Dual fuel 90cm stove reviews

These sleek stoves are designed for use as either freestanding units or to fit between cabinets.
 
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01 .Introduction

CH1111_Stoves_Lead

We review 6 dual-fuel ranges priced from $1999 to $3699.

These huge ranges look impressive and might suit a serious cook who loves to entertain, but they don't give as much flexibility in kitchen design or product choice as a separate cooktop and oven.

If you're looking into replacing an existing dual fuel range, or if you are renovating and want maximum capacity for maximum output here are some things to consider about the duel-fuel ranges we tested:

  • Their overall performance is relatively good, but you can get better performance with separate units, and possibly at a lower cost.
  • Contrary to what many people think, a large temperature fluctuation, say a variation of 30°C at a set temperature does not correlate to poor cooking performance. In fact, the two ranges with excellent oven performance scores also had the highest temperature fluctuations (33°C & 36°C respectively) when set to 170°C.
  • Good oven performance is much more than stable temperatures settings, it’s a balancing act of many factors including insulation, control responsiveness, appropriately placed and accurate temperature sensors, to say the least.
  • While these freestanding ranges appear larger inside than built-in ovens, you can’t place dishes on the oven floor (as you can with some built-ins), so the maximum height is from the lowest shelf position. The internal volume of the recommended model from this test is 82L compared to 81L for the recommended 90cm built-in oven from our last ovens test

Please note: this information was current as of October 2011 but is still a useful guide to today's market.

Models tested

  • # Blanco FD9085FX
  • # Bosch HSB745256A
  • Fisher & Paykel OR 90SDBGFX1
  • # Omega OF 901XA
  • Smeg C9 GMXA
  • # Westinghouse DSP965S 

# Discontinued.

How we test

CHOICE’s home economist, Fiona Mair, cooks a range of delicious meals to test the ability of the ovens to perform over a range of temperatures, times and functions.

OVEN

  • Multi-shelf cooking - scones are baked over two shelves to test how evenly the ovens perform at a high temperature over a short time.
  • Turn-down ability - custard tarts are for assessing how the oven responds to a change from a high temperature, fan forced or fan assist function, to a classic bake at moderate temperature.
  • Low temperature - Meringues are baked to assess cooking ability at a low temperature for a long period.
  • Roasting – Fiona roasts a whole chicken to assess baking a non-uniform food at moderate to high temperature over a long period, whilst retaining moisture and crisping the skin.
  • Base cooking - she also cooks a freshly prepared pizza at a very high temperature for a short period to assess the ability to crisp and brown the base and evenly cook the toppings.

GRILL

  • Grill - Fiona toasts bread to assess the speed, evenness and heating area of each grill in a short time.
  • Fan grilling – She fan grills sausages to assess speed and evenness, and ideally no smoking or flare-ups created by this high fat food. The basic grill function is used if no fan grill is available.

COOKTOP

  • Turn-down ability – Fiona cooks rice using the absorption method to assess the ability and speed of the medium burner to boil rice, maintain a desired level of heat at the lowest-temperature setting and the cooker’s turn-down capacity (control response).
  • Simmering - White sauce is cooked to assess the performance of the simmer burner at low temperatures for a prolonged time.
  • Very low heat – Fiona melts chocolate directly over the simmer flame to determine if the simmer burner is capable of gently cooking foods that are very sensitive to high temperatures.
  • High fast heat – Fiona cooks a beef and vegetable stir-fry on the wok or largest burner to assess the wok burner’s ability to deliver continuous high heat.

EASE OF USE

Each oven is assessed by comparing the ease of use of the controls, clarity of the labels, using and cleaning the grill and the oven. For the cooktop, she assesses the stability of the trivets, layout of burners, whether the pots fit comfortably and the stability of pan support. She also looks at how easy the controls are to use in relation to their size and shape, labelling and position. She assesses ease of cleaning all interior and exterior surfaces, including shelves, trivets and burners, and whether there are appropriate spill-catchment areas on the hob.
 
 

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Only one model made the recommended list. For details on the rest see compare results.

 

1 CHOICE buys

Bosch HSB745256A

Scored 81/100 | $324981%

Good points:

• Very good overall.
• Excellent oven performance score.
• Very good cooktop performance score.
• Grill element drops down for easier cleaning.
• Excellent catalytic liner coverage.

Bad points:

• Very basic instructions, no cooking instructions.
• Took over 1 hour to pre-heat on the bottom element plus fan function. We recommend preheating using top and bottom element then switch to bottom plus fan.
• Unable to view food when grilling on the top shelf.
• Grill tray can tilt down with a heavy load - food can slide.
• Stainless steel requires extra attention.
• Cast iron trivets are heavy and bulky to clean.
• Controls can be activated by children.
 
 

The range

  • Adjustable legs to let you match the height of your benchtop and for levelling.

Gas cooktop

  • Continuous trivet design that allows pans to be moved around the burners without being lifted.
  • A good burner layout – simmer and wok burners should be a the front so you don't have to lean over other burners to stir a sauce or stir-fry. When simmering foods for a long period that don't require frequent stirring, such as casseroles, you would normally use a medium-sized burner; these are best positioned at the back.
  • Controls that are a good size, ideally with a crossbar so they’re easy to grip, and a clear pointer. Controls should not be positioned too close to the trivets or the burners. 
  • Labels that are etched (as opposed to bonded) on stainless steel surfaces so they don't come off over time or after cleaning. Bonded labels sit on the surface, etched are in the surface - you can feel the difference with your fingertip.
  • Burners Gas burners are rated in megajoules per hour (MJ/h), the amount of energy each uses on its maximum setting. Four-burner cooktops should have a good range of heat ratings, from low (about 3.5MJ/h-5MJ/h) to high (up to 10MJ/h or 11MJ/h), and wok burners should be about 12MJ/h-15MJ/h. Burner sizes vary from about 4cm-7cm in diameter. CHOICE has found that burner ratings don’t correlate with cooking performance results, so don’t base your buying decision on the burner ratings – check our cooking scores for this. All cooking scores are listed in our compare tables at www.choice.com.au/stoves
    One-piece burners for easy cleaning and maintenance.

Door

  • An oven door that's light and easy to open, and stays open in any position (without falling fully open or slamming shut).
  • A large enough window for a clear view inside.

Oven 

  • Internal space Take your largest baking dish with you to the store rather than going by the stated capacity. Many manufacturers use an international standard to measure usable capacity, but differing interpretations means claimed usable volumes between manufacturers are not. For this test we measure from the deepest shelf or tray in lowest shelf position to the grill element, side-wall to side-wall (at the narrowest point to fit the widest possible tray), and the rear wall to the door. In many cases you can slide a wide dish in between the shelf supports. Using the oven floor is not recommended in any of these ovens. All but the Omega oven has as a separate plate warming/storage draw below it.
  • Catalytic liners (or self-cleaning surfaces) work by absorbing fat splatters. For the liners to work well, you need to regularly heat the oven to 250°C for an hour to burn off the splatters and, when cool, wipe them with a damp cloth. Properly cared for, they should last a long time but may eventually need replacing at an additional cost.
  • Shelves should have safety stops to prevent them from being pulled out accidentally, and should not tilt when pulled out and with a load.
  • A good range of shelf positions and three or more shelves.
  • Shelves that don't slope down when pulled out with the weight of a heavy dish on them.
  • Telescopic shelf runners help to keep the shelf stable, and make it smoother to slide shelves in and out.
  • Moulded runners rather than metal pull-out ones, as they’re easier to clean.
  • Stainless steel exterior that is fingerprint-resistant. This will save valuable time when it comes to cleaning.
  • A bright interior light — check that the bulb is easy to replace.
  • Storage under the oven for large trays and racks.

Grill

  • The grill tray should slide in and out easily and allow you to place food at the back. Look for a safety stop so it doesn’t pull right out.
  • A smokeless grill tray traps fat and grease below it, rather than under a wire rack. This is important as splattering and smoking fat can be messy.
  • The grill element should be set high into the ceiling or have a shield so it can’t be accidently touched. This is particularly important in an underbench position. It should also drop down for cleaning the oven ceiling.
  • At least two grill tray heights.

Oven and grill function

According to CHOICE's home economist, the most useful heating methods are:

  • Top and bottom elements (‘conventional bake’)
    This is standard convection baking. It provides reasonably even heating, but tends to be slightly hotter towards the top, allowing food to brown on top. It's good for cooking foods such as cakes, roasts and casseroles.
  • Fan-forced (rear element)
    Heat comes from an element at the back of the oven and is circulated by a fan surrounded by the element. The oven heats relatively quickly and efficiently, and heat is distributed evenly, which is helpful for multi-shelf cooking. It's similar to conventional bake but faster, with more even heat distribution.
  • Classic or base bake
    This is where heat comes from the bottom element only. It's particularly recommended for getting crispy bases.
  • Fan-assisted
    The top and bottom elements of the oven are used, while a fan circulates heat. This can be useful for cooking on more than one shelf at once as it helps to distribute the hot air evenly.
  • Top element only
    Used for browning and finishing off dishes such as lasagne and cheese toppings.
  • Grill with fan
    Can be used to cook chicken and other roasts or larger cuts of meat.

For people with a disability

The view of the Independent Living Centre (NSW) is that large ranges like these aren’t suitable for anyone with any sort of weakness or cognitive impairment:

  • Because of their size they can only be placed on the floor, which limits the access for wheelchair users and people with upper limb dysfunction and back pain.
  • Wide shelves and roasting pans are heavy and awkward to lift and are also hard to clean in a domestic sink.
  • People with cognitive impairment may find the amount of controls confusing.

Things to consider before buying

  • Grill scores could be better, with only two scoring very good to excellent.
  • Their cooktop performance is also generally good, though once again, you can get better performance when comparing standalone gas cooktops.
  • Our home economist Fiona Mair wasn’t that impressed overall . She found the instructions weren’t informative enough, and the build and enamel quality (ease of cleaning) wasn’t to the standard of separate units.
  • None had a pyrolytic self-cleaning option, and only four came with catalytic liners.
  • Their shelves and baking trays are significantly wider than those in a standard oven and can be difficult to handle – particularly when loaded with food. Plus the position of the oven means you need to bend to access the baking trays, adding to the difficulty.
  • The trays and shelves won’t fit in a standard kitchen sink and can be tricky to clean.
  • You will have to get down on your hands and knees to clean the oven.
  • Preheat times can be longer with larger ovens – these models ranged from 9 to 21min to pre-heat on the fan-forced function to 190°C , and a little longer on the conventional function . However the Blanco, Bosch and Omega all took over one hour to pre-heat to 240°C using the bottom element plus fan. We advise you to preheat on the conventional or fan assist function and then switch to bottom plus fan to base bake.
  • As with any oven, all ranges require professional installation because they have to be wired in, which will add to your overall costs, and you’ll need an additional 15 amp circuit to be installed if you don’t already have one.
  • A separate cooktop and oven give you maximum flexibility in your kitchen layout, with the option of any style or size of cooktop, plus any style and size of built-in oven, which can be positioned at the right height.

Instructions

Comparison table list
By default ALL tested products are listed. You can select up to five items to view in a side by side comparison.
Additional columns can be viewed by using the Next/Previous buttons.

Using the filters
Use the filters to show only products that meet your specific requirements or which have the specific features you're interested in. Selecting filters automatically updates the Comparison table list.

The number shown in brackets represents the number of products that will be shown if you select that filter. You can view additional filters by selecting the Show more filters button.

Make a selection

 
 
Number of burners
Flame failure protection
Can oven floor be used?
Bottom element only
 

Compare products

 
Table Allowing the user to select a number of products dependant on their filter options.
Items to compare

Select up to 5 items below.
Then click the compare button

Compare
 
Price ($)Running costs ($)Overall scoreEase of use score (%)Oven score (%)Grill score (%)Cooktop score (%)Grilling Toast (%)Grilling Sausages (%)Scones (%)Custard Tart (%)Meringues (%)Roast Chicken (%)Pizza (%)Rice (%)White sauce (%)Stir-frying (%)Melting chocolate (%)Pre-heat time (fan-forced 190°C)Measured external dimensions (cm, HxWxD)Internal dimensions (cm, HxWxD)Measured internal volume (L)Shelves and traysTelescopic runnersShelf and grill positionsSelf Cleaning LinersSmokeless grill trayWarming and storage drawerClockTimerCan oven floor be used?DefrostBottom element onlyTop and bottom elementsFan forcedFan assistFan grillGrill onlyHalf grillPizza mode or bottom grill and fanRotisserieAccessories SuppliedFlame failure protectionTrivet typeCooktop surface materialNumber of burnersBurners type and locationClaimed burner rating (MJ)OriginGood pointsBad pointsBrand
                                                     
HSB745256A32492638172907388Bosch
FD9085FX36992647870907878Blanco
C9 GMXA36903787871869075Smeg
OF 901XA19994237672848074Omega
DSP965S26394957674845581Westinghouse
OR 90SDBGFX129993657268805579Fisher and Paykel
Compare

Scores: The overall score is made up of:

Cooktop score: 25%

Oven score: 25%

Grill score: 10%

Ease of use score: 40%

Functions: See What to look for for what the different combinations of elements are useful for.

Measured internal volume is calculated from measurements of the oven floor to the grill element, side wall to side wall, and the rear wall to the door. See Usable space under What to look for for more.

Running costs over 10 years: Based on running the oven at 170°C for one hour, three times per week for 10 years at 22 cents per kWh. Where available, the fan-forced function is used; if not, the fan-assist is used, and for models that don’t have this function the top and bottom elements (convection or traditional bake) are used.

Price Recommended retail, as of October 2011.

How we test

CHOICE’s home economist, Fiona Mair, cooks a range of delicious meals to test the ability of the ovens to perform over a range of temperatures, times and functions.

Cooktop

Fiona assesses how well the cooktops can heat a white sauce on low heat setting, boil rice for turn down capacity, melt chocolate for sensitive cooking and do a vegetable and beef stir fry on high heat setting for a short time.

Oven

Multi-shelf cooking - scones are baked over two shelves to test how evenly the ovens perform at a high temperature over a short time.

Turn-down ability - custard tarts are for assessing how the oven responds to a change from a high temperature, fan forced or fan assist function, to a classic bake at moderate temperature.

Low temperature - Meringues are baked to assess cooking ability at a low temperature for a long period.

Roasting – Fiona roasts a whole chicken to assess baking a non-uniform food at moderate to high temperature over a long period, whilst retaining moisture and crisping the skin.

Base cooking - she also cooks a freshly prepared pizza at a very high temperature for a short period to assess the ability to crisp and brown the base and evenly cook the toppings.

Grill

Grill - Fiona toasts bread to assess the speed, evenness and heating area of each grill in a short time.

Fan grilling – She fan grills sausages to assess speed and evenness, and ideally no smoking or flare-ups created by this high fat food. The basic grill function is used if no fan grill is available.

Ease of use

Each oven is assessed by comparing the ease of use of the controls, clarity of the labels, using and cleaning the grill and the oven. For the cooktop, Fiona assesses the stability of the trivets, layout of burners, whether the pots fit comfortably and the stability of pan support. She also looks at how easy the controls are to use in relation to their size and shape, labelling and position. She assesses ease of cleaning all interior and exterior surfaces, including shelves, trivets and burners, and whether there are appropriate spill-catchment areas on the hob.

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