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Convection ovens


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#1 memesuze

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Posted 17 March 2003 - 02:10 PM

I live in an older home [circa 1940’s] and have a circa 1940’s Chambers range as my chief cooking appliance. Since I am loathe to use the Chambers, especially in the hot Texas summer, for cooking something in the oven that will only require 15 or 30 minutes of cooking time [it takes up to an hour to heat to 450 and then takes a long time to cool down after it’s turned off], I am looking to add a stand-alone convection oven in the form of a countertop or small commercial model. The only available sites in the house are back in the pantry in the same area as the microwave or out in my workroom – a fur piece from the kitchen.

I am not considering a combination microwave/convection, because my microwave works just fine thankyou and the ones I’ve seen are wider than the space that is available.

Desiring to get the most bang for my buck, I am leaning toward one of the commercial models because their interior is larger than for the countertop models. For example, the interior for DeLonghi countertop is only about .5 cu ft, handling only two cookie sheets for $160-200 and only gets up to 450, while the Cadco commercial is .8 cu ft, handles 3 one-quarter sheet pans for $400 and gets up to 500, and the Farberware commercial is 1.135 cu ft for $469. I mean, if I’m getting a substitute oven for use during the summer months, or for when I don’t want to take all that long to heat up the oven or to get rid of its residual heat, I’m starting to think BIG.

But, the Taunton site on countertop convections warns: “Be sure you have enough counter space: these ovens get fairly hot and need a few inches of breathing room around them.”

Does anyone have any experience with these commercial convections in the home environment? Or have any words of wisdom to help me pick? The space I have for it is next to the refrigerator, under a shelf that holds the microwave, and possibly sitting on top of my 24-bottle wine cellar that I could move in to hold the convection oven. [I don’t think I can hang another appliance off that wall.]

Does anyone have experience with the DeLonghi? How big a chicken or roast could you cook in it successfully?

TIA,
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#2 Jim Dixon

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Posted 18 March 2003 - 04:04 PM

I have a DeLonghi and it's pretty tight inside. I'm not sure a whole chicken would even fit. But I do like it for cooking small gratins and similar things. I've also cooked cut-up chicken, fish (steaks or filets), and pork tenderloins, and they do fine. When the food sizzles and splatters much, the oven gets pretty messy.

I also have an old stove and prefer not to heat up the whole kitchen in the summer. I suspect the DeLonghi is more energy efficient, too.

The convection feature is also fast for reheating things that suffer in the microwave, like fried foods and breads. There's a dehydrator kit you can get as an option that looks interesting, but I may just try drying a few things on the regular rack.

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#3 memesuze

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Posted 19 March 2003 - 11:56 AM

Jim, thanks for the info: I was wondering about the chicken because it just didn't seem that big when I saw it at Fry's but pictures on the DeLonghi site show a chicken roasting on the top shelf and a tray of something, perhaps bread slices on the bottom shelf. I'm referencing the Airstream model, not the one with the rotisserie.

What about the heat dissipation/escaping from the back or sides?

After thinking about the inability to roast a chicken, I'm still leaning toward one of the commercial brands, even though they are quite a bit more money. My only concern now is the heat dissipation issue: I can see that a commercial or professional kitchen would not be too concrned that it was adding heat to the overall level of heat in the kitchen. But I don't want to add a lot of heat to my Texas kitchen if I can help it and wouldn't want to damage anything nearby. The Taunton article on countertop convections mentioned they vent directly into the kitchen, and, therefore, in addition to smells, I can see that heat would be coming out.

Can anyone advise me further?

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#4 Jim Dixon

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Posted 19 March 2003 - 12:10 PM

I don't notice any serious heat coming from the thing when I'm cooking...at any rate, it's a lot less than my stove, a '40s vintage Wedgewood gas range.

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#5 memesuze

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Posted 04 July 2003 - 07:04 AM

Background:
I live in Austin Texas with a fifty-year-old Chambers range of which I refuse to use the oven in the torrid summer months from June through September due to the 45-minute preheat necessary to bring up to 450 and the hour-or-more cool-down - the monster is very well insulated and holds heat like a pit bull.

So, I've been contemplating getting a backup electric convection oven. I've looked at the DeLonghi [interior very small - ~ 0.5 cu ft], considered a commercial convection only - - Farberware [~1.2 cu ft but concerns about the venting of heat], and now have been looking at the Sharp R930CS.

What I like about this model is that it is geared for home use, will do microwave when my current nuker gives up the ghost, has a 1.5 cu ft interior, and currently is available with free shipping and handling. Since this will set me back about $475, I don't want to goof. It's about the same price as the Farberware commercial.

Has anyone any thoughts on this as a choice, or on Sharp products?

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#6 Ruth

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Posted 04 July 2003 - 07:26 AM

No experience with the Sharp but I did spend three years looking for a decent countertop convection oven. Two years ago I made the mistake of settling for the Cuisinart convection toaster oven. Actually it worked well and the convection feature could be turned on or off. However, the plastic veneer started cracking almost from day one. I returned it once and was sent a new unit which also started to crack after two or three months. Then I saw the CADCO. This is an all stainless steel commercial convection oven that comes in two sizes and is generally sold by restaurant suppliers. Check out www.chefscatalog.com which discounts both units about 30%. I bought the smaller unit and am more than delighted. I would recommend the larger for anyone with the space and budget only because really large gratin pans, for example, will not fit into the smaller one.
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#7 Steve Klc

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Posted 04 July 2003 - 08:28 AM

I second Ruth in considering buying a small commercial model. I did a demo once in NYC and agreed to take as part of my compensation the oven that was brought in for my use: a beautiful, compact, countertop stainless steel convection oven from France called a Sodir. (Model FC34) Standard household electrical plug. Lots of restaurant suppliers have them because I've seen them all over, the sticker on the back of mine says it came from Equipex in Providence. I have seen models with built-in broilers as well.

You'd probably be amazed at the number of little cafes and food service places that do the bulk of their "cooking" and heating up in these little devils.

Lots of useable space yet small profile, heats up very quickly and the fan isn't that noisy. Dissipates heat quickly. Plus, did I say it was all stainless and beautiful? It's a nice counterpoint to my all stainless and beautiful espresso machine and its form factor doesn't stick out past the standard steel kitchen shelving I have it on.

I haven't been to a used restaurant equipment auction in a while but I bet these can be had for a few hundred bucks. Depending on how often you plan to use it and for how many years, you might be able to make the case value-wise that it would be worth buying new.
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#8 thebaker

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Posted 05 July 2003 - 05:31 AM

I have a sharp caursel (sic) 2 convection oven (countertop)

I love it ive been using it for years (this is my second)
My last one i had for 10 years until it died, I went shopping for a new one but all the new models where cheap crap (sharp as well)

I found a nice used one on ebay and it has been working great for the past few years.
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#9 memesuze

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Posted 05 July 2003 - 10:53 AM

I looked at the Cadcos this morning - and, although I'd love to have the 1.3 cu ft model, I can't justify paying $750. I'm still leaning toward the Sharp 1.5 cu ft combo for $480. The temperature range for the Sharp is only up to 450, while the Cadco goes to 575. I'm not sure how many things I cook will need the higher temperature, and the heating element is not shielded from spatters. Ruth, do you find spatters, as from a chicken, to be a problem? Do things cooked on the top rack, like cookies, get burned more easily?

I guess I need to do some thinking - 2 v. 3 racks, 450 v. 575, 9 5/8 interior height v. 8 3/8 interior height [only 1 1/4 inch difference]. Put that way, if Ruth thinks there's not a problem with the bare element, I might find myself leaning toward the Cadco.

Thanks for your continuing input....

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#10 Rachel Perlow

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Posted 05 July 2003 - 11:32 AM

Just to defend the Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven, we've had ours for more than 18 months and have had no problems with it at all. Of course, ours is the stainless steel model, perhaps the cracking plastic veneer is only an issue for the white and black models.

#11 torakris

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Posted 05 July 2003 - 04:31 PM

I currently have a Toshiba one, and my one before this was a Sharp.
In Japan there isn't enough space for full size oven in most houses, so these combos are the only thing you can buy. I am very happy with my combo unit, though I do occasionally long for a "real" oven.

My Sharp broke down rather quickly and never had the the power that my current Toshiba does, that model was bought in '95 so I am sure they have improved it by now. It was so weak that it took twice the time to cook everything and cakes never turned out right.

I can pretty much use it for everything (except an average sized turkey!) though it is a little frustrating to only be able to bake 9 cookies at a time! My new one has 3 rack levels so I can do 18 at a time now! Just make sure it comes with two trays. The one other problem I have is that the biggest size they have in Japan (30L, not sure of cubic ft) doesn't fit a 9 x 13 inch pan.

They are wonderful in the summer though!

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#12 Hobbes

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 12:56 PM

Hey All,

I have the DeLonghi model Air Stream AS670 and I love it and never really have to turn on my full sized oven. I live alone in a very small apartment with an even smaller kitchen and having this 17.5" W x 14.25" D x 8.75" H is a godsend. It has Simplified controls enabling baking with fan and without fan, broiling, toasting, top browning, defrosting, warming and dehydrating. It cooks and bakes everything for the one person meals I make in it without even a blink. When I want to cook that full sized turkey I'll just use the big standard oven but for most purposes it works wonderfully with high (200-450 degree) even heat all with quicker cooking times and with less energy due to the convection fan. Its a great buy. But my model may be too small for your purposes so I did a search on cooking.com and found this model DeLonghi AD1099 which has a 14.5" W x 13.5" D x 9.75" H and a Rotisserie and automatic pizza cooking functions. This may be the one for you since it will be as good as my model only larger.

Hope this helps,

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#13 bloviatrix

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 01:10 PM

Do these stovetop ovens have a self-cleaning function or do you need to go the manual cleaning route?
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#14 Fat Guy

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 01:24 PM

You might want to look at the Cadco 250. You should be able to pick one up for $350. It's small, but I'd rather have a good one than a big one. There's a world of difference between the pro models (which will turn out batch after batch of restaurant-quality pastries and can be beaten upon harshly without fear) and the consumer models (which won't and can't).

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#15 Andrew Fenton

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 01:26 PM

While I can't recommend any specific model, I can definitely report on the Convection Oven That Saved Thanksgiving last year. I had nine people coming over for dinner when my oven- which had worked fine up to and including baking pies that morning- decided to up and die, just before I put in the turkey. (The thermostat broke, leaving it with two temperatures: "off" and "inferno.")

After about ten minutes of cussing and running around like a headless chicken, I asked my neighbor if I could use her oven. Even better, she told me, she could loan me her portable convection oven. Never used one before, but it worked fine, and I had a perfectly acceptable turkey (and stuffing; fortunately, that just had to be heated, not cooked, so I could use the "inferno" setting and just watch it closely.)

So I say, hurrah for the countertop convection oven!

#16 Fat Guy

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 01:35 PM

My mother and her, um, friend have a much better arrangement than any of this: they each have apartments on the same block, so if it's really hot they can cook in one and entertain in the other. And for Thanksgiving they can use both.

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#17 Foam Pants

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 01:40 PM

Bringing a point up that I was wondering about, do these ovens heat your kitchen up significantly more than a regular oven?

Also, what do these types of ovens do really well and what do they do really badly? As in, I think I would hesitate to bake bread in it but I could be very off-base.

I have also been thinking about a countertop convection oven. My current oven had severe hot and cold spots.
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#18 Fat Guy

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 01:44 PM

They heat kitchens significantly less than regular ovens, primarily because they're heating a smaller volume and are more efficient.

Pretty much anything you can fit, you can bake as though you're using a regular oven. You may very well find that a good countertop convection oven does a better job baking bread than a regular oven. Although, with a regular oven, you have more leeway to use tiles, steam, etc. But assuming straight baking, the countertop oven should serve admirably. Many restaurants that bake rolls on premises, for example, are using the larger size countertop ovens.

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#19 Anna N

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 02:44 PM

I really, really miss my countertop convection oven. It was a Braun - too many years old for me to even guess it's age but they don't make them any more. A couple of months ago I knocked the removable glass door off the counter and it shattered into a million, million pieces (safety glass). I loved it in the summer because it really didn't heat up the kitchen like a conventional oven. Braun no longer keeps parts for it so I guess I will have to just junk it. :sad:

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#20 torakris

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 03:33 PM

I don't know of any of the models available here in Japan that have a self cleaning function.

They barely heat up your house at all, unless you are running it all day long.

They do bake quite well, the downsides are the size (mine can't fit that 9 x 13 inch dish without the sides bent down by pliers), You can't finish up dishes in the oven if your frypan doesn't have a removable handles and most baking tiles don't fit inside.

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#21 memesuze

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Posted 09 July 2003 - 06:41 AM

To continue the discussion:

The Cadco 250 has an exposed heating element at the top of the chamber: does this present any problems with spattering when roasting birds? I've never cooked in an electric oven, so this may be a no-brainer....

The Cadco website presents ventilation guidelines that I want to check out with you guys:

"*Ventilation guidelines for current Cadco Convection Ovens:
Under local state or health codes, (i.e., California Department of Health
& Safety,) our type convection ovens can be used without a
mechanical ventilation requirement under the following general conditions:
1) Maximum operating temperatures without mechanical ventilation shall be approximately 450 degrees F.
2) Only breads, rolls, pastries, other baked goods and pizza may be prepared in the oven without mechanical ventilation. No meats or poultry may be cooked in the oven without mechanical ventilation.
3) The unit is operated in a well-ventilated area approved for food preparation.
4) The unit will be installed, serviced and maintained according to manufacturer's specifications."

Do I, as a homeowner, not in a commercial kitchen, need to be concerned about the mechanical ventilation requirement? By the way, I do not have an exhaust hood anywhere in the kitchen or pantry [yet].

I'm still leaning toward the Cadco, because it is so heavy-duty.

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#22 Fat Guy

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Posted 16 July 2003 - 09:05 AM

All other things being equal, there's nothing brand-specific that would make a difference in the ventilation requirements. That is to say, whether you get commercial or residential, if they're both putting out 450 degrees of convected heat then they will both generate the same amount of smoke, fumes, vaporized grease, etc., when cooking a chicken. Obviously there are differences in fan power and thermal mass that constitute variables, but as a general rule this isn't a brand- or genre-specific issue.

As for the need to ventilate, well, there's the law, there's the safest possible way to configure a kitchen, and then there's that thing that most of us call reality. I wouldn't advise you to do anything less than the law requires, but I will say that everybody I know except the Perlows has a kitchen chock full of code violations. In my kitchen, nothing is ventilated as well as it should be -- and I have better ventilation than average for New York City. I think this comes down to trial and error. Were I acquiring such a device, I would not leave the oven unattended -- in other words I wouldn't put a chicken in and go to the supermarket. I would put one in, cook it, watch carefully and see what happens. I have a fire extinguisher and I know where my circuit breakers are. But what you do is up to you -- mine may not be the best examples of good home-safety practices.

The exposed element will only make a difference if stuff is splattering on it. You'll have to determine what splatters and what doesn't. Most stuff shouldn't.

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#23 nwells

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 01:10 PM

Anna N.,
I would check eBay and craigslist.org before you chuck out your Braun.

#24 Anna N

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Posted 17 December 2003 - 02:21 PM

Anna N.,
I would check eBay and craigslist.org before you chuck out your Braun.

Sorry, looks like I never acknowledged this suggestion - probably because I was too disappointed when it failed to unearth a new door! :sad:

But now I have accepted my fate and am looking for a new "domestic" counter top convection oven as I miss mine so much.

I see Rachel is pleased with her Cuisinart and I am leaning strongly in that direction.

Any other thoughts from anyone?

Thanks.
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#25 Joe Blowe

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 10:24 PM

I was going to start a new thread, but nah...

I just wanted to say that I recently purchased a Cadco 250 from my local restaurant supply, and I couldn't be happier! I think it may be one of the best appliances I've ever had the pleasure to work with -- I can definitely echo all of the positive statements above.

Gets up to temp quick, recovers heat quickly after adding food and shutting the door, etc., etc. Frozen food/snacks taste completely different than a regular oven or toaster oven, texture wise. Breads and pastries are great. But, in the blink of an eye, I did overcook a roast. It's a powerful tool...

Anyway, I'm happy to join the club!
So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

#26 memesuze

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 06:55 AM

now, 3 years into my Cadco life, I realize that I never reported back - I found the smaller Cadco on sale at my local restaurant supply, bought three quarter-sheet pans and have been blissfully roasting and baking with little muss or fuss. The only wish I have is for a turn-off-the-convection button, for more delicate items. But, it has performed to expectations and has accomplished my goals - 7 minutes to preheat, quick to cool down, efficient in its use of electricity, and not a lot of noise or smells [other than the good ones!]

It will have a place of honor in any new kitchen I create.

#27 andiesenji

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 02:40 PM

I love my Cadco. I use it when I don't want to fire up my big oven (Blodgett) and the half-size sheet pan is certainly large enough for most things I cook. Cornbread:Posted Image
It will even accept the giant Staub oval pot, though a snug fit:Posted Image

If you get one of these folding splatter guards Norpro splatter guard
You can cut it down by about 4 inches so it wil fit in the oven and set it up behind the pan in which you have a custard or cheesecake to keep the fan from blowing ripples in the filling. I use one all the time in the big oven because the fan in it is huge and really moves a lot of air.

although it says it is not currently available at Amazon, you can find it at other vendors. I just saw it in one of the kitchen catalogs I get every months.

Edited by andiesenji, 09 March 2006 - 02:41 PM.

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#28 jayt90

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 06:53 PM

Has anyone used the Waring Pro countertop convection oven? It is all stainless, with a good oven door, and 1700 watts power. It is $300. in my area. I haven't found the Cuisinart yet.
The Waring has a rotisserie motor and assembly, and this would be useful for chicken, and possibly slow roasted duck. Any suggestions?

#29 Marlene

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 06:57 PM

Has anyone used the Waring Pro countertop convection oven?  It is all stainless, with a good oven door, and 1700 watts power.  It is $300. in my area.  I haven't found the Cuisinart yet. 
The Waring has a rotisserie motor and assembly, and this would be useful for chicken, and possibly slow roasted duck. Any suggestions?

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#30 Joe Blowe

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 08:53 PM

Has anyone used the Waring Pro countertop convection oven?  It is all stainless, with a good oven door, and 1700 watts power.

I haven't had any first hand experience with that model, or any other countertop convection oven for that matter.

But, I did do extensive research on all the home/prosumer/commercial models (in my typical AR manner), and the Cadco/Broilking (both of which are manufactured by Unox of Italy) is the only brand that received UNIVERSAL praise. Nary a bad word!

(FYI, all those little ovens you see at the warehouse clubs, e.g. Costco, turning out those free hot samples at the end of the aisles -- guess what? Cadco! How many hours a day do you think those ovens are running?)

OTOH, I saw enough bad reviews on the Waring, Haier, Cuisinart (the best of the smaller models), DeLonghi, Farberware, etc., that they didn't get any further consideration. I knew I wanted something with serious capacity, something that could actually approach "second oven status." This bad boy does.

Anyway, be sure to do your research (check Amazon, Epinions, Usenet, etc.) and I'm sure you'll make the right choice :biggrin:
So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.