We’re slowly in the process of updating our kitchen. Last year, we changed the paint from sage green to white. We have decided to keep our current cabinets and lay-out, but in the upcoming months we will be getting a new (bigger) island and a hutch for the corner, as well as granite countertops. In the meantime, we have replaced a couple of appliances–the dishwasher (to be reviewed later), our range, and microwave.
Our house (and town) uses electric ranges–no natural gas option–unless you want to re-plumb your house with propane. Hubby and I bounced the idea around several times. We never did look into the cost, but decided to just stick with the status quo rather than open up a new can of worms. And with the decision of keeping our current kitchen layout, going from a 30″ inch stove to a 32″+ cooktop was squashed. 30″ Electric. That was my option.
Because of my family with 3 growing boys, one of the most important features for my new range was that I wanted the most and biggest burner options. Preferably 5 “real” burners. I put “real” in quotes because on most electric ranges that have a 5th burner, it is only a warming burner with 150-200 watt output. Other electric ranges have a connecting “bridge” between two of the burners (usually single 5-7 inch burners). I just didn’t see myself using/needing a bridge. But I can’t tell you how many times on my old range I would try to cook with my largest pots/pans–10 and 12 inch–and they wouldn’t fit.
Well, with the Electrolux IQ Touch (and Wave) ranges, I found 5 “real” burners. The front two burners are 9/12″ and 6/9″ dual burners–with the larger burner heating up to 3000 watts!!! In the back, there is also a 5/7″ double burner (!!! what a pleasant surprise !!!), and two 6″ inch burners, each heating up to 1200 watts. The reason why 5 burners can fit on this stove-top is because all the touch controls are in front.
How do I like it?
Part of me feels like I haven’t cooked enough with it in the 45 days that I’ve owned my new range to write about like/dislike. I’m still in the “getting to know it” stage. Hubby’s been doing a lot of traveling, and we went away for Spring Break. On the other hand, I have made some sensational meals in that time period. I have used 4 burners simultaneously, I have sauteed, boiled, fried, and simmered. I have also tested the oven a few times. (I’m not a huge baker/oven person). I have baked calzone twice, baked chocolate chip cookies, scones, as well as roasted pork for pulled pork. For all those reasons I decided I had sufficient “data” to write about my experiences so far with the Electrolux IQ Touch.
As mentioned above, all the controls are up front. They are digital touch pad controls. Hubby is not a fan of how far they stick out. It really doesn’t bother me. For all the times I have used the stove-top, I have instinctively programmed the burners to the appropriate temperature. I think only once did I under-estimate the heat needed. I haven’t burned or overcooked anything yet. And as mentioned above, I was able to use 4 out of the 5 burners without having my pots/pans feeling overcrowded. Thumbs up, in my book!
As for the oven, the baking has been spot-on as well! The oven comes with a convection option. I hadn’t used convection ovens before. From what I’ve read/heard, it’s supposed to make baking faster because it circulates the air around the food. I’ve used the convection twice, and I can’t say I’ve noticed any difference. I’ll keep experimenting, though.
As happy as I am with my new range, I do have a couple of complaints.
When I turn on any of the stove-top burners, a fan comes on, and blows cold air out the front…exactly where I am standing. (brrr, a little chilly). I can understand a fan for when the oven is on (more on this later!), but the top? I called Mr. Salesman at the appliance store, and his explanation is that since the digital controls are up front, rather than on the back (as on a traditional range), it keeps the controls cool. He further explained that all models with front controls, regardless of manufacturer, do this. OK, I’ll buy that explanation….but I’m just not a fan (pun intended!)!
The other slightly annoying thing I’ve noticed, is that when I use the oven and turn it off, the fan blows for a very long time to cool down the oven. As in….an hour. That just doesn’t seem right.
In all the reviews I read (remember the post about on-line consumer reviews driving me crazy?!?), NO ONE mentioned either one of these “features.” Humph. I guess it’s only me.
In the picture, you’ll also notice a new microwave over the range (also Electrolux). I have NEVER been a fan of over-the-range microwaves. It just takes away from my cooking area, IMO. However, when we decided to switch to stainless steal appliances, Hubby pointed out we would need a SS hood. He priced them out at around $500+. Get this……an over-the-range microwave w/ vent…..$500. So, Hubby talked me in to it. The only advantage is the counter space I gained. It looks nice. It was a financially smart buy. But I still don’t like it…..I would rather look at the food I’m cooking than the door of my microwave.
Overall, I am VERY HAPPY with my new range. It is SWEET!! I hope to get many, many, many years of happy cooking years with it. So far, I feel like I’m off to a good start. (Hubby would agree)