Re: Oven recommendations


I used to have a convection oven. It's faster, but recipes are always written for conventional ovens, so I like having a conventional oven now so i don't have to think about converting cooking times.

I have a fairly cheap oven which I like and use pretty regularly (maybe 3 or 4 days a week in the winter?). It doesn't have any special features. It goes up to 550 degrees which is nice because I can make an OK pizza.

Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-18-17 7:51 PM
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Our oven has a broken self-cleaning feature. Which is to say that we have an extremely dirty oven.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-18-17 7:54 PM
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I had no idea anybody under 60 still made casseroles.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-18-17 7:56 PM
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Isn't a casserole just where you dump a bunch of leftovers in noodles or rice and stick it in the oven?

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-18-17 7:58 PM
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I don't know. I've never done that.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-18-17 8:02 PM
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I think maybe you have to put "Cream of xxx" soup in for it to count?

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-18-17 8:03 PM
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I've been known to do that.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-18-17 8:04 PM
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I don't use our oven nearly as much as some people, but when I do I mostly use it to roast chickens or heat various types of frozen potatoes.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-18-17 8:06 PM
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You know what I sincerely love so much? I have a solar oven that I use all the time in the summer. Works great, doesn't heat my house. I bought mine, but it would be really easy to make -- black box, angled glass or plastic lid, two black enamel pots to put inside.

Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-18-17 8:06 PM
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Because the lid has to be transparent, you'd have to watch all the thrashing around the chicken does at the start of the roasting.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-18-17 8:09 PM
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So it sits outside?

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-18-17 8:10 PM
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The chicken?

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-18-17 8:14 PM
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Outside of a chicken it's just right to read.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-18-17 8:17 PM
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Nobody on Etsy sells a solar oven. Somebody should get on that.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-18-17 8:19 PM
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Charcoal grill out of doors. Hardwood lump charcoal. Anything else is second best. Completely tangentially, I love fire, and have one half-tiime fifteen year old to feed.

Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-18-17 8:21 PM
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Oh I have a stray solar oven on the shed that my home's former owner had odrered nd delivered to my house. Yours for the shipping.

Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-18-17 8:23 PM
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15: you don't worry about carcinogens?

Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 01-18-17 8:32 PM
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I'll try Solar Oven/Snape, but my heart isn't in it.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-18-17 8:33 PM
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Are you worried about the carcinogens from the smoke of the fire or the charred bit of the meat? I can't imagine either even approaches 15 minutes in the Squirrel Cage.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-18-17 8:43 PM
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Not sure that's the most appropriate baseline.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-18-17 9:02 PM
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Convection is great, not just because it's faster but it is also more even. It's not neccessary, but it is good. I wish I still had it.

Get one with a good self clean, preferably one where the racks are designed to stay in for self clean. Three racks is good too.

I use mine nearly daily - for roasting meat and vegetables, spices, braises, heating up leftovers (no microwave) , starting steaks and finishing omelettes,you name it, even a little baking.

LW is right that charcoal grills are excellent, but they are also limited. For some things they are the best.

Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-18-17 9:05 PM
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We have a Viking approximately 20-25 years old, we are the second owners I think, it seems to be the last model they made at "home" size but to the sturdy, no frills specs of a restaurant range, and all of its bits are replaceable. It has sufficient btus on the burners (critical, life without sufficient btus not livable) and the oven has non-wimpy convection and will hold 550 reliably for a good stretch, but no self cleaning or other regularly considered friendly features. I LOVE it and we use it literally to bits bits bits. But we can replace everything! And have had to! We wear out various bits and bobs pretty regularly. Some things called "ignitors" are always getting worn out (I think the better half keeps some back stock at this point), also we (I, to be fair) have brunt through the bottom of the oven and am no longer allowed to put cast iron pans directly on the bottom of the oven (this is completely and utterly unfair and unjust) and we've worn out door hinges, replaced insulating seal on the oven door (couple of times) and the grates on the stovetop, etc. Maybe our oven use doesn't calibrate with yours very much. Still, I think there is a special place in hell reserved for perpetrators of wimpy convection. If it isn't moving enough air around to make you want to avert your face from the sirocco-esque blast of hot air when you open the door, what is even the point???

Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 01-18-17 9:27 PM
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We don't have enough BTUs, but it's mainly a problem for the range. There's a gas line in the basement right below the kitchen, but we have electric appliances and they annoy me because it takes too long for the pans to get hot.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-18-17 9:50 PM
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10. I knock out my chicken before I cook it. I'm not a monster.

Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 12:07 AM
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11. Yes, outside. It's ideal for dry sunny climates. It only really does slow cooking well, but it's so satisfying to set it up before work and then come home to a meal that has been cooked by the power of the sun.

Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 12:10 AM
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Our oven has convection as an option. Cuts about 1/4 of the cook time on stuff, which is nice but not really vital. This oven, though, has the first gas range I have ever lived with and THAT is worth whatever extra cost it may incur.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 7:19 AM
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A nice cheery yellow color, close to but not matching your dress and hat.

(Actual manual for our oven, although ours is in stainless. From the last time stainless was cool, and the oldest appliance now that the dishwasher has been replaced)

Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 8:10 AM
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I've been completely underwhelmed by convection, which isn't to say that I don't ever use it.

Big fan of the warming drawer for things like pancakes that cook in many batches; ours also works as a small oven, but not super-well, because it's just a small drawer (so very little air circulation). But I can e.g. put a casserole in there while a roast is in the main oven. When we were looking, dual-oven models all had two equal, somewhat small ovens, but more recently I've seen designs that are more like 60/40 or 67/33, which give you one all-but full-sized oven and one that's smaller, but still better than a warming drawer. But that's probably more than you need.

A timer with an actual 10-digit pad is much nicer than a +/- design.

Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 9:49 AM
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My parents have an over that's 67/33 or so. Very handy.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 9:57 AM
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We have a Hotpoint, 10-15 years old. It's gas, which is nice. It gets used 3-5 times a week; with bread or cookies baking every week or so. Casseroles, chicken and rice, and roast vegetables are current oven favorites.

It goes to 550, which is nice for pizza on a baking stone--if you're not going to make homemade pizza, 450 or 500 max is fine for almost everything, even homemade sourdough bread.

The gas burners aren't oversized and don't vary; they do fine heating things, but probably aren't as cool as the impatient people burners that people discuss above. Occasionally the igniter gets gunked up and needs a wipe down, but they still plug along as designed.

Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 10:25 AM
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I agree that a gas range top is essential.

Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 10:38 AM
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Love the description in 22. Old beloved jalopy of a stove.


Not sure where to put this and it's before 40 but the first duck of several that had to line up for a good and sane opportunity in the region just got in line. It had almost been too long and I thought it had passed me by. So nervous. Nervous but hopeful.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 11:05 AM
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We have a gas freestanding oven (i.e. with a 4-burner range top) - GE brand. Not convection. It's about 8 years old and the current model is about $550? retail. Its sort-of-nifty feature (which may not be available in the current model) is that the grates over the burners extend over the entire range top, so that we can easily slide full cast iron skillets around without lifting and spilling them (we find other ways to spill them). The oven works fine - a good size and it heats evenly it's likeable enough.

Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 11:14 AM
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You bag that motherfucker and stick it right in your solar oven Barry.

Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 11:34 AM
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MF = multi-linear fowl.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 11:37 AM
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Yay Barry! Very lovely news!

And re btus I am not impatient, i have been known to keep several burners going at full blast for quite some time. Some things require incineratory temps, is all. 😈

Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 2:17 PM
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I'm just impatient. With our induction range, it takes about four minutes for the pan to get hot enough to melt butter. That's way longer than it takes to crack and scramble the eggs.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 2:34 PM
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32: Yay!

Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 2:35 PM
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Yay Barry!

We just did a gut reno of our kitchen, which means I now have fancy, all-new appliances. The new fridge already seems like an expensive, foolish mistake (since early December, I've had to call the appliance repair guy three times, which makes me worry about the long-term reliability of this refrigerator. Also: the appliance repair guy is a Trump supporter who thinks there's a war on Christmas, which also makes me feel cranky about the new fridge). But I love the new range: gas cooktop with electric oven, with both regular oven and convection oven functions.

I'm still figuring out the convection oven (you do have to adjust time and temperature), but I suspect I'll end up using it a fair bit. For regular mealtime cooking, I probably use the oven two or three times a week. I also love to bake, but tend to do so in spurts: I may go three or four weeks without baking anything; and then get inspired, or bored, or what have you, and spend a couple of days baking.

One thing I love about the new oven is that the racks slide in and out very easily. It also has some programmable features that I will probably never use.

Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 4:20 PM
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No recommendations, we've used a kenmore not-quite-perfect from the Sears outlet store for about 22 years.

But my wife uses it now about twice as often as a few years ago, not so much for baking, which is about 3 times weekly as others have said about themselves, but to finish meals started on stovetop, using a dutch often, or a le Creuset cassarole, or maybe just a a cast iron fry pan. Typically meat that had been brazed or seared, like pork chops.

This technique must always have been standard in commercial kitchens, but over the last few years I've often seen it recommended on cooking shows. I remember being surprised when I saw Alton Brown do it, maybe a dozen years ago, but it's commonly prescribed now, on America's Test Kitchen for instance.

Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 4:36 PM
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We are approaching a Apollo program-level renovation of our kitchen and it's driving us nuts. We are going to have to do it when the 80's vintage combo oven/cooktop/microwave (looks like an 80's video arcade console except more heat) dies. What is dying? The microwave, which is built-in. Why not just get a counter-top microwave? Because we have very little counter space. Unfortunately replacing the combo means redoing the kitchen from the floor up, since they don't make those any more and our kitchen is out of code (but grandfathered until you touch something).

We don't have gas to our house, so that's out. We've been told that those glass-topped induction cooktops mean you can't use your vintage cast iron pans (which scratch the glass) or your non-inductive pots (which don't induct).

We're looking at a $big expense to essentially reproduce our existing kitchen with very little additional counter space or cabinet space. Also, all designers love white cabinets. I hate white cabinets.

Sorry for the unproductive rant. Possibly productive comment: I know a fair selection of people who have and like convection ovens. As JPJ said, the cook time adjustment takes some getting used to. (Our non-convection electric oven doesn't track its temperature setting very well either, so we've gotten fairly good at that over time.)

Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 5:04 PM
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I bake a lot, have an electric Dacor convection oven that I rarely use the convection for, and like a few things about it: 1) very loud timer sounds; 2) easy-gliding center shelf to pull out and remove items; 3) ten-key pad for entering temperature. It doubles as a warmer because you can set it to any temperature and it helpfully has a readout to check the progress of your preheating. The matching convection oven/microwave I like less, as it has a tendency to spark for seemingly random reasons. Gas range top is key, through.

Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 5:26 PM
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42: Hey, I bake a lot too. I have a bong and a pipe and a vaporizer, but the pipe is best because you can more readily scrape the resin when you're out of weed. The vaporizer makes me cough a lot, so I don't use it much, but the bong is pretty smooth. Harder to scrape though, so mostly I use the pipe.

Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 6:06 PM
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So these two muffins are in the oven and the one muffin says to the other "Christ it's hot in here!" and the other muffins says "Jesus Christ it's a talking muffin!"

Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 6:09 PM
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Muffins come in sets of six or more.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 6:12 PM
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The other four muffins were killed by the heat.

Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 6:13 PM
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The real sign of adulthood for me was when we had a buy a new bag of flour and we hadn't even moved. We just used it all, baking stuff.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 6:15 PM
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Or as coating for frying stuff. The point is we didn't just throw it away because putting an opened bag of flour into a moving truck with your stuff seems like a very bad idea.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 6:18 PM
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The implied recursiveness in 44 is freaking me out. How much short-term memory do you think talking muffins have? It could go on for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown --

hey so here is how lourdes once told me a joke:

He: "Pete and Repeat fell out of a boat. Who was left?"
I: "I... don't... know."

Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 6:25 PM
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I suppose memory varies by type of muffin.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 6:30 PM
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49: If you hear voices from inside your oven ignore them. Screaming is different, but if it's just excited conversation best just let it be. Trust me.

Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 6:33 PM
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I had some cousins when I was a kid (well, they're still my cousins, of course, but I have since detached) who were all druggie and alcoholic and shit. My dad used to refer to this family as "a goddamn sausage factory: they keep turning out something worse." The eldest son worked at a gas station; and, having failed to graduate from high school, took off for British Columbia to work as a prison guard at a maximum security facility.

(Don't even f*cking bother me with your handwringing about the white working class. You think I don't know these people?! These people were at my Confirmation, where my uncle, and godfather, gave me a card with a five-dollar bill. Meanwhile, his sons were moving shit, hoping to score, total sausage factory).

Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 6:57 PM
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I just bought an oven! Pondered all these questions carefully only to discover that the local big box stores, which all advertise dozens of models online, only really have three or four (gas ranges, that is) in the store; and the price differentials (from model to very similar model and then again from store to store) are pretty decisive. So if you care about meeting your stove before making a commitment, don't bother coming up with too much of a wishlist -- you won't really have that much choice.

Me, I'm definitely looking forward to having an oven that heats up.

Posted by: edna k. | Link to this comment | 01-19-17 9:12 PM
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