$500 range vs $5000 range

debrak_2008August 19, 2012

As my kitchen remodel progresses and most decisions are made I have time to ponder stuff. Something I always wondered is what is the difference between a $500 lets say Kenmore range and a I don't know the brands but a $2000 + range?

This thread is not meant as a debate between electric and gas, or between brands, or to criticise anyones choices. When I see people talking about $10,000 appliance allowance I think WOW. Thats alot of money to me. I think all our appliances together were $2,500 a few years ago.

In a few years, if I can get a really good deal, I would like a double oven electric range or maybe with induction. Right now the prices are way out of my leaque. I just can't imagine spending more than a $1000 for a range and even that seams high to me. I wonder if you are spending that much what are you getting for your money?

Now I have electric and always will (remember my fear of gas thread?) so maybe electric ranges tend to be less expensive? Is it the features?, I spent more on our range to get a smooth top instead of coils. Or quality?, should you expect a higher cost range to last so much longer? Or the looks?, I must say I do like the looks of some gas ranges.

So wondering if you are baking a cake will it come out better in a high end range? Are they really more for serious cooks? I'm sure my teenage DD would like to know as she is constantly baking cakes. I might not let her know the answer, lol.

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I think the price difference supposedly gets you increasing improvements in performance, appearance, and durability. The lower priced ones will definitely get the job done but you may have more issues and they will look (and possibly be) less substantial.
I spent between $2500 & $3000 (list over $3500) on our new range (not installed yet), which was a lot more than I wanted to spend. For that I got a double oven (one convection) and 5 burners (one with an optional griddle). But the main thing I was paying more for was the fact that reviewers were very happy with the product.
However, I think at some point you may reach the point of diminishing returns.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 11:52AM
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One of the reasons is the extra BTU/firepower of the higher-end ranges. Not sure how that would work with an electric range unless you're considering an induction model. I think induction equipment prices are still somewhat higher due to it not being as mainstream as electric resistance cooking equipment. And some of the the induction equipment is offered from high-end brands that are commanding a brand-name price bump.

As for gas, higher costs will get you more BTUs, and there is sort of an arm's race going on these days over how much additional BTU can be (safely) packed into a reisdential range.

Of course, there's debate over whether addtional BTUs are needed by home cooks. I found that higher heat makes a noticeable difference in taste for many things, in addition to somewhat speeding up the cooking process, depending on method.

My own experience is that when I went from an ordinary gas range with 2-4K burners to a pro-range with 10-12K which improved the food I prepared quite a bit. And I am not a wanna-be chef, just an ordinary scratch home cook. I would not willingly go back to a lower-BTU range.

The other thing that paying more may get you is a better shot at increased longevity primarily due to higher quality components. I emphasize the may, as ranges have gotten much more complex and electronic-i-fied (even all gas ones) and that may be the Achilles Heel for the equipment in the long run.

My own range is nearing the 20-year mark with no signs of death, or obsolesence (except that it has been surpassed by much higher BTU and fancy-featured models available today). It has not been maintenance-free for two decades, but each time it has been fixed with easily available and reasonably priced parts. This is partly due to its simpicity and the fact that it was made by a brand noted for restaurant ranges, not consumer models, so my parts are still coming from that source. (In the meantime my range's tradename was sold, then re-sold, through various consumer-model producers, and finally abandonned and is no longer being sold. That has never affected the parts business which has stayed with the restaurant range manufacturer, thank goodness.)

I paid about $4k for it twenty years ago, and never expect to buy another. Its large price reflects that it is a very big, 8 burner, double oven range, as much as being a pro-style range. Smaller, more common, 30-36" single oven models were less than $2K at the time, IIRC. Relative to modern pro-style ranges, it is stupid-simple, with scarely any electronics to get wonky, no self-clean, etc.

I consider the money very well spent because it made a remarable change in the food I produced, and has performed almost perfectly for a long time and I never expect to buy another range, ever. (When the brand was being bounced through its consumer-brand Odessey, I was on pins and needles, but now that it has settled back down, I am no longer antsy about parts' availability.)

However, the expected longevity may not, beyond a certain point, be a boon for those people who like to be able to go for the newest models of things. I am not attracted to that, and prefer to own things that will outlast me.

My range is a c. 1991 Jade/Dynasty.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 11:59AM
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I, like you, am still pondering induction and went really low-end last year with an electric coil range from Premier. Its extremely simple design appealed to me, as did its made-in-America-ness.

I immediately had to replace the coil burners with better coil burners, which added over a bit over a hundred bucks to the cost. All told, maybe $700-800.

Except for the fact that its not insulated on the top--which makes it heat up a lot, a flaw sometimes useful to use as a plate warmer, but a little daunting all the same--it seems to do the trick. Baking temps are accurate.

I agree with you. You should have the things you like in your kitchen, but the prices for middle-of-the-road applicances are just silly.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 12:15PM
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I see I didn't address your specific question regarding baking.

I think a higher end range will have better insulation, and certainly if it has higher BTU burners it will regain temp faster, and perhaps hold it more evenly. The oven-temp controlling thermostat will be more accurate, and possibly easily field-adjustable. (Mine is that way.)

Since you're only in the market for an all- electric-model, higher price may get you true convection, and perhaps resulting in even-er managed temps within that function. It all depends on the electronic controls of your range. I wouldn't necessarily think that price is as of a factor with an all-electric oven as the basic convection function is available across a wide range of models.

(My gas range has an oven with fan-forced convection and I don't like it for cakes, it is more useful for other kinds of baking and roasting. I don't use it for bread, either.)

Are there pro-style, and pro-style priced, high-end, brand name electric ranges (without being induction?) I think it would be hard to justify the multi-$1000 dollar price-point for what you get with electric, non-induction, ranges.

Many people prefer electric ovens over gas ones. Indeed some of the priciest pro-style models are that way because they have gas on top and electric ovens below - the so-called dual-fuel type. I think that's one factor that also drives the cook-top plus wall-oven(s) choice. Gas for cooking and electricity for baking. You can spend a lot of money of ultra-fancy, electric wall-ovens, with many features I am not familiar with!


    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 12:21PM
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Sophie Wheeler

For electric ranges, unless you're talking induction, the differences are mostly in layout of the top elements, or in the addition of convection for the oven. Convection IS a big deal to move up to for those who bake and roast as it provides much more even results a bit faster than a conventional radiant oven. At a minimum, since your daughter enjoys baking, I would try to find a range that included true convection with the third element surrounding the fan, not just an added fan in the oven with no change in the function of the existing radiant elements.

For layout, you can get a dedicated warming eye where you can melt butter or hold sauces at a low uniform temperature. This isn't as critical of an addition as with a gas range that has difficulty doing those tasks. Electric ranges can all pretty much simmer well on any eye, so adding in a warming eye is kinda spurious.

You can get eyes that adjust in size to better suit the size pan that you may want to use on it. That can be convenient, but it's not a "must" for most people. More important would be a "boil element" that has a higher wattage to enable large pots of water to reach boil faster or that can be used to get a better sear on meat. The wattage of the actual elements isn't often easily discoverable, but it IS an important aspect of choosing a range that has better capabilities than a standard one.

One of the most useful of features that can be an addition to a more expensive electric range is the griddle element. That takes two of the elements and adds another shaped element between the two to link them and to create a large heating surface that provides even heating for a griddle or grill pan. That IS a pretty useful addition if you like to use a rectangular griddle or grill pan as they don't fit well or heat evenly on traditional round eyes.

The big jump in electric ranges comes from ditching radiant heat for the elements and moving to induction. It is SO SO worth it if you like to cook, and can even make people who don't enjoy cooking enjoy it! You can achieve much higher heat with induction than with radiant. That is important for getting a good sear on meats, or a quick boil for pasta. It also has much quicker recovery time, like when you'd like to brown 4 chicken breasts on the grill pan instead of just the one. With radiant, you typically can get one or maybe two down and beginning to caramelize (FLAVOR!) before the pan loses it's heat to the chicken and can no longer sear the third and fourth breasts, just sorta steam them with only a bit of browning. Yes, that's partially attributable to the cookware's thermal mass, but it's more due to the amount of heat that the cooking source can put into that pan.

Induction is also superior when it comes to the control-ability of that heat. I'm sure there have been plenty of times when you've just moved a pan off of an eye to keep from scorching something rather than (as with gas) just turning the heat down and having the heat instantly lower. There is that "lag time" with radiant always that there never is with gas or induction. When you turn down something from a boil to a simmer, it goes to simmer, not takes 5 minutes to go to simmer.

Those features are pretty important to even casual cooks who want to stretch their grocery dollar. Getting good results in a timely manner without wasting food by burning it or undercooking it is something that even people who aspire to cook nothing more than Hamburger Helper find important. And when you can actually control the results so precisely, cooking can become something that you feel more confident in exploring.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 12:38PM
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We went with a moderate price GE induction range recently. Definitely an increase in price from radiant to induction, most likely since it is newer in the US (common in other areas though) and has less demand. You don't yet have the volume for economy of scale to kick in. But even so it was not a crazy increase, and it was well worth it.

Also saw a decently wide price range for induction. I was not comfortable with some entry level models as they had mediocre to poor reviews a lot of places for reliability and such. We really did not want to pay for a top end model either, it is overkill for our house and I think some brand name inflation. We ended up in the higher end entry/moderate range, picking between two models with good reviews and reasonable prices. I felt it was worth paying a little more for a better product, but only went as high in price as needed for the reliability I wanted.

Also wanted no exposed coils at the bottom of the oven, so things like that play into things too, along with smooth top, type of oven, how much ability to adjust oven racks, inclusion of a warming drawer (which we didn't care about, but do use much to our surprise), programming options, burner placement and number, sabbath mode, etc...

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 1:47PM
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Oddly, we had to pay more for less when we bought our range. We use gas, and I could not find a gas range that didn't have a zillion electronic controls. I hate those things. I know hate is a strong word, but it's accurate, I've had 2 ovens/ranges from 2 manufacturers that the touchpad was the weak link that failed frequently.

So, in order to get good old fashioned knobs I had to buy a more professional style range. We went with a Bertazzoni, and I love that even during a power outage I can run the thing (without connecting it to the generator).

But, this means no clock, no timer, no "beep when you're done preheating".

You have some good advice, if you get higher BTUs (via induction technology or gas) then the extra $ is a good investment. And a reliable, even temperature oven is a thing of beauty (ours is convection and I do love it). Even so, I check the temp with an electronic thermometer before I put in baked goods :)

But, that's for a range that's under $2500. I guess if you cook for large groups then a wider and more expensive stove is worthwhile. I don't cook enough that a $5k range makes sense. OTOH, I make green smoothies 4-6x/week in my $500 vitamix blender ... So it's all relative :)

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 4:26PM
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Some people like fancy cars, we drive Hondas.

Some people spend their money on fancy restaurants, we are lucky if we eat out once every few months.

Some people like designer clothes, we buy from old navy and target.

I have a builder grade frigidaire gas range and I hate the flimsy grates that move around under my pans, the way the oven heats the whole house when I turn it on for a half hour, and the stupid shiny black enamel top that always looks streaky. I won't have these frustrations with my new blue star range top and Electrolux double ovens and that was worth it to me. Plus, I like the way they look.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 5:08PM
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We put in a very low end range in our lake cottage - a 20" Holiday range, white, 4 electric burners, one oven rack, no window, no lower pullout drawer, no convection, manual clean and no preheat buzzer. It's about as basic as you can get and to tell the truth, it's a pretty good little range.

We don't cook gourmet meals on it but it does get used a lot and things like cookies and homemade pizzas have always baked up very nicely. It's never had any problems but then there are not a lot of "systems" or electronics to go out on it.

I think with more expensive brands you pay for design, configurations, size, power and all the bells and whistles. And not that its not worth it. I put in an induction cooktop in my kitchen and wouldn't trade it for the world.

But I don't think you can make a blanket statement that a more expensive appliance does a better job of cooking or is more reliable - that's going to vary depending on manufacturer and even models. The bottom line is that there are good (and bad) appliances in every price range and there is no shame in buying what you can afford and what works for you.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 5:23PM
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I went from a 30" smooth top electric to a 36" "pro-style" gas range. The old one took sooooo long to heat up, and was just as slowwwwwwww to cool down when the burners were turned off. The main thing gas got me was instant response, plus a lot more fire-power for searing, wokking, etc. For me and the way I cook - and I LOVE to cook - it was totally worth it. But many of my family/friends have simple electric ranges, and they are very happy with their performance. I know they think I'm nuts for spending the sort of $$$ I did for my range. (The also don't understand why I NEED 50+ sewing machines....)

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 6:49PM
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I had a regular 30" electric range in our previous house. For our new house, I needed to upgrade just because of the price point of our neighborhood...but I am not a good cook, so I went with the recommendation of the KD. I ended up with a lovely 36" dual fuel range. I was terrified of it at first...I had never cooked on a gas range, and I didn't understand how to use the convection in the oven. After using it for a year, I have to say that it has really improved my cooking. The oven does bake better than my old oven...I don't burn as much. ;) Water boils faster on my power burner, and I really love using my griddle for pancakes and paninis. Is it 10x better than my old range? I don't know...but maybe when I factor in how big and beefy it looks in my kitchen and how much I love the way it looks it is.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 9:48PM
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Wow. Thanks for all the responses. Somethings I had not thought of was the oven being better insulated so your kitchen doesn't get so hot.

The higher power on the burners, that was interesting. Hollysprings you just gave me a cooking lesson. I just learned about pan searing a few years ago. Now I know I'm not doing it right. Whether I get a new range or not I think I need some new pans. I use some eco friendly non stick pans but you can only use them up to medium heat.

Always avoided convection. First because you have to convert receipes. 2nd used a commerial one a few times at the kids school. The fan blew so hard it would ruin cookies. May have to check into that again.

Well it sounds like there are advantages to the higher end models but the basic ones still do the trick. I'm glad to know the highend models, gas or electric, are not just a pretty face.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 10:23PM
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>First because you have to convert receipes.

Any range ought to do that for you.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 10:37PM
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I wound up with one of those $5000 ranges. It came down to criteria. When I was first researching ranges, I went to ajmadison.com with only a few requirements: same BTUs across all burners, smooth-glide racks, and no electronics. My old range had only one "high" BTU burner, and it was on the opposite side from where I had to set up my mis-en-place, and I wanted to cook wherever it was convenient for me, not where my range directed me. Also, I use a water bath often when cooking desserts, so the smooth-glide was critical. Finally, I didn't want to worry about electronics going bad, which is often the bugaboo for appliances. SO... here I am with a fancy range and I love it. Everything else in the kitchen is middle of the road (but nice), but this was important to me. I hope you find a range that fits your criteria and doesn't break the bank!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 10:50PM
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I know my new range converts cooking temps to convection. I don't bake much, but we often sear steak in shrill pan and finish in the oven and the convection is fantastic for that. It was great in the old range, but we noticed a difference from the start.

What seems to be key is comparing apples to apples. Spending more for a range to get the features you want is one thing. But if two ranges have all the same specs, you may be better off with the less expensive one unless more money buys you better reliability.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 10:52PM
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So with convection if the recipe calls for 350 for 30 minutes the range will tell you how much faster it will be done?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 9:10AM
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I just answered this question at least for myself. I however went into it thinking that I was buying a $2500 model. I had picked it out 2 years ago at the beginning of our design process. We are nowhere near complete, but I really needed the new range NOW! So when I decided to buy 3 weeks ago, I re-did all my research and I am a review and research fanatic - especially when it comes to our renovation money.

What I found was that unless you went up to the $10000 models labeled "professional" and to gas ranges there was almost nothing that received good, long term, customer reviews.

I belong to consumer reports, so I started my research there. I compared their reports and cross referenced their results with their own customer reviews, then customer reviews I could find on every major website I could find on every model considered. What I found was this:

1- I thought I had to have convection bake, but according to consumer reports scientific testing (which I do completely trust) with the new technology in ranges the models I was comparing (all their top rated models) the baking was as even in the convection mode as it was in ordinary mode of the other ranges.

2- Don't ever just go by what Consumer Reports has to say about an item as they just test for performance levels. You NEED to read customer reviews to see the long term satisfaction of the customers and little annoyances of the ranges. Evidently Kenmore has had some huge issues even though they are one of the top rate brands on CR.

3- I really did want that second oven in my range, but after reading so many reviews of customers saying they thought they wanted it also, but when they got it they were very disappointed that using the main oven was so hard because it was so low to the floor.

So I ended up with a fantastic range with great customer reviews at way more than half off what I was going to spend on features I thought I absolutely had to have.

What I am going to do is spend the extra money on GE Advantium Speedcook over-the-range oven. It will give me the extra oven space I needed for cooking Thanksgiving dinner. It has "trivection" cooking, which is a mix of convection with a hint of microwave, it can roast a chicken in 30 minutes, but it can also be used just as a microwave or just as a convection oven. Which again, while I don't need the "convection oven" according to CR, it is an extra actual "oven" instead of just a microwave over my range.

Well, that is my thought process. I am sure the $10000 stoves probably do offer a superior product, I would sure hope so. Me, I was willing and able to go to $2500, but seeing as those literally fell apart on their customers and cooked unevenly, I opted for a "lesser" model. I guess the real answer is just do your research. There are great values out there, but you have to be careful and you can't always just trust a name brand.

Good Luck.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 11:14AM
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If the recipe calls for 350 for 30 minutes, it won't save any time. This is for two reasons.

Generally, on the more inexpensive ranges (and I have one) the (curse words deleted) oven reset your temperature instead of the time it will take. I have no idea why a bunch of engineers think that's a good thing to do. The "conversion" is simply to set the oven for 10-25 degrees less temperature so the food takes the same approximate amount of time. I wouldn't care if I could turn that off, but noooo.

If you simply set the temperature for 25 degrees more, you can experience up to a 30% reduction BUT only on things that cook for a long period of time - like if cooking a turkey, the reduction is really dramatic. If cooking a cake, you might be better off just using the oven in normal mode because (1) not gonna be long anyway, (2) fans can make it dry and (3) some reactions don't take place correctly at a lower temperature or they need more time. I was surprised to learn that commercial convection ovens for certain kinds of baking actually add moisture during all or part of the baking process.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 11:41AM
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The only pricy appliance I cared about was the stove/oven. I wanted induction. I looked at getting the Electrolux, but found a floor model of the Kenmore Elite for 1/2 price. It was missing the manual which we bought online. I my stovetop and oven. Love, love, love it. It was well worth every penny I paid for it, and more. Just glad I didn't have to pay more for it. My husband was against it, but I kept up until he gave in. Now he is one of the first ones to show it off to friends when we do the house tour. I have always been a good cook, but having convection roast and an induction stove has greatly improved everything I have ever made prior.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 12:32PM
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I think this debate is really much like buying a car. You can analyze a range the same way you anaylze why you want a BMW over a Chevy. Both will get you from A to Z, their life span is probably close to the same. If you go for the BMW, you better be able to afford the maintenance because all those fancy electronics generally don't last as long as the manual versions. You don't often have to replace a hand crank window thingy, but the electronic version of raising and lowering the window has a finite life. Same with the electronic touch pads on the new stoves. And are you really buying the BMW because it goes 0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds or is it because it is pretty and it is a status symbol?

I think you need to decide what type of cooking you do, how much of it, and what your budget is. Maybe you buy a less expensive range because it meets your needs and then you donate the money saved to your favorite local charity. Diane

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 12:44PM
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Many of you have said that your stoves (with various features) have definitely improved your cooking. I believe you, but could you give details? Better or more even browning? Better sear? You used to burn everything and now you don't? Things are more flavorful? Your dinners get standing ovations? :p

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 1:43PM
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besides the btu's, it's about the options: i have five burners + grill (but could have gone with griddle or both or even a wok ...or opted for a six burner arrangement). my capital is 48" wide and has a 36" oven and smaller 12" which i love. very useful. the big draw for me was also the inclusion of a rotisserie.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 3:26PM
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Induction has definitely improved my cooking because I used to have coils. Induction gives me better control over the heat, it's more responsive (just being responsive is more responsive than coil) and you can put things on very low heat to keep warm. So I don't overcook or scorch things. And I've been cooking for well over 30 years, so it's not that I just finally got the hang of it. It's just lots easier on induction.

My oven is better than my old one because it actually seems to be the temperature it says it is, and the heat is even. Elux has a "perfect turkey" setting. While I used to make perfectly fine turkeys - and I cook a turkey about 9 times a year - it took more careful monitoring. This setting is foolproof and faster (like less than 2 hours for a 15 lb turkey), and when the turkey is done the oven automatically switches to "keep warm" setting so you can just leave it there if you're in the middle of something else.

So when I say my cooking has improved, it is somewhat better tasting, but mostly it's easier. My experience of cooking has improved. But that's at least an hour a day that is more fun than it used to be! That's not chopped liver.(mmmmmm, chopped liver)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 9:14PM
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I have a Bluestar. The 1st time I cooked bacon I could not believe it. It was evenly cooked the full length. On my old range it would be crispy in the middle and "squishy" on the ends. Bacon used to be a challenge since DS wanted only crispy bacon and DD wanted squishy bacon.

With the simmer setting I don't have to stir the pot every 15 minutes - I never burn anything in simmer now. Pan searing is wonderful. On the downside I have slightly charred wooden spoons. I normally rest it across the pan but with the high fire power some do burn.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 10:36PM
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We upgraded from an old, super-reliable glass top Maytag, to an electric Maytag Gemini double oven with glass top. We found it on Craigslist, almost brand new. I am thankful we did not pay the full $1100 that the original owner paid for it a month before she moved to a home that had a gas stove. Do I like it? Yes. Is it perfect? No. It boggles my mind that the older stove was much more intuitive to use. This one has a timer that I can't quite get used to, and often end up changing my oven temp while trying to reset the timer.

For the life of me I cannot figure out why there are no number settings around the stovetop knobs. Instead there's a whoosh of diminishing grayscale. (How am I supposed to tell my budding cooks what settings to use??) The knobs do not have any markings, no lines, no dots, etc. to show you where they are set at a glance. I had DH take some soup off the stove top the other day. He thought he had turned it off, but the dial was 180 degree turn from off. All through lunch that burner was clicking away, completely empty.

And the racks in the oven? You'd think Maytag could have really gone all out and put a few more wires in the racks. Seriously, I can't get my bread pans to sit level on the racks, the wires are that far apart. And the wires are so thin that putting anything slightly heavy in there bows them out of shape.

I like having two ovens. I like the high heat burner. I don't like having two large burners up front. If I have two large pots in the front going at the same time, it's nearly impossible to reach the small pots on the back burners. I hardly ever use the warming center in the back row, and would have preferred that it was an actual burner.

I'm very thankful for the stove, but I think the designers could have laid some things out a little bit better.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 10:49PM
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Much better browning with convection roast and eveness. Great sear capabilities on stovetop. Super control on stovetop. Plus it is s breeze to clean which makes it more fun!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 11:13PM
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I wonder if you are spending that much what are you getting for your money?
There are a lot of people here with big budgets and houses that are in expensive neighborhoods. Lots of expensive stuff get put in these houses/kitchens for the relative luxury value for the place it is in, not necessarily for the performance value. (If a house is worth $1 mil then, you are just not going to see a $500 range.) You really have to remind yourself that this forum has a huge spread of budgets. Many people (not necessarily here but where I live) stick in $5000 range in a million $ house because they can and they have to for resale.

You asked....
Will it last longer? In my personal experience, the less electronics there are, the longer the range tend to last. This has nothing to do with the cost. The electronics control panels tend to break down and are expensive to replace ($100 to several hundred$). So on a cheaper range, the entire range gets chucked and replaced. If the range was expensive to start with, the owners are more likely to replace the broken parts. I have a pro all gas range ( ie $5000 range) that is quite old and still going strong. No electronics. I had an all electric range (ie $500) without any electronics in my rental condo that was 25-30 years old and tenants never complained. When I lived there, it worked fine. I have had other ranges with electronics that went kaput on me when not very old.
(I have rentals, so I have somewhat higher than average user experience.)

Regarding looks: some higher end appliances will keep their looks longer. I have a 15 plus year old custom color Viking and their models have not changed much. (The ranges with electric control panels tend to date themselves sooner, IMHO.)

Ovens: I agree with others that the more expensive ones tend to be more even. My gas oven on the range is pretty good. My expensive Miele oven on the other hand is amazing!

Are they for serious cooks only? No. I do not consider myself a serious cook. I like to cook but not a serious cook. I live in an affluent neighborhood where everyone has expensive appliances. Some of these appliances get rarely used, sad to say.

Some folks put in the expensive appliances because that is what they really value and they are willing to scrimp on other things to make it happen.

There is no right or wrong answer to your question.

I have used expensive appliances that did not perform that well and cheap appliances that were great. Even if you get expensive appliances, you need to pick carefully. Price alone does not guarantee higher performance as many people will tell you on this forum....

Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 2:02AM
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well I trained as a cook in a vocational high school and worked in a few hotels and restaurants so I have used the pro stuff and having lived in half a dozen houses and apartments I have used several stoves. I hated the electric coil one in the first house I owned. due to the lag thing I burnt things at first. I had never cooked on electric before that. I love gas I have gas now and in the place I have now I recently changed to a Frigidaire gallery 5 burner with convection. my old old magic chef had all the same slow gas burners this one has 2 power burners. I don't feel it makes me a better cook but I can cook faster and more easily

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 5:28AM
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I also had a smooth top electric after the coil range in my first house went up. I like it better than the coils top, and it did seem to me that it reacted to me changing the heat a little better as well as heated up way faster but it still had that cool down lag that you don't get with gas. I don't know about induction but if all I hear about it is true then that is what I would want if I had to move to a place with out gas. all in all I feel its worth paying a little more to get some features like power burners, or a convection oven if you like to bake. I have never had an issue with the oven touch pads yet but know it can happen. I just hope not to my new range as I like it and got a good deal on it at ajmadison.com I only paid around 625 for mine plus freight after the sale prices and rebates they were offering but would have paid $850 - 950 at lowes or sears and that saving allowed me to get a new hood. paying up $1000 for a gas range to me don't seem crazy

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 7:05AM
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Thank you for all the responses. Many of your brought up things I never thought of. I'm going to save this thread and use it as a guide when I do make the next purchase.

Now I understand why some choose to spend more for a range.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 6:00PM
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could you tell what range you did buy after your research?
Looking for reasonably inexpensive freestanding electric range with glass top for son and DIL for early Christmas present.
They bought a house and the range is just not functional--it was supposed to be repaired before closing but didn't stay that way...
would prefer not to spend more than 500 if I can find a decent model...
Have seen reviews for GE, Amana, Frigidaire models that are positive but most of them are posted so soon after installation that they don't cover any negatives/positives after some longer use...
Of course they all look great at installation--but do they heat evenly (even if not convection), are the temp indicators reliable, does it through off so much heat you can't use it in the summer...
those issues take time to make themselves known IMO

appreciate any other followups...

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 10:55AM
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We have something called a Lacanche Citeaux. We bought it for its beauty and its size (it is freestanding and about 5 feet wide). It has two ovens and a warming oven, a "hob", 4 burners and a stainless steel counterspace. It is the showpiece of our kitchen and I love it. It has no electronics other than electronic start.

In our last house we had a Viking gas range with oven and Viking electric wall oven, in our lakehouse the POs put in a GE.

We are foodies in one sense. We buy mostly organic and we buy very fresh very high quality ingredients (eg chickens from a local farm, veggies from our own garden). BUT, I am not a baker at all (the last thing I need is cookies and cakes around the house!) and I tend to cook more simply (who wants rich sauces when you have such good produce to start with, etc).

That said, I have seen very little differences in performance among the Lacanche, Viking and GE. As far as searing, I think they all can sear, as long as I have my cast iron pan, which is the most important tool IMHO. As far as baking, I have never really seen a difference from convection in my VIking ... if i were making baked goods for the kid's school or whatever, I would put the stuff in both ovens at once and really saw no material difference between my gas oven and my electric convection oven.

As for repairs, I have had 2 calls in 1.5 years of use on the LaCanche, 1 call in 7 years on the VIking (and the problem was still unresolved when we sold) and no calls in 7years on the less-used GE.

I can identify one performance issue where the LaCanche is far superior: simmering. My Viking did not have a burner with as low a heat at the LaC does. And it is very hard to simmer on the GE. I have to raise up the pan to do it.

Last point --- I found this forum 3 years ago when I was looking for a "quiet" wall oven. My VIking wall oven in my last house has such a loud fan for a good 20 minutes after you turn it off. Because it was at the end of a run of cabinets that ended with a doorway into the dining room, it was a real annoyance. It is my understanding that all wall ovens have that problem now.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 12:04PM
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I didn't buy anything yet. Posted on your other thread. Note: I Meant to say "one" burner in my post (on your other thread).

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 8:44PM
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