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).
The deals are pretty exceptional, seeing as you get at least a $100 rebate on most dishwashers and refrigerators and our average customer buying a washer and dryer pair is getting a $150 rebate ($50 each, plus a bonus $50 for buying a qualifying pair).
Plus, that stove or dryer you needed last March that didn’t qualify for a rebate? This time it does. You can get at least a $100 rebate on most stoves.
See our appliance stimulus webpage for full details on rebate amounts, participating brands and — most importantly — how to register.
It was fun to watch the crews document the shopping experience of our customers, homeowners Carrie and Robert.
Carrie and Robert are doing a “gut job” of the kitchen in their South Minneapolis home. (Carrie joked that she didn’t let Robert buy a snow blower last winter because she was so set on saving for their kitchen remodel!)
First, we learn about Carrie and Robert:
They enjoy cooking (lots of soups!) and baking, and are ready to move from electric to gas cooking.
While still a good size for a South Minneapolis kitchen (the home was built in the 1920s), they still want to maximize their space.
The current dishwasher is too noisy and doesn’t really offer them much versatility.
Carrie and Robert plan on spending a good deal of time in this current house.
The appliances will need to complement custom cabinetry, new floors and counter tops.
Based on what he found out from Carrie and Robert, our appliance specialist (and my brother!) Joe Warner suggested the following:
Carrie and Robert currently has an LG ceramic top electric range. They like the brand, but want the power and responsiveness of gas cooking. The four main burners offer a range of temperatures, for a low simmer at 5,000 BTUs to a power boil at 17,000 BTUs — and the burners can all be rearranged. So, Carrie can simmer two soups on the back burners while using higher heat on the front-most burners. Also, the fifth burner offers a place to heat oblong pans or place a skillet for breakfast items. The heavy-duty grates offer a continuous surface to easily move pots and pans around.
The oven, with a gorgeous blue finish, is a big, 5.4 cu. ft. capacity, which can accommodate pretty much anything Carrie and Robert will throw at it.
Basically, I’m super jealous.
At 50 decibels, it doesn’t get much quieter than this LG dishwasher. It’s so quiet, in fact, that LED lights tell you when it’s operating and when it’s not. Adjustable racks will accommodate nearly any size pot or pan Carrie and Robert throw at it, and there are even wineglass holders (which Carrie noted will get plenty of use).
Steam bursts through hardened on messes for pots and pans, yet is gentle enough to use with those wineglasses.
Perhaps best of all, the fully integrated finish tucks away the control panel on top of the door and the stainless interior means Carrie and Robert can enjoy the looks for a long time.
How gorgeous is that? Robert and Carrie like this model because:
An automatic ice maker means Robert can retire that title from his own name 🙂
The freezer on the bottom configuration and wide, two-door refrigerator allows for plenty of eye-level fresh storage within easy reach
The shallow, counter top-depth maximizes the space in their 10′-12′ kitchen
I’m so excited for Carrie and Robert to get delivery on the appliances they picked out. I’ll post pictures afterward in a couple weeks, but unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until the episode airs in September for the big reveal of their custom kitchen remodel.
Before you trust your oven to your family’s turkey and pie this Thanksgiving, make sure the oven heats to the correct temperature.
Some manufacturers say that using an oven thermometer (available at most hardware stores) isn’t accurate because once the door opens, the temperature changes, I think it’s probably a better measure than trying to decipher how far off your oven is by experimenting on baked goods or other methods.
First, check your thermometer’s accuracy by sticking it in boiling water for a minute. Boiling temperature is 212 degrees F, so if that’s not what your thermometer reads, note the difference.
Next, put your thermometer in the oven and select 350 degrees. Check the thermometer after about 20 minutes. If it doesn’t read 350 degrees (after factoring any difference you found in step one), you know whether your oven temperature runs high or low and how many degrees.
If you were smart enough — or organized enough — to save your Use & Care manual, your manufacturer might include instructions on how to calibrate your oven so that the temperature settings can be adjusted for accuracy. Otherwise, just make a mental note and select a 355 degrees (for instance) next time a recipe calls for 350.
Many ovens now come with built-in temperature probes, which offer another great way to ensure your meat cooks perfectly.
And the best way to ensure consistent temperature in your oven is to minimize opening the door by using your oven light. Having the oven door open for just seconds can decrease the temperature by 25 degrees!
We were encouraged to make more than 2 gallons, with the logic being more chili means more tasters means more votes for Warners’ Stellian. So, I made six batches. Observe:
When it came time for the massive amounts of chili to “simmer” for an hour, I lowered the controls on my (15-year-old) gas range to the flame’s lowest point before disappearing and tended to other responsibilities.
When I returned to dutifully “stir occasionally” 55 minutes later, all three pots of my chili were not simmering, but boiling. Of course chili isn’t as delicate as say, chocolate or Hollandaise sauce, but I don’t like the idea of keeping my chili at high heat for nearly an hour.
Wolf burners go down to 300 BTUs and absolutely will NOT scorch chocolate.
When I went to Wolf product training, a tiny Hershey’s square sat in a saucepan atop a Wolf simmer burner all afternoon, perfectly happy and melted.
Dacor has burners that can go as low as 650 BTUs, but also includes a simmer plate with some models.
A simmer plate is an accessory that protects your delicate foods from the direct heat of the burner, holding it at the safest low temperature possible.
Thermador ExtraLow Simmer burners can simmer as low as 100°F at 375 BTUs.
If you’re wondering, I didn’t place in the top three, though I did win the prize for Most Colorful Chili (you are what you eat, right?). Of course, I blame my lack of victory on my non-simmering range.