Anyone who's ever dreamed of having a double oven, but thought it was impossible in her (or his) kitchen, rejoice!!! Those crazy gurus at Maytag have said, "Why not?"
Recommend this product?
Why not, indeed? Well, we'll get to the reasons why not later, but first let's look at this brainchild:
2 gas ovens: One 1.2 cu. ft. capacity with standard cook, self-clean, broil and keep warm functions, and one 4 cu. ft. with cook and self-clean (that's even bigger than the standard oven at 3.6), and a "RollerGlide" rack that rolls in and out easily. Both ovens are fully programmable with delay and auto-off functions.
A gas range top with four burners, one extra high and one extra low, and a continuous grate that allows you to slide a large heavy pot from one burner to another without having to pick it up. The burners are sealed with removable burner caps.
So essentially, you're getting a large capacity oven, warming drawer (though it's not actually a drawer, but same idea) and gas range all in one appliance that fits in a standard 30" range opening.
No, it's not wider. No, it's not taller. It's like a dream come true. And it really works!
Just the other day I had to pick up my daughter from school and wanted lunch ready right away when we got home. I popped the casserole in the top oven (the small one, perfect size for most medium-size items), programmed the stop time and how long I wanted it to cook, and it automatically started the delay function. It started cooking while I was gone, and had shut itself off by the time I got home. No overdone or underdone casserole because I guessed wrong how long it would take me to get back home!
Broiling is easy because the broiler is in the top oven instead of being down by the floor, requiring you to get on your hands and knees.
And I really love both the extra high and extra low burners. I use the extra high burner for boiling water faster, for stir-frying with my wok, and other pan frying or searing. The extra low burner is perfect for steaming vegetables without burning off all the water.
But, inevitably, we must come to the drawbacks. I wouldn't really characterize these as drawbacks per se, but rather, features that seem really cool that really aren't that special.
First, the broiler. Because of a problem that Maytag had with the broiler actually blowing open the top door if you tried to turn on the bottom oven after the broiler was already heated, now the broiler will only come on once the lower oven has pre-heated. (So don't fear, they have fixed the problem. Your oven won't blow up on you.) Problem is, instead of the instant convenience you normally have with a gas broiler, it takes up to 15 minutes sometimes to pre-heat the broiler. This is a giant pain in the neck. Who wants to wait that long? I'll just use the toaster oven, thanks.
Next, the RollerGlide shelf. Yeah, it's smooth once you get it going, but don't count on it not to spill your pumpkin pie filling any more than your old, regular oven rack. It kicks up a little when you go to push it back in, and when it gets all the way in, it kicks up a little again. Oh well, I imagine it's great for heavy things like turkeys, which I haven't had an opportunity to try yet.
And then on to the design of the oven itself. Now, I am happy with it, because I use the top oven most frequently and haven't really cooked anything particularly large and heavy in the lower oven yet. But as the repairman who came to fix my dishwasher (see my review of the Maytag Jetclean II Dishwasher) told me, it's a young person's oven. Meaning that no one with a bad back or knees or who is otherwise generally indisposed to bending over too much is going to enjoy using that bottom oven much. Touche.
Plus, when I bought it, I was under the mistaken impression that both ovens could be locked shut for safety. I later realized that this was only for the self-clean function. (Okay, I should've known that...) I sometimes worry because the bottom oven has a low enough clearance and is easy enough to open that one of my 3 young kids will try to crawl in there, but in all reality I would never be away from them long enough for them to manage this. Still, locks would be nice.
Are any of those what Dr. Phil would call "dealbreakers"? For me, no. But for some it might be. I'm willing to write off those minor problems for the dream double oven. Did I mention you can do loads of cookies at a time? :)
Other Maytag reviews:
The Jetclean II Three-Rack Dishwasher
The Wide-by-side Refrigerator
The Over-the-Range Microwave
The Neptune Washing Machine
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Amount Paid (US$): 1400