Stove burners - how many?

graywings123June 28, 2010

I posted this previously on the Home Decorating forum. I'm posting here for a possible different perspective.

On a regular basis, how many of your stove burners do you use? I'm just beginning to think about a kitchen remodel and am trying to assess what my real needs are and balancing that with the fact that I expect to sell the house some 10 years down the road.

Could you easily live with just 2 of the traditional 4 burners that are on most stovetops? I know there is a kitchen forum, but I believe that the responses there would weigh towards the-more-the-better.

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Hi Graywings! Welcome to the small homes forum.
The way you live would determine the number of burners you need. On a daily basis 2 burners would work fine for me. (There are only 2 adults in my home).
Thanksgiving is the only holiday that requires 4 or more burners around here. But even then, I've discovered that lots of dishes can be cooked days or even weeks ahead of time without a loss in quality.
Also, you could use the electric fry pan or just as easily have an additional 2 burner hot plate that is stored away until you need it.
There are a couple of posters on this board who use a 2 burner all of the time. I'm sure they will reply with their experience.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 12:09PM
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Graywings, I think you are right about Kitchens Forum. I'm sure a big kitchen is wonderful, but my needs are not so great.

In fact, almost a year ago I threw out (literally) the electric range that was in the house when we moved here. Rain came down the vent pipe, and it was rusted too badly to be safe. I did not want another electric range, since I planned to get eventually a gas 4 burner Bertazzoni range which is only 24 inches wide.

What I got as a replacement in the meantime, and it sits on my stainless steel topped rolling cart, is a Waring Pro 2 burner electric hot plate. It is stainless steel. It has a solid topped electric burner. For us, it is working fine. BUT it does make it hard to use larger pots, and I cannot do any wok cooking. For that I'll need my gas burners.

My other cooking options are a convection/microwave Sharp oven, a rice cooker electric, a really big Presto Teflon coated electric frypan which can do a pound of bacon, and outdoors we have a Charbroil gas grill. In our climate we can use it year round quite easily.

Now to your situation. If you are thinking of selling as long as 10 years down the road, I'd do what I want now, and when the time comes slide a new electric range into the kitchen. Design the stove area so that you can go from a small cooktop to a 30" drop in range. Or else just do a 30 inch cooktop now. For me, I'm thinking about a gas real range so I can have an oven that does not rotate the contents. It can take a slightly larger pan, but I won't have room for even a 30 inch range. The amount of cooking I do does not warrant a big stove in our small space.

It is possible to buy only a 2 burner cooktop. And they come in gas and electric models. To me the best of both worlds would be 2 burners gas and 2 burners electric and builtin. But then you'd need some sort of oven, right?

For resale, I don't think many buyers would be interested in alternative cooking arrangements. The kitchen is very important to home buyers, so I'd make sure to provide it.

If you have a cooktop with 4 burners, that should be "normal" for a kitchen. And, you could build in your ovens IF you want to have them. But by the time your appliances are 10 years old, it would be an OLD KITCHEN. They'd need to be changed out anyway--either by you before a sale, or afterward by the buyer.

So what I'd do NOW is redo my kitchen to please myself, but use an island that could easily be modified with a larger gas or electric range. I'd put it out away from the regular wall/base cabs around the room, so it could be easier modified to fit a new appliance. Many islands have different counter tops and finishes from the rest of the kitchen anyway, so it would not look chopped up that way.
A refridgerator is possible to build in yet replace with another in the same size. The stove will be the heart of any kitchen though.

It is good that you are open to a creative approach to your kitchen. Yes, I can use only two burners nicely. Even the Bertazzoni 24" cooktop is wonderful, and if I decide to go without the oven, I'm keeping it on my list. Heck, I think they even sell a 2 burner cooktop model. Now that would be fine for us also, since there is just the two of us.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 12:30PM
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Sorry. I meant to show you the setup.
Wish I could have an island, that would be wonderful. But my redo will leave us with a galley kitchen.

And if I can find it, this is the side of the kitchen where the electric range sat, rusting away. I put an old kitchen cab in its place along with a stainless topped buffet.
Keep in mind this is interim. This back wall of the kitchen, where the old range was, will be knocked out to make the back porch part of the kitchen. Our fridge is already out there since DH enclosed it not long ago.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 12:41PM
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I've lived 12 yrs now with a single hotplate, a small counter top oven and a mw. I also have a 4 qt nesco cooker but haven't used it for over 15 yrs.

the 2 burner ceramic cook top is probably what I'll get. I haven't found the need for the 2nd burner in 12 yrs but I haven't seen a 1 burner built in...I could go with a freestanding range w/4 burners but 3 of them would never be used...

I'd put in what you want. if you are short on counter top space, a 2 burner helps. the one I looked at (GE) is 17 x 21". KA makes one also.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 9:11PM
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We do have a four burner electric stove. I usually only use two of them.

I also have a small three burner propane stove on the porch that I usually use when I am canning.Or if the electricity goes out and I need to cook us a meal. Helps keep the heat out of the house for canning.

I used a small apartment stove in one little house we had and just loved it. REALLY LOVED IT. The beauty of it was I have a wonderful griddle that would span two burners and I used it all the time for meals. Was at the time I also worked in a cafe cooking and got used to the large cafe grill. I still use the long griddle on the three burner stove.

I could easily get by with two burners. And I cook almost everything from scratch. I do use our small microwave too.

Lots of times the biggest and the most expensive are not always the best.

Glad you dropped by. Might as well sit and stay awhile.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 9:28PM
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>Design the stove area so that you can go from a small cooktop to a 30" drop in range.

Ah, but that's the rub, isn't it? With a tiny kitchen if you make room for a big ol' stove you have to choose to be inefficient now, too, very often.

Graywings, I totally understand your dilemma. I used to live in a place where all the kitchens were 6 x 10 with no possibility of expanding them. I would have liked to do something like the Fagor 27" cooktop (very thin, no interference with what's under it, but only 3 burners) over one of those killer little euro style multi-function 24" ovens to get decent base cab space, but alas, the unit only had 40 amp electric service with no way to upgrade, so it was the stupid big unnecessary stove. If it would have been possible, I would have done it and not worried too much about resale, but then a lot of these are sold as vacation homes where people aren't planning to cook Thanksgiving dinner for 25. :)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 10:26AM
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LOL Thanksgiving dinner for 25. EEEKKK I will say my tiny apartment stove which was 24 inches. Not the nice version ML is speaking of just small stove. I REALLY loved that stove but I think I already said that. Cooked a 22 pound turkey in the small oven. AND it was the first turkey I ever cooked. Came out wonderful. I could have fed 25 from that little stove. The rub would have come where to put those 25 people as the house was only 800 SQ FT. Heheheheh


    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 10:56AM
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It is very common in this area to sell houses without appliances. But if I was in the market to buy, I would want space for a full size range. I imagine anyone with children would also. SO, can you live with 2 burners? Sure you can. But if you live in an area where appliances come with the sale, then space for a full size stove may be better. IMHO

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 11:12AM
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if you really think you'll be there for 10 yrs, do what is good for you. In 10 yrs a new owner will want to redo it anyway.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 1:51PM
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Yeah, what Steph says, after 10 years a new owner would want to redo the kitchen anyway. I tried to say that but stumped my toe.

First turkey I ever cooked was after I turned 45. I did not take out the giblet package, didn't find it until we cut the turkey apart. I grew up on roast hen and dressing, not turkey. And baked ham. Heck, we seldom had meat. I think it was more the way life was in those days, not that we were poor, we were just economical and used to fresh veggies and corn bread. It's a southern thing.

If it looks like my kitchen redo will get hung up on the full 24" Bertazzoni range, then I can do with the 24" cook top. I do want something hot enough for my cast iron wok though.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 7:40PM
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