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Compare ovens before making a purchase

April 25, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
If you've ever wished you could bake an apple pie while the chicken roasts, then you know the frustration of having just one oven. More companies are now making ranges with two ovens that don't take up any more space than a regular range.Lonnie Curran isn't a professional chef, but she loves to cook and entertain. She's actually got four ovens in her kitchen.

"I can do like a turkey and I can do a prime rib and I can do side dishes. I love it! It's easy, very easy. I don't mind having people over now," explains Curran.

Granted, four ovens are a lot. People more often expand their cooking capability by getting two.

Perhaps a standard-size range with two ovens is the answer.

Consumer Reports just tested four from Maytag, Jenn-Air, and GE. They are expensive, costing anywhere from $1,450 dollars to more than $2,000.

"Manufacturers have eliminated the storage drawer and moved the big oven down, closer to the floor. In place of that you have a nice small oven on top," said Mark Connelly from Consumer Reports.

Testers cooked pizzas to see if the smaller top oven cooks as well as a conventional oven.

The results: The smaller oven did just about the same as a conventional oven.

"Basically the biggest difference was in the preheat time. As you might expect, since it's a smaller oven it takes a lot less time for the oven to come to temperature," adds Connelly.

In fact, the smaller oven took just five minutes to preheat compared to about 15 minutes for a conventional oven.

But there is a significant drawback to the bottom oven because it's so low.

"Getting the food in and out of the bottom oven could be quite a problem," Connelly said.

If a dual-oven range seems to suit your needs, Consumer Reports says either of GE's two electric dual-oven ranges do a very good job, top to bottom.

The GE convection version, model PB975SMSS goes for $1,950 dollars. The regular range, model PB970SM is $200 dollars less.


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