48" range decisions

johnskr2March 11, 2014

I posted this in the 'Appliance' forum but thought someone might have some great information to share here...
Let me apologize for this long-winded post/query upfront! I am in the middle of renovating a kitchen and, just when I thought I had made my appliance decisions, have found myself having to re-choose a 48" range. My cabinets have already been ordered and are being custom-made to accommodate the increased depth of a "pro-style" range (this serves a dual purpose of being the same depth as my non cabinet-depth refrigerator that will be built-in to the same cabinet run). I was set on purchasing an American Range Performer Series until the appliance store salesman emailed me (after I'd signed the contract and written a very large check for the cabinets!) to tell me that the showroom AR model he showed me was not dual fuel as he had touted but all gas and had increased in cost by $600 just two weeks earlier. I now need some insight from anyone who feels they have some worthwhile information that might help me make a choice. Not to provide you with a novel, but here are some of the details that must go into my decision. My house that I'm renovating was to be a long-term (10 years or more) residence with the kitchen being one that fit my cooking and baking style. I love to both cook and bake so I need a range that is good for both. I live an hour outside of any major city so it also needs to be reliable and serviceable. Although I had decided on dual fuel with the AR, I don't have a problem with AG as long as it doesn't hinder baking. Last but not least, since starting the renovation, I find myself unexpectedly engaged to a man who doesn't want to live in this house (or this area) longer than 5 years. So now that I have to re-choose my range, I need to find one that is on the lower end of the cost spectrum but still meets my reliability, cooking, and baking needs. I'm open to most brands but have focused in on DCS (in first place so far), Jenn Air, and KitchenAid, largely due to cost and serviceability but also because they're household names, so to speak, and would be recognizable to anyone considering purchasing the house in 5 years. My biggest hindrance to this is that I cannot visit any showrooms to see/touch/feel the appliances due to time constraints with work, geographic location, wedding planning, etc. So...does anyone have any insight into these brands (or any other for that matter)? And, on a happy note to all of this...I've been told that I can have my range of choice (including my steam oven) in the next house so I'm consoling myself with that thought! Thanks in advance for your help.

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you might want to post on the Kitchen forum, if you have not already done so

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 8:07PM
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I have a 48" Capital Culinarian range (it's all gas) and here are my impressions after having used it for a couple of years. In general, I am very happy with it, but here's what I'd do if I were to do it again:

The cooktop configuration is six burners and a grill. If I were to do it again, I'd get the griddle instead of the grill; I find the grill isn't as powerful nor as handy as the gas grill outside, and it's a PITA to clean. Or, I would consider getting just all eight burners and getting a griddle big enough to cover two burners. The cooktop has some really powerful burners--I like that.

It has a rotisserie which I've used a few times. It works, but it makes a mess of the oven and then you have to clean the oven. I doubt that I'll be using it much in the future.

It seems to bake fine, although I don't make as much bread as I used to. It has a large oven and a small one. The large one is self cleaning, although when the oven is on the cleaning cycle it makes the kitchen very hot.

While the range fits well in the spot we have for the kitchen, if I were to start from scratch I'd probably get a powerful cooktop and two wall ovens. I'm getting old, and I can see that bending over to get a heavy casserole out of a range oven is going to be more of a pain in the future.

This post was edited by arley on Wed, Mar 12, 14 at 11:13

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 11:12AM
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Thanks, new-beginning, I'll try to get it posted in 'Kitchens' as well.

Thanks for the CC info, arley. I've considered CC but would have to find one at a significantly lower price to make it worthwhile. I live in a semi-rural area where the majority of potential home buyers haven't heard of Wolf or Viking (let alone CC) and would consider KitchenAid a high-end brand. Because of this, I am trying to limit my choices to less expensive brands like KA, Jenn Air, and DCS so I don't lose too much money when we sell the house. My biggest question is the quality and reliability in the aforementioned brands. Ultimately, I want to be happy with and not regret my purchase, especially with the cost associated with any of these!

I did find your perspective on the griddle and grill interesting and helpful. I was considering 6-burners with a grill. I figured that I can place a sit-on-top griddle on the burners when I want to make pancakes or other griddle foods and that the grill would be useful in winter or when cooking food for just the two of us (no need to fire up the outside grill). I'd read a few other times that the grill (various brands) was hard to clean making me now rethink my plan.

Lastly, I went back and forth when deciding between rangetop/wall ovens or a range. In the end, the range won, primarily due to lack of wall frontage. I've completely gutted the main floor of my house, replaced a structural wall with a beam and am in the process of moving the kitchen to the opposite (front) corner of the house. I did this to capitalize on the waterview behind the house. In doing so, however, I had only one wall to work with for bigger/tall items. Since I preferred to have the range/rangetop on the wall for venting purposes (and I dislike things, like large vent hoods, blocking my view!), I couldn't fit the refrigerator and separate wall ovens on the wall. Thus, my decision was made for me...I'll just have to keep my knees limber until we sell the house! Cheers!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 12:19PM
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