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Two Ovens are Better Than One!
Written: Oct 13, 2002 (Updated Mar 19, 2012)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Once upon a time, the dishwasher leaked...a hidden leak that wasn't discovered until the subfloor needed replacing. And since the subfloor needed to be replaced, new flooring needed selecting. Wouldn't the kitchen cabinets (over 30 years old) look shabby with that new flooring? A few decisions later, a kitchen designer entered the picture. That's when I learned General Electric no longer manufactured the double-oven model I owned, which meant that new cabinets would be built around an oversize oven that I couldn't replace.
That's when I decided to buy a new oven.
I researched many ovens before deciding upon the Maytag Gemini Electric Range -- Model # MER6772BAQ (Bisque color). Three things immediately sold me on this oven.
1. The Maytag Gemini has two ovens. I love the convenience of two ovens and couldn't imagine working with only one oven.
2. Maytag appliances are known for their quality.
3. I researched the oven and found it received stellar ratings from a variety of sources.
At first glance, this stove/oven looks like a typical single oven unit. A flat cooktop in a charcoal color has four heating elements and a warming area located at the center back of the cook surface. Along the back of the cook surface, a vertical panel displays the controls for the various stove elements and ovens. Beneath the cooktop resides the two ovens. A smaller oven is set directly beneath the cooktop, and the larger oven is beneath the smaller oven.
The smooth cooking surface is made from Ceran glass-ceramic. It is standard range-top size and includes four circular heating elements (two large elements at the front of the cooktop and two smaller elements at the back). The front right element is a dual-size. A rocker switch on the control panel controls which size heating element is used. The warming center at the center back of the cooktop keeps cooked foods warm while the rest of the meal is being prepared. This extra element is wonderful when cooking multiple dishes. The warming center is controlled by a toggle switch with an ON/OFF position on the control panel.
My old oven had the standard metal electric coil heating elements, so this smooth cooktop was a new experience. I read the instruction manual before daring to turn it on for fear I'd do something wrong! There are two drawbacks to the smooth cooktop glass-ceramic surface: 1) Spills during the cooking process can permanently stain the stove surface and 2) The glass-ceramic can easily scratch if pots are dragged across the stove top. So far I've only had one permanent stain. I used a small T-Fal pot to heat beets. The beets boiled over, and even though I quickly wiped the beet juice from the stove's surface...it still stained. I was finally able to clear away the stain by using the special glass-ceramic stove top cleaner that came with the oven. Now I use larger pots to avoid boil-overs. Also, pots should not extend more than one inch beyond the element area.
The stove cooks just as my old stove did. However, the elements in the new cooktop hold heat longer than coil elements, which makes temperature changes slower.
There are dial knobs for each of the stove elements. The OFF position is located at the center top. Rotating counter-clockwise, the settings are LOW, the bottom center is MEDIUM and the extreme right position is HIGH. There are "between" settings to adjust how much heat is supplied to the element. Each knob is marked with a diagram to show which heating element the knob controls. A small circular red light on the control panel glows when a knob is turned on.
The glass-ceramic cooktop retains heat for a long time after the stove is turned off. A "hot surface" light is located at the front center of the cooktop and glows red when the surface is hot. The light disappears when the cooktop is cool.
Maytag recommends not using glass pots or pans since they may scratch the stove surface. If you preserve food (such as fruit or vegetables), you may need to purchase a new canning pot with a flat bottom and small base so that the cooktop is not damaged. Also, use a clean cloth to wipe the cook surface. If using a dirty sponge or cloth, a residue could remain on the cooktop surface causing stains to appear when the surface is heated.
The Smaller Oven
This oven preheats 50% faster than the larger oven. When first opening the oven, it looks small...but appearances are deceiving. This oven will fit: a large cookie sheet or two 9" circular cake pans side-by-side or a rectangular dish (my favorite measures 13 1/2" x 8 3/4" x 1 3/4"). This is the handiest little oven, and I use it for most of my baking and broiling. The oven contains one rack that cannot be adjusted for height; however, the rack is removable and slides out for easy access. The oven door opens smoothly, quietly and closes with a whisper of sound. Using this smaller oven saves electricity, and it cooks like a dream.
The Larger Oven
I use this oven to primarily cook bread (the loaf pans are too high to fit into the smaller oven), casseroles and a full-size roast, chicken or turkey. The large oven can be used for just about anything. There are two removable wire racks that can be adjusted for height. The lower rack is affixed to a special sliding mechanism so that it very easily glides forward, which is excellent when cooking something heavy like a turkey that needs basting.
The one drawback to this oven is that it is set lower to the ground than a conventional oven. The Gemini Maytag does not have a utensil drawer. So the oven extends all the way to the ground. However, the oven is large and has an excellent easy-grip handle for opening and closing the door.
The Control Panel
Located along the top back of the stove, the control panel contains all stove, oven and timing controls. I mentioned how to use the cooktop controls above, so I'll concentrate on the other controls. Both ovens can be used at the same time and set at different temperatures. There is also a feature that allows the time to be set in advance for the oven to turn on and start cooking and turn off automatically. I had to read the instruction manual to learn how to use the oven and timer controls.
Both ovens have their own control pads. Each control pad has the following buttons: Cancel, Bake, Broil, Clean, Toasting, Keep Warm, Light. (The "Toasting" and "Keep Warm" features are only available for the smaller oven.) There are also two built-in timers that can work at the same time and be set for different times (from 1 minute up to 99 hours and 59 minutes). The control panel also has a digital clock that is displayed when the timers are not being used. Both ovens come with independent lighting. Opening the oven door automatically turns on the light, or touch the "Light" button on the control panel to manually activate the oven light.
To set the temperature of either oven, press "Bake" then press the appropriate numbers for the desired temperature. (Ex: To set the oven at 450 degrees F., press "Bake" and then the numbers 4 and 5 and 0.) The oven also has a button titled "Auto Set". Press the "Bake" button and then press the "Auto Set" button. When this button is pushed, the oven automatically sets itself at 350 degrees F. Each time "Auto Set" is pressed the temperature increases by 25 degrees. Use the "Cancel" button to cancel all programming except for the clock and timer settings. When the oven is finished preheating, a single beep sounds and the preheat light on the control panel goes out. Temperatures can be set between 100 degrees F. and 550 degrees F. The "Keep Warm" function can be set for temperatures between 145 degrees F. and 190 degrees F.
The "Auto Set" feature has several functions depending upon what feature is selected.
Select "Bake" and "Auto Set" = 350 degree F. temperature.
Select "Broil" and "Auto Set" = Hi or Lo Broil setting.
Select "Clean" and "Auto Set" = Three hours of cleaning time.
Select "Toasting" and "Auto Set" = 4 minutes of toasting time.
Select "Keep Warm" and "Auto Set" = 170 Degree F. warming temperature.
A wonderful feature is that the ovens self-clean with the press of a few buttons. Only one oven can be programmed to self-clean at a time. Remove the oven racks. Turn off the oven light and close the door. Press the "Clean" button and then press "Auto Set" to automatically clean the oven for 3 hours. Press the "Auto Set" pad again to set the oven for a 4-hour clean cycle, or press the button one more time for a 2-hour cleaning. The oven locks when in cleaning mode. When the oven is finished cleaning, the word "Cleaned" will be displayed on the control panel, and the oven will remain locked until the oven has cooled, which takes about an hour. To cancel the self-clean cycle, just press the "Cancel" button. Simple!
Ovens that have a utensil drawer have extra space for a regular wall outlet. Since the Maytag Gemini does not have a utensil drawer, the oven goes all the way to the back of the unit and requires a recessed outlet in the wall. My old oven did not have a recessed outlet, so I had to have an electrician install one.
Extra Above-Stove Lighting
In my kitchen, I needed additional lighting to see the stove top. I also wanted a strong fan in addition the self-venting in the stove. At the same time I purchased the Maytag Gemini Electric Range, I also bought an under-the-cabinet, over-the-stove, light/venting unit. I purchased the Allure III Hood by Broan, which comes with four fan speeds, adjustable light brightness (uses two halogen bulbs) and removable, washable filters. This unit also matches the bisque color of the stove.
Where I Bought the Gemini Oven
I purchase all my major appliances from a local appliance company that offers spectacular service. I bought the Maytag Gemini Electric Range -- Model # MER6772BAQ for $1300 (I paid extra for the Bisque color). At the time, Maytag also offered a $100 rebate so the oven cost $1200.
UPDATE - June 8, 2006
I thought you might like to know that I'm still using this Gemini oven and loving it. This oven still looks great. I take special care to keep the cooktop clean and to immediately wipe up any spills. I also make sure not to drag pots across the cooktop surface to avoid scratches.
The self-cleaning feature is wonderful. Very easy to use! Just remember to take the racks out before setting the oven to self-clean. Only one oven at a time can be self-cleaned. Wish it would do them both at once to save me even more time.
I definitely use the smaller top oven more than the bottom one. The small oven heats quicker, saving energy costs. When I bake bread, casseroles, or a turkey ... then the bottom oven is a must to accommodate the deeper pans.
UPDATE -- November 10, 2006
Still delighted with the Gemini, but I experienced my first error code this week. Sunday night, the range started beeping like crazy. Across the clock display a message scrolled saying that the oven had an F9-3 error. None of the booklets that came with the range explained the error codes, so I searched on the internet and found the F9-3 code had something to do with a lower latch (which I assumed meant the latch on the oven). I did not phone the telephone number scrolling across the display. Instead I phoned my reliable appliance store, where I have purchased all my major appliances for years.
I spoke with the repair person on Monday. He verified that the F9-3 code did mean the latch on the oven. He came out the same day and reviewed the situation. A latch assembly needed to be ordered. He said I could still use the oven but that if the latch locked, it might not open again until after the repair. I didn't like the idea of food being trapped in the oven ... so instead I used my trusty T-Fal Avante Elite Toaster Oven.
On Wednesday, the repair person came to the house with the part and fixed the oven. It took less than a half hour for the repair. The part list price is $80.00, and my kind repair person sold it to me for $59.95. The same day, I baked rolls in the top oven, and I baked a chicken pot pie (made from scratch!) in the lower oven, and the ovens work great.
UPDATE - December 12, 2008 & March 19, 2012
I thought you would like to know that this oven is still working great! We are incredibly pleased with it. Other than what I have already mentioned, there have been no issues with this appliance. Even in 2012, it is performing like it should.
I love the Maytag Gemini Electric Range! I often use both ovens at the same time (a great time-saver when baking cookies and pies or large meals). The cooktop heats evenly, quickly and the warming burner comes in handy. Each oven door offers a large window to easily view inside the oven without opening the door. The controls took me some time to get used to, but now it's second nature to push the correct buttons. I highly recommend the Maytag Gemini to anyone in need of a stove with two ovens.
I hope that this review has helped you.
Enjoy your day!
Dimensions of Maytag Gemini Electric Range -- Model # MER6772BAQ:
Width = 29 7/8"
Height = 46 3/4"
Depth = 27 1/4"
One 750-/2,200-watt Dual-Choice™ element - choose size to fit pan
One 9", 2,200-watt radiant element
Two 6", 1,200-watt radiant elements
Upper Oven: 1.2 cu. ft. self-cleaning with auto-lock
Lower Oven: 4.0 cu. ft. self-cleaning with auto-lock
Broiler pan comes with the oven and can be used with both ovens. Maytag also supplied a small bottle of stove-top cleaner and a sponge. Documentation in English, French & Spanish includes: a User's Guide, an Installation Manual, "Cooking Made Simple" booklet outlining the "do's & don'ts" of cooking, a sheet of cleaning instructions for the glass-ceramic cooktop, a pamphlet offering safe cooking tips.
This oven also comes in gas and is also available with an optional convection baking feature.
Please read my other reviews.
Allure III Range Hood by Broan
GE Profile Top Refrigerator with Bottom Freezer
Frigidaire Side-by-Side Refrigerator/Freezer
Le Creuset Bean Pot with Recipe
Graniteware Oval Roasting Pan
Westbend Automatic Egg Cooker
Braun Coffee Grinder (and Flax Seed)
Smidgen Set of 3 Measuring Spoons
Oneida Premier Flatware
T-Fal Perfection Deep Saute Pan with Glass Lid
Sterilite Ultra Storage Drawer
Quilter's Dream Quilting Table/Cabinet
Copyright 2002 Dawn L. Stewart
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Amount Paid (US$): 1200
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