Lacanche Volnay + Miele Speed Oven vs. Lacanche Cluny + MW Drawer

tresgirlsFebruary 23, 2010

This is a cross-post from the Appliances forum. I decided to post over here too because this forum seems to be more active, and the people here are always so helpful!

In an ideal world, I'd have two ovens (one convection), a warming drawer/cupboard, and a microwave. Unfortunately, my kitchen is smaller than ideal, so I don't have room for everything without doubling up some appliances. I have been planning on getting a Lacanche Volnay (oven + warming cupboard) and a Miele speed oven (MW and convection), which would be installed undercounter. This gives me everything I want, however I've continued to be a little uneasy about having a microwave with a drop down door at the undercounter level. So now I've started to consider a couple additional options: (1) a Lacanche Cluny (two (smaller) ovens but no warming cupboard) and a Sharp Microwave drawer (so two ovens and a microwave that may be easier to use undercounter, but no convection or warming cupboard in this option) or (2) a Lacanche Volnay (with a single electric convection oven) and a Sharp Microwave drawer (so everything but a second oven in this option). Given these three options, which would you choose? Any other ideas? Unfortunately, I don't have room for the Cluny 1400 (two ovens and a warming cupboard) or the Sully (two larger ovens, one of which could be convection -- convection is only available in the larger, non-Cluny sized ovens). Also, I can't - or at least I'm not willing to - give up my limited countertop space to wall ovens or a microwave or to give up upper cabinet space to a microwave.

Additional info that might be helpful: I have three daughters (9, 6 and 4) who like to help me cook now and hopefully will continue to as they get older. My husband also often helps with the cooking on the weekends when we tend to make bigger and more complicated meals.

Getting a good dinner on the table every weeknight after work and school is a bit of a challenge, so I would think the convection oven would be helpful to move things along a bit faster. I have only one oven (non-convection) currently, but often wish I had a second oven so that I could bake two things simultaneously at different temperatures.

Maybe a single oven and a warming cupboard would be OK though? I could bake one thing, then keep it warm in the warming cupboard while the second thing is in the oven. For people with Lacanches, can you turn the temperature in the ovens down low enough to act as a warming cupboard? Are there any differences between the warming cupboard and the ovens other than size and low temperature range? In other words, is there something about the humidity, etc. in the warming cupboard that does a better job at keeping food warm without drying it out other than just the low temperature?

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I went through all these calculations when I was choosing too. I decided I would do better with one big oven and two specialty half sized ovens (speed and steam), instead of two big ovens and a microwave. Plus a warming drawer.

So, how do you cook? I wouldn't be without a big oven, and the big oven on the Lacanche is only sort of big.

The crux:
[I] often wish I had a second oven so that I could bake two things simultaneously at different temperatures.

People like baking in the Miele speed oven so that might do it for you. You can also warm in the Miele (I think). If thing are drying out in your warming (shouldn't--it's usually about keeping things crisp and letting moisture out!) you can put a little water inside.

I agree about the lowness of the undercounter Miele, but putting myself in your situation, I tend toward that. If your kids are used to zapping things for themselves, however, and use the MW a lot, the drawer might be better.

This is a very wishy washy reply, but I'll post it anyway, just as a reflection. Maybe you'll find it useful anyway.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 12:05PM
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Wow! It doesn't take long to fall back to the third page around here. Thanks for your response, plllog. I really do want two ovens, but I've also seen so many people on this forum comment about how much they love their warming cupboard and how they use it so much more than they expected. Maybe my original idea was best afterall, and I'm just second guessing myself. Any other thoughts, anyone?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 9:46PM
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If it helps any, there's a 30 minute keep warm setting on the microwave drawer.

Great as the warming cabinet is, I'm beginning to think it's a bit of new-toy-itis. You keep saying "I want two ovens". I think that means you want two ovens. More than anything else, you want two ovens. So get two ovens and go with the Cluny.

For the convenience of others looking in the oven in the specs for the Cluny are:

Gas oven :
Enameled sheet metal. Dimensions W x H x D : 400 mm (15 3/4") x 305 mm (12") x 460 mm (18 1/8"). Four shelf positions with 58 mm (2 1/4") spacing, 55 liters / 1.94 ft3. Heating is provided by a thermostatically controlled burner with electric ignition and a thermocouple safety cut-off.
Heat output : 13,500 BTU/Hr
Static electric oven with broiler (option) :
Same dimensions as gas oven.
Thermostatically controlled roof and base heating elements with thermostat safety cut-off.
Power Rating: 2700 W, 240 VAC
Electric convection oven with broiler (option) :
Heating is provided by a circular heating element surrounding a reaction fan. Dimensions W x H x D : 400 mm (15 3/4") x 305 mm (12") x 405 mm (15 15/16"). The roof heating element is only used when broiling. Thermostatically controlled heating element with thermostat safety cut-off.
Power Rating: 2900 W, 240 VAC

The oven specs for Volnay are:
Gas oven :
Enamelled sheet metal. Dimensions W x H x D : 530 mm (20.8ÂÂ) x 305 mm (12ÂÂ) x 460 mm (18.1ÂÂ). 4 shelf level with 62 mm spacing, 62 liters / 2.18 ft3. Heating provided by thermostatically controlled burner, thermocouple safety cut-outs. Electrical ignition.
Power supply : 120 / 240 VAC 60Hz.
Static electric oven (option) :
Same dimensions as gas oven.
Thermostatically controlled roof and base heating elements, safety cut-out by safety thermostat.
Rating : 3400 W Â Power supply : 240 Volts 60Hz.
Ventilated electric oven (option)
Heating provided by two circular heating elements each surrounding a reaction-type fan. Dimensions W x H x D : 530 mm
(20.8ÂÂ) x 305 mm (12ÂÂ) x 405 mm (15.9ÂÂ). This can optionally be fitted with an electric.
Thermostatically controlled heating elements, safety cut-out by safety thermostat.
Rating : 3700 W Â Power supply : 240 Volts 60Hz.

Plate warmer cabinet (option)
Plate warmer-insulated stainless internal lining (AISI 304). Heating provided by 950 W heating element underneath base. Controlled by thermostat selector switch, 30 to 110 °C. Capacity : 72 plates, à 240 mm (9.5ÂÂ). Dimensions W x H x D :
325 mm (12.8ÂÂ) x 490 mm (19.3ÂÂ) x 530 mm (20.8ÂÂ). 5 shelf level with 68 mm (2.8ÂÂ).
Rating : 1030 W Â Power supply : 240 Volts 60Hz

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 10:52PM
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I vote for option (1) above (MW drawer + Cluny)...not only does the MW have a "Keep Warm" option, but you can use one of the ovens as a warmer if need be...even if it doesn't have that option. Just pre-heat to the lowest temperature and then put the food in and turn it, not ideal and no temperature and crisp/moist option, but I think it will be workable.

And you have two ovens when you need them.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 12:38AM
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Thanks for your thoughts plllog and buehl. Just to clarify, though, I've been considering the Miele as a second oven + a MW. Do you think the Miele wouldn't really work as a second oven? If so, is this because I would have no MW when the Miele oven is in use? I realize this is a limitation, although I think I could live with it. Our microwave use is pretty much limited to reheating leftovers and melting butter (and the occasional bag of popcorn).

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 1:07AM
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My best suggestion on the speed oven is to search for old messages in the Appliance Forum (if they haven't gone poof) and post new threads about using it as a second oven here and there. A lot depends on what you want to cook in it, and when, and if you'd want a microwave at the same time, and all of that.

It's the same basis on which I bought my speed oven--to have another small, secondary oven, rather than just a microwave. I've always used a microwave a lot for zapping things ranging from oatmeal to sandwiches to defrosting, but I very rarely use it for making a proper dinner, and when cooking for company, I often need three, let alone needing capacity.

What's the Miele for? Meat in the Lacanche and potatoes in the Miele? Excellent! Soufflé in the range and cassoulet in the Miele? Or vice versa? Maybe not so good--you'd have to ask someone who actually does these in it, but it sounds makeshift, at best, to me. A brisket (turkey, ham) in the Volnay and kugel (sweet potato pie, mac & cheese) in the Miele? Shouldn't be a problem. A pair of roast chickens in the range and cherry pies in the Miele...maybe, but I'm not so sure about pie in a speed oven. Miele has the reputation for being the best of them for baking, but I think that's more cookies than pies. Might be fine. And people like the way chickens come out of the Miele.

There are alternatives for warming, including a hot tray, Turkish towels, chaffing dishes, and microwavable plate warmers.

Really get to know the appliances and how they work for the kinds of things you do.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 1:38AM
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Yes, a big part of the reason is that you do not have a MW when using the Miele as a second oven (and vice versa).

To me, the ability to have 2 ovens + MW is more useful in the long run than a separate warming drawer/cabinet. I.e., you have 3 oven-type appliances when needed and all 3 can double as a warmer. With the Miele + Volnay, you have only two oven-type appliances + a warming drawer that can only be a warming drawer.

We MW frozen veggies for dinner at almost all dinners so a MW is probably more important to me than you.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 2:10AM
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I would go with the cluny - 1 gas oven + 1 electric. If you're not using them both, one can keep things warm. Only the electric one has a broiler. Also, what about the storage drawers underneath each cluny oven? Can they be used to keep things warm (I don't know the answer to this)?I think the warming cupboard in the volnay looks narrow. plllog is right - you can use a warming tray if you need it.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 7:32PM
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