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 8x8 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?