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Separate cooktop & wall oven vs. a freestanding range. Which would you prefer?


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We're about 6 months away from a kitchen remodel (finally!) I can get a pretty nice range with the budget we've decided on ( @ $1500 ) or a separate cooktop & wall oven--but they'd need to be a bit more low-end.

 

Right offhand, I like the idea of an wall oven as it would not be down by the floor. I'd love a broiler I could actually USE. Other than that, I don't know much about them.

 

If I go with a separate cooktop and oven, the cooktop will be gas and the oven could be either.

 

What says the hive? I know there's at least a couple of foodies out there!

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I love having a wall oven (ours is ancient) and a separate cooktop. the cabinet space underneath the cooktop is great to store my pots and pans. I have a nice set that I don't stack and there is room to spread them out. I also like not having the oven bar stick me in the gut while I'm cooking.

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I have a wall oven and I hate it passionately. I strongly prefer doing all my cooking in one place, and I hate having to cross the kitchen with large, burning hot dishes and roasting pans in my hands. I miss being able to just take something out of the even and put it right on the stove top. Given my choice, I'd go with a nice range. Someday... *sigh*

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If it were me, I would get a nice freestanding range, maybe a bit wider than standard. It would be nice to fit two cookie sheets/pizza stones/casseroles in the oven without having to stack; the one on the lower shelf never seems to brown as well. All of the wall ovens I have seen seem so tiny to me.

 

Our oven has a broiler in the main oven compartment - is yours in the drawer underneath?

 

If you do decide to go with the wall oven I would make sure it's right next to the range for those times when you need to get something out and put it down fast, or if you are transferring a dish from range to oven.

 

Hope your remodel goes well!! :001_smile:

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And we've opted to have a freestanding range that looks like a slide-in. I got a GE Cafe Dual Fuel (gas cooktop, electric oven) brand new in the box off of Craigslist for a ridiculous price. It is freestanding, but all of the controls are on the front of the oven, not the back, so it looks more like a slide-in. I didn't want to reach over large pots to turn the oven on (which is where regular freestanding ranges have their controls). In my case, I couldn't have both a wall oven and cooktop due to budget contraints and space issues. I did get a big oven though, and it's convection, so it will cook things better than a regular oven. I have a wall oven right now, and it is very small, and although they are handy to have, I'd rather have the large freestanding oven.

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We're about 6 months away from a kitchen remodel (finally!) I can get a pretty nice range with the budget we've decided on ( @ $1500 ) or a separate cooktop & wall oven--but they'd need to be a bit more low-end.

 

Right offhand, I like the idea of an wall oven as it would not be down by the floor. I'd love a broiler I could actually USE. Other than that, I don't know much about them.

 

If I go with a separate cooktop and oven, the cooktop will be gas and the oven could be either.

 

What says the hive? I know there's at least a couple of foodies out there!

 

 

If I had the space, I would opt for a wall oven (electric convection for baking). Actually, I'd have double ovens -- one full size and one smaller. I'd use the smaller one for pizza, cookies, other flat things that don't require a full-size oven. I'd save the big oven for large or multi-item cooking (like for holiday dinners, etc) and special things like cakes that need good air circulation.

 

I prefer cooking on gas, so I'd have a gas cooktop.

 

The reality is, though, that I don't have room in my kitchen for a wall oven. So, I have a range with all of the above. It's dual-fuel, so it has a gas cooktop, and electric ovens. Yes, it has two ovens. One full-size convection oven that opens all the way to the floor (for roasting, cakes, etc). And, one smaller oven that's perfect for pizza, chicken strips, cookies or anything that I can cook on my pizza stone. It's great for broiling because the food sits right up next to the burner.

 

Mine's a Jenn-Air. You can see it here: http://www.jennair.com/flash.cmd?/#/product/JDR8895BAS/

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Personally I like a range for size and ease Of use.

 

The wall ovens are tiny, and I wouldn't purposely choose to have them unless I could get two of them. It is very hard to do large projects in them. Such as 30 lb turkeys and couple pies (which is what I did with the range in the old house).

 

My biggest problems with any cooktop is the burners are too small and too close together for large skillets and pots. For mr size family those itty burners are never used and if the big burners are too close together it can be difficult to even use two pans at once.

 

Ideally for ME there's an awesome electrolux cooktop that I'd like and I'd get two wall ovens instead of the wall oven with microwave above it that I have now. Oh and altho I agree the deliema of where to place the hits from the wall oven is a pain - working right next to cooktop and ovens wouldn't be too comfy for this cook either. Ideally I'd choose a countertop that I could place hot from the oven stuff on right next to or in front of the oven.

 

So there's my lg family perspective.

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It really depends on your layout and what kind of space you have. Why not dream big? Do a freestanding range and one wall oven, then put the micro (if you use that) over the wall oven. But you know, if you are keeping your old stove, you could put that in the basement for your extra oven. If you do that, do you really need two ovens in your kitchen?

 

I personally don't see the improvement of having *one* wall oven and a cooktop vs. freestanding range. If you were getting *two* wall ovens, it would be different. But again, you always have that old range for back-up. That's what we did, and it has been fine. As far as 30 pound turkeys, I cook them in a huge electric roaster, and they turn out perfectly. I'm not sure why anyone would fiddle with putting such a thing in the oven! I didn't like the two oven freestanding stoves, because the lower is too low (for me).

 

I could have split my stuff up, and I just didn't. There are lots of things to spend money on, and I just couldn't see a benefit. I'm not saying there's not a benefit sometimes, but I would make a list of what you think the benefits are for you. It is not just the cost of the appliances. Then you have to have special cabinetry to fit those things, special countertop cuts. And if you're getting fancy counters, then you have that nagging in the back of your mind about what happens 10 years from now when you want a new cooktop and the sizes have changed, kwim? Ranges are standard and you'll always be able to change them. I didn't want to cut a hole in engineered quartz and then have to replace the whole countertop just to fit a new cooktop someday.

 

If I were giving you advice, it would be to get two dishwashers. :)

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I have a cooktop (electric) and two (electric) wall ovens. I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm 5-9, so having the oven up higher is a good thing. The ovens are Jenn-Aire and each has a slide-out midde rack, so I can get heavy pans closer to me before I life them.

 

The area above my ovens has vertical storage for cookie sheets and cutting boards. I love it! Below the cook top, I have storage for pots and pans.

 

Whatever you decide to do, when you do your reno, show us pictures! :)

 

Lisa

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Thanks for the replies everyone!

 

Lots to think about.... When I have more time, I'll post more details, pics of the current kitchen (and my issues with it) and tentative plans.

 

A gas cooktop is a given. I'm going to check into how universal the sizing is on these things.

 

The Jenn-Air dual oven range is to die for. If I go with a range, it'll be something like that.

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Separate. Locate them independently, wherever each would be most convenient as you tend to move around the kitchen. Also, why not go for a *double* oven if you're going into the wall?

 

A couple of things to keep in mind... First, be sure to choose a wall oven that your largest pan will fit into. Wall ovens are often smaller, but you can get - and want - a regular full size oven (unless you are getting two ovens, then one can be smaller).

 

Second, if you get any kind of combo unit (2 ovens, oven plus microvave, oven plus warming drawer), try to get one that has separate control panels for each appliance. If a main, combined control panel goes out, you won't be able to use any of the components and the large panel is more costly to repair. If you cannot get separate control panels on a combo, maybe you could go for separate units and just place them one over the other in the wall.

 

Just my pair o'pennies, based on having a variety of set-ups in a dozen kitchens over the years.

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Ideally I'd choose a countertop that I could place hot from the oven stuff on right next to or in front of the oven.

 

 

I love my granite counter top for this reason.

 

I don't like the way an undermount sink fits; I prefer the seamless transition of a Corian counter/sink combo.

 

If I could have a do-over I'd keep my kitchen island in granite and select a complementing Corian to do the rest of the counters.

 

I know you didn't ask about sinks and counters, but since it came up... and you're doing a big remodel... ;)

Edited by AuntieM
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I was facing this same question and I opted against a wall oven because of venting issues--invariably when a pie is done, it boils over and the drips start to smoke. Cooking pizza on a stone and having the cornmeal smoke some, too, results in my kitchen filling with smoke. I also bake salmon and personally hate the smell. I want the ability to suck all that out with the vent.

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I love having a wall oven (ours is ancient) and a separate cooktop. the cabinet space underneath the cooktop is great to store my pots and pans. I have a nice set that I don't stack and there is room to spread them out. I also like not having the oven bar stick me in the gut while I'm cooking.

 

Oh yeah, drawers under it is a MUST. I hate hate hate my current pots and pans storage. It's a joke. This is a manufactured home and the cabinetry (if you can call it that) is scaled down. It looks nice enough on the outside, but inside looks like it was assembled out of scrap lumber. It's also not individual cabinet units, so there are very few internal dividers and each base cabinet has ONE shelf in it. The "pantry" is like big empty boxes inside. No shelving, no pull-outs. Nothing functional at all. Everything falls all over the place. :glare: ugh! I can't wait to raze it... :D

 

Our oven has a broiler in the main oven compartment - is yours in the drawer underneath?

 

Yes, it is. The drawer has never really worked properly either (It's a cheapo range.) which I'm sure has contributed badly to my perception of this kind of broiler...

 

And we've opted to have a freestanding range that looks like a slide-in. I got a GE Cafe Dual Fuel (gas cooktop, electric oven) brand new in the box off of Craigslist for a ridiculous price. It is freestanding, but all of the controls are on the front of the oven, not the back, so it looks more like a slide-in.

 

That's a beautiful range! I could go for something like that. I just wish it had two ovens. It even has the power-boil burner. :drool5: It's definitely making the short list of range options. Now that I'm looking at it (at AJ Madison) I see the GE Profile line has a few with the controls on the front. This is not an easy decision, but there are so many GOOD choices.

 

My first choice would be a gas cooktop and double electric ovens. My second would be a dual-fuel range--gas cooktop, electric oven (preferably 2). My third choice would be gas range. My very last choice would be electric range.:-P

 

Your first choice is mine also (so far...).

 

If I had the space, I would opt for a wall oven (electric convection for baking). Actually, I'd have double ovens -- one full size and one smaller. I'd use the smaller one for pizza, cookies, other flat things that don't require a full-size oven. I'd save the big oven for large or multi-item cooking (like for holiday dinners, etc) and special things like cakes that need good air circulation.

 

I prefer cooking on gas, so I'd have a gas cooktop.

 

The reality is, though, that I don't have room in my kitchen for a wall oven. So, I have a range with all of the above. It's dual-fuel, so it has a gas cooktop, and electric ovens. Yes, it has two ovens. One full-size convection oven that opens all the way to the floor (for roasting, cakes, etc). And, one smaller oven that's perfect for pizza, chicken strips, cookies or anything that I can cook on my pizza stone. It's great for broiling because the food sits right up next to the burner.

 

Mine's a Jenn-Air. You can see it here: http://www.jennair.com/flash.cmd?/#/product/JDR8895BAS/

 

I've seen those. They are very nice and more what I had in mind should I decide on a range. I have not seen any yet though with two ovens and the controls on front. Is it awkward to reach around stockpots and such to adjust the heat? My current range is 15 years old and does have the controls on front but it is so very low end it does not even have a light-bulb in it. It's pilot lit though which is nice during a power outage (and we do get those...).

 

Personally I like a range for size and ease Of use.

 

The wall ovens are tiny, and I wouldn't purposely choose to have them unless I could get two of them. It is very hard to do large projects in them. Such as 30 lb turkeys and couple pies (which is what I did with the range in the old house).

 

My biggest problems with any cooktop is the burners are too small and too close together for large skillets and pots. For mr size family those itty burners are never used and if the big burners are too close together it can be difficult to even use two pans at once.

 

Ideally for ME there's an awesome electrolux cooktop that I'd like and I'd get two wall ovens instead of the wall oven with microwave above it that I have now. Oh and altho I agree the deliema of where to place the hits from the wall oven is a pain - working right next to cooktop and ovens wouldn't be too comfy for this cook either. Ideally I'd choose a countertop that I could place hot from the oven stuff on right next to or in front of the oven.

 

So there's my lg family perspective.

 

That's likely the best choice for us. I think even an inset of something like granite or butcher block may just do the trick. It will be located next to a peninsula. For years, I've been putting hot stuff on hot pads or trivets on my countertops since there's usually something on the stove anyway.

 

I'm definitely taking the burner size and spacing into consideration. I did notice some seem smaller and I'm going to make a point of taking some pots and pans with me to see how they'd fit. Funny how some appliances seem to be designed for people who do not actually cook. :tongue_smilie:

 

 

If I were giving you advice, it would be to get two dishwashers. :)

 

That's not going to be do-able unfortunately. My dishwasher is practically new.

 

I have a cooktop (electric) and two (electric) wall ovens. I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm 5-9, so having the oven up higher is a good thing. The ovens are Jenn-Aire and each has a slide-out midde rack, so I can get heavy pans closer to me before I life them.

 

The area above my ovens has vertical storage for cookie sheets and cutting boards. I love it! Below the cook top, I have storage for pots and pans.

 

Whatever you decide to do, when you do your reno, show us pictures! :)

 

Lisa

 

Absolutely!

 

Separate. Locate them independently, wherever each would be most convenient as you tend to move around the kitchen. Also, why not go for a *double* oven if you're going into the wall?

 

A couple of things to keep in mind... First, be sure to choose a wall oven that your largest pan will fit into. Wall ovens are often smaller, but you can get - and want - a regular full size oven (unless you are getting two ovens, then one can be smaller).

 

Second, if you get any kind of combo unit (2 ovens, oven plus microvave, oven plus warming drawer), try to get one that has separate control panels for each appliance. If a main, combined control panel goes out, you won't be able to use any of the components and the large panel is more costly to repair. If you cannot get separate control panels on a combo, maybe you could go for separate units and just place them one over the other in the wall.

 

Just my pair o'pennies, based on having a variety of set-ups in a dozen kitchens over the years.

 

I'm leaning toward a microwave/fan combo for over the cooktop. Double ovens (electric) with separate controls. I'm also going to look into different door mounting options because of what a previous poster pointed out.

 

I love my granite counter top for this reason.

 

I don't like the way an undermount sink fits; I prefer the seamless transition of a Corian counter/sink combo.

 

If I could have a do-over I'd keep my kitchen island in granite and select a complementing Corian to do the rest of the counters.

 

I know you didn't ask about sinks and counters, but since it came up... and your doing a big remodel... ;)

 

I didn't ask yet. ;) I'm filing all this away though (seriously--in a OneNote Notebook!) I'll just be glad to finally have a full-sized sink. Mine is about 6" deep, and a couple inches less in front-to-back depth too.

 

I was facing this same question and I opted against a wall oven because of venting issues--invariably when a pie is done, it boils over and the drips start to smoke. Cooking pizza on a stone and having the cornmeal smoke some, too, results in my kitchen filling with smoke. I also bake salmon and personally hate the smell. I want the ability to suck all that out with the vent.

 

Hmmm... now I'm really rethinking my location of it.

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One of the big draws to buying this house was the kitchen set up. I have 2 wall ovens, electric convection. They are huge! Last year I was able to fit a 30 pound turkey in there easily. My stovetop is gas and has 5 burners on it. There are 3 different sizes of burners so I can use the one most appropriate to the pot I am using. The one in the middle back is larger and I can use wide pots on there with not problem. I did a quick search to find a similar one to mine, but didn't see it. I'll try and find out what kind it is if you are interested.

 

The stovetop is on an island so if I want to set something directly onto it from the oven, I just take it out, turn a little bit and set and it down.

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When we moved here the kitchen came with a gas cooktop & a convection electric wall oven. I kept the wall oven, eventually replacing it with a newer model but still convection electric. The cooktop I replaced with a full range, gas on top, convection electric in the oven. I love being able to have a variety of different things in the ovens at the same time. Usually the one under the stove is more the dinner one (it also has a warming drawer so that's where I shove things as I'm cooking) and the wall one is the dessert & bread one.

 

So my vote is TWO ovens if you can. :D

 

We waited for sales & got great deals though it did mean the reno was not nice & neat & finished. I think the wall oven got replaced about 8 mos after the rest of the kitchen was finished because that's how long it took for me to find a great deal on it..... OTOH, I got the fridge about 5 months before I started the kitchen reno. It was such a good deal that I grabbed it & just parked it in the garage until we were ready for it. I found the wall ovens went on sale more often & had bigger discounts than the full range. Also note that all the appliances come in different sizes so make sure you know exactly what space you'll have.

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With corian sinks you can't pour down boiling water. We steam a lot, so that wasn't at all workable for us. Also, I have friends with corian and don't like the way it looks after a few years. But maybe these friends weren't particularly good about keeping it clean? We got engineered quartz counters with stainless steel undermount sinks, and it's just the bees knees. But you know, to each his own. Get what you like. I wanted something a bit more homogenous, not big print like granite, and I didn't want to seal. They're all pretty close in price these days.

 

You want to do some searching on sinks. I got mine on clearance when Franke got bought out. There are definitely deals to be had! Also, to determine your depth, you need to add in the thickness of your countertop to the depth of the undermount sink. So even a 9" deep undermount sink ends up very deep! I have two sinks (well actually 3, but who's counting), and they're all different depths. My big, single bowl clean-up sink is very deep and has a grate in the bottom. My prep sink is a D-shaped single bowl that I picked very deliberately to be easy to clean out after washing meat. The smallest sink is beside the stove and just a dinky little thing we squeezed in. Like I said, we steam and cook grains a lot, so having a sink by the stove or at least water was a dream!

 

Well that's a whole rabbit trail. I'll tell you though, I spent a lot of time really thinking about and measuring out what I could reach when standing. You also have to consider the length of the faucet neck on these new sinks. With granite and whatnot the sinks sit back from the front of the counter quite a bit. You'll get used to it, but it's definitely farther than with laminate and a top mount. So that puts the BACK of the sink farther back. So if you're short, you want a faucet that comes forward enough to let you reach without strain. I ended up with a Blanco at my prep sink. It is 10 3/4" from the plumbing. That gets it far enough that I don't have to bend over or strain to reach while washing veges. Or you put a rug there to get you up an inch if you screw up and go too shallow. :)

 

Well have fun kitchen obsessing. Oh, did anyone mention drawers? I don't know why people are so gaga about drawers under the cooktop. My entire kitchen is drawers, all the lowers, and that's the greatest thing ever. Some have dividers, some don't. All my pots are in drawers, and they're so easy to get out that way. My range is in the corner, so I have pots in a drawer stack on the left and serving dishes in the drawer stack on the right.

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With corian sinks you can't pour down boiling water. We steam a lot, so that wasn't at all workable for us. Also, I have friends with corian and don't like the way it looks after a few years. But maybe these friends weren't particularly good about keeping it clean? We got engineered quartz counters with stainless steel undermount sinks, and it's just the bees knees. But you know, to each his own. Get what you like. I wanted something a bit more homogenous, not big print like granite, and I didn't want to seal. They're all pretty close in price these days.

 

You want to do some searching on sinks. I got mine on clearance when Franke got bought out. There are definitely deals to be had! Also, to determine your depth, you need to add in the thickness of your countertop to the depth of the undermount sink. So even a 9" deep undermount sink ends up very deep! I have two sinks (well actually 3, but who's counting), and they're all different depths. My big, single bowl clean-up sink is very deep and has a grate in the bottom. My prep sink is a D-shaped single bowl that I picked very deliberately to be easy to clean out after washing meat. The smallest sink is beside the stove and just a dinky little thing we squeezed in. Like I said, we steam and cook grains a lot, so having a sink by the stove or at least water was a dream!

 

Well that's a whole rabbit trail. I'll tell you though, I spent a lot of time really thinking about and measuring out what I could reach when standing. You also have to consider the length of the faucet neck on these new sinks. With granite and whatnot the sinks sit back from the front of the counter quite a bit. You'll get used to it, but it's definitely farther than with laminate and a top mount. So that puts the BACK of the sink farther back. So if you're short, you want a faucet that comes forward enough to let you reach without strain. I ended up with a Blanco at my prep sink. It is 10 3/4" from the plumbing. That gets it far enough that I don't have to bend over or strain to reach while washing veges. Or you put a rug there to get you up an inch if you screw up and go too shallow. :)

 

Well have fun kitchen obsessing. Oh, did anyone mention drawers? I don't know why people are so gaga about drawers under the cooktop. My entire kitchen is drawers, all the lowers, and that's the greatest thing ever. Some have dividers, some don't. All my pots are in drawers, and they're so easy to get out that way. My range is in the corner, so I have pots in a drawer stack on the left and serving dishes in the drawer stack on the right.

 

Quartz totally rocks! :D (That would be what Silestone is right?). I don't know if it's in the budget though. We will be doing much of the work ourselves (meaning mostly ME) too so needs to be diy friendly as much as possible. Very diy friendly...

 

I'm not too into the idea of undermount sinks. I've not really started investigating though.

 

A prep sink. Hmmm....

 

Good think I'm not afraid of powertools. :tongue_smilie:

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WE are about the remodel the kitchen. I have a wall oven and don't like it because I would prefer the counter space. I am going with a slide in or free standing with an induction cooktop and convection oven. I do not have a gas line on that wall in the kitchen or else I would get a dual fuel oven.

 

One problem I have with the slide in is having the controls on the front. My kids are not young, but my kitchen can get crowded with a few people working in it and I don't like the controls to get knocked.

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WE are about the remodel the kitchen. I have a wall oven and don't like it because I would prefer the counter space. I am going with a slide in or free standing with an induction cooktop and convection oven. I do not have a gas line on that wall in the kitchen or else I would get a dual fuel oven.

 

One problem I have with the slide in is having the controls on the front. My kids are not young, but my kitchen can get crowded with a few people working in it and I don't like the controls to get knocked.

 

That could definitely be a problem in some kitchens. I have to chase people out now as it is a bit narrow. I'd rather make it more multiple cook friendly. That's a big factor in my new layout. I'm putting in a peninsula (too narrow for an island) and that will be a nice area for cooking with the kids. I can't wait! :D

 

There are options now I didn't know existed. I never looked closely at slide-in ranges before but rather like the look of them. I wonder how hard it is to remove and clean under them though? I guess I need to get into stores and check these things out up close and personal.

 

One big draw for me of the cooktop/wall oven combo is never having to clean under the range. I am doing this quite often now (like at least monthly). Our dog sheds a lot. :glare: I'm not too crazy about giving up counter space for a wall oven even if it is in a spot where it wouldn't be missed (as much).

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I LOVE my cooktop and wall oven. Our oven is a double; the top is a microwave/convection oven. The bottom is a standard size electric/convection oven. And my cooktop ROCKS! A 5 burner electrolux. And I LOVE IT. I dont' remember the brand of my oven, but we got it on clearance for half price. Seriously, can you beleive that appliances go 'out of style' ??????

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Darla, Don Silvers has a book "Kitchen Design with Cooking in Mind" that is kind of fun and will give you ideas. Also his website has lots of pics. For testing stoves with the knobs on the back, take your pots and see how they fit. I purposely got my stove with the large burners on the FRONT, so the pots don't knock the knobs.

 

BTW, if you are going electric, watch the wattages on the burners. My kenmore stove has a super-duper high wattage burner (3400?3500?) that gets water hot crazy fast. The other large burner is only like 2800, a significant difference. And my stove also has a warmer burner. They just come with so many snazzy things these days! Appliances really drive the design, and you can't become too friendly with your Sears salesman. :)

Edited by OhElizabeth
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I was facing this same question and I opted against a wall oven because of venting issues--invariably when a pie is done, it boils over and the drips start to smoke. Cooking pizza on a stone and having the cornmeal smoke some, too, results in my kitchen filling with smoke. I also bake salmon and personally hate the smell. I want the ability to suck all that out with the vent.

 

 

My DH put a bathroom style exhaust fan near the oven, so when I do things that will smoke/smell I just flip it on. It exhausts through the attic and out a pipe in the roof, same as the bathroom ones.

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I, personally, would go with a freestanding gas stove/oven (which is what I have now--yaaaaayyyy!). I had a wall oven and separate range in our last house and hated it.

 

Reasons: I am fairly short and had a terrible time loading/unloading very large items (the turkey, for instance) into the oven. I had to lean around the scorching hot lowered oven door while holding at full extension whatever it is I wanted to bake.

 

The oven was also several steps away from the range. I did not like walking to set heavy and very hot items down. I would rather pull things out of the oven and be able to set them directly on the stovetop in front of me.

 

The wall oven was also very small. I could not load multiple things at one time--maybe 3 loaves of bread max versus the 6 I can get in my oven now.

 

If you have a well-planned kitchen layout and are taller than 5'4" and plan to get one that can bake a lot of things at one time, then maybe you'll like a separate stove/oven. To be fair, that separate range/oven I used was ancient, so maybe things are better designed nowadays.

 

Enjoy the research! What fun to be getting a new appliance!

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Another consideration if you do any canning is if your cooktop can support the weight of your canner. I looked into a smoothtop range (not a cooktop) and the manual said not to use with canners because they were too heavy. Of course, that was quite some time ago and they might have changed by now.

 

A separate vent by the wall oven is a great idea mentioned by another poster.

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My smoothtop stove has no problem with canners. Mine is a Kenmore made by Fridigdaire. I think maybe the GE's disallow canning? And you can always use your old stove for that if you keep it in the basement or garage.

 

I always thought the issue with smooth tops and canning was because the smooth tops are electric and don't maintain a steady minimum temperature. That is, they work on a thermostat sort of program to maintain an average temperature. Heat on for a bit, goes high, burner cuts off, cools down a couple of degrees, burner kicks back on... a constant up and down around the desired temperature. I was told that electric tops are discouraged for canning because of the possibility that not all potential contaminants are destroyed by the constant temperature.

 

Personally, I think it sounds like a bit of manufacturer's cya, and I know people who can with their electric and smooth top ranges with no problem. Beats dishwasher canning!

 

I just bought a big water bath canning pot and plan to use it over our freestanding propane burner (like a turkey fryer).

 

 

As to the Corian, I really think the longer tem appearance depends on the color. My lighter colors were fine, my MIL's dark (almost black) counters, not as good. I was never told not to pour boiling water in my Corian sinks, did it all the time. If I ever damaged anything, it was not visible! Gee, I'd feel bad if I left a nasty surprise for the next owner...:001_huh:

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Safety is important to me.

 

Now that my kids are old enough to cook, I worry about them reaching across burning pots to reach the dials. I wish our current stove had the buttons on the front of the stove instead of near the back, so the kids could adjust the heat without reaching across the dangerous surface.

 

I also prefer that stove tops be against the wall, rather than in the middle of the room. When they're against the wall it's easier to push the handles out of reach of young children.

 

As for ovens, I prefer that they be at a natural level for removing heavy items. It's best if people don't have to reach up or bend down to retrieve large, heavy, burning hot food from the oven.

 

I'd consider safety, then convenience, then aesthetics.

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That could definitely be a problem in some kitchens. I have to chase people out now as it is a bit narrow. I'd rather make it more multiple cook friendly. That's a big factor in my new layout. I'm putting in a peninsula (too narrow for an island) and that will be a nice area for cooking with the kids. I can't wait! :D

 

Counter space is an issue here. We have a peninsula that we are reconfiguring a bit. It is low, which was great when the kids were younger. It also has an overhang to sit at. We never sit at it. I am going to move it back so the actual peninsula is narrower. The reason for that is that the diswasher is right next to the peninsula. When items with stuff still in them, like glasses, get loaded in the dishwasher, they can get crud on the cabinets on the peninsula. I will be moving it back about 12" to take care of this and add a narrow cabinet and drawer between the dishwasher and peninsula. Just doing that will open our work area tremendously and not reduce the dining area.

 

We are going with granite tiles because I think the look is interesting. Most people like slab. I have found out we can do an undermount sink with tiles due to a new installation techniques. Sealed the deal.

 

Different strokes for different folks. We have no plans to move so I feel I can do what I want and not worry too much about resale. By the time we are ready to move whatever I choose will be passe by then.

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You can caulk the crack between your stove and counter. Did it at both our old house and this one, with three different installations. Keeps it a lot cleaner back there too! (Better be, since you can't pull it out to clean!) That hasn't been a problem for us, not being able to clean back there. I suppose I could get one of those long cleaner brushes to go under the stove if it really bugged me. I like not having stuff overflow or dribble down the sides. My stove is black, so the caulk is black. Our other one was white, so there we used clear as I recall.

 

As far as the canning, you have to look in the book for each brand. I think some brands will void your warranty if you can on them (GE? used to be that way?). I've canned on my current stove, though I think it was kind of stupid with the amount of wear it creates. I was using water bath, not a pressure canner. I have this huge burner on the front with really high wattage, and I can't fathom it would have a problem. I think these stoves have improved a lot over the years, and the early concerns aren't quite the same. My old stove would cycle on and off, but I never notice it with this one.

 

Are you sure you want the cracks and grout lines of granite tiles? That might be fine in a low use area, but I wouldn't want that around a sink. But that's just me. I have a friend who did it. I just wouldn't, that's all. There are upper end laminates that are very, very nice, out of the ordinary, if the budget is tight and you still want to be distinctive. I think they might be double the cost of regular laminate. They make some granite look ones that are EXTREMELY nice. I actually had people walk in my house and ask what it was. They're glossy, lots of color, just gorgeous. And yes, there are undermount accessories so you can do undermount sinks with laminate now even. I will say I love being able to get water everywhere and not worry about it getting under the sink line like I did with my laminate and top mount. It's a simple pleasure, but I'm a very messy person when washing vegetables. :)

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We got a great deal on granite tiles for our last house and installed it with zero grout lines. We just ran some grout over it to fill in any hairline cracks that may have existed. Sealed it and it looked great. I had a ceramic tile counter before that and hated it, but doing it this way was as good as a slab.

 

However, I will take a look at the laminate you are talking about. I assume Wilson Art? I just love the durability of the granite.

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I wasn't in on the buying (dh is a builder, so he used his sources), but I've seen it in the premium section of hanging samples on the racks at Lowes or Home Depot. If you've already had granite tiles and liked them, I'm sure you'll be happy again. It's definitely nice to know it won't melt or ruin if you set something hot on it. And I like the cold surface for rolling out stuff.

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