Just like you might get an oil change before going on a road trip, you might have considered cleaning your oven before hosting a holiday party.
Here’s some advice:
Every holiday we get a panicked call from a well-meaning customer who ran the self-clean on her oven and afterwards, the oven didn’t unlock (in this cautionary tale, Northland Service was able to unlock the oven in the nick of time). Of course, this isn’t what’s supposed to happen; the self-clean mode should just work like a charm.
But we all know that things don’t always turn out as they should, and if it’s going to malfunction, Murphy’s Law dictates that it will be right before your in-laws show up.
When buying appliances, people often focus on two days of the year: Thanksgiving and Christmas.
What matters at that moment to you is finding a range whose oven accommodates a massive turkey.
Or, thinking about overflow casseroles and Christmas cookies, you opt for double ovens.
But what about the other 363 days of the year? If you’re not a serious baker, that second oven sits cold. And warming up that range with the huge oven capacity for a couple of baked potatoes wastes time and energy.
Instead, a trend we’re seeing is assembling a team of appliances that can work alone during normal operations but also can multitask for occasional holidays and parties.
So instead of a giant range, combine a double oven range and convection microwave.
The smaller upper oven of the range can be used for one-dish meals. Come Christmas, you can bake a dessert up top while a roasts monopolizes the lower oven. The convection microwave can bake a casserole. My mom did this successfully for years with her Jenn-Air convection microwave (after she finally got rid of the old range she kept in the laundry room, only to be used during the holidays). A convection microwave also works overtime when paired with a single oven, perfect for those who won’t make enough use of a double oven.
Better yet, make that second oven a speed oven for the ultimate versatility.
This GE Advantium (model PSB1001NSS; Miele makes an upgrade if you’ve got the dough) cooks up to 4 times faster than your grandmother’s oven – covering all 4 bases: warming/proofing, true convection, sensor microwave (that can rotate a 9×13 casserole on its turntable!) and of course, speed cooking.
Until I can upgrade to a convection microwave, I use my Crockpot for anything that doesn’t need “crisping,” but I’d love to hear how others really make use of their multitasking appliances.
Many stoves choose to end their life right around the time you’ve finally finished thawing, brining, trussing and stuffing that huge bird on Thanksgiving morning.
Now your oven very well might be dead, but sometimes you just need to give it the ol’ Fonzie treatment.
Now, I’m not actually suggesting you punch your juke, er…range; but try shutting off your circuit or unplugging your appliance for 20 minutes. It’s always the first advice I give customers before we attempt service — and it’s worked before! Best case scenario, you’re back in business once you plug it back in or reset the circuit.
If you have a gas range and the cooktop is working but the oven isn’t, flip the regulator switch (which automatically cuts off the flow of gas at a certain pressure).
If you’re still getting an error code or the unit is still dead, you’re probably going to need service. You can call us on Friday at 651-222-0011 (opt. 4).
Visit Frigidaire’s Facebook page (facebook.com/frigidaire) at 11 a.m. CST this Wendesday, Nov. 23 to watch live streaming of Celebrity Food Network Chefs Anne Burrell (Mario Batali’s crazy-haired sous chef on Iron Chef America) and Geoffrey Zakarian (of Chopped) compete in the Double or Nothing Holiday Challenge in Times Square.
People everywhere can watch and vote for their favorite Chef to be entered for a chance to win the new range. AND for every vote, Frigidaire is donating $1 to Save the Children.
Following the event, you can find recipes and videos on Facebook, so stayed tuned.
Now that you’ve figured out where to buy a stove (as if there were a question), here are some quick tips on how to buy a stove.
The fastest way to narrow your options — beside knowing your existing fuel type, gas or electric — is to identify your style.
The freestanding range is the most commonly used range style in homes, probably because it’s the most affordable and easiest to install. Featuring finished sides and a flat back, this range can sit flush against a back wall.
With the growing trend of kitchen islands and decoratively tiled backsplashes, the slide-in range has become one of the fastest growing segments in the industry. Featuring unfinished sides and back, this style is designed to be built in between two cabinets.
The body of the range is typically 30-inches wide, and the top of the range is slightly wider to prevent crumbs from getting in the crevices between the countertop and range while providing a more built-in appearance. The oven and burner controls are located on the front of the range, just above the oven door.
Though similar to a slide-in range, the drop-in range has waned in popularity in recent years.
The primary difference is that while a slide-in range touches the floor, a drop in range sits on top of a cabinet baseboard. Though a drop-in range looks more built in than a freestanding range or even a slide-in range, it’s also more difficult to replace because of its height and the limited selection of drop-in style ranges.
While it is the most expensive range style available in the industry today, the professional range is becoming more common in high-end and gourmet kitchens. Pro-style ranges take the performance and styling of a true commercial range and make it safe to use for a home cook.
The oven and burner controls are always located on the front, just above the door. Professional ranges feature burners capable of reaching high temperature for rapid boiling as well as extremely low temperatures for delicate and precise simmering. Larger models (36”, 48” or 60” wide) offer flexibility in the cooking surface, allowing for the addition of built-in griddles, grills and other specialty surfaces. Large oven(s) generally boast convection capabilities and intensely high-temperature broiling.
Professional ranges generally come in a stainless steel finish although some manufacturers such as Viking and Bertazzoni other distinctive colors (i.e. beyond white and black).
If you’re not much of a cook, you should probably just stop reading now. Capital range got an earful about how crappy the burners are on a standard range. In response, the appliance-maker built the Capital Culinarian.
Some cooks just want a commercial-looking range but need the safety of a sealed-burner system (several flames rising around a burner cap). The Culinarian sharply departs into both a commercial fit and finish AND the power and performance as an open burner range that’s closer to that of a restaurant kitchen.
The flame rises from each part of the burner ports to provide the most even heat distribution and best cooking results. Sure, some ranges offer BTUs in the upper teens and maybe even 20s, but that’s generally one burner — and you’d have to move your cookware to a different burner when it’s time to simmer.
Capital wisely gave each burner 23,000 BTUs of power AND the ability to simmer at an incredibly low 140 degrees F.
But it’s the way the temperature interacts with the cookware and food that makes the difference.
Would you rather trust your sauce to 94 evenly spaced flames or one or two circles of flame with large separations? And imagine how fast your water will boil when you’re heating the entire pot rather than just a couple rings of heat.
Plus, the open burner system targets the center of a wok cooking and distributes heat evenly.
Positioning the top oven rack 3 inches from the broiler achieves the best, most-efficient broil, though strangely, competitive products add an extra3 inches. Obviously, those who love to cook appreciate these differences.
And those that love to griddle or grill can go single (12 inch at 18,000 BTUs) or double (24 inch at 30,000 BTUs) on either option.
Or stretch your burners all the way across your new favorite toy, which comes in 36″, 48″ and 60″.