If you follow my Facebook page, you know I recently purchased a new range.
My ten year old stove was having a thermostat crisis. When I set the temperature to 350 degrees F. it often fluctuated between 250 and 450. If I was a pioneer in the days when cooking inside was a novelty, this wouldn’t be too bad. Back then, indoor baking was simply a large cast iron pot hanging over a wood-fired flame. But modern day appliances have spoiled me. Especially with the wide range of choices. (Pun alert!)
One of the three new oven racks has a deep indent for roasting pans so my largest cookie sheet will not fit on that rack. I saved a rack from the old oven. Does this mean I have four-rack baking?
My first baking day, I made fresh peach coffeecake. Within five minutes the house filled with stinky smoke and the fire alarm went off.
My experience working at Maytag Appliances was invaluable. l reverted back to test kitchen mode and made a batch of chocolate chip cookies. I used the conventional bake cycle for the first two pans of cookies. Very nice. I then turned on the convection bake cycle and put in three pans. Excellent!
So I’m in love! My new oven gives excellent results. Not like the convection oven I bought several years ago. At the time, I’d researched to find the best convection oven possible and purchased a top-rated model. Unfortunately, it never worked the way the company’s marketing folks claimed it would. I was totally unable to do three-rack baking. The results were dismal. I had several conversations with customer service and then with their higher ups. From The (Faux) Pastry Chef: How I Found My Baking Fix.
Banned from GE
My brand new almond colored GE convection range with black burners and a bottom warming drawer looked very nice in my kitchen, but I was not pleased with its performance. I sighed and continued on in test-kitchen mode. I baked biscuits and cookies, always with the same poor results….
Steve, the GE service technician, arrived two days later. I showed him the manual with the rack placement instructions and my different cookie bakes that were spread out across the counter and table, carefully labeled with their oven placements. He seemed surprised that I had read the manual and that I had done so much evaluation…
He thought the book could be wrong and called their technical support line. The tech said the convection cycle was best for meats but did not do well with baked goods. The expert recommended using only one rack in the regular bake cycle for any baked goods.
I was rather upset. “The only reason I bought this more expensive model was to be able to use the convection bake and not have to turn my trays each time. I could have saved a thousand dollars and bought a standard range,” I stated.
They both said how great it was for meats.
“I’m a vegetarian,” I replied.
So where was I? I had paid a surcharge for the privilege of baking the way I had always baked…
This went on for a couple more weeks. Each time I spoke with the company, it was always my fault. I was told it was my recipes, my ingredients, my expectations. I was getting pretty annoyed and told them so.
“I’m very unhappy and the only conclusion is that this oven was marketed to do something, but it can’t deliver the promised results.”
When she demanded to know where I saw this information, I gave her the page numbers in their manual so she could follow along as I read her their marketing words. …she told me this oven had other wonderful features. I assured her I knew all about that, and I really did like the warming drawer, but the only wonderful feature I was interested in was the three-rack convection baking. I almost felt sorry for GE. They probably never expected that a customer would buy their product based on their marketing propaganda.
She told me she would call back. The phone rang at exactly 8 a.m. the next morning. I was informed that GE was buying back the oven. They requested that I make my next purchase from another company. “We do not want you buying any more cooking products from General Electric,” she stated.
“You mean I have been banned from GE?” I asked.
“Well, I guess, if you put it like that,” she replied.
Home-Based Baking at it’s Best! If you bake quantity in your home kitchen, and you need to replace your range, consider getting a convection model.