30" Gas Range in condo

Slenderella68November 15, 2013

Hi all! I am looking to replace the 30" gas range in my condo. I'm not sure about the actual venting ability, since there is an OTR microwave, and the range itself is a builder-basic GE.

In my previous home (and dream kitchen), I had a 36" DCS that I loved. I'd like to spend less this time, but here are my priorities:

- minimal electronics/circuit boards, if possible
- moderately powered burners. I don't need to boil 5 gallons of water in 30 seconds, but a decent output for searing/stir frying would be nice
- convection oven with infrared broiler
- continuous grates

In my "nice to have" categories:
- oven can hold a full-size sheet tray. I realize that this would tip me over the scale to the Bluestar/AR price range (~$3K)
- NOT a black porcelain surface under the burners. Current unit is black and is a PITA to keep clean/smudge-free
- 5 burners

My counter space is very limited, so replacing the OTR microwave with a hood is possible (again, actual venting ability is unknown), but not optimal. I do use my microwave quite a bit.

Any suggestions? From my cursory forays to the large-scale consumer store, most of the ranges under $2K have black porcelain tops. The LG ones with the blue oven innards are pretty pretty pretty, but won't accommodate a full sized sheet pan. (I'm a baker, and this would be a bonus).

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Other than the two ranges you have identified, Five Star is the only other 30" range that (IIRC) will hold a full size (18x26) sheet pan. There may be another 30" range that does so, , but that is all I can recall at the moment.

If you can forgo the full size sheet-pan requirement, there are additional choices. You are correct that, in major brands, it is very hard to find SS gas ranges without enameled black tops. Off the top of my head, only GE Cafe and some of the Electrolux Icon ranges have SS rather than porcelain tops. They have continuous grates and a couple of power burners. Of course, both have considerable electronics and neither has an infrared broiler.

Apart from oven size, the Capitol Culinarians have good sized ovens and are well though of here but they are very expensive.

NXR is a range that meets your criteria --- other than full size shseet pans in the oven --- and is the least expensive pro-style range that is currently available. (Note: to have continuous grates, you have to purchase an additional center grate for about $50.) It is a very simple stove and there is very little that can go wrong that you can't fix for yourself. Shipping damage is a different matter and warranty service can be problemmatic --- check out bmorepanic's two threads. My personal paranoia being what it is, I only considered buying an NXR from Costco because of the no-questions return policy. If I received a defective stove, it would have gone back to Costco for an exhange or a refund. That said, most of us NXR owners have been pretty happy with this most budget-friendly of pro-style ranges. If it sounds interesting, do a search on "gardenweb + nxr" and you'll find several long and explicit discussions of the good and bad of these stoves.

There have been a number of recent discussions about hoods and OTR venting with pro-style ranges, so a search may prove informative. As the owner of a small-house kitchen, I know what you mean about space being tight. My solution was a good range hood over the stove while hanging the MW from a cabinet above the counters. I used a GE Space Saver II because a smallish MW sufficed for me, but YMMV.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 10:41PM
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You should be able to look in the cabinet above your over-the range microwave to see if it is venting out of your condo. I recently remodeled my condo kitchen and was able to put in a vent hood in its place.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 5:31AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Figure out your venting FIRST. That's more limiting to your choice than the ability to fit a full sized sheet pan. Compromises have to be made. Who wants 4 18K Btu burners putting all of their heat into an apartment that's already poorly cooled in the middle of a July summer day? Venting can help to get rid of the excess heat, and smoke etc. But, only if it involves ducting it out. Recirculating does nothing to get the 120 kitchen cool on a 98 degree day.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 9:46AM
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Plus some pro-style ranges that have powerful burners have restrictions on the minimum height to the bottom of the hood - like 30" or more.

A microhood can be as low as 18" from the cooking surface, but NOT when mixed with a pro-style range.

You may also wish to look up the existing microhood to see if it can be vented before worrying about whether it is vented. A lot of them have very low cfms.

If you get the specs, also read the size of the ducting required. It may be too small to switch to a standard hood.

Lastly, consider induction instead. Still not going to be cheap as there are only a few induction ranges but might be less than doing what you'd need to do for a pro-style range.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 11:07AM
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Thanks for your input, all. I took a look in the cabinet above the micro, and there is no ducting there at all, however, I can't say that perhaps there isn't something behind the micro, in the wall there. I feel like that will be the thing that restricts how much horsepower (so to speak) I can put under it as far as the stove is concerned. My current OTR micro (also GE builder-grade) doesn't do bupkis to pull out heat or smoke if I turn on the fan.

Does anyone know anything about the LG Studio series?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 2:43PM
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