As part of my first townhouse remodel, I had granite countertops and stainless steel appliances installed in the kitchen. This remodel was my first major change in our townhouse. I knew that I was going to go on to repaint the upper level and to change out the carpets in all the rooms but I wanted to get the kitchen completed and what I assumed was the only messy construction type change we oule make. I was wrong there as those who follow the blog will know. I did a more recent upgrade and had white cabinets installed but fortunately that di not make a significant mess.
Originally we had all cream appliances chosen by the builder. So we went to the local big-box stores: Lowes, Home Depot, and Best Buy are ours. We chose a set of “gallery “appliances. Now, the appliances lasted me about five years. First, the dishwasher won’t drain and so after failing to meet the extended warranty commitment, I replaced the dishwasher with another brand. See HERE about that experience!! This time I went to an Appliance store: actually I went to True Value Hardware, which has home decor, construction, and appliance section within the store. I have a bit of history about the place in the dishwasher blog I just mentioned.
Next, the refrigerator with indoor ice and water started acting up. The ice dispenser kept freezing up. Again, I was unable to meet the commitments of the extended warranty- sound familiar? While they repaired it once, that repair did not hold. Fridges are expensive. I still have the unit but I have to empty the ice bucket in the main compartment every few days or the ice maker unit jams and makes a horrendous noise.
Basically from the time I had it: the range oven on the gas stove did not maintain the correct temperature. If anything required longer than 30 minutes to cook; the temps went up and down on a willy nilly cycle. I stopped baking things and just used the gas cooktop.
I just got my nerve and money set up to replace the old gas range. I thought I would go big-time- it would be my last stove in this house so why not get the best. I was so sick of the limits the broken oven had imposed on me, I wanted the dual fuel option!
I went to the appliance store- no more extended warranty or local big box stores for major items. I found they had the mid-major range ( Bosch and KitchenAid). I gave up on the elite Wolf type stove costing 5 grand!!
The Bosch and the KitchenAid. Both had gas cooktops and electric convection ovens. You could also turn the convection feature on or off. Wow, I would have the gas cooktop I love and always used, and the stability of an electric oven. I could bake bread!!!
Then I found out, I would have to have a 240 electric line put in for the stove AND they were not cheap…They were about $3000 minimum and you can just imagine how much the electrician would have cost….so I balked.
The store employee then gave me another option I had never considered. I absolutely did not desire an electric cooktop. I hate them and usually burn or overcook whatever I put on the burners. But he said they now had gas stoves with convection ovens. Not gas ovens: convection ovens you could tur on or off.
I had no idea what that even meant. I was completely unfamiliar with convection cooking. In Ireland, we have an electric range with an eclectic oven that is fan assisted.
Now I had a whole bunch of terms in my head without any clear definition for them. So I found out that ;
- Conventional/traditional cooking is using the top and/or bottom heating elements with no fan circulation.
- Convection cooking is using a separate heating element with a circulating fan.
- Fan-assisted cooking is using the top and/or bottom heating elements with fan circulation inside of the cavity.
GAS OVEN OPTIONS
Now in a gas oven gets a bit more confusing. Here is the explanation is given by GE and copied below:
- Convection gas range with a gas oven:
- The convection feature on select gas range models incorporates a two-speed fan in the rear of the oven that circulates hot air throughout the oven. The fan runs at 2 speeds (low and high) on convection bake.
- The fan will only run when the bake burner is off during the convection bake. The fan does not run when the bake burner is on and calling for heat.
- The fan will cycle on and off frequently; this is normal.
- Convection dual fuel range:
- The fan reverses direction during the bake.
The Convection Conversion:
100% automatic with the gas range convection feature. When convection baking the user enters the temperature as specified in a recipe. The oven control will automatically make the required temperature adjustment.
When convection baking:
- The bake burner is on (bottom burner). There is no top heat during BAKE in a gas range.
- The fan operates at its low-speed setting. This gently circulates air through the oven cavity.
When convection roasting:
- The bake burner is on (bottom burner)
- The fan operates at its high-speed setting. This faster air circulation browns meat perfectly and cooks meat up to 25% faster than a conventional oven.
Conventional Bake and Broil:
- In gas ovens, when you select BAKE, the Bake burner (below the floor of the oven) is ignited. There is no top heat during BAKE in a gas range.
- When selecting BROIL, only the Broil burner is ignited. (The burner in the top of the oven).
I went home with my head spinning. When I sat and thought about it overnight, I knew I could not justify the High-end ovens: Wolf and Thermador. Next, I had to decide if I really wanted the dual oven option.
Yes, I did, however, I am unsure if I will stay in this townhouse long term. I know we have agreed to stay while traveling back and forth to Ireland as much as we do, but if that time table slows down, I would reconsider. So I did not want to spend the cost of the midrange dual fuel ovens. I probably would not get my money back if we sold the townhouse. I know the remodel of the kitchen and bath, the new paint and the new carpet costs will recoup in a sale.
So, in the end, I purchased a GE Profile Gas oven with the option for convection bake/roast. If you can see the panel on the top of the range, you will see a button for convection roast or bake. I mainly roast and bake meals: meat and veg and do little baking so the convection or electric oven ideas were not absolutely necessary for me.
I did have to get the oven with the controls on the back because of the placement of my microwave. The front control look is much more appealing. Front controls would place even more heat under the microwave, which is a problem. As it is now, the more forward front burners draw heat up in front of the microwave. Neither placement is idea and in a new remodel or kitchen build I would have the microwave in a different location with just the cooktop and an exhaust hood.
If you are making this choice your self here and here are a couple of sites with cooking consideration I found helpful to help in your research. I did place a pizza stone in the oven because it is supposed to even out the heat a bit more. Gas oven heat can have hot and cold spots the stone helps even out the heat.
I never knew picking an oven could be so exhausting but it is wonderful to not have to constantly watch the oven when I am cooking and we do so love the additions of chicken bakes and lasagna.
Thanks for the visit. Please let me know your thoughts on this..and any hints on cooking with gas convection would be great
Take good care