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Range cookers - recommendations?

(20 Posts)
nusch Sat 19-Apr-03 16:38:32

We are getting a new kitchen put in and fancy one of those range cookers with a double oven. Have been looking on the internet at various makes (Stoves, Britannia, etc. Does anyone have one they would recommend? Or recommendations for good websites to buy kitchen appliances?

PamT Sat 19-Apr-03 18:10:10

I have a Diplomat 80cm model (mini mock aga style) bought from MFI with the kitchen. I think it is a Stoves one with slightly different handles on.

Being 80 cm it has a fan oven, grill (both electric), 4 gas rings and 2 electric hotplates. the added width then makes up 2 storage cupboards which are ok for baking tins. It was the nearest I could get to an Aga but is a poor substitute. There's no timer and I miss my double oven that I had before. I had to have a new thermostat on it in the first 18 months because it was burning everything but otherwise it has been ok. The pan stands on the hob are poor quality but I complained about the poor finish of the paint and got a spare set anyway.

When I win the lottery I am going to have a lovely big aga in my farmhouse kitchen (and I shall be able to pay someone to operate it for me too!). Dream on!

Chiccadum Sat 19-Apr-03 18:53:25

I've just got a stainless steel Stove 80cm model it has 4 rings, a griddle, 2 ovens and 2 storage compartments and I think it is brilliant, I don't know how I ever coped without it, it comes in Stainless Steel, Green and Cream

Demented Sat 19-Apr-03 22:48:13

I've got a Stoves too, 1100 Dfa Farmhouse in Cream, sounds a bit like PamT's as it is mock aga style athough I think it is bigger than PamT's (not that I'm boasting or anything ). I really like it, you can also get it in green and black and stainless steel, although the stainless steel isn't the same style.

It has a separate grill, conventional oven, fan oven and storage drawer, seven gas burners (one of these a large wok burner), cast iron lids that pull down to cover the burners and comes with a cast iron griddle.

Unfortunately I do not have a link to the site where I bought it anymore (DH has had a clearout) but I found most of the places were cheaper on the net than the high street, just a case of searching around for the best price. HTH.

BTW I love my cooker, like PamT would have preferred a real Aga but as far as ordinary cookers go I like it, compares well to the expensive Smeg we had in our last place, pitty I couldn't say the same about my kitchen, that's the next project though.

PandaBear Sun 20-Apr-03 09:45:38

I have a Belling Country Range. It has one fan oven, one normal, a seperate grill and a storage cupboard, with 8 rings. It is also Duel Fuel which was essential for me. All in all it's been one of my best buys - except the cleaning of it!!!!

megg Mon 21-Apr-03 08:41:46

We've got a Flavel Cookmaster, two ovens, eight hobs, its brilliant. If you can get hold of Which magazine from early last year there's a feature about range cookers and it also recommends where to buy them from.

Crunchie Mon 21-Apr-03 19:58:19

It really depends on lots of things, budget, size, fuel types, cooking styles you do etc.

I have the Rangemaster Toledo which is a modern stainless steel effect one. It cost about £1500 (plus hood and splashback) but I love it. I decided on this model as not many 90cm models have 2 ovens and a sperate grill. I wanted this option, as I often use a grill as well as an oven, therefore didn't want 2 ovens, one being the grill too. Also the feel of some are less solid than others. I wanted cast iron pan rests and a griddle.

Some are duel fuel, eg gas hobs and electric ovens, which I find most practical, but obviously you need to have gas.

Size is really vital, 90cm was all that our new kitchen could take (1 1/2 times the size of a normal oven) but you can get 120cms, which are massive.

Brand names are not necessarily important, however I really feel you get what you pay for, some of the cheaper range cookers are not so robust and are more a fashion style. Britannia are beautiful, but very expensive (£2500), Belling and Stovers are around £1000. I liked Rangemaster as it is owned by the AGA company and has a long heritage of range cookers rather than getting on the band wagon.

I work for an interiors magazine which specialises in Kitchen, so ask me any other questions if you like, I can usually find out 'trade' secrets!! Diplomat for intance is made by Servis!! Hence the value for money.

Demented Mon 21-Apr-03 23:38:43

Agree Crunchie, just to add that although I am recommending the Stoves when we were looking at the Stoves range there was one decidedly dodgy looking range cooker that appeared in most of the shops, it's the cheapest range cooker they do and the doors were almost buckling as you opened and closed them, if you do decided to go for a Stoves I would recommend steering clear of this model.

bells2 Tue 22-Apr-03 08:03:35

I had a Britannia in our previous house and wouldn't recommend it. The second oven is far too narrow to be of use (even a dinner plate won't fit in it). I found the grill to be slow and unlike other stianless steel cookers such as the Falcon, generally found it difficult to keep clean. I walso thought the extractor fan was quite poor.

Crunchie Tue 22-Apr-03 09:32:47

Oh yeah the narrow oven! Well I have one of those, but I don't fnd it a problem as there are 4 shelves, so I use it for batch cooking of cakes, roast potatoes etc. I have a number of narrowish bakin trays, I tend to warm plates or whatever in the separate grill!

Like I said, It totally depends on the type of cook you are, it is an investment and not worth it as a fashion statement. That saying I wouldn't be without it!

gingernut Tue 22-Apr-03 09:47:52

We have a Rangemaster 110 which was not our choice - it was in the house when we moved here. Therefore I've never really looked at any others. It's 120cm wide. What I do like about it is the 2 full-size ovens, separate grill compartment and electric plate warmer on the top. It has a griddle which I never use - I feel an extra ring or 2 would be more useful for us. I haven't been very impressed with the quality - several things have gone wrong with it since we moved here (it had been in about 3 years when we bought the house and is now 7 years old). I think it was fairly cheap as range ovens go so would agree it's probably a case of you get what you pay for.


MrsS Tue 22-Apr-03 09:55:55

I also used to have a Rangemaster. The oven was great but the stainless steel door used to get VERY hot. I would not feel comfortable having one again with small children around.

snickers Tue 22-Apr-03 10:17:20

I also have a brittania - and I remember it being quite reasonable cost-wise. I didn't get the double oven variety though - the one big oven is great for those "turkey" moments... It has a fish burner on top of which sits my griddle (a lakeland special).

However, we did install a very cool single oven/microwave/grill combination thingy - which is superb, and I use that oven for most of the time.

All floor level ovens get hot I think? If you can find one which doesn't - that would be a plus in my opinion.

Crunchie Tue 22-Apr-03 11:05:37

MrsS, I have a new one which does not get too hot. It gets warm, but certainly nothing to worry about (considering I have a 2 yr old that is facinated by the cooker!!). And isn't it funny, I have a detachable griddle which covers 2 burners and I use it almost daily!! I 'fry' everything on it! Fish, Chicken, Sausages, Bacon, Eggs, anything I used to grill!

bea Tue 22-Apr-03 20:24:10

i've been doing huge research on this topic... as we're getting a kitechen built.. i haven't bought one yet!!! but i read the whcih mag article and liked the sound of the belling 132 cook centre (110cm)... 5 hobs, wok burner, two ovens (1 fan, 1 gas) separate grill, warming oven... but that was last year and they've changed the their model now... so now they have a evoloution (!) which is the same but has 6-8 burners ( seems a little excessive to me!!!) have yet to see one in real life!... but like demeneted says... have a trawl thourgh the net as you can get them tons cheaper than on the high street...

Crunchie... since you seem to be in the know... any idea on what bellings are like???

Crunchie Tue 22-Apr-03 21:29:44

Bellings are supposed to be quite good, one of the better not too expensive ones. With 110cm models 6-8 burners is not excessive. I have 5 including a wok one. With more I would assume you can fix a griddle over 2, the Wok burner is another, so that only leaves 4 'normal' ones!!

Make sure the ovens are as big as possible, I wish I had had room for a 110cm one, or even a 100cm, but I stuck to the 90cm model and love it.

I would check out all the major stores, Comet have loads, and also places like John Lewis who can give better advice. Also look in proper kitchen showrooms, they often have other brands. Then buy on the net!!

Be prepared for it to take ages however, mine took nearly 6 weeks!

bea Tue 22-Apr-03 22:54:00

thanks crunchie... yes! two of the burners are under a griddle...! what make would you recommend!? thanks for letting me pick your brains!!!

Demented Tue 22-Apr-03 23:28:47

Ooooh yes Crunchie, I love my griddle, particularly for pancakes ... lashings of butter and maple syrup ... mmmm. Where's the diet thread again!!!

nusch Wed 23-Apr-03 09:14:37

This is so brilliant - thank you for everyone's recommendations, I'll get shopping!!

Crunchie Wed 23-Apr-03 09:59:18

I recommend the Rangemaster but simply because I chose that one!! It is really solid, the doors 'shut' really well the knobs are substantial and the feel of it is very strong and long lasting. It depends if you want a traditional enamalled style or a modern sleek design. I have the modern one. Stainless steel can be a pain to keep clean, look for a laquered stainless steel finish, or a 'paint' finish which won't show finger marks. I like having a window n my main oven, and the separate grill, but decide on what features you want before you start looking. Some brands have loads of whistles and bells, but are not so substantial. If money and size had been no object I might have chosen differently, but I fell in love with my cooker and then designed the whole kitchen with it in mind!!!

It was my dh who persuaded me to go the whole hog on black granite work tops too!!!

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