Compare ovens before making a purchase

LOS ANGELES 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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