Our first stove was a GE Medallion 850 self-cleaning range, a top-of-the-line 30" range. The house we bought was plumbed for gas but we knew we would be moving around and wanted more flexibility. It lasted 15 years until we moved into an estate home that was decked out with a large gas cooktop including an integrated gas BBQ. There were three build-in ovens.
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When we moved into our condo eight years ago, there was an older GE self-cleaning range. It was beige and when we remodelled the condo, we wanted to move to something more current in white.
We did a quick survey and decided that GE would be a good choice. The choices in the GE line of 30" ranges were relatively simple:
o Burners or smooth cooktop
o Self-cleaning oven or not
o Large oven window or small
o Flourescent cooktop light or not
o 2 Electrical outlets or 1
In our original GE Medallion, it had all the extra features. This time we decided to get the basic Hotpoint range with the self-cleaning oven. It has the same controls as the most expensive models but has the small oven window, one electrical outlet and no flourescent cooktop light. The cooking functions are identical. The light from our separate exhaust hood is plenty. And we have lots of outlets in our kitchen. We have seen the challenges friends have faced with cleaning the smooth cooktops and decided to stay with the traditional four separate elements.
The self-clean oven delivers a high concentrated heat with the touch of a button that conveniently cleans the oven and eliminates the need to scrub baked-on food and spills. It will also clean the removable cooktop spill trays and the broiling pan.
A key design improvement versus the range we replaced is the one-piece upswept cooktop that eliminates the crevice between the cooktop and the backsplash so that dirt has nowhere to accumulate. It has a lip around the cooktop to contain spills to the surface.
There is also a "quick-clean" storage drawer where a frameless design allows it to roll out completely out of the way so you can mop, sweep, or vacuum under the stove. There is also a dual element bake scheme that alternates the upper broiling element and the lower baking element for even heating during baking.
So far so good, everything is better. Now for the bad news. The cooktop elements unplug for ease of cleaning. The plugs used to be solid metal like the wall plug of an appliance such as an iron or vaccuum. Now they are a narrow wire loop. They bend more easily and can make the reseating of the element a bit of a trial-and-error process.
The 4 Calrod elements (2x8", 2x6") on the cooktop seem to heat faster than the previous model. The timer and cleaning functions are easier to use. Because it is an electronic timer, it will continue to beep until you acknowledge by the press of a button. This is a nice feature as the old mechanical buzzer could be irritating. The enunciator is much louder and can be heard from another room with ease. It also works for oven preheat. You can also delay the start of cooking or cleaning and then time the on cycle. The cooktop controls are infinite rheostats on the back panel. They must be pushed and turned for on and this is a useful security feature. There is one indicator light for elements on each side (2 in total). This means that you need to be careful of burns when using both elements on either side.
The drawer is bigger than any previous ones and the design is good: easy runners, removes like a bureau drawer to enable cleanups below it. Also the handle is integrated into the shape of the drawer front eliminating another place where dirt and grim can accumulate along the handle. The oven door handle is a nice heavy textured white plastic with rounded edges and is wide enough to enable two dish towels to hang over it. This accelerates drying after major meals.
The glass oven door still needs cleaning more often than the self-cleaning cycle and this has not improved but, with all the other improvements, this is a minor complaint. The inexpensive model has a smaller glass surface and this makes the job easier. You can still see the oven contents easily. The smaller size limits the view to the bottom shelf if you are cooking two items at once. The elements, drip trays and broiling pan can be cleaned in the dishwasher. Drip trays and element seating rings are all black enamel. The broiling pan is grey enamel. The cooktop subtray is shiny metal and has a catchment area underneath the elements on each side. This makes it easier to clean up spills through the cooktop. The cooktop lifts up to simplify thorough cleaning of major spills. With this design that would not be essential more than once a year.
o Oven Capacity 5.0
o Clock & Kitchen Timer
o Delay Oven Start
o Delay Self-Clean
o Electronic Oven Control Yes
o Hi / Low Broil
o Digital Oven Temperature Display
o 4 Pass Bake Element 2585 watt
o 4 Pass Broil Element 3410 watt
o Cooktop Type Coil Lift Top
o Oven Interior Light
o 6 Oven Rack Positions
o 2 Oven Shelves
o Self-Clean Oven
o 6" Heating Element 2 coil (1500W)
o 8" Heating Element 2 coil (2600W)
o Centre Caps Black
o Infinite Heat Controls
o Removable One-Piece Drip Bowls Black Porcelain Enameled
o Broiler Pan with Grid
o 1 Electrical Outlet
o Removable Full-Width Storage Drawer
o One-Piece Upswept Cooktop Porcelain Enamel
o 2 Surface-Unit-On Indicator Lights
o Steel Backguard
o White on White
o 4 Leveling Legs
o Designer-Style Handle
o White Oven Door w/Small Glass ClearViewTMWindow
o Textured White Steel Side Panels
Weights & Dimensions
o Approximate Shipping Weight (lbs.) 172
o Depth with Door Open (in.) 46 1/4
o Oven Interior Dimensions (W x H x D) (in.) 23 3/4 x 19 x 18 1/2
o Overall Depth (in.) 26 1/4
o Overall Depth Including Handle (in.) 27 3/4
o Overall Height (in.) 46-1/2
o Overall Width (in.) 29-7/8
o Amps @ 240V/208V 40
o KW Rating at 208V 8.8
o KW Rating at 240V 11.7
o Full 1 Year Entire Appliance
o Additional 2 Years Parts on the Coil and Oven Heating Elements
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Amount Paid (US$): 429