Published at Friday, December 06th 2019. by Michael in Kitchen Appliances.
You can get more options than you've ever imagined in a new range, from a stove that actually keeps food cold then turns itself on and cooks it, to one that includes a microwave drawer as well as an oven. Features that used to be considered premium are now standard on many ranges, including smoothtops, sealed burners on gas cooktops and self-cleaning ovens. Even stainless-steel finishes, which continue to be in high demand, have dropped in price according to Consumersearch.com, a website that evaluates product reviews from a wide variety of sources.
Online restaurant supply houses can offer such great discounts because they have bulk buying power — after all, they're designed to serve restaurants. That usually means, though, that any customer will have to buy an entire case of certain smaller or low-margin items or meet a minimum dollar amount. In general, the bigger the supply house, the more likely the "by the case" requirement. "Keep in mind that most of the bigger restaurant suppliers are getting great discounts because they're working with lots of smaller manufacturers, and it's not cost-effective for them to break a case [into smaller amounts] — plus it encourages damage," says Herschberger.
My new stove changed my life, and I'm not kidding. After a decade of constant struggle with an ancient Amana range (just like the ones Monty Hall used to give away in the 1970s on "Let's Make a Deal!"), the final blow came on Thanksgiving. I put the lovingly stuffed 20-lb. turkey in the oven and set it at 325 degrees, only to find, after hours of basting and checking meat thermometers and fiddling with the dial, that for some inexplicable reason the oven wouldn't work at any temperature lower than 350 degrees.
While online restaurant supply houses bring in goods from splatter covers and barbecue spatulas to cases of wine glasses, a few of the more modest-size items also seem to fly off the websites, both because they're better quality and because they look like the stuff used by "real" chefs and caterers.
So the turkey roasted, then cooled, then roasted, then cooled, and I spent several sleepless nights wondering if I'd poisoned my nearest and dearest with inadequately cooked poultry. I finally saved my dollars and bought a spanking new smoothtop electric range. It's amazingly easy to clean, the electric elements do a great job on everything from high-temperature searing to low-temperature simmering and the oven is large enough to accommodate an entire holiday feast (and cook it at the right temperature!).
How meticulous are you about wiping up after spills? Electric smoothtop ranges need to be cleaned carefully after every use or you can get a residue buildup on top, Franke says. Smoothtops also require a special cleaner. If you're not the constantly cleaning type you may want to consider electric coils, which are inexpensive and easy to replace, or a gas cooktop with sealed burners so spills can't leak down underneath.
"A pro fridge like a Sub-Zero is huge and it's really meant for people who need to store a lot of ingredients for constant cooking," says Sue Adams. "They do have better seals on the doors and compartments at different temps so different things won't spoil, and special gaskets so odors won't go from one compartment to another.". But if you're not a fervent cook, the big fridge is unnecessary, she says. "You can afford to let a lot of milk go sour for the difference in price between a Sub-Zero and a residential model," she says. If you do opt for a Sub-Zero refrigerator, Adams advises against the optional glass doors. "Do you really want people to see inside your refrigerator?" she asks. "And if all they'd be seeing is your takeout boxes, you may want to reconsider the purchase altogether."
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