Replace Your Range With a Modular Kitchen

Two years for us, now, and we've never looked back. My wife loves to cook, is brilliant at it, bakes bread, does a fabulous holiday turkey. And we just do not need a "range" that combines an oven with a stove.

We gave up on the "range" concept when ours died twice, with every important part of it in perfect working order. Except, that is, for the tiny circuit board, that overheated a chip, or something, and refused to tell the perfectly-good components to turn on. The first repair was $1000, and the repairman said if it happened again, give up - just buy a new $2000 range. It failed again. We replaced it with what you see below, instead.

We tried out a single-burner first, so we have just three. When that one dies, we'll replace with another double-burner. Either way, they run about $70-$80 US per burner.

They are more than powerful enough. Our main power-problem is only that only the bottom setting will "simmer", and it's a brisk simmer. We have a metal plate for non-induction cookware. The plate doubles as a way to cool down the "1" setting a bit more, to get it barely-simmering. It goes higher than I've ever needed: fast wok-frying happens at setting "6" out of 8.

However, for those who want Tim-the-Toolman's "Binford 9000" model with "MORE POWER!", I found that this need has been met: see the links.

Amazon Links

(All Prices American)

Top-of-the-Line Wolf Oven

Well-Reviewed Oster Roaster Oven, good for 22-lb turkey

Get your feet wet: Basic Single Induction Cooktop is only $57 US.

Double Induction Cooktop that can use nearly the whole 20 Amps: 2300W total!

Indeed, I'm puzzling a bit over one that claims 2600W on a standard socket, since 20 Amps tops out at 2400W. You can download the user manual, which clarifies: They're lying. It says 1200W/cooktop, not 1300W.

If you don't mind an electrican wiring it into 220V, get a five-burner cooktop that can put out 9000W(!). Even that runs a mere $430 US (!!!)

Indeed, I'm jealous of those shopping for induction now: options have multiplied like crazy since we purchased. It's a hot area of innovation, if I may be forgven the remark.

Finding your own steel table, or perhaps your own solution with a carpenter, is left to the taste of the homemakers.

And lastly, unless you want that carpenter solution, if you just do what we did, and put all this where the range used to be, the labour costs are zero. Connie assembled and set up the steel table herself.

The 220V adapter-plug picture links to the Amazon.com page with the American price of $65; in Canada, $99. It turns your former range plug into two separate 120V circuits with 20Amps each: 2400W, times two. Each side can run the biggest dual-induction 120V cooktops above. Your 220V is separate, so any nearby counter plug can provide a separate 1800W for the oven. (With a mere three burners, we have the oven plugged into the same plug as one cooktop, have never come close to maxing it.)

I only show the Wolf-brand countertop oven, because my wife did a ton of shopping for this, and there's little comparison: Wolf is the top product. There are much cheaper countertop ovens, for those that don't do a lot of baking or roasting. Ours has been great with everything: vegetables, beef and pork roasts, bread, baking. Not to plug the one brand-name so much, as to reassure that these smaller ovens can do anything that up to four people need. Not many feeding farmhands, these days.

But, even with a $700+ oven, all the rest of this setup is so cheap that the whole grand-total comes to less than the price of all but the cheapest ranges.

And, crucially, this solution is modular. The cooktops are by far the most-used part; they may go every ten years. But also the cheapest part! The Wolf ovens are designed to last 20 years, warrantied for five. The roaster oven will last as long as the metal table, in my opinion: for life. The roaster oven will be so-little used - just for turkeys and big roasts - that it'll last. If not - just $130.

We probably wouldn't use the roaster oven down there on the floor, that's just where to store it. But that's another value of modularity: we can take it out to the patio, to cook a roast in summer, and not heat up the kitchen!

Similarly, it's just one minute's work to take one or two cooktops from here, to another counter, so that two people can work at once.

So:

While you're going induction, go "no range" while you're at it.