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I need advice on buying a new oven


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Okay, maybe I'm being unfair because I haven't actually used the oven in my new house. But it seems that the oven in my new house is a fairly basic electric one, and it sits underneath a gas stovetop (3 burners including one lovely big one for the wok). Anyway, I'm keen on changing the oven as I want a gas one, but I'm open to using a very good electric one (like the one my sister has in her brand spankin' new kitchen).

So, I figure I can spend about $4,000 to $5,000 on an oven. I'd be happy to get a new oven and stovetop for that price - I could probably work well with 3 burners, but I'd prefer 4. Can anyone out there offer some advice? What brands? What should I look for? What questions should I be asking?

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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Shin, what do you have currently installed??

This thread would be great to follow and expand on as I'm in a similar position, but I'm looking at a 'new' old one, like reconditioned commercial stove/oven set up with MEGA BTU's!!!!!

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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Why do you want to change the electric oven for a gas one - I would have thought that the preference is for electric, especially if it's convection, since gas is less reliable for baking purposes in terms of keeping the temperature level and gas convection isn't true convection....I'd change out the basic electric one for a beefier electric model - but remember, to get the extended warranty, as there is often a problem with the electronic controls or sensing device needing to be replaced [to the tune of $$1-200 each time]- or so I've heard on another forum

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price will vary according to model size etc but have a look at this site the official aga site for australia as they have secondhand ones for around $2K

http://www.agashopaustralia.com/NewFiles/used.html

also lists all the dealers

http://www.agashopaustralia.com/NewFiles/retail.html

i would think shinbiner could get something pretty good for $4-$5k

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PCL, the oven I've got is a Westinghouse Marinade. There is a heating element at the base of the oven. The kitchen is very disorganised at the moment, so I haven't had the chance to test out the oven.

I will give the oven a chance, but I suspect that I will get a new one sometime in the next couple of months.

Thank you to memesuze - I will keep the electric ovens in mind. I'm probably being very unfair on electric as I HATE cooking on electric stoves. They drive me nuts.

And thanks also to paddleduck_nz. I will look into the aga cookers. I've seen the AGA cookers advertised in the local newspaper - they look bloody cool. But I need more than sexy looks, so what makes them so good?

Anyone have any views on Smeg, Miele, etc.?

Edited by Shinboners (log)
Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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Don't know what your weather is like or your airconditioning costs, if any, but remember that the AGA is always on and therefore, produces heat constantly in your kitchen....here in Texas that eliminates it right away - I rarely use my Chambers range's oven from July through September due to the heat-up factor.

And I know what you mean about the gas v. electric burners - my next oven will be a dual fuel one so that I can have the best of both worlds....since you have a gas cooktop already, there's no reason not to stay with an electric oven.

On other threads, there have been good reports of GE Profile and Monogram series appliances for big bang for the buck - you probably won't have to spend $3-4K just to get a great oven.

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Electric ovens and electric stoves are two completely different things. Most people I know prefer gas stoves but electric ovens. What exactly do you want out of your oven? Do you want it to heat up fast? Do you want it to be accurate? Do you want it to not drop in temperature when you put something in? Do you want a beefy broiler?

Personally, the only beef I have with my oven is the broiler is incredibly wimpy. Apart from that, I've been very impressed with the accuracy. Personally, I don't much see the point in an oven that can heat up fast. All ovens are made from metal and basic laws of physics means that the walls of the oven can only heat up so fast. It doesn't matter how hot the air in your oven is, if you open the door, your going to suffer a massive temperature drop unless your entire oven is pre-heated.

PS: I am a guy.

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AGA's are expensive. Very expensive.

Shin, you do want an oven that heats up fast because it means you're using less energy over time to get the oven to heat up. Fair enough, it's all metal inside, but the TYPE of metal governs how quickly it heats up and how efficient it can be at retaining heat, which all leads to using less power and being better for the environment. Broad brushstroke I know, but I hope it makes sense.

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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Whilst an oven that heats up quickly is preferable, I'm usually fairly well organised when it comes to pre-heating. In our old place, the oven would usually take about fifteen or so minutes to reach around 180 degrees, and probably another five to ten if I wanted a really hot oven. I'm really not sure how efficient that it compared to other ovens, but I was comfortable with it.

The running costs will be an issue though. Generally, gas is cheaper than electricity, and I have a fondness for slow cooked food. So when my first electricity and gas bills come in, I'll do some calculations on the running cost for leaving the oven on for 3 to 7 hours. If there isn't much difference, I'd probably favour electric right now due to mezemuse's comments on temperature control and its benefits when it comes to baking.

After reading mezemuse's comment that the AGAs are on all the time, I'll probably have to give them a miss. Having constant heat in the kitchen would be great in a Melbourne winter, but not so good in summer.

Another concern for me will be the amount of space I have to play with. The current oven appears to take up a slightly smaller than standard space. I'd rather not have to get some minor renovation work done to fit in a larger oven. Again, it becomes a price vs benefit argument.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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I haven't been able to find very detailed information but, taking as a rought rule of thumb an oven consuming about 500 - 1000W to maintain temperature, Your looking at about 10c/hr or maximum a buck to keep it running for a day on electricty. Probably much less since slow cooked foods are cooked at much lower oven temperatures which don't leak out as much waste heat.

PS: I am a guy.

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Hi Shin, how exciting buying a new oven, a few things to consider , whether you want a seperate oven and stove top, if space permits I would opt for a wall oven, saves me from bending over, and I can keep an eye on how things are cooking in the oven, I changed my stove about 5 year ago, I wanted a wok burner and a wider stove top area, so I can have a few things on the go at the same time, so I changed from 6oomm width to 900mm (with the oven underneath), I wish I realized then what I realize now is that, the configuration didn't actually work for me, as I have 5 burners now, with the wok burner right in the middle, so when I use a wok, I basically can't use the other 4 burners.

as far as the oven is concerned, you have to workout, what you will be using it for ( I am greedy, I want a big one, I want to be able to roast a little piglet, and big turkey in it,it has a rotisserie, mind you, but in the 5 years I have this oven, I haven't even roasting anything in it. except 2 or 3 cakes and a few cookies) I like my old 600 mm Westinghouse better, it is smaller and heat up faster, and more even (both are gas),I find my Panasonic microwave/convection oven useful, I use the convection mode for most oven cooking. A few things worth considering, of course , gas or electric ( beware some ovens are 3 phase, which means you will need to rewire and it can be quite costly) most European appliances have grill build inside the roof of oven, which may or may not suit you, fan force is more even, but it tends to dry out cakes,I prefer a good gas oven with even heat, self cleaning catalytic surface etc............

Aga is good, you can connect it to hot water and heating, but not for Melbourne city living, country house in the snowy mountains perhaps, as PCL pointed out very very expensive, and heavy. but apparently once heated very cheap to run.

if you are looking for a rangehood, I strongly recommand Qasair brand with twin fans, especially if you do a lot of wok cooking, laksa, curry and the like. good luck .

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Thanks for all that info Dim Sum.

I'm slowly gathering a list of essential, optional, and "don't need it" things for the oven. I'll probably post the list in a couple of weeks to see what people think.

I haven't really decided on the cooktop. In all the time I've cooked at home, I've very rarely used 3 or more burners at the one time. But then again, I'd like the security of having a 4th burner available - you just never know.

The rangehood will stay. I have no idea what brand it is, but it's a powerful unit. It looks almost band new as well.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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I've had an interesting time looking at ovens and stovetops. Thanks to everyone here with their tips and advice because if it was left to the salespeople, I'd still be in the dark about what to look for.

As tempting as the Miele oven and cooktop is (with Kleenmaid coming in a close second), I think I'll probably go for a Blanco set up. The oven is a Connoisseur single oven with the usual array of grill settings, venting system, A-class European energy rating, and pyrolytic cleaning. This should cost around $2,000. As for the cooktop, I'm going for one with 5 burners (BCG95) - one triple ring for the wok, one of those long burners for fish and grill, and three other burners. The outputs are 15MJ, 12 MJ, 10.6MJ, 5.3MJ, and 4MJ respectively. I'll get one with flame failure protection as well, so the cost should be around $1,100. Has anyone else used Blanco ovens? Good or bad experiences?

It's time for a rant, and I would have to say that kitchen salespeople are only slightly below computer salespeople in their selling skills. In fact, I would say that apart from two of the salespeople that I spoke with (at Kleenmaid and E&S Trading), none of them seemed to be interested in cooking or were able to ask me questions to find out the right unit for me. So, here are my quick comments:

Kleenmaid (Hawthorn). The woman there was superb. She asked me what I enjoyed cooking and showed me a few of the tricks that Kleenmaid ovens and stovetops have. She knew the answers to all the questions I asked and gave a very good sales pitch. In regards to prices, the Kleenmaid was expensive compared to my other options (even more expensive than the Miele), but she was able to bring down the price as they were having a sale. Since I wasn't going to buy for another month, she took down my details and said that if a demo model became available, she'd give me a call. My only quibble was that despite saying that I wouldn't be interested in the "preprogrammed cooking functions", she still told me about all the tricks the oven could do (which for me, takes the fun out of cooking). If she was at a shop that sold different brands, I would have been happy to buy from her.

E&S Trading (Ashburton). A pretty shaky start as the sales rep didn't seem to take me too seriously. He didn't ask me any questions about what I wanted to cook and what sort of price range I was looking at. But once he realised I was serious, he did show me the products on offer and spoke about their good and bad points. Still, he made comments like, "I think good cooking is more about the chef than the oven", but I wasn't sure whether he was insulting me or bringing me into his confidence. Later, I rang up and spoke to a different sales rep to ask about a few other things, and that rep was excellent. He also hinted that it would be possible to negotiate a better price - I just wish he was the bloke I spoke to when I first went to the shop.

Elite Appliances (Carlton). I went in, and it was one of the junior staff members who offered to help me. Once I told this guy what I was after, a senior staff member came over and said, "I'll take care of this". I wasn't impressed. The only thing the guy asked me was, "Will you be using the oven a lot?", showed me two models, but didn't say much about them.

Camberwell Electrics (Camberwell). The service was good, but not great. The problem is that these people know the products on a technical level, but not on the more intimate, "I cook and this is what I/you should/could look for".

The Good Guys (Bayswater). A good range and good service. The guy showed me their product range, but as with Camberwell Electrics, these people don't seem to cook.

Harvey Norman (Nunawading). Awful, dreadful, pathetic service. By this stage, I know more about their products than the sales rep did. They seemed to be very keen on pushing the LG range of products, but had very little to say about Miele and Blanco. It's very disappointing because Harvey Norman usually have some of the best sales people around.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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There's a really cool re-conditioned commercial stove/oven specialist in Prahran, I forget their name, in fact, never knew it!!! :raz: They're near the corner of Chapel St, on either High St or Malvern Rd, a block or so away heading away from the City, on the left hand side...

That's where I'm going next week to check out possible toys... People have been known to pick up decent commercial quality setups for around $2500 to $6000 depending largely on size.

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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The oven needs a good clean, so I haven't used it yet. It's a fairly basic sort of oven, but very usable. After spending some time renting, I've now bought my first home. I've never really been interested in spending money on a flashy car or one of those home entertainment systems. But, I've always wanted a really good oven and stovetop - so it's a bit of indulgence on my part.

I also want to improve my baking skills, so I figure that a better than average oven will help me in that regard. I really don't need the top of the range stuff unless a good deal can be struck (hence the likes of Miele, AEG, and Kleenmaid getting scratched off the list). But I do want something that will last a while (which is why I'm favouring Blanco).

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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We're soon to start building a new house so I'm in the process of choosing cookers and tops right now. I've used both gas and electric ovens and I'd have to say that electric works better for me - more even coverage and more stable temperature. Electric cooktops on the other hand are extremely frustrating devices.

I do a fair bit of baking (bread,cakes,biscuits) and need something that'll go flat out to about 260C for pizza night. Our current rented house has a BLANCO. The oven's fine but the matching gas cooktop is lacking at the high (wokburner) end. The oven's only shortcoming is that it takes a long (30-45min) time to heat up if you're using the elements, which I do for pizza. Fan/convection for general stuff is much quicker.

I'm now looking seriously at ILVE. I've used their cooktop before and the unit I'm considering is 800mm wide with an electric hotplate between 4 gas burners. The extra width really makes a difference with big pans (+wok) and the elec plate is a bonus for long-simmering.

Shinboners, have a look at www.ilve.com.au (a rather slow Flash-driven site). I think the top is from the Maxi series. And pop back to Elite Appliances for a closer look at the ILVEs

good luck,

Michael

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I am much enjoying the vintage 1980's conventional electric oven in our new home made by Simpsons, optimistically called the 2001 model.

It is slow, which forces you to enjoy and take your time.

It heats up, eventually and then gently roasts your potatoes.

It's driving me fucking nuts.

Need a new one.

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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Shinboners, have a look at www.ilve.com.au (a rather slow Flash-driven site). I think the top is from the Maxi series. And pop back to Elite Appliances for a closer look at the ILVEs

Thanks for the tip Mikey. I took a look, but I've pretty much decided to go with the Blanco. At the moment, I'm just haggling on prices, but with any luck, I'll have everything purchased by the end of this week. If I don't, I'll just sit tight for another six weeks and wait for the end of financial year sales.

If anyone is interested in Kleenmaid appliances, apparently they are having some sort of warehouse clearance sale this weekend - I think it's being held in Maribyrnong. Ring your local store for details.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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I've now ordered my new oven. I eventually went with Clive Peeters in Ringwood. They were superb with the sales and giving me a very good price. I got the Blanco oven and cooktop (as described earlier in this thread). Also added in were the extended 5 year warranty, installation, and cast iron trivets. All up, it cost me just under $3,100.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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Shinboners,

Thanks for this thread, I have been following closely and will be referring back to it in a few months when we complete our move,

Kathryn

If only Jack Nicholson could have narrated my dinner, it would have been perfect.

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