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Big Family--Need a Gas Range Recommendation

Posted by mommamouro (My Page) on
Sun, Dec 2, 12 at 11:49

We are remodeling our kitchen (needs to be bigger for our big family--8 kids!) and we need a new gas range. We do a lot of cooking, as you can imagine. Currently, we have a gas range that is in a peninsula, but it is not vented (former owners did not vent although it is a downdraft). We were told by a designer who is helping us with the remodel to move the stove to a wall to lessen the potential for accidents with the children sitting at the bar. Also, we need to buy a stove that we can vent, but we have no duct work in the house (radiant floor heat). We were looking at a Viking 30" with a re-circulating fan hood. However, I have heard negative things about Vikings. Also, I reallly like my stove in my peninsula because I can overlook the dining room while I cook. We were told that to keep a range there, we canno go with anything with high BTU's because of the venting issue. Trying to work through all of this. Any recommendations?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Big Family--Need a Gas Range Recommendation

Put in a vent


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RE: Big Family--Need a Gas Range Recommendation

We can't put in a vent--not in a peninsula. If we move the range to a wall, we still can't put in a vent--we have no duct work in the walls and we can't go through a floor because of all of the pipes (radiant heat) in the floor. The current stove has a downdraft but it is not hooked up! We were looking at ranges with re-circulating fans.


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RE: Big Family--Need a Gas Range Recommendation

1)Install a vent. There are island/peninsula hoods that install and vent through the ceiling.

2)Run,don't walk, away from Viking.

3)If you insist on poor venting and prefer to cook in a living room rather than a kitchen then I would look at Induction not gas.


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RE: Big Family--Need a Gas Range Recommendation

So, you don't recommend Viking. What DO you recommend?

We cannot install a ceiling vent--pipes in ceiling for radiant floor heating.

We can only do something that would use a recirculating fan.


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RE: Big Family--Need a Gas Range Recommendation

You can vent straight out an exterior wall. Most time in a kitchen is spent prepping (70%) rather than cooking (10%) and islands and peninsulas are better designed to work as prep centers if someone wants to be social while they are in the kitchen. Ventilation for island cooking is harder, more expensive, and less effective on all counts.

Call in a HVAC pro to explore your options for installing a vent. Once that is decided, and the location of the range changes, you have MANY MANY more options when it comes to cooking.

If you do not install a vent, then your options really revolve around induction and a lot more cleaning of your walls and ceiling.


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RE: Big Family--Need a Gas Range Recommendation

There seems to be a lot of confusion in the parameters you are citing. The KD who is helping you is on the right track for the "what needs to be done" but now "how it can be done" expertise should be brought in. Also things like make up air and heat exchanger needs.


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RE: Big Family--Need a Gas Range Recommendation

We can move the range and vent out an exterior wall. But what range do you recommend for a large family? We do a lot of cooking and baking--three meals a day all from scratch. Should we go commerical or can we get away with a less expensive range? A repairman came recently to fix our dishwasher and told me to go with a Thermador. He said it was basic, but we would not have as many repairs with it as with a GE Cafe, which has all of the electronics that can break.


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RE: Big Family--Need a Gas Range Recommendation

I cook for an unruly mob every day (6 kids, grandkids, friends, camp-followers, hanger's-on and some folks that just show up).

Listen to the previous posters - first, move the range and vent whatever you put in - horizontally if that is what is available to you.

I like the 36" Capital Culinarian - pricey but worth it in my opinion. Built like a tank, hot burners (important to me because I need to cook fast), a big oven (fits full sized baking sheets) and no electronic board. I like the 4 burner and griddle configuration but you have other choices if that fits your family better.

Good luck,
Doc


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RE: Big Family--Need a Gas Range Recommendation

I disagree with those who are implying that induction cooktops need less venting. With gas, you need to vent products of combustion in addition to the grease, steam and odors--but the latter 3 will be present no matter what kind of cooktop you're using. If you can install proper outside venting, your kitchen will be much cleaner and smell much better for it (I speak from experience on this...and I do have an induction cooktop)

If you are remodeling to add more space, moving walls and changing the kitchen footprint, then you may find it helpful to head over to the kitchens forum and post your layout. There are some really talented people over there who are great at coming up with ideas for getting the most out of your space--including, perhaps, ideas for venting! Among them is a woman who who also has a large family and really has a handle on what makes a kitchen work well for that many people. Look for Rhome410.

Best of luck to you,
Cj


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RE: Big Family--Need a Gas Range Recommendation

>>>"We can move the range and vent out an exterior wall. But what range do you recommend for a large family? We do a lot of cooking and baking--three meals a day all from scratch. Should we go commerical or can we get away with a less expensive range? A repairman came recently to fix our dishwasher and told me to go with a Thermador. He said it was basic, but we would not have as many repairs with it as with a GE Cafe, which has all of the electronics that can break."<<<

I agree with laat2's comment about parameter confusion.

You seem to have ventured into the morass of high-end and pro-style appliances without the vocabulary needed to navigate these murky waters.

Let's try to get a handle on the vocabulary.

First, there are "pro-style" ranges and there are "commercial" ranges. Very different critters. Commerical stoves are what go into restaurants. No broilers in the ovens. no insulation on the sides or doors. (Bad idea with all those kids roaming around). They are set up for very large pans and continuous production cooking. You need to put them in a fire proof/resistant enclosure (generally, tile) and you need very serious ventilation systems (which will require make-up air and a fire supression system, as well. A lot more of costly than you might suspect from the prices of the stoves.

Second, Viking, Thermador, et al are not "commercial appliances." They are residential ranges. The term often applied to them is "pro-style." Pro-style is sometimes a synonym for premium-priced luxury goods. Sometimes they are called "trophy stoves" which is a terms used when people buy them for their industrial (high-end) looks.

Pro-style tends to be expensive but tend to have a more room on the cooktop than less expensive "standard" residential stoves. This is handy when you cook with several larger pans at the same time. They vary in how "basic" they are, however, particularly when it comes to oven functions.

You also say you think you want "basic" meaning something with fewer components that can break than a GE Cafe might have. (Which, by the way, might be a pretty good choice for you in a 30" wide stove with the wide cooktop space and the extra "baking" oven. There has been a fiar amount of discussion of them here over the last couple of years and search will turn up those threads.)

Apparently, your preferences inclines to stoves that do not depend on electronics and microprocessors to operate.

You do understand that there are some trade-offs in this? If you give up processor-driven electronics, you also give up some conveniences, such as self-cleaning ovens.

So, you've got a family of ten to cook for? How many people are using the stove at once? Can you really work with a 30" wide stove or are you considering something wider? AFAIK, Frigidaire is the only North American stove maker who still makes a 40" wide gas stove. Sold under its own brand as well as Kenmore, it can be had as all gas or dual fuel.

Otherwise, you will be looking at pro-style stoves in widths of 36", 48" and 60".

For the pro-style all-gas rangea, the most basic are the NXR 30" and 36" stoves ($2k and $3k repsectively at Costco.com). After that, you are looking at about a $500 jump to the next tier of pro-style stoves, which will be Italian imports like Bertazzone and Verona. (And, if you are in Canada, Costco Canada sells a bsic Blue Star for $2400.) Another roughly $1000 jump takes you to dealer prices for Blue Stars, American Range and Viking's D3 line as well as Kenmore's and Kitchenaid's pro-style stoves. Spend another $500 to $1000 and you are looking at Wolf ($4k) and Thermador ($4.2k) and GE Monogram (?) all-gas stoves. It goes up from there.

Viking gets slammed here because it has had quality control and warranty service issues and has had proprietary parts which get discontinued. There are long threads here on this topic.

There are long threads on each of the other brands, as well. Each of these stoves has its following here at GW and each has been very thoroughly dissected, except for American Range, which is new to the residential market.

If you want more detailed help, you could be more specific about your remodeling budget as well as about how you cook and what you cook (and how many of you need to work the stove at a time.) For example, if you regularly use three or four large pots (say, 12" diameter ones), a pro-style range my look pretty attractive. OTOH, if you are mainly cooking with one or two large pans at a time, but you do a lot of baking, then maybe you want to look at a standard range like the Frigiaire FPGF3081KF, a gas range which has third-element "true" convection in a 5 cu- ft. oven (for about $1300, but probably less expensive this holiday season.)

With regard to design, I think cj47 has given you a good suggestion for also checking out the Kitchens forum..


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RE: Big Family--Need a Gas Range Recommendation

Wow! So much information to digest, but so helpful! I am usually the only one using the stove at this point, but I have 6 girls who will most likely share in the cooking as they get older. My oldest 3 girls do a lot of baking, but we are most likely going to try to put in a second wall oven. We do a lot of one pot, large pot, cooking--lots of soups. Or one pan stirfry or scrambled eggs, etc. I want something that cleans easy--the cooktop--since I have little ones who generally wipe that down as part of their clean-up chore (we homeschool so all of them are home all day). I will head over to the kitchen forum because we are having a very difficult time figuring out the layout of this kitchen, esp. if we have to move the range. We need mroe counterspace, more storage space and a better flow of traffic. Our heads are swimming and I want to throw in the towel when I try to figure it all out. We were all set to buy the 30" Viking that the salesman showed us until I started to research it a little more. I am going to look into each brand you recommended.

Thank you--and any more advice would be much appreciated. We ae new to all this! :)

Laura


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RE: Big Family--Need a Gas Range Recommendation

You might also consider a cooktop/double oven setup instead of a range with an extra oven. that would allow you to get a 36" cooktop and two regular sized ovens. A 36" gas cooktop gives you 6 burners, 5 if you are doing induction. A 36" range comes with a 36" oven, which is nice for some things but takes longer to preheat and is oversized for a lot of things that people regularly do. I have this setup, and while I don't have 8 kids, I do cook nearly all of our meals from scratch, bake our own breads, pizzas, etc. I also have teen aged kids that enjoy cooking and baking and regularly have the ovens going. (and bring their friends in to cook with them!) I like that I have large drawers under the cooktop that stores all of the pots/pans/etc.

If you are thinking easy cleanup and kids of any age cooking, you may also want to consider induction. It's as responsive as gas, and just as powerful. It's fabulous for simmering, and can hold a true simmer on soups and stocks. Since the burners don't get hot, if something boils over or jumps out of the pan onto the cooktop, it doesn't create a huge mess. You just pick up the pot, (no need to turn off the hob), wipe up the mess, set the pot back down and continue on. Nobody gets burned, nothing gets crusty. A lot of serious cooks on these boards like it, me included. If you haven't ever thought about it, I'd urge you to go somewhere that you can get a demo, or pick up an inexpensive countertop model to get a taste of what it's like. It might not be for you, but then again, you may find that it fits well with your cooking style and vision for the new kitchen.

Best of luck, and see you over on Kitchens! :-)

Cj


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RE: Big Family--Need a Gas Range Recommendation

Avoid the Thermadors.

Now I'm into my full throated rant against Thermador. I have owned a 36" gas pro style range for years, and the parts and service has been like rolling the dice.

I just want you to have the information before you go shopping.

I had experience with a thermador that was already 15 years old (and vent) and never had a problem. That's why I bought another Thermador without doing any research. Big, big mistake on my part, and I've regretted it ever since. And there are thousands of people like me suffering the same problem. Parts and service.

As long as you know you're rolling the dice going in. . .do your own research on the Thermador range problems. I know there are some claiming that they've "gotten better". . .but I had problems last year, and I'm having problems this year. . .

If they've improved, I don't see any evidence of it. The people at Thermador are polite answering email questions, but if there aren't parts or service people, being "nice" doesn't help you when your range doesn't work.

Wolf and Viking have parts readily available at a fraction of the costs. Not to mention, a plethora of people to service these ranges. Not so with the Thermadors. You can check at their site. Search for "servicer" on their site. If there aren't any in your area within 60 miles (like me), that's a big clue. Then, you'll end up calling dealers to find out who theyyyyyyy use for servicing Thermadors. You take what you can get.

I'm no doubt about to have to buy my 3rd $700.00 circuit board. And the repair person said the same part would have been much cheaper on a Viking or a Wolf. (owwwwwwchuh!)

So my 5K range has turned into a 7K range. In the end, I would have been better off buying the Wolf.


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RE: Big Family--Need a Gas Range Recommendation

You do understand that there are some trade-offs in this? If you give up processor-driven electronics, you also give up some conveniences, such as self-cleaning ovens.

That's not true. There are several all-gas ranges with the self-clean feature. Capital happens to be one of them.


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RE: Big Family--Need a Gas Range Recommendation

"You do understand that there are some trade-offs in this? If you give up processor-driven electronics, you also give up some conveniences, such as self-cleaning ovens.

That's not true. There are several all-gas ranges with the self-clean feature. Capital happens to be one of them."

Other feature controlled by electronics-

true convection or third element convection-contributes to eveness of heating

various cooking modes giving optimal heat for baking(from the bottom) and roasting(from the top for browning)

thermostats tend to be of a narrower range

I would tend to think that a rangetop and wall ovens would be great because you could pick each component based on its merits and your needs. If one fails, you still have the other two. Some even get separate single wall ovens instead of a double oven.

A book that was helpful to me when designing my kitchen was Kitchen Design with Cooking in Mind by Don Silvers. He has a unique perspective on things.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen Design with Cooking in Mind


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RE: Big Family--Need a Gas Range Recommendation

I want to be clear that it is possible to get all gas ranges with self-cleaning ovens. But, AFAIK, it is very difficult to get self-cleaning without electronic/digital boards and controllers.

The 36" Capital Culiniarian is indeed an all-gas range which does not have digital electronic displays and does have a self-cleaning oven along with other interesting oven functions including a rotissiere. It costs about $7.2k.

Following up on Wekick's point, though, I'm not sure all those other functions are run through electronic controllers and timers. Aren't a lot of them simply manually-switched electrically-powered devices rather than processor controlled?
Anybody know of another all-gas stove with a self-cleaning oven that does not rely on digital display panels and electronic controls for the oven?

This post was edited by JWVideo on Mon, Dec 3, 12 at 12:56


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RE: Big Family--Need a Gas Range Recommendation

Posted by JWVideo (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 3, 12 at 12:10
Following up on Wekick's point, though, I'm not sure all those other functions are run through electronic controllers and timers. Aren't a lot of them simply manually-switched electrically-powered devices rather than processor controlled?

You can have an oven with just a convection fan that is a manual control but when you have all the different modes you are using programmed boards which some people do not like because they can be subject to failure. I suppose you could have a third element that works on a switch but the newer electric ovens use all of these elements in sequence to get the desired effect. My Electrolux oven has a light that shows what element is on. They all come on at one point or another in every mode except broil. In the past I have had self clean electric ovens that worked on a timer only-no boards and they have them still. Even the temperature is controlled by these boards ultimately. The oven I had before the ones I have now had all kinds of problems with temperature and uneven baking, all relating to the computer boards.


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RE: Big Family--Need a Gas Range Recommendation

I have 7 kids and many visitors. In my previous house I had two burners and a grill on my stove. When we built the new house I wanted something bigger. I got the Blue Star with 6 burners and a grill. I love it. We got a large quality vent and I am soooo glad I spent the money for something that really works. I clean the baffles in it about every 2 months. I had no idea that that much junk got in the air when you cook.


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