What to Look for When Purchasing a Cook Stove
Consumer Reports has an online site, but they charge a subscription fee for the service. Instead, go to the nearest public library and compare the ratings for the different brand appliances. Manufacturers’ Internet sites How Stuff Works are also good sources of information about kitchen stoves and ranges.
Next, make a list of all the appliance dealers in the area. Many furniture stores, like Sears, also sell brand-name appliances. But when looking at after-sale service, furniture stores usually contract out their appliance repair or refer to the manufacturer. Retailers who specialize in selling only large appliances generally service what they sell.
Appliance manufacturers offer a “Limited Warranty” usually good for one year from the date of purchase. This warranty only covers factory defects in materials and workmanship. Most appliance retailers offer Extended Warranties, which are good for three to five years after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired. The decision to purchase an extended warranty may depend on the consumer’s confidence in the product.
Types of Range Ovens
When choosing a new electric range, don’t be confused by the terms Self-Cleaning and Easy Clean oven. A self-cleaning oven has an element either around the door opening or on the door itself that reaches a high temperature, usually one thousand degrees Fahrenheit. The high heat burns off all the residues inside the oven leaving a small pile of ash that can be wiped up with a damp cloth. The oven racks, however, must still be removed and cleaned separately. An Easy Clean oven has a special coating, which makes it easier to clean, but still requires some scrubbing.
Convection ranges are a bit pricier because they have a fan, which is usually located at the back of the oven. The fan forces the heated air inside the oven to circulate around the food being cooked. The forced, hot air cooks foods much faster than a conventional oven. This oven also cooks foods at about 20 percent lower temperatures than the recipes’ suggested, cooking time. The downside for cooks is the need to recalculate recipe times and temperatures.
Kitchen designers suggest the range hood or vent hood match the color and finish of the range. Also, check to ensure the range hood or vent has a fan motor large enough to quickly exhaust all cooking odors.
Smooth top or coil burners
Smooth top ranges have a ceramic top with heating units underneath. The advantage of this system is the ease of cleaning. Simply give the top a quick wipe with a damp cloth after each use. If foods do splash over and burn onto the ceramic, there is a ceramic, stove cleaner that can be bought at many hardware or home improvement stores.
The downside to ceramic is it scratches easily. Therefore, aluminum, glassware, or cast iron cookware is not recommended. Coil burners have been around for a long time, however, over time the coils may burn out and have to be replaced. And cleaning involves removing and washing the drip pans underneath the coils.
Cookstoves and ranges come in a wide variety of colors, finishes, and styles sure to complement any kitchen design. Some people prefer a gas range to an electric range, but whatever the choice, today’s appliances are definitely more energy efficient than they were even five years ago.