Tell you what not to get - my GE wall oven is the most frustrating kitchen appliance: superlong preheat cycles, completely inaccurate temperature settings, won't hold calibration, scorches anything put on the bottom shelf of the oven. Grrrr. It's two years old and has taken about ten years off my life.
AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
Dacor. Mine is unbelievably well insulated (very nice on hot days), energy efficient and worth the incremental extra cost over the alternatives. The internal temperature probe/hold feature is nice. Easy to use slide out racks on rollers are a great -- essential in my opinion -- feature if you bake a lot, or bake/roast heavy things that need to come out periodically for basting, adding ingredients, flipping things over, etc. And, of course, super high heat for pizzas and similar baking. ;o)
Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.
I'll tell you what not to get too: Kenmore Elite electric range. In fact, avoid Sears altogether. My neighbor has a Dacor double wall oven. That thing works like a charm, especially for baking scones. :) Spend a little bit more money on a very well made oven and you will not be sorry.
I have a DCS and could not be happier. They are also well insulated, and have a convection option.
Here are a couple other things that occurred to me as I was driving back from a meeting today . .. . I don't know if this is standard, but having more than one timer, that are independent from the cooking cycle, is very handy (especially for people like us who are always doing at least three things at once). A very low starting temperature (designed for dehydrating, but useful for other things, like making apple or pear butter in several huge roasting pans overnight, is nice. Finally, this is not a feature, but some useful info to keep in mind. If you are upgrading, be sure to check your electrical capabilities before you arrange for delivery. Old wiring usually can't support a good oven built in 2010, so you may need to get an electrician in to upgrade your wires before it can be installed. And, in most cities in CA, you'll need to get a building permit to upgrade your wiring, and then an inspection before it's used, which can also add a few days. A bit off topic, but helpful, I hope. ;o)
Thanks guys! This is totally useful. The electrical is a good tip as are the 'what NOT to buy options'! I'll keep you posted...
Wolf 4 burner, natural gas. Best ovens if money is no object lol
One more tip that occurred to me last night: make sure that whatever you get, it sells slide in cookie trays (same size as the racks, that slide in along the runners) and that you order them. You can make about twice as many cookies at a time in a good convection oven with that kind of tray. Also great for warming multiple baguettes for large dinner parties, etc. ;o) P.S. Also make sure your venting is adequate. That may also be subject to code requirements. And don't forget, if you ever sell your house, you will be required to disclose any improvement, repair or alteration to the house (not just re-models) that was not done with a permit/inspection, where one was required.
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