:16PM
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WD40 is great for glue residue when unpacking the new stove, which is what bmorepanic is referring to. But, hannah's installer's suggestion to use WD40 for day-to-day cleaning of the stove top is a bad idea for all the reasons cited above.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 5:19PM
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Water Displacement fluid WD40 was the most successful of many attempts to develop a fluid that would displace water from machined metals that had just had their water soluble cutting oils washed off. I can attest that it does this very well. Other uses were found that through word of mouth made it popular enough to be sold without any reference to its original purpose. However, in many cases better solutions (sorry) exist for these other uses. For example, WD40 is not a particularly good lubricant, and other lubricants specialized for their purpose should be used where possible.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 9:57AM
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