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  • Oh no! My oven died . . . in search of a frugal solution

    I’ve mentioned my love for my top oven in the past, and how it gets the most use in our house because it’s smaller so it heats up faster, cooks faster, and doesn’t heat up the house as much. What I hadn’t mentioned before is that my stove/oven combo is probably original to the house and over 30 years old. They literally don’t make them like this anymore. (It’s a free standing unit with an exhaust fan at the top, a small oven right underneath that, then built-in backsplash with a 4-burner stove, a larger oven underneath the stovetop, and a broiler drawer at the bottom.)

    As you can tell from the title of my post, my top oven died over the weekend. We had someone out to look at it today, and he found that the igniter had burned out. If he can find a replacement part – which is apparently a big if – it will cost over $250 to fix the oven. So for the time being, we’ve written that off as an option – $250 is half the cost of an inexpensive new oven.

    However, thinking about it more, a new oven would cost more than the cost of the oven. As I mentioned, our current stove/oven comes with a built-in backsplash and fan. If we take the unit out and replace it with a free-standing range, we’ll have to also pay for a backsplash of some kind and an exhaust fan. Plus, I’m afraid of what we’ll find if we move the unit out – I have no idea what condition the floor and wall are in. But I’m expecting that something would need to be done. And if that something turns out to be painting the walls and redoing the floors . . . well, suddenly we’re looking at a much bigger expenditure than I’m willing to consider at the moment.

    I do still have a useable oven – the bottom, big oven, which currently serves as storage for my many cookie sheets, cooling racks, and such. I rarely use the big oven because it takes so much longer to heat up, but I guess it will now become “the” oven.

    Unless I can find a countertop toaster oven that’s more powerful than the Cuisinart I currently have. I do all kinds of things in my Cuisinart, but one thing I’ve discovered is that it can’t handle casseroles. I once put in an 8×8 Pyrex filled with baked ziti and it cooked the top but not the interior.

    I remembered a review at Lunch in a Box from two years ago about a counter top convection oven, and I’m considering it. I’m also looking at other models to try to find the best one out there. I really don’t like using any oven during the summer, so I don’t mind learning to live with a counter top oven for daily use and the big oven for once-a-week batch cooking.

    We’ll see how things play out – any recommendations?

    Comments

    1. I have a counter top Delonghi toaster/convection oven and I love it. I cook pork roast, mac and cheese and other dense foods and it works great. Since it's only the two of us, firing up the big oven is a waste and if I need to bake something in the summer it doesn't put off that much heat.

    2. Costco has a nice countertop convection now you might check. Good luck!

    3. Have you thought about a convection microwave? We have one, and it can function as either a microwave or a convection oven. A great space saver if you're looking for a small oven replacement.

    4. Look on Craigslist for used appliances, I have gotten the best stuff there!!

    5. Why not call your local Gas Company and set up an appointment to have them take a look at your stove. I had my oven's temperature calibrated by 'The Gas Company' in Los Angeles for FREE! They will send someone out to take a look, and if they can they will fix it.

      Erik (West Hollywood)

    6. FInd out the exact part and part # from your repair guy, then see if you can find it yourself on ebay, craig's list or even amazon. Two years ago, the electronic part of the fancy-shmancy oven that came with our house died. The rest of the oven was perfectly functional, but the repair guy said that since the manufacturer didn't make this exact electrical panel anymore, we'd have to ditch the entire oven and buy a new one (to the tune of almost $1000!). DH was able to find the part online, and fixed the oven himself. Saved us over $700.

    7. Michael and Kristin says:

      I don't know anything about oven repair or anything but my husband and I cook in our toaster/convection oven 99% of the time. It's rare that we use our regular oven because it does heat up the house and it costs so much more. Plus there's just 2 of us so there's no point. My mom bought our first toaster oven for us, and it was an Oster big one that was also a convection oven. It was a much nicer one than we could have afforded at the time, and at the time in the house we were living in we couldn't use the oven so it was the only way we had to cook. The thing was awesome. It would cook anything and everything from cakes to casseroles and more. It was about a $100 model, definitely not the highest priced one you can find but it definitely suited our needs and cooked almost as well as any oven we've ever used. Good luck with your problem, though. We live in my grandmother's house now and her oven is about 30 years old so when it finally gives up there's no telling what we'll find! I feel your pain.

    8. Chief Family Officer says:

      Thank you all for the ideas, suggestions and recommendations! I'll look into them and let you know how we're doing in a month or so :)

    9. Anonymous says:

      Maybe you could contact an over manfactured and get a free oven or discounted one for some free advertising on your website. I firmly believe in the ask and ye shall receive theory from the Bible.

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