You may remember not too long ago when I showed you all the new gas stove I was about to purchase? No? It looks like this:
Well, my dears, today we are going to talk about the importance of seeing things up close and personal and having a good back up plan.
I have a new stove. It’s gas. It’s beautiful and fabulous and reacts to my every whim quickly. It’s just not Hieronymous. It’s Algy.
Handsome, isn’t he? And he’ll cook nice things for me even when there are no cucumbers to be had, not even for ready money.
Why, you may ask, the sudden switcheroo?
The secret is that it wasn’t such a sudden switch, so much as a back up plan put into action.
When I was researching ranges online, I got a good piece of advice which I’m passing on to all of you today. Someone suggested bringing along my largest cookie sheet and a tall, heavy pot to make sure the range I picked would meet my needs. After all, if I couldn’t fit a large cookie sheet in the oven, there was no point. Same with discovering that the oven controls overhang the back burners to a point where you can’t put a tall pot on them.
Well, that got me thinking I needed a back up plan in case Hieronymous didn’t pass the cookware test. I started looking around and found that Algy up there had the same features I really loved, and a larger oven. There were huge numbers of reviews from actual users on lots of different websites and the most consistent complaint I saw was that the stovetop is hard to keep free of fingerprints. Not my primary concern. I want something utilitarian to cook with. Aesthetics are an optional extra for me. Not that I had any objection to the pretty cobalt blue interior to the oven. I can be shallow as well as the next person.
In fact, the one downside to Algy that I could see was a price tag roughly five hundred smackers higher than Hieronymous. I decided to go in to the store with my Le Creuset soup pot and – all things being equal – go with my original plan.
And so on Memorial Day weekend, I marched into Sears carrying the world’s heaviest pot, headed into the appliance department, and found the two stoves I was thinking about.
I plonked that puppy down on Hieronymous. Everything was great on the stovetop. Good sized burners that my pot could sit comfortably on, even at the back. All seemed copacetic.
Ah, my dears, but then I opened up the oven door and put my pot on one of the racks. I swear it bowed.
Now if all I ever put in the oven was an occasional sheet of cookies or a cake layer, it wouldn’t have been that big a deal. But I don’t just bake. I bake. And I roast. And I use that very pot in the oven to braise things on a fairly regular basis. Wimpy oven racks are a deal breaker for me.
So I turned around to check out Algy, who just happened to be on the other side of the same aisle. I plonked my Le Creuset down on him to check things out. Again, the burner test was a slam dunk. But this time when I opened up the oven door… oh my dearie darlings, what a difference!
The oven racks stand up to Le Creuset happily. Oh, and that cobalt blue interior? Yeah, not only does that make me happy, but it also matches the included broiler pan! Also? A griddle is included for that oval middle burner on top. Add to that the fact that the controls for both the burners and the oven are easier to read, and I knew I’d found what I was looking for.
Best of all, with the Memorial Day sales, Algy cost a tidge less than Hieronymous did at full price. Sears even hauled away my old, dead, unnamed range when they delivered my new baby.
So here’s the Sage Advice promised in the tags: always do your research, and have a backup plan. Sometimes what looks like the right thing for you on paper turns out to have a fatal flaw on closer inspection. When that happens, it’s good to know what you’re going to do instead.
Algy has been in my kitchen for two days now, and I can’t stop petting him. Yeah, I see what people were talking about with the fingerprints, but as I said, I was buying for utility, not aesthetics.
Oh, and now that he’s tried it out, even Mr. Twistie gets why I wanted gas. I think he’s now converted.