Which would you choose--a 36" rangetop or higher BTU on 30"?


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Which would you choose--a 36" rangetop or higher BTU on 30"?

juliest | | Dec 15, 2012 03:14 PM

I have a dilemma and am looking at two completely different options to replace an existing range. We currently have a 20 year old Jenn-Air dual fuel downdraft that is 30". Although we have had no problems with it, it is going because I want to install new countertops (and it is starting to show its age visually). My guess is the highest power burner is maybe 12K to 14K with smaller burners in the 8K range. They are all open burners, and all will maintain a really good simmer. Because we live in the cold and snowy north, we actually use the grill on top a couple times a month during the winter months. I also have a separate wall oven so oven size isn't a very big concern for me.

I have two very different options I am deciding between and am trying to decide which is the best for me.

Option A is a Bluestar or American Range Performer with all of the associated firepower. These would be 30" models. Option B is a 36" Aga Legacy I found on clearance as a floor model. We have figured out how to manage the logistics of each option, so that is not the issue. I've read pretty favorable comments from users of all of these ranges. My problem is what really is the best choice for us. Aesthetics and performance both come into play here.

Option A has four burners with two really powerful burners (either two 22K or 25K depending on if I go with the Bluestar RNB or the American Range Performer.) But, I wonder if I really need this much power. These have huge ovens with a ceramic broiler, and they have open burners which I understand are probably preferable. I am also a bit concerned about how much heat these will emanate into my kitchen.

Option B is a 36" Aga Legacy which is a vintage look (to go with my vintage type kitchen) and is completely different from Option A. It would give me more space on top to cook, and is dual fuel with multiple small ovens. In some ways the choice of using a smaller oven is probably a wise choice for two people. The burners are sealed (not my first choice, but I could live with this as a tradeoff). It has five burners-- two 9,200, one 5K, one 15K, and one 12K. The ovens suposedly work really well as does the broiler.

We are empty nesters but do cook a couple times a month for about ten people. I consider myself definitely an above average cook, but I am by no means a foodie or someone who is constantly turning out four course gourmet meals. We aren't huge meat eaters so aren't constantly broiling or cooking huge slabs of meat. I like to do some stir fries sometime, but never having had anything very powerful I don't know what that would be like. And, it isn't as though I'd be woking several times a week. I used to bake a lot more than I do now, and don't know if I'll get back to that too much since if I bake it I eat it (something that isn't good for my weight).

I want a color range because liking the looks of my kitchen is important to me too. I have been following many posts both here and at gardenweb about various brands. If you were in my shoes, would you opt for the 30" that is more powerful (that I am not 100% convinced I need the firepower on) or the larger 36" with the more spacious rangetop? Price is a factor but not the driving force here. The floor model Aga Legacy falls between the more pricey Bluestar and the American which would be a couple hundred less than the Legacy.

These are our final choices and we are not going to look at the more pricey 36" Bluestar or AR.

Thanks for your help.

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