Last year when I remodeled my kitchen the appliance I probably put the least research into before purchasing was my new convection oven. In fact I had just planned to get a regular oven. However, after several salespeople convinced me that I really needed one we went ahead and purchased the Frigidaire Built-In Convection Oven (model FEB30S7DC). I was still somewhat skeptical, but it didn't take long to see that I had made the right choice.
Recommend this product?
What's the big deal about convection ovens?
Convection ovens speed up the baking or cooking process by moving air around the oven through use of a built-in fan. They also feature more sophisticated coil designs than standard ovens to further help distribute heat and cook/bake more evenly. Typically you can expect to see a reduction in cooking times of about 30%. Baked goods such as cookies and cakes bake more evenly with less chance of burning and you can expect juicier meats since circulating hot air seals the surface and enhances browning.
Some also feature porcelain coil covers for the the baking element on the bottom of the oven. I could have selected this option but it was a couple hundred dollars more and since I primarily bake, rarely using the ovens for messy roasts and such, I chose not to get it.
Why we went with Frigidaire
Quite simply, my husband liked the looks of this stainless steel model. He thought it looked a little less busy than some of the other models from different manufacturers and had a sleeker, contemporary design. Me? Sure I did think it looked nice and sort of liked the retro-looking Frigidaire logo. But perhaps I like the big oven-door window the best so I could keep an eye out on whatever I was baking.
One note about built-in ovens or wall ovens: these ovens will typically sit a couple inches lower (if below cooktop) than the ovens with stand-alone or slide-in ranges. If you use the oven a frequent basis, think long and hard before making the decision to go with a built-in. In particular, such a model might not be appropriate for an older person unless it were built into a stand-alone cabinet like my mother had, that didn't require her to bend over.
Features of the FEB30S7DC
This model comes in stainless steel and has the following exterior dimensions: W 30" x H 29" x D 24-1/2"
-4.2 Cu. Ft. Oven Capacity
-EasySet Oven Controls (electronic-LED)
-l Stainless Steel Towel-Bar Handle
-2 Oven Racks
-Auto-Latch Safety Lock
-Dual Radiant Baking and Roasting
-Electronic Clock and Countdown Timer
-Extra-Large Visualite Window
-Keep Warm Setting
-Self-Cleaning System with Speed Clean
-SpeedBake Convection System with Integrated Pads
-Vari-Broil - Select from 2 Broil Temperatures
-Sabbath Mode (Star-K Certified) for use on Jewish sabbath and holidays.
Model FEB30S6DC has the same feature list as ours, with the exception of a black towel bar handle.
This was my first time using an oven with electronic controls and I found it quite easy. Fortunately, my contractor installed it so I didn't have to worry about that part. However, I quickly learned after a recent power outage that you must have the time set in order to bake or use the oven! Fortunately, that's simple task.
I almost always use the "Speed Bake" or convection baking mode. Just press the speed bake button and then adjust the temperature using arrow keys(cannot go lower than 300 degrees for this mode.) For regular baking simply select the bake mode and adjust temperature. While this does sound easy, and it was for me, some "technically-challenged" folks may find it otherwise. My neighbor borrowed my oven over Thanksgiving for an extra turkey, and I received a frantic phone call while I was in Mexico asking me how to turn on the oven (I had shown her, but I guess I should have made her take notes).
Guidelines are provided by Frigidaire for calculating bake times in convection modes. Their suggestion is to subtract about 30 percent off bake time. I have also found that I need to lower heat some, too, typically 25 degrees.
I am quite pleased with the results of this oven. My most frequent item is cookies, and they are now evenly baked. Before in my regular oven, some parts of the sheet would get done earlier and I also hesitated about putting two sheets in at once as the bottom sheet seemed to get a tad crispy. Not so with a convection as the circulating hear ensures that both sheets are evenly baked.
My family also loves Pillsbury biscuits and we are amazed at the results here. I would suggest lowering the temperature about 25 degrees for best results. However, the good news is we no longer have burned bottoms. The biscuits are nicely browned and the kids are happy to see that they are evenly baked, without the crispy bottoms and doughy centers.
It does take a little while to get used to calculating reduced baking times. Maybe one day all recipes will have convection baking times as these ovens are becoming commonplace. At Christmas I did over bake a few quick breads and they got a little dry, although not burned (since I used stoneware). So make sure you use the timer (something which I'm learning to be better at) and check early. You'll be surprised at how much faster 30 percent less time is. To be safe, lower the temperature some too until you get comfortable with convection baking. My family has been very patient with me while I've gotten the hang of it these first six months.
We're not big meat eaters and I rarely am even around on Thanksgiving to cook a turkey. However, I have done quite a bit of buffalo wings (that's chicken, Jessica!) and they have turned out very nicely. After baking them, I will use the broil feature. I really like the "hi-low" setting. With wings they can burn very quickly so with my new oven I use the low setting and my wings come out nice and crispy with getting burned. Definitely a great feature.
Another nice feature that I use frequently during the week as my husband works late is the "Keep Warm" feature. Using this mode will keep food warm at 170 degrees for 3 hours. I believe this is the same temperature that buffets and delis must keep their hot foods at to comply with food safety standards. You may also set this up to turn on automatically after something is finished cooking. I primarily use to stick baked entrees back in the oven after the kids and I have had dinner. The food stays warm without getting dried out as long as you cover it with foil. (And tastes better than microwaved food!)
My oven comes with 2 cleaning cycles: speed clean (2 hours) and regular self-clean (3 hours). Unlike my old oven, there is no latch, but it does lock the oven automatically. I used the regular clean cycle and it was easy to operate: just press the "clean" function, press the up arrow once, and the motor driven lock will lock the door. After the cleaning cycle is over, the door lock light will glow and "cln" will show in the display for about another hour until it cools down.
Like any self-cleaning oven, the oven gets very hot and the fumes will be strong. Afterward, when oven is cool, you should wipe out any ash or residue.
I found that it did a good job of cleaning, but the door, which has some splatters from buffalo wings, didn't get completely clean. I used a regular oven cleaner on the door, being careful not get any on the door gasket.
For the outside I use Stainless Steel wipes and a glass cleaner for the window. The handle is better than some stainless steel and doesn't get filthy with fingerprints.
The regular price of this model was $1099 at Sears. With some price matching and wheeling and dealing we got it down to $800.
I really can't up with one major complaint about this oven. One little issue was the cleaning of the inside oven door as mentioned above, but I had that experience with my old oven as well. In addition, I must concede, based on my neighbors experience, that it doesn't quite get the top marks for ease of use. However, for my needs it has fulfilled everything that I needed it to do and made my family happy again because I now eagerly bake cookies and desserts since I no longer worry about uneven cooking and burning. The saved time and better results definitely made the convection feature worth every penny. 4 out of 5 stars.
Manufactured in Canada for Frigidaire by Electrolux Industries.
Amana Easy-Reach Refrigerator with Bottom freezer
Maytag 30 inch Gas on Glass Cooktop
Read all comments (2)
Amount Paid (US$): 800