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Am I nuts to replace a smooth-top fancy pants range with an old school coil one?


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13 replies to this topic

#1 ThePadre

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 09:12 AM

I currently have a fancy schmancy stainless steel smooth-top slide-in range, Kenmore branded (made by Frigidaire; looks about like this one: http://www.frigidair...FGES3045KF.aspx although mine is older). The previous owner of our house installed it. I hate it. The only pans I have that are really flat enough to work well on it are made of cast iron, the surface is slow to heat up, the oven is even slower (20+ minutes to get to 350F; over half an hour for 450F), and the convection fan in the oven prevents the use of cookie sheets inserted lengthwise). The controls are accessible to my 17-month-old, unless I go through the tedious task of locking the panel. The smooth top always looks dirty, unless I use the special cream cleaner on it. The range's only redeeming feature to me is that it's pretty, and that happens about once a month when I spend the time scrubbing the gook off the smooth top.

I'm considering buying a used freestanding Kenmore 790.94213405 (similar to this Frigidaire: http://www.frigidair...FFEF3015LS.aspx ) for $200 (should I offer less?). Instead of the 7 minutes it takes to heat 1 quart of water on the fancy range, the coils do the same in 4 minutes. The oven was at 350F in 12 minutes, even with its concealed element. A cookie sheet fits. Controls are out of reach of the toddler's inquisitive fingers. I'll have to cut the counter top that was installed to fit the slidein range, but that's no hard task.

Am I nuts to go back like this? Would it be a horrible mistake? Really, I want to COOK on my range, not look at it.

Be as serious or as funny as you like in the comments. I really appreciate all of you, and mention this site to every DIYer I meet.

Fr Basil

Edited by dbiberdorf, 18 September 2012 - 10:15 AM.


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#2 certified tech group 51

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 09:54 AM

The easy way is to price the replacement cost of only one element...... Your current model's 6 inch element replacement cost is apx...$75 clams.........................Your considered model's 6 inch element is only $25 clams, plus you can change it in about 2 minutes VS. about 30 to 45 minutes to change the existing 6 in. element..................... Plus, you can put any kind of pot/pan on a conventional coil............P.S. Use the money from the sale of the existing range to pay for the used unit....

#3 ThePadre

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 01:59 PM

The coils were certainly good enough for the late Julia Child over the years. Many of her shows have her cooking on top of plain old electric coils.

#4 Cactus Bob

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 02:56 PM

If your nuts so am I !

I can own any range I want and own it for free ! I have at least 15 in stock on our showroom floor , some of the newest electronic marvels on the market

Whats in my house ?

1978 GE OPEN COIL RANGE ....WHY? ......because my wife likes to cook and do caning , and i hate to fix my own stuff
With this stove , she can cook up a storm , I can eat and i never have to hear about the broken stove ,Because its never broken
SORRY ABOUT THE SPELLING , I FIX GREAT , I DON'T SPELL WELL

#5 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 06:05 PM

no thoughts on Gas ?
.

one of my video productions: “Easter Seals: Walk With Me”

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#6 ThePadre

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:31 PM

I'd love a natural gas stove, but there are no lines in my area. So then we're talking propane, and my stove is on an interior wall. In that case, I'm now running a line in the house, etc. I think giving the electric coil stove a chance is a good idea in this case.

In the end, my personal experiene (which is sample size 1) suggests that these smooth top ranges are a triumph of aesthetics over simple utility. No one wants an ugly stove, but, really, its first job is to cook food. If it does that poorly, well, who cares about the aesthetic.

Edited by dbiberdorf, 18 September 2012 - 08:50 PM.


#7 Scottthewolf

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 10:23 PM

Nope, your not nuts. I would buy the open coil element freestanding range vs. the smoothtop slide in range.
Scott Wolf

#8 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 04:31 AM

depends on the stove. Before, you couldn't get me to use a smooth top. I'm a huge fan of cast iron cooking and afraid of scratching or damaging the surface. However, took home a fancy smancy jennair smooth top and i loved it. No damage caused by cast iron pans. In fact, I got one of those massive Lodge cast iron woks and the temps I get with it rivals commercial gas for near authentic stir frying(quicky reducing temps or lifting and pouring food out of that beast of a wok is another matter). Well, I recently moved to a house with a built in oven and separate coiled stove top. Not only are the coils not level compared to the smooth top but it heats my pans unevenly despite the even heating capabilites of cast iron. The oven does heat very fast and gets over 550f for pizza making although the broil assist feature of the jennair crisped and caramelized the toppings much better. Kitchen remodeling soon and we already have a gas line. Either going with gas or installing my beloved Jennair....also planning to build a wood fired oven outside .. yay!

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#9 Budget Appliance Repair

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 07:30 AM

Also with the smooth glass top, just wait tell you break the top and find out a new top cost almost as much as a new range!!!!!
William Burk (Willie)
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#10 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 09:19 AM

then there's the induction smooth-top ..
only the pans get hot, the Stove-top doesn't
(except for some heat transfer back from the pan)
I don't know if they're glass
.

one of my video productions: “Easter Seals: Walk With Me”

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RegUS_PatOff > www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPAY2LsKVEw

#11 ThePadre

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 04:01 PM

So, how is it that these smoothtops have taken over? The people I've spoken to who like them note only that they like the look, the ease of cleaning the smooth top, or its ability, when cool, to be used as extra counter space. I've not heard a single person rave about the smooth top's abilities as a cooking appliance.

#12 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 04:34 PM

perhaps some "high-class" people don't cook at all, but "need" the high-end appliances
to be seen when they "entertain" guests ...?
.

one of my video productions: “Easter Seals: Walk With Me”

every day is Down Syndrome Awareness Day
"A Child Is Waiting" . Burt Lancaster . Judy Garland . 1962

RegUS_PatOff > www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPAY2LsKVEw

#13 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 05:04 PM

perhaps some "high-class" people don't cook at all, but "need" the high-end appliances
to be seen when they "entertain" guests ...?


The no-cooking part is absolutely true in some cases and I've had customers in these homes candidly admit that. But they need the "high-end" appliances for re-sale of the house because prospective buyers expect to see particular "badges" in the kitchen: Da-from-hell-cor, Sub-freaking-Zero, Vikodin-king, etc. So it's a very effective marketing campaign and con-job on on a massive scale from the "high-end" manufacturers.

Some people have more dollars than sense.

#14 DIYGranny

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 03:28 PM

Two years ago my 35 year old Roper standing pilot gas range developed a problem that the oven would not light. I had a repair man out and he cleaned something out under there. It worked okay for a few months, then started doing it again. I found I could get down onto floor and using a long wooden kitchen spoon tap onto that valve thingy and it would light.

Well, I got tired of that and decided to buy a new gas range. All I wanted was a 30" four burner gas range. It was hard to find a simple one, but I finally did find one by Maytag. It has the electronic ignitions, gray cast iron burner covers and a removable gray cast iron grill type of thing that fits into the center space between the burners. When the removable grill is in the center it makes it look more "high tech" or whatever, but I actually don't like it and have it put away into the lower drawer along with my cookie sheets.

I do like that the broiler is inside the oven unit on this one, not underneath like the old one. And I like the storage drawer where the broiler was on the old one. Not that I broil much. Who does nowadays, I wonder?

Point being: Sometimes it is difficult to find "simple" out there. And there sure is not a lot of choice in simple. But I do like this one and that oven heats up really quickly.




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