Frustrated! Tired of "fancy stoves won't make you a better cook"

MandyMooTooDecember 6, 2013

This is probably just a rant post but I want/need to get it off my chest!! I am so tired of hearing that purchasing a "fancy stove" (anything that costs more than $800-$1000 I suppose?) won't make me a better cook. I'm a darn good cook regardless of what range I use, in my opinion. Obviously a better range isn't going to make you a chef magically but it can make the cooking experience much nicer, easier even, and dishes may come out better in some cases too. In asking how people like their gas ranges, do they have dual fuel, open burners, etc. I keep getting told how ridiculous it is to buy a range that costs more than your average Best Buy range and it really aggravates me. Has anyone ever said that to you? How do you respond (other than saying shut your yapper, it isn't your business how I spend my money-I just wanted to know how you liked your range and how reliable it has been)?

Shew, I feel a bit better...I think I'll stop asking how others like their ranges and just read forum posts and reviews!

(For reference, I only ask how people like cooking on their ranges and what brand they have to get a sense of quality, service calls and so forth, I have not been asking what they paid or given them info on what my budget is) Thanks, I needed that.

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scole250

Well, maybe you read my recent reply to a post, so here's the full review I gave a Sears Kenmore Elite range before I dumped it bought one of them fancy expensive Wolf ranges. I've a believer that you get what you pay for, usually. No, it won't turn me into a master chef, but it will eliminate many of the deficiencies/aggravations I found with the other range.
******
This is a low end range masquerading as a Kenmore Elite. Going back to Sears and getting a different model. Here's the issues:
1. None of the burners have even, continuous flame control. All of them jump from flame level to flame level unless you turn the control ever so gentle and slowly. They have a very small range of control.
2. The duel ring burner is great on high and great on low, but if you want to boil water and low simmer at the same time, you're out of luck.
3. The simmer burner simmers ok, but doesn't go low enough. Not as low as lo simmer on duel ring. Simmer burner not good for anything but simmer though.
4. Bridge burner, front and back burners, on left are worthless. Not high enough to boil, not low enough to simmer. Useless except to heat a griddle.
5. The center burner is a good all purpose burner but if you try to cook more than one thing at time, you'll also be using either the simmer burner, duel ring or both and you'll have crowded pots/pans fighting for space.
6. Because the burners are not flexible in what they can do, you have to move pots/pans around to get them on a burner that will cook at the right temp.
7. The grates aren't level with each other. Why?
8. I've run a self clean cycle on the oven twice, cooked at higher temps a couple times and the oven still stinks. Smells like residue.
9. The touch pad control panel doesn't have a lockout. You can't wipe/clean it without turning something on or off.

  1. The oven internal cooling fan, which runs as long as the oven it hot, vibrates and make more noise than the 600cfm hood fan.

The sad thing is, even though a Kenmore Elite is not a top of the line range, they're asking over $2,400 for it. If that was the quality of $2,400 range, I can't imagine what you get for just $1,000. Though a have a $50 propane camping stove that cooks better than the Kenmore,

This post was edited by scole250 on Fri, Dec 6, 13 at 17:56

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 11:55AM
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scole250

(duplicate deleted)

This post was edited by scole250 on Fri, Dec 6, 13 at 12:00

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 11:57AM
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MandyMooToo

Thank you for this post! I am glad that I am not alone in my thoughts on this subject :)

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 12:05PM
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geoffrey_b

You can argue that a $16,000 Fiat will get you from place to place just as well as a $50,000 Audi / MB / BMW.

If build / fit & finish are important. If well designed controls, heavy grates, quality oven racks, quality controls, ease of cleaning, accurate thermostats are important.... Plus the extra BTU output - so you can really stir-fry, sear, and boil a couple of gallons of water in 5 minutes - Then go with a pro-range.

In the 80's we had a commercial Garland range. In 2005 we replaced it with a Viking - both worked well.

Every person who has ever been in our kitchen says: "I wish I had a range like that!" I don't think it's the look - but rather they can see the 'tool' is superior.

Otherwise go with the FIAT!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 1:51PM
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weissman

Actually, if my past experience is any indication, a Fiat won't get you from place to place :-)

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 2:06PM
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MandyMooToo

Ha! Geoffrey, I made this same argument today regarding a Lexus and Pinto when someone told me that buying a fancy stove won't...blah...blah...blah. She drives a Lexus so maybe my comment made its point?? I definitely want an awesome cooking TOOL and I care about the fit and function more than anything else.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 2:10PM
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bmorepanic

Please don't cook your pinto or cook on your pinto. Also, you many wish to reconsider cooking with pinto gas. That may be the smell in your oven :)

The fact that a good cook is good no matter what the tool, doesn't negate that I am better cook when using a better range. Anyone would likely be happier being able to cook without a spellbook of incantations used to get a mediocre range to behave.

@weissman - at least not for very long.
Proud member of the "I had a fiat once" club.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 2:57PM
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jellytoast

Actually, a better range DID make me a better cook. Before I got my new range, I overcooked everything on my ancient Caloric gas range. The burners never really got hot enough to sear meats correctly and everything would be overcooked in the center by the time the outsides got a nice color on them. Not the case with my new Wolf ... everything cooks so quickly that steaks, chops, etc. look lovely without being overdone. I'm a vegetarian, so I never eat any of that stuff, but my husband comments frequently about how much better his food is.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 2:58PM
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MandyMooToo

Bemorepanic-Love it! It is nice to see some amusing comments :)

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 3:03PM
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cookncarpenter

I've had my Bluestar range for about nine months now, and while it may not have made me a "better" cook, it has made the experience much more enjoyable. I have always loved to cook, and friends and family would agree I'm pretty darn good, and say I deserve a range like this, and I agree! This is one fantastic piece of equipment that has allowed me to excel at something I thoroughly enjoy doing, creating wonderful meals for loved ones to enjoy...

FIAT = Fix it again Tony ;)

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 3:34PM
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MandyMooToo

Bemorepanic-Love it! It is nice to see some amusing comments :)

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 3:38PM
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bmorepanic

@ctycdm
It that what it is? I thought it was "repair bill" in Italian.

@jellytoast - mine too. As much as he likes the price of lower end ranges, he completely agreed that the end product was better.

@MandyMooToo. Thanks.

I've asked people what they paid. i didn't mean they needed to be explicit, but I had no idea what things cost and we had a pretty fixed budget. I like to know what I should not see lest I fall in love.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 6:21PM
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MandyMooToo

Bmorepanic-I have no problem discussing budget or prices as long as I am not being judged because of my choices. That's why I made the disclaimer...if an interested person asks that's fine but it seems like most people ask and then give me the deer in the headlights look like I'm crazy for spending that and then comes the "fancy stove" speech!!! I am definitely on a budget :)

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 6:32PM
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xc60

Well, first to say I love my Fiat, one of my favorite cars, lol.

I do prefer to cook on a fancier stove, we are now in a rental with a cheap Frigidaire and I can't bake a sheet of cookies no matter what. My old stove no problem.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 6:57PM
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kashka_kat

Who's telling you this? If people you know just hit your internal "ignore" button. We all have our vices and cooking is some people's creative outlet - more power to them. I honestly would never ever pay more than $500 for a stove or range or whatever that darn rectangular shaped metal thing in the kitchen is. But I happily paid lots and lots for photo equipment and photo editing software. I think we can safely say that there's never a need to spend a lot of money on anything, except if it's something you love to do and/or want to improve, then quality of equipment does matter.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 7:31PM
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barryv_gw

MandyMoo Too, staying with the car analogy, the Lexus will not get you where you are going any quicker than the comparable Toyota model it is based on, but some people find that the upgrades given to the Lexus makes the ride more enjoyable. If it makes you happy, good for you, and it isn't for others to judge. If you are happier with your range, you will definitely be a better cook with it.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 9:54PM
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MandyMooToo

Thank you all for the supportive posts and car analogies! Made me smile!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 9:59PM
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MandyMooToo

Duplicate post, sorry

This post was edited by MandyMooToo on Fri, Dec 6, 13 at 23:49

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 11:08PM
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geoffrey_b

You asked about price - in 2006 - I think we paid about $5,500 for a six burner Viking gas range with a grill, painted graphite gray. You will need a hood - another $2,000. It's really nice to have the fan controls / lights / heat lamp all integrated into the front of the hood.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 10:15AM
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geoffrey_b

You asked about price - in 2006 - I think we paid about $5,500 for a six burner Viking gas range with a grill, painted graphite gray. You will need a hood - another $2,000. It's really nice to have the fan controls / lights / heat lamp all integrated into the front of the hood.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 10:16AM
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rococogurl

This is all about "performance" -- range performance, car performance, cooking performance. This is also about status, fantasy and guilt. It also might be about property value.

Some very famous cooks didn't have "high performance" equipment. And it's amazing how home cooks in other countries don't have all this fancy equipment and yet manage to turn out delicious meals. I've had wonderful food cooked in a fireplace and on a hot plate.

If you can cook, a high performance range makes it easier and can give you more control and eliminate a struggle against a range (which is certainly annoying).

If you can't cook well, and don't learn to season, no appliance will help.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 12:33PM
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omega73

Some people like spending their disposable income on fancy cars others on high end audio equipment, expensive watches etc etc. So tell them to mind their own business when they question your choice of a high end stove.

This post was edited by omega73 on Sat, Dec 7, 13 at 18:23

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 6:20PM
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geoffrey_b

All I can say, as an 'Engineer' and a 'Computer Scientist' who likes to cook: a range that can deliver a lot of heat, quickly, really rocks.

If you like to make recipies from Betty Crocker, or like to boil meat, then stick with a $500 range. There's nothing wrong with that.

My wife and I ( 42 years ) would rather cook a good meal, than spend $150 for so-so service. If you want to go out, then maybe you should get the $500 range.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 8:10PM
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geoffrey_b

All I can say, as an 'Engineer' and a 'Computer Scientist' who likes to cook: a range that can deliver a lot of heat, quickly, really rocks.

If you like to make recipies from Betty Crocker, or like to boil meat, then stick with a $500 range. There's nothing wrong with that.

My wife and I ( 42 years ) would rather cook a good meal, than spend $150 for so-so service. If you want to go out, then maybe you should get the $500 range.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 8:11PM
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MandyMooToo

Geoffrey-I prefer to cook at home with my husband rather than eat out. Our food usually turns out better (IMHO), you know what is going into the food (and what isn't in it) and I just enjoy cooking in general :)

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 10:02PM
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Ed-C

MandyMooToo:

FWIW, Many of us have a talent for justifying our past actions. If we own a cheap or poor quality stove, well then, a fancy one wouldn't make us a better cook. If we spent $50,000 for a top of the line diamond encrusted model, well then, it was worth it.

Sales persons, say at Sears, that don't have an item that would cost more, (or at least land them a bigger commission) may want to keep you from going to another store.

As the owner of a new, somewhat fancy stove replacing an old somewhat fancy stove, I'd suggest that you do not always get what you pay for. Sometimes it's more sometimes it's less. That's why this site is so valuable. Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 10:54PM
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MandyMooToo

Ed-Point taken! Thanks for the advice!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 11:02PM
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bmorepanic

@rococogurl - trust me, an appliance would help a lot. :)

Just about any appliance at this point. (I don't think the 9,600 btu gas logs count, although I haven't tried standing there and holding a pot over it yet... maybe for christmas.)

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 4:54PM
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