Double Oven Ranges Review
How to Choose a Double Oven Range
The perfect meal can require a large amount of preparation and time in the kitchen baking, boiling and simmering. However, it doesn't have to be that way. A range double oven allows you to bake twice the amount of food at once. These double ovens are freestanding and not only feature two ovens, typically an upper and lower oven, but also a cooktop.
The main benefit to a range double oven is the ability to cook two dishes at once, at different temperatures. You can set each oven to its own temperature and baking time. These ovens can be dual-fuel, gas or electric, and they offer various cooktop features. They provide many of the same features you find in slide-in ranges, except range double ovens provide the additional oven. Wall double ovens are also similar, but these appliances do not feature any type of cooktop and are built directly into the wall. Three of the top double oven ranges on the market are the KitchenAid KFDD500ESS, the Maytag Gemini MGT8820DS and the GE Profile PGS950SEFSS.
Gas vs. Electric
There are a few differences between gas and electric ovens. However, one type of oven is not better than another. The type of oven you should choose comes down to personal preference and what would be a better fit for you and your baking needs.
Gas ovens are more economical over time, even though the initial purchase of a range gas oven can be slightly more than you pay for an electric model. Additionally, gas models heat up to the desired temperature more quickly.
An electric oven more evenly distributes heat, but heating up and cooling down the oven can take longer. Electric products also provide drier heat, which helps with roasting and prevents rust inside of the oven.
Convection vs. Thermal Cooking
You find two main types of cooking technology on double oven ranges: thermal and convection. The difference between these two kinds is how they heat the food. Thermal ovens use hot air to cook. Convection ovens also use hot air, but a fan inside the oven circulates it, which helps to evenly cook food.
Convection ovens have many benefits, including cooking food more evenly and often at higher rates. However, these ovens can be several hundred dollars more than a thermal oven. Many double ovens offer a mixture of the two cooking methods. The upper oven may use convection cooking methods while the lower oven uses thermal.
If the oven uses convection technology, it may also feature convection modes to bake, broil and roast. The difference in these modes depends on where the heat is distributed inside the oven. For example, in the convection bake mode, the heat is distributed from the lower baking element inside the oven. This mode is ideal for foods that need to be browned and cooked well on the bottom, such as pizza. Convection broil mode is when heat is distributed from the upper heat element, and convection roast is when heat comes from both elements.
How to Determine the Right Size of Oven for You
The overall capacity of the double oven is critical in choosing the right oven for your needs. The size of your family and the number of people you usually cook for can determine how large an oven you need. The capacity of the individual ovens can differ. If you plan to cook for three or four people, you need at least 3 cubic feet of oven space, while a larger group requires a minimum of 4 cubic feet.
What Else Is Important?
You should consider several additional factors as you look for the best range double oven for your home. Here are other features you should look for that add to the convenience of a double oven range.
When looking for the best range double oven, you want it to provide a cooktop with plenty of features to give you cooking flexibility. Look for a cooktop with four or five burners. The best ovens provide four small burners in each corner of the cooktop with a large oval burner in the middle where you can place longer dishes.
Also, you will want to consider the energy type of the range, which can be gas or electric. Gas ranges have an open flame, which can be a particular safety hazard when you have young children around, but they provide more even heat and make it easier and faster to adjust the heat. The amount of heat a gas range gives off is measured in British thermal units, or Btu. A single Btu raises the heat of a pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. The average cooktop burner has approximately 7,000 Btu.
When looking for a gas double oven range, you'll want one with a wide Btu range on its burners. The burners that offer higher Btu numbers allow you to easily and quickly boil water, while the lower-Btu burners are necessary for simmering. Be cautious of using a burner with more power than you need for the type of cooking, as it could easily burn food or your cookware.
On the other hand, electric ranges are usually easier to clean and still provide fairly even heat distribution, and you don't have to worry about hazardous gases. The heat that comes off electric ranges is measured in watts. As with the gas ranges, you'll want burners that range widely in wattage if you get an electric double oven. The largest burners should be between 2,500 watts and 3,000 watts, while the lower-power burners should be around 1,200 watts. However, ovens with a warming feature may provide an even lower number of watts on some burners.
Most double ovens provide self-cleaning capabilities. With this function, you can remove debris and cooked-on food from your oven without harsh chemicals or much elbow grease. There are two common types of self-cleaning options on these ovens: heat and steam. With the heat cleaning, which is more common, your oven reaches a high temperature for a certain period of time to cook off spilled food and debris. The other method uses steam to remove any baked-on mess. Steam is becoming a popular option, as it doesn't require harsh chemicals and it drastically reduces the amount of time it takes to clean the oven is drastically reduced from the heat self-cleaning.
Another feature that helps a double oven range stand out is delayed bake. With this option, you can place your dish in the oven and choose a designated future time for the oven to automatically turn on and cook your food, without you having to be there. A warming option is also beneficial, as it lets you keep food warm and ready to eat without overcooking it.
A small handful of double oven ranges provide defrost and dehydrate settings for foods you need to unfreeze or preserve. Some also feature a built-in meat probe. This allows you to check the internal temperature of your dishes with ease and without searching your drawer for your thermometer.
Touch or Control Knobs
There are two main types of controls for these ovens: touch controls and knobs. Touch controls are popular on double ovens because they give an oven a cleaner, more modern appearance. Basic touch controls include buttons for start, bake and the timer. Most touch-controlled ovens also feature a keypad so you can enter times and temperatures.
Control knobs allow you to turn them to your desired temperature. These controls are often found on double oven ranges and units with a cooktop. The location of the knobs is important, because if you have knobs on the back of the oven, you may be reaching over a hot frying pan or through steam from boiling water. Some ovens have controls in the back, with knobs for the cooktop in the front, which keeps the front of the oven from looking cluttered but reduces this safety hazard.
Help & Support
Most double oven ranges have a manufacturer warranty on parts and labor. The length of time for this warranty differs by company. While the majority of these products are covered under a parts and labor manufacturer warranty for one year, some are covered for three years or longer. The longest warranty we saw on a double oven range was 10 years.
With a combination of the right elements, you can have a beautiful double oven range that's your best friend in the kitchen. With the extra space your double oven range provides, you can cook a fabulous dinner for company or your whole family in little time.