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I want a new kitchen range
Old 09-16-2014, 06:45 PM   #1
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I want a new kitchen range

I have an old drop in electric range that was original in my building. Most of the others that have not been replaced are still working, more or less. The sheet metal on mine gets very hot; it hurts if I accidentally touch it.

There will have to be some minor carpentry to change from a drop in, which are hardly made any longer, to a slide in. Lowes claims that they have someone who can do this, which would be ideal since the pullout, carpentry and re-install would be all at once and I won't be without a range or with my old one taking up space and making a mess in the living room.

I have two main questions, plus I would welcome any comments.

1) I see an OK looking white one with black ceramic top by GE. I would get this one, but I am a bit concerned about parts since the GE appliance division has been sold to Electrolux. Slide ins cost about 2x the similar standalone range, so I really want this to be a long term winner. Comments?

2) I have only used external coil electric stoves. I have a couple cast iron skillets, and some Creuset pots, some with enamel bottom, some with exposed iron, and one with an enamel bottom with slight cross hatching on the surface.

Will these be OK with the smooth ceramic cooktop? I really would not like to make big changes here, some of these things are remnants from my marriage and family life that have good memories for me. Lowes only offered coil element ranges of slide in configuration are low end, small burners, etc, and I think this would not work. I will use the cooktop daily, and the oven maybe 3x/week to bake fish and make roasts. I don't do breads or pastry, as I have celiac.

Thanks for any help you can give.

Ha
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:01 PM   #2
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All my Le Creuset pots work fine on smooth ceramic cooktops.
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:33 PM   #3
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I have a ceramic top slide in and think you may have some issues with your cooking gear. The cast iron skillets will definitely be off limits as they will permanently scratch and mar the cook top; they are also likely not flat on the bottom - most have some ridges.

You can look at the the operating instructions on the Homedepot website, As an example here is one for a ceramic top slide in. Page ten has some language pots and pans.

On the upside however, they improve the lines in your kitchen by virtue of the smooth top and are relatively easy to keep clean once you get the hang of the new surface.
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:41 PM   #4
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Your pans will all be fine on a smooth top. I have had two induction cook tops and I looooove them. Even easier to clean and they have the heat control of a gas range. They're expensive though, so unless you spend a lot of time cooking, they are an indulgence.
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:46 PM   #5
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We got a GE smooth top 4 years ago. It has a ghost in the machine, where it occasionally resets when using the oven. They were never able to fix it, despite replacing a few parts. Generally not a problem, but we have to watch it when cooking a turkey, for example. If it resets, we have to turn the oven back on. I'm not sure I'll buy a GE appliance again.

However, it is serviceable, especially for the cooktop. We considered going to gas, but it was going to be a huge problem to run the pipe. So, we stayed electric and went from coils to the smooth top.

The smooth top is excellent. The look in the kitchen is awesome. I don't find the cleaning that difficult. And, now that I'm used to it, any other type of range top (gas or coils) just looks clunky. Induction looks good, but I don't like induction tops. They really limit you.

Once I got used to how the cooking reacts on the smoothtop, I really like it. (There is an adjustment, even from coils.)

But, yeah, you'll have to put away that cast iron. If that's a deal killer, then look elsewhere.
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:49 PM   #6
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I have to agree with Janet . The cast iron skillets may be a no -no . I have a smooth cook top and still use my Le Creuset dutch oven but I am always wary of it marring the cook top .
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:54 PM   #7
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Sears still carries more than a dozen drop-in ranges if you don't want to fuss with the carpentry.

Ranges and Stoves: Shop the Best Kitchen Ranges – Sears

We've been buying mostly Kenmore kitchen appliances and no problems so far.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:06 PM   #8
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Based on the previous posts I guess maybe we've been flirting with disaster, but we continue to use our cast iron frying pan on our smoothtop range. We're careful with it, but sometimes nothing beats cast iron.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:23 PM   #9
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Based on the previous posts I guess maybe we've been flirting with disaster, but we continue to use our cast iron frying pan on our smoothtop range. We're careful with it, but sometimes nothing beats cast iron.

I used cast iron pots and pans on a smooth top range and it still cleaned up to a nice shine with no noticeable scratches after 8 years of heavy duty use. Off course, I took care not to drag heavy pots across the smooth surface.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:44 PM   #10
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If you have a gas BBQ you can use your cast iron cookware there. [Don't know if you have a terrace/balcony at your condo/co-op.]

We replaced our drop in with a GE glass top. It works fine and I particularly like the warming oven under the regular oven. I am not impressed with the stainless steel finishes, particularly the knobs. Function wise, no problems.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:57 PM   #11
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We changed out a drop-in stove for a black free-standing Maytag electric range a couple of years ago. We bought the stove from a large independent dealer that is very competitive with Lowe's, Sears, and Home Depot.

A handyman charged $100 for the carpentry. He did a very neat job.

DW retired her cast iron cookware from the ceramic top, so we don't know what the cast iron might do to the ceramic top. DW doesn't like aluminum cookware. Now she uses mainly smooth stainless steel. So far, so good.

The new stove has two ovens. DW occasionally uses the cast iron cookware in the ovens.
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:29 AM   #12
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I have a Amana smooth glass/ceramic cooktop, a pan should be no larger than an inch over the burner ring diameter, as an oversize pan can trap heat and crack the glasstop. My All American Pressure cooker/canner has not been out of the box since moving into this house. I do use my cast iron without any problems.

You mentioned, cast iron pans, Cast Iron and Induction cooking are a great match, popular in Japan, catching on here too. Induction Cooktops and free standing single/dual burner hot plate units are available

Garden Web appliance forum post on Induction

New York Times article

Iwate prefecture is the historic home to ironware manufacturing in Japan, OIGEN is a well known.
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Old 09-17-2014, 01:15 AM   #13
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We have a smooth cooktop, and I cook with cast iron nearly daily. I have both Lodge from 20 years ago, and Griswold that was my husband's grandmother's. I use one Griswold 8" the most. In response to this thread, I just looked carefully at the cooktop, and I noticed a couple of marks that look almost like small pencil marks. I'm guessing they may be scratches from the cast iron. They are barely noticeable.

To be honest, I haven't been especially careful with the cooktop, as I prefer cooking with gas, and don't really like this cooktop -- it's just what was in the house. Also, I can't use my wok at all on the electric, and it's my favorite for cooking cabbage. Our kitchen remodel starts at the end of this week. We are having gas run.
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:23 AM   #14
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I appreciate the wide ranging responses. Much of it I didn't even know to consider. Maybe I'll find the quality handyman first, then decide with his help the best course of action.

Ha
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Old 09-17-2014, 02:38 PM   #15
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Based not only of the recent sale to Electrolux but also my experience with GE appliances (house was full of them) I will never buy another GE appliance. In 12 years we've replaced 3 of the 5. Not impressed.
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Old 09-17-2014, 02:50 PM   #16
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Based not only of the recent sale to Electrolux but also my experience with GE appliances (house was full of them) I will never buy another GE appliance. In 12 years we've replaced 3 of the 5. Not impressed.
Unfortunately most new appliances are like this . I recently replaced a four and a half year old LG fridge . All my Maytag appliances have had numerous repairs .The only two appliances going strong in my house are both over 14year old GE appliances . The GE side by side fridge that I replaced the LG with is 18 years old and except for a minor repair is still going strong in my garage .Maybe the clue is if an appliance works keep it forever .
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Old 09-17-2014, 02:54 PM   #17
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Maybe the clue is if an appliance works keep it forever .
Agreed. When we moved we left our 25-year-old Maytag washer & dryer behind. Perhaps we should have kept them.
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Old 09-17-2014, 03:08 PM   #18
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Unfortunately most new appliances are like this .
I'm not disagreeing with you. But... This has to stop. It is getting really irritating when one brings this up with someone associated with the company, such as a salesperson, and they basically say "Yeah, but they are all like this."

Too bad.

So, I just fired my insurance company of 28 years after the agent pulled the "But all the insurance companies are doing it" line on me. No they are not. There are differences. (My dispute was over service, not price.) There *has* to be an appliance company out there that stands above the others. No? Sadly, judging from what you read, there is not.
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Old 09-17-2014, 05:19 PM   #19
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If you are going to use cast iron, you might consider an Induction cook top. Yes they are more expensive, but use less energy. I don't know what the pay back is. The also seem to cook faster, yet provide control similar to gas. The eye does not get hot, well sort of not, it will transfer the heat from the iron pot to the eye, but the eye itself does not generate heat.
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:03 AM   #20
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I guess I'll be odd man out, because in the last home I had in Colorado before I left, the builder installed a smooth-top halogen range, and I hated it.

Anytime something spilled over, or dripped, on the cooktop, it would burn, smoke, and hard to clean off if you didn't get it off right away.

I also didn't like the temperature control, which varied too much (similar to electric coils, which I also hate).

When I moved back to California and looked for rental homes, I insisted on gas cooktops, and love them.

I might be willing to get an induction cooktop at some point, since they are more efficient, with good temperature control. I also think spilled food on the cooktop wouldn't be an issue since the surface doesn't actually heat up, causing food to burn and smoke. But before I invested in an entire cooktop, I'd get a standalone single-burner induction appliance and try it out first. I'd rather see if I liked induction on a $200 standalone one first and then buy into a complete cooktop if I liked it.
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