Pros: Lots of features, gas stove top/electric oven, center griddle
Cons: Control panel in back, long preheat time, low BTU output on some burners.
I'm not sure how to make this a reasonable length of a review since there's so many features to a range. I'll keep the chit-chat (non essential comments) to a bare minimum, as difficult as that is for me!
When we moved into this 12 year old house last summer we immediately said, 'We need new appliances!!!!'
After looking at a number of brands we decided on GE Profile series. I happen to like gas stove top cooking but electric oven baking. So, along comes the GE DUAL FUEL range! Gas stove top cooking and an electric oven! Best of both worlds. In addition, this also has a convection oven feature for faster cooking and a small bottom oven which doubles as a baking pan storage drawer.
We also liked the 5th center burner. It comes with both a griddle and a grate. We immediately took the grate off and we use the center burner strictly for the griddle.
This range model comes in stainless, white and black. We chose the black. My wife initially wanted stainless but the cost was so much higher and I don't like having to buy special stainless cleaners. I have had stainless appliances in the past and I feel that fingerprints and marks show up much more on that finish than they do on the others.
We paid about $1560 for this range. I don't hate this product, just wish it was BETTER.
As I mentioned there are 5 burners.
1) The left front burner is what they call a "high output" burner and it's rated at 11,000 BTU
2) The left rear burner is considered an all purpose burner and is rated at 9,000 BTU
3) The right front burner is the oven's power boil burner is is rated at 17,000 BTU
4) The right rear burner is a smaller burner for simmering. The documentation says this is 5,000 BTU
5) And the Center burner is 6,000 BTU
My perception is that it takes a longer time to cook on the burners than what I've been used to in the past. It may just be my imagination. I'm also not sure but I think electric burners, at least the 2 larger ones on a an electric stove top may heat up higher and quicker. I wish the unit had the power boil, a center burner with 9,000 BTU, and the other three at 11,000 BTU. But you can't have every thing! I feel cheated having the simmer burner, because with gas you can adjust heat to any level so you don't really need a special simmering burner.
My unscientific test
I did a quick test on the three main burners before doing this review to see how long it takes to boil water. Since the right rear burner was for simmering, it wasn't fair to see how long it could take to boil water.
I used a medium size (10 cup), heavy weight sauce pan. I put in 6 cups of cold tap water.
The power boil burner brought the water to a rolling boil in 7 minutes. The other two burners, even though the BTU output was different boiled the water in 11 minutes. Now, understand that my cookware is very heavy. Times will be shorter if using lighter weight pots and pans. GE recommends using medium weight aluminum cookware because it heats quickly and evenly. It seems to take forever to boil water when I'm trying to use the large stock pot for making pasta.
I was always used to having one grate for each burner. This stove top uses one grate on each side for each two burners. I have noticed that some of my pans slide on these grates and that, to me, is scary because it seems like a hazard if a hot pan slides off the grate and hurts someone.
They should be cleaned regularly with hot soapy water.
Wok this way
One of the things I looked forward to in having a gas stove top was taking my woks out of storage. Well, I can't use the round bottomed woks on this stove top!!! There is a warning that the consumer MUST use a flat bottomed wok ONLY. They say that using a ring and round bottomed wok may cause the burner to work improperly and cause dangerous carbon monoxide levels.
The oven controls are on the back panel and are all touch pad controls. This range is a free standing range. The same basic model of this but the slide in range has the controls on the front. I think having the touch pad in the rear is a poor design. I don't like reaching my arm over hot pots/pans to get the oven turned on or off or to set the oven timer.
The touch pad is used for turning on and setting the standard oven, convection oven, broiler, clock, timer, self clean feature, probe, the oven light and the delay start.
Oven: other stuff to know
The oven has three racks and six positions on which to place those racks. The capacity is, I guess, the same as any standard size consumer oven. I had no problem fitting in a 25lb turkey for Thanksgiving last November.
In this oven, the door has to remain closed when the broiler is on. That's different from may other ovens I've used in the past where the door needs to remain open a crack.
I have questioned whether the oven needs an adjustment in the thermostat because it doesn't seem to cook fast enough. I used an oven thermometer last night and it registered about 25 degrees lower than what I set the oven at. But again, this is perception. I have no way of knowing if the thermometer itself is accurate. This appliance is still under warranty so I'm calling today to get someone to come over to take a look.
There is a self clean feature on the oven which works well. We've used it a few times and it's done a very good job.
There is a convection bake and a convection roast. The convection cooking cooks faster and is also supposed to create a good golden brown exterior. It helped out considerably at Thanksgiving. I underestimated the time to cook the bird using the standard oven. I switched to convection and got the turkey done about 40 minutes later than what I had wanted it. I feel if I hadn't switched to convection, the turkey would have taken a couple of extra hours.
The bottom oven can be used to bake foods using the same times and temperatures as the upper oven. GE says that the lower oven drawer is best for pizzas, frozen foods, casseroles, biscuits, etc. We haven't used the bottom oven except to keep foods warm, so I can't comment on the how well it bakes.
This is designed for use on the Jewish Sabbath and holidays. I won't make the review unnecessarily longer by describing this, but those interested can go to this site to get more information: http://www.geconsumerproducts.com/pressroom/press_releases/appliances/cooking_products/sabbath.htm
Again! MY PERCEPTION is that this oven takes a long time to preheat. The touch pad screen shows the current oven temperature. When the oven is preheated to the set temperature, the oven beeps to let you know you can place your food in to start cooking. It seems to take about 15 minutes to get the the oven up to 450 degrees. Maybe that's reasonable. The electric oven in our old house (and it was a very old Kenmore double oven) seemed to heat up much faster than this one.
There is a 12 hour timer for timed cooking. In addition, there's a cook and hold feature which keeps your cooked foods warm for up to three hours after the cooking is finished.
Not a criminal probe! ;-) Pogomom said in one of her reviews that she never reads manuals. Well, similarly, I had never read the manual either. I didn't notice before doing this review and looking at the manual (to make sure I didn't miss any main features) that this oven has a PROBE feature! The oven comes with a probe that you can use inside foods like roasts and turkeys. Use the touch pad to set the probe to the desired cooked temperature of the food. The touch pad screen will let you know when the food reaches the set temperature. I can't wait to use this on the turkey for next year!
Most consumer groups say that extended warranties are not worth it. But, ya know!!!! Most of these appliances are full of electronics that can go bad VERY easily or get fried from a power surge. Service calls are VERY expensive as is the labor and electronic boards. Most warranties won't cover power surges, but technicians have always told me (confidentially) :-) that they cannot prove a power surge and 99% of the time they will cover the repairs. So I purchased one for the oven.
There's lots more features. Way too many to list.
This is a very feature rich range. I'm disappointed in the BTU output (i.e. how long it takes to boil) of the stovetop burners on this. I'm told that the main 11,000 BTU burner is pretty standard on basic units. So it's nice to have a simmer feature, as well as the power boil feature. I do wish the 3 other main burners had a higher output for quicker cooking. BUT I do really like gas cooking. No waiting for electric elements to heat up and you can stop cooking immediately by turning off the gas, whereas you have to take a pan OFF the electric burners to stop cooking because they take time to cool back down.
While I like the center burner for the griddle, if you have any large pans on the other burners they interfere or partly extend over the griddle. Depending on the size of your pans you cannot always cook on the griddle and use the other burners at the same time.
If you have any other questions, let me know in the comment section. If you feel I left something out, let me know!
The GE technician was here and sure enough the oven thermostat wasn't set quite right, it is now adjusted and we'll see if it makes much of a difference in cooking.
Also, I asked him about the smooth grate and the pan sliding off. He took a look at one of my pans that had a problem with sliding. The pan (a Calphalon griddle) has a smooth bottom, so the smooth bottom of the griddle coupled with the smooth surface of the grate makes a dangerous combination. I suppose a review of the griddle is next! ;-)