Cool Range Find a Home

Long Branch beach had put me in the mood for a little an extended break and I returned to find myself smack in the middle of a house move and a kitchen makeover, plus two kids I can no longer afford to have away at summer camp!

It’s been fun picking out bits and pieces for my (hopefully) exciting new kitchen. One of the toughest decisions, though, was deciding on a free-standing range or stove.

I needed something practical, easy to clean, with a great oven and both a low-heat simmer burner (so I no longer have to use a bain-marie, or double boiler, for melting chocolate) as well as fast-boil super-BTU’d burner (so I don’t have to twiddle thumbs for too long for my umpteenth cup of tea). Did I mention the range also had to be good looking?

Unfortunately, uber handsome ranges are out of my reach for two reasons. Cost being one. The Five Star and Blue Star and other stunning ranges were priced above $4K. But I had squirreled aside that premium for their wow factor for other goodies such as quality lighting,  countertop and floor. Ikea, which I have no qualms about flogging (no, I don’t work for them) do beautiful ranges for a little above $2K. Except their stoves are 36-inch wide and my cabinets have already been ordered with neat, 30-inch space saved for a range.

If anyone out there has found a special use for those extra 6 inches, please let me know what I’m missing out on 😉

After much research, I picked the GE Cafe to be my culinary companion for the next many years. So, apparently, has the rest of America. This is the most popular range at the moment, selling 650 units  in just one month at one NJ retailer I had contacted. Some of my best friends have the thing, too, and highly recommend it.

It’s a handsome range with a retro look and rounded edges, replete with simmer and fast-boil burners, two ovens, self-clean function and very importantly – a digital timer. The latter is reason 3 against buying an uber expensive, uber handsome pro-style range – they’re too fancy for timers!

Perhaps pro chefs aren’t easily distracted. But moi? Rather than allowing nature to take its course (ie. start cooking multi-faceted meal without a timer, talk to kids, write a story, answer the phone, answer the door, turn sprinkler on and off, burn all food, clean heck of mess), I really and truly appreciate having a timer on my stove.

What about using a cheap, store-bought handheld timer? Kids fiddle with these, and if they don’t break immediately, Things 1 and 2 manage to  spirit them out of the kitchen and into the Bermuda Triangle before I’ve had time to throw away the packaging.

For those of you who didn’t know this, Karl’s Appliance will match the price of any better offer you find.

And no, I don’t work for them, either 😉


August 18, 2010. Tags: , , , , . American, House and Garden, Kitchen Gagdets, Kitchen Snippets, Kitchen Stuff, Musings.


  1. Deb replied:

    I can’t wait to taste the yumminess that comes from your new stove!

    • divaindoors replied:

      Mmm, I’m still fantasizing about the yummies from yours! xo

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  3. Janet replied:

    Now why didn’t I go that route? Did you look at the new electromagnetic stoves too? Boils water in seconds. Don’t know if it simmers too.

    For my part, ceramic flat-top stoves look pretty, but the cutting out when they get hot means they just don’t cut it. Silliest purchase I ever made, and a very valid reason to move house.

    • divaindoors replied:

      I think if I saw the word ‘electromagnetic’ I would have assumed a price tag of equal length! I did once, on holiday, stay in a home with a ceramic flat top and
      found I wasn’t able to use a wok and it appeared to take longer for water to boil. Very frustrating. The biggest pro was the cleanup afterwards though 🙂

  4. Gudrun Lake replied:

    I was tempted by this range during my kitchen remodel but I went for the extra 6″ for the 5 burners on the cooktop.
    I plumped for a Fratelli Onofri for its looks, price and features (inc. that must-have timer). So far so good except the oven’s so copious the family could eat dinner in there! It’ll be great on the day when I’m cooking Christmas dinner for 30 but I’ll probably feel like a chump warming up two fishcakes!
    I decided the ideal would have been two ovens at head height and a seperate 5 burner gas top. Couldn’t have managed that in my kitchen though.
    Another recommendation for Karls, they don’t stock my range but got it for me, matched the lowest price then stored it for three months without a peep of protest. What service!

    • divaindoors replied:

      The Fratelli Onofri is one dream range! Great prices too but they sadly don’t do a 30 inch. You are very lucky indeed, and I’m loving Karl’s even more!

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