GE Cafe range - gas or dual fuel

bbstxSeptember 30, 2013

We are buying a house that is under construction. I'm getting a few choices (fewer than I thought!). Standard with the house is the GE Cafe Range. It is gas with 5 burners and 2 ovens, one is a small oven, 2.4 cu ft, and the other is larger, 4.3 cu ft. Gas Range

In the alternative, I can get the GE Cafe dual fuel range. It also has 5 burners, but the oven configuration is different. It has a 5.4 cu oven, and a 1 cu ft "baking drawer." The temperature range on the baking drawer is 140 to 450 degrees. Dual Fuel Range

I've always heard gas ovens are awful. My friend who has this same range doesn't find it bad at all, but her baking is heating up casseroles from the caterer or baking pot pies. My baking is a little more extensive, including the occasional cake, bread once or twice a year, and cookies from time to time, but I don't consider myself a "baker" by any stretch of the imagination.

Do any of you have an opinion or experience that you would share with me to help inform my decision?

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I have the all-gas GE Cafe double oven range and have had good experiences with the ovens. When I'm doing serious baking I use the bigger oven and have found the heat to be even and consistent. The small upper oven works fine but the heat is a little less even--I mostly use it for roasting or broiling, I do lots of baking and have no complaints.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 12:17PM
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For all of my adult life I've had gas ovens, none of which have been convection. I don't know why people say gas ovens are awful, unless there's something wrong with their specific oven. I like to bake pies, cakes, cookies, bread and everything turns out as it should.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 1:02PM
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Hey bb,

I have the dual fuel and love it.

But I would never attempt to bake or roast in the bottom drawer. I mostly use that to keep things warm or cook frozen food. For example, that's where I cook boxed appetizers and that sort of thing if it needs to be on a different temp than what I am cooking in the main oven. The bottom drawer takes a long time to heat up, and is so close to the floor I worry that it's not too safe to have it at a high temperature for a very long time. Be sure and give it 20 minutes to preheat that bottom drawer. The main oven, however is is very responsive.

The main oven is great, I love the size. No problem fitting a turkey and some of the sides, The convection roast is powerful. The thermometer probe is easy to use and fail-proof. I love to bake and use the convection bake often, no more having to switch out cookie trays. everything seems to brown evenly. My old oven was not convection, and I'd have to switch the top sheet to the bottom to keep all the cookies baking evenly, and that always cooled the oven down.

I have not used the middle burner much, but fyi that does not get a very high flame, so it is of limited use.

All that being said, I definitely recommend it. I would get it again. I have had it for about 4 years and had a hard time finding a 30" I liked. It was recommended to me by a chef who had a small home kitchen. I'm remodeling now and am considering keeping this since I don't really have that much space on my oven wall. I like it that much.

Hope this helps! Enjoy the new house :)

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 1:27PM
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You say "I've always heard gas ovens are awful". Where have you heard this exactly? From how many? Perhaps you heard it from an appliance salesperson who stands to make more of a commission from a dual fuel range cause they cost more. I have never heard that gas ovens are "awful". Maybe 30 years ago, gas ovens used pilot lights and weren't well insulated so 30 or more years ago they weren't even-heating. But if you heard a modern gas oven was "awful", it's cause it was a crappy oven, and its awfulness was not based on the fact that it was gas.

Julia Child's kitchen is in the Smithsonian. She used her Garland all-gas range for her own cooking. She also had an electric wall oven, but said she disliked it. She only used the electric wall oven for the TV show where it was easier to film due to its height and location.

If you want a dual fuel range for its features, that's great. But don't get it solely cause you think gas ovens are awful.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 7:07PM
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I have the dual fuel and love it. I liked the features like the large main oven and smaller baking drawer, but the backless design was what first drew me to it. I wanted a slide in look that didn't cover all my beautiful tile. I agree that the bottom oven takes a long time to reach temperature and things take the maximum time to cook, but it's great for the rolls during those busy holiday meals. I have found that one of the features that I like the best is the middle griddle. I find that I use it all the time to make everything from grilled English muffins to heating the rolls for the burgers.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 4:46PM
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No comment on whether you should do gas vs duel fuel. I have duel fuel, but my friend has the all gas. I don't think she does a lot of baking but i haven't heard her complain about it.

I've been very happy with mine. I've had it for about 2.5 years now. I've never had convection bake feature, but it works great for baking things evenly. I also like having the center griddle. While it's a little small, I use it for making pancakes, grilled cheese, quesadillas, etc. And I confess, that due to space constraints, I have never used the bottom oven as I keep my cookie sheets, etc in there. I'm so used to having them there (my previous range had a storage drawer there), that I forget it is an oven! I suppose I should use it on holidays but never thought to. Perhaps this year for Thanksgiving. Mine is the same style as blue tea posted above, but it looks like the all gas ranges have the smaller oven on top. Not sure I'd like that set up and I don't like the look as much, but that's personal preference.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 5:45PM
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This makes me happy-- I have the dual fuel on order for our new kitchen. So happy to hear that people like it!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 7:20PM
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