What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Changing Faces of My Stove

I do a lot of cooking and canning so it comes as a surprise to some that I don't have professional style gas burner range. There's really a couple of reasons that boiled down to space limitations and wanting something different. In late 2005 we bought a new but almost stripped Jenn-Air JES9860AC downdraft slide-in range that needed several additional parts including grill cartridge, burner cartridges and the downdraft system. We did a bit of research after seeing it to find out what the parts would cost and went back the next day buy it. What I really like about this stove is parts are easily available for DIY repairs. Despite having to buy parts we ended up with an excellent customized kitchen stove considerably cheaper than if we had bought it fully ready-to-use. We bought most of the replacement parts online through RepairClinic. We ordered the cartridges and big burner element through a local appliance store. The stove was not fully installed until January 2006. A little over a year later we moved here and brought our range with us.

Jenn-Air JES9860ACEnergy efficiency is a high priority for us so one selling feature of this stove was the large capacity convection, self cleaning oven with 3 adjustable racks. The annual cost to run the self clean cycle is less expensive than oven cleaners. The self clean function does not use toxic chemicals or contribute to land fills so it is an eco-friendly choice. An optional half oven rack is available that I will add at some point. Another selling feature was the downdraft system (centre vent) that is capable of moving a lot of air allowing even smokeless indoor grilling. The downdraft system is attached to the floor and vented to the outside via flexible metal vent pipe. This means the range cannot simply be pulled out and makes installation a bit trickier because the stove has to be lifted up and over the downdraft system then attached to it. There is no storage drawer under the stove but the cover can be removed to empty the grease cup for the grill as well as accessing the downdraft system. If you decide to sell your house and want to bring your range with you, you will have to have that included as an exemption in the listing because it is attached.

Pictured to the left is the 1427 W grill cartridge with a custom made wood cutting board one of our kids made for me. The cutting board gives me a bit of extra horizontal space when needed. The two burner cartridge to the right has an optional specialty 2100 W big pot element (A145A) that is interchangeable with the regular 2100 W large coil element and a small 1250 W element. Already you can see how I can do a bit of plug and play.

Jenn-Air cartridgesThe big pot element is used when I'm canning or using similarly large sized pots and pans (1). This element is reinforced to handle the extra weight and it is raised to prevent radiating heat build-up under the larger pots that could damage the surface area and cause premature failure of the cartridge. The grill cartridge is normally covered unless in use (2). If I am doing a larger dinner where all four elements may be needed I can put in the other coil cartridge (3). Just recently I decided to buy the glass-ceramic cooktop radiant cartridges (A122). They are rather expensive but I was able to find two for almost the price of one online at Appliance Zone. Compared to the coil cartridges, the radiant cartridges (4) are quite impressive looking! The ability to plug and play with the cartridges allows me to have a customizable cooking experience with very little effort.

Jenn-Air radiant cartridgeI wanted the radiant cartridges for ulterior motives as smoothtop ranges always look so sleek and clean. The whole issue of dirty or stained drip trays is totally eliminated! We couldn't use a smoothtop because of the canning I do. The radiant cartridges are a way to get the look for those times I want it.

I love the look of the new radiant cartridges! Aren't they gorgeous? The large element is 1800 W while the smaller element is 1200 W so both less wattage than the coil elements. This means a bit of kW savings right there. I quickly found I had to change my cooking style using the radiant cartridges as they are instant heat and they take awhile to cool down. This means the burner can be turned off sooner while the food continues to cook on the residual element heat. Another energy saving feature is the elements cycle on and off on all but the high setting. So for normal daily cooking I will be using less kW!

If I ever had to buy another stove which I hope I never do, this is exactly the way I would do it again. Simply being able to customize the stove as I choose according to what I am cooking at the time is a hugh plus. Knowing that parts are easily available for DIY repairs is nice too. This eliminates worrying about after warranty repairs. It also allows you to buy a few spare parts to keep on hand for emergency repairs.

Garden Gnome


Heather said...

I found an earlier post you did on blog backgrounds... I have the image just fine in a photobucket acct and have the direct link. I get into edit my template, and have tried a few variations but can't get it to show up. I would guess I'm very close, too. I thought I knew where to put it (along with the surrounding text HTML stuff) but I've just about given up! If you could please help me I'd really appreciate it. I can email the whole template html code along with the direct link, or let me know if there's a way I can figure out what I'm doing wrong. THANKS!

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Heather. Make sure you uploaded to photobucket at the 1 megabyte setting. Then if you send me the link I will send you back the code. My email address is sfg.oamc at yahoo dot com.

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Mrs. Mecomber said...

Wow!! That's a gorgeous stove! Enjoy! ;)