Range: Warming drawer or griddle, also different burner strengths

edelsteinOctober 20, 2012

I am getting a new gas range/oven, and have narrowed it down to 3 models. Two by Kenmore and one by GE. All have excellent reviews. The differences are as follows:

Kenmores both have an included warming drawer. GE has no warming drawer but an included reversible griddle for the center burner. My initial thought is that both options are somewhat gimmicky. However, I'm still having a hard time choosing. I guess I'm leaning toward the warming drawer because I do cook a fair amount and my timing is often somewhat off. We are also a family of 5, so I'm concerned that the GE included griddle is too small to be helpful. Anyone have input that would cause you to go one way over the other?

Also, the burner strength on each model varies. The differences on the two strongest burners are:

1) 17,200 & 12,000 BTU

2) 18,200 & 14,200 BTU

3) 17,000 & 12,000 BTU

Of course, the highest BTU option costs the most. How significant are these differences?

Thanks for your help!

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I had a GE with a center griddle and warming drawer. The griddle was over a long oval burner. Is that what the one you're looking at has? If so, I don't know the BTUs of the one we had, but it was very low. When we bought it they sold it to us as a burner you could use to sear a roast and that thing couldn't sear anything. It was fine for pancakes after you let it heat up for a while, but that was about it.
I rarely used the warming drawer because it was awkward and many of my pans didn't fit in the depth of it. When I did use it I was only able to keep one pan warm. In the end I found it was more useful as a storage drawer. but if I were choosing between the griddle and drawer I'd take the drawer. You can always buy a griddle to place over your burners.

By the way, we no longer have that GE range. After a gazzillion service calls we gave up on it. Not a good review, but I hope it helps!

As for the BTUs, they have more to do with how you cook. Do you like wok cooking? Do you make sauces and find yourself simmering? A search on BTU on the appliance forum will give you a lot of discussions about how many BTUs people really need. Some really do use it, others do not.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 10:52AM
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I have a griddle on my range and I don't use it anymore; it's a hassle to keep properly seasoned and it looks awful so I just keep it covered with the stainless cover. And because it's so hard to keep properly seasoned I just use a regular pan on the burners instead now.

I would pick the warming drawer in a heartbeat.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 12:50PM
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I would pick the warming drawer. I have a separate WD and use it all the time! I don't know about the size of the WD in the range you're considering, but I have a GE Profile 30" WD and it fits a lot!

For a WD, location is key. The best location is to have it next to, under, or directly across from the cooktop/range - so having it part of the range seems ideal!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 6:54PM
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Thank you all for your thoughts. Sorry for my delayed response. I took all of your comments to heart and went for a Kenmore with the warming drawer. Funny how you can get side-tracked with all these rabbit trails... :) Appreciate your input!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 1:31PM
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