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Old 02-11-2007, 12:48 AM   #1
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Ranges: your ideas

Hey everyone,

I'm currently a student at the University of Cincinnati, and I'm working on a project that concerns kitchen appliances. One specific area we're looking into is the users' experiences with ranges. What I'm looking for are ideas of how to improve the range from a user's viewpoint. What features would you like to see? Is there something already out there, but you think it needs to be improved? What annoyances do you find with your range?

I'd really appreciate any feedback at all. If you would, please state what kind of oven/stove you have, how old the appliance is, and any other important information like that. Again, thanks for your help in advance!

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Old 02-12-2007, 09:30 PM   #2
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I'd love to see a built-in probe that would be used to control oil temperature for stove-top deep frying, or perhaps, stove-top Sous Vide. Could also aid in making perfect rice as well.
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Old 02-12-2007, 09:45 PM   #3
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There are some iterations of this out there, but I would love to see the units on the stovetop to be spaced a nice distance apart. Even though there are only two of us here, I still use our VERY large pots and kettles and it's a real bother to have them cheek-to-cheek.

We have a Whirlpool gas cooktop that is about 5 or 6 years old. Our oven is Whirlpool, too, but electric because we prefer to have gas for stovetop and electric for the oven. Love the oven. The only change we would make would to have a larger interior. Otherwise, we're okey-dokey.
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie E
T I would love to see the units on the stovetop to be spaced a nice distance apart. Even though there are only two of us here, I still use our VERY large pots and kettles and it's a real bother to have them cheek-to-cheek.
Oh, wouldn't that be lovely?! With the larger sized kitchens popping up, I would love to have a range with 5-6 burners, all in a row, with at least 12" space of countertop between you and the burners. And, while I'm designing my dream range, I'd like the hood overhead to have a little halogen pointed at each burner, so I could get a good view of each.
I've already got a power burner and a simmer burner, but those really are neat little extras to have. Wonder if there'd be a way to put a simmer (for your pot of soup) on a timer?

Best of luck to you, Leon.
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Old 02-13-2007, 07:46 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by jkath
Oh, wouldn't that be lovely?! With the larger sized kitchens popping up, I would love to have a range with 5-6 burners, all in a row, with at least 12" space of countertop between you and the burners. And, while I'm designing my dream range, I'd like the hood overhead to have a little halogen pointed at each burner, so I could get a good view of each.
I've already got a power burner and a simmer burner, but those really are neat little extras to have. Wonder if there'd be a way to put a simmer (for your pot of soup) on a timer?

Best of luck to you, Leon.
6 burners all in a row(no back burners) and well lit with a work shelf in front...Now there is idea! I have a tradtional 6 burner gas that is well lit with halogen lights and no work space in front... I'm not fond of reaching over the "front" burners at times, and working from the side can be frustrating. ....So Leon take this..run with it..You might be the future "Bill Gates" of home ranges.
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Old 02-13-2007, 09:02 AM   #6
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Not really part of the range, per se, but I would love to have a water spigot high enough up on the wall near the range to fill up a large pot that's sitting right on the burner. I've seen this setup in pictures of deluxe kitchens and I want one too!
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Old 02-13-2007, 09:30 AM   #7
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What I miss not having an AGA anymore is the toast (so much better done on the AGA hob) and a plate warmer and somewhere just the right temp to put dough to rise. What I don't miss is the ease of cooking without heating, and therefore more environmentally friendly. As for hob space, six well spaced burners would be bliss! Practically, I get fed up of cleaning the front of my stoves. Simple, knobs etc, that don't get spillages that are hard to reach and clean...and smooth unfiddly doors to make cleaning efficient and easy.
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Old 02-13-2007, 09:31 AM   #8
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spacing for 6 and 8 qt pots

more than one big burner

two ovens

oven and stove top probes
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Old 02-13-2007, 11:31 AM   #9
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Thanks for your ideas. Keep 'em coming if you have anymore. Some of the ideas we're looking into were ones you mentioned.

-Put the controls at the front of the stove, to prevent having to reach over potentially hot burners

-Adding burners and spaces between burners

-Possibly configuring the stove top so that if you decide you don't need to use 2 or 4 burners for some time, you can remove those specific burners and replace them with a flat plate, possibly adding counter space

-Our main idea revolves around having an LCD screen that does a few things. First, this screen would replace traditional knobs, and would work as a sort of control panel for the range. You could turn on which burners you wanted, control the heat, etc.

-Another feature we're considering with the LCD screen is to eliminate the need to open the oven door to check on food. Every time someone does that, they lose anywhere from 25-50 degrees of heat that the oven needs to work to recover. By placing a camera inside the top of the oven, and connecting that to the LCD screen, users would be able to view the food they're cooking by looking at the screen. The idea is to reduce energy inefficiencies that ultimately make the range more expensive to operate. Another (more elaborate) version of this would be to have thermal detecting cameras, so you could possibly see how the heat is being distributed through the food you're cooking. If the front of the food isn't being cooked as well, the range can be calibrated to compensate for this. It's elaborate, and possibly expensive, but the payoff for energy saved would be worth it, considering the range is the #1 most expensive appliance in the household.

-Another option with the LCD screen would be to connect it to a network that's set up through the manufacturers. The idea consists of a few features that would be made available to people. First, let's say that your range is acting strange, like there's a problem with it of some sort. The range, which is sort of acting like a computer, would "log" the information of what's happening, send the data to the manufacturer, who would analyze the data and send back a solution to your unit. If it's software, it can be fixed automatically. If it's something with the machine itself, then the manufacturer can arrange for a technician to come and look at the unit for you. This way, the manufacturer knows exactly what's going on beforehand, and if there's a mistake in the way the unit's been produced, they can alert other owners of the same model.
Another idea with this network is that you could communicate with other users, share recipes, tips, etc. (kind of like this forum, except it's controlled in your kitchen). You could share and save other people's recipes, program the range to remember the recipe and do the work for you (or not, if you want to do everything by yourself), etc. One of the reasons ranges can be inefficient is the fact that some people don't know how to use the range properly. Use the self-cleaning option immediately after cooking; it's already hot and will use less energy to get up to full temperature. Instead of having the oven run for the full time you're cooking, turn it off 5-15 minutes beforehand (depending on what you're cooking), and let the oven cool down as it finishes cooking the food. The main idea we're shooting for is to make the range more energy efficient.

I know that's a lot to read, but if that gave anyone any ideas, I'd appreciate hearing them. Thanks again.

-Leon
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Old 02-13-2007, 11:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon
Thanks for your ideas. Keep 'em coming if you have anymore. Some of the ideas we're looking into were ones you mentioned.

-Put the controls at the front of the stove, to prevent having to reach over potentially hot burners

-Leon
Thanks, Leon. All interesting ideas. Let me add the "voice of experience" to the above quote. Instead of putting the controls at the front, perhaps have them off to one side or the other. That's how my current stovetop is configured. I've had controls at the front and at the back. I actually prefer having them on the side. This is the first time I've had them there and I've had plenty of stoves in my nearly 48 years of cooking.

The reason I say this is, I raised 5 children and having the controls on the front is a bit dangerous for curious little ones. Especially if the top is gas-fueled. It's very easy for a little one to be fascinated with all the knobs/dials and, in the blink of an eye, turn one of them to "blast." This could result in serious consequences. No matter how we keep an eye on small children, there still can be accidents.

Keep on coming up with ideas. A few years from now Buck and I plan to remodel our kitchen and are doing our homework.
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