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View Full Version : Amana Big Oven - Do you own one?



bbenedict
05-19-2003, 07:29 PM
I'm hoping that someone out there owns an Amana gas Big Oven and can give me some feedback from their experiences with the oven.

My oven died about a year and a half ago. I purchased a gas Amana Big Oven. Was VERY excited.

To say the least, I am not thrilled with this oven. First of all, there are 4 burners with 3 different BTU's (two of the burners have the same BTU's). The front right burner has higher BTU's and is supposed to be good for bringing things to a boil more quickly. The front left burner has very low BTU's and is supposed to be good for a true simmer.
The back burners are in the middle somewhere.

After experiencing these different burners, I would NOT choose this configuration again. One of the reasons is that when I am using my stovetop griddle/grill which has to be put over a front and back burner, I can never get the temperature evened out due to the different output. I wish they were all the same.

Now to the oven. First of all, let me say that baking is my passion. Although I love all cooking, baking is what I love the most.

After owning the oven for about a half a year, I started experiencing problems. Things were not browning or cooking through. The company I bought the oven/stove from was Bob Baileys. I would highly recommend them to anyone who needs to make an appliance purchase and lives in the Atlanta area. Their customer service was AWESOME.

I had Amana repair people out 3 times and each time they would either fix something, thinking that would take care of it, or would say nothing was wrong. Of course, this was not resolved before the holidays, so my holiday baking was a disaster unless I borrowed a neighbor's oven. Finally, after much frustration and 4 repair attempts they replaced the oven.

So now, I have a new oven. It is STILL taking much longer to bake things til done. Some recipes other BB members seem to had to bake longer which makes me wonder whether the CL test kitchens ovens are properly calibrated.

After an underdone Derby Pie and a poundcake that was crispy on top except for one section which was soft (and I cooked them both longer...the poundcake for an additional 15 minutes) I called the Amana Troubleshooting line. (Now mind you, I have been preheating the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, the Cooks Illustrated recommended Taylor thermometer shows that it is at temp.)

I wanted to find out from Amana exactly where they recommended baking cookies, pies and cakes. They said the middle of the oven. (which I have already tried and am STILL having to bake for much longer). They also said that since the flames are sheilded and not exposed, that the food isn't cooking from "radiant" heat . They define radiant heat as when the flames reflect off the inside walls to cause extra browning. Finally, they told me I should preheat the oven for 30 minutes! Is it just me, or does it seem unreasonable to have to preheat an oven for 30 minutes. Even AB says 20 is sufficient. It just seems like a waste of gas to me.

Arghhh! I'm at my wits end. I want to know if those of you who own a gas Amana Big Oven have had similar experiences to mine. If you have, how long have you had to preheat? Where have you baked your cookies, pies and cakes? On average how much longer is it taking?

Sigh! I'm ready to just eat the cost of this oven and get a new one, except for the fact that this had already been an expense laden spring. (Termite contract renewal, new furnace, etc. etc.)

Here's hoping that someone out there can shed some light on this for me.

Furstratedly yours,
Bonnie

shoefling
05-19-2003, 09:10 PM
I do have an Amana Big Oven, but mine is electric. It has the flat top burners that are different sizes. It came with the house when we bought it. I miss having a gas stove but I am getting used to the way electric burners heat. As far as the oven, I have noticed that it usually takes longer for cakes and casseroles to cook, but other things cook in less time. However, I do not have an oven thermometer, so I don't know how correct my temperatures are. Anyhow, I don't have much help to offer except to say good luck with figuring out what is wrong! You sound pretty frustrated which is understandable!

Sarah

bbenedict
05-20-2003, 06:46 AM
Thanks Sara. I'm wondering if it makes a difference because yours is electric. Is your electric element exposed inside of the oven so that you are getting the "radiant" heat that the troubleshooters where talking about.

I AM frustrated. Do you preheat your oven 30 minutes?

I just can't believe that it should take the recommended time plus another quarter of that time to bake things.

Sigh!

Bonnie

twinmommy
05-20-2003, 02:18 PM
Bonnie,

I do not have the amana oven, but I feel your pain!!! (sort of) I've got all the 'original' harvest gold appliances that our home came with...and it is a new adventure every day. We're actually planning to replace all of our appliances soon, so I will put the Amana Big Oven on my 'do not buy' list!! How frustrating for you!!!

bbenedict
05-20-2003, 02:33 PM
Robyn,

Thanks SO much for the empathy. Sound like you folks are due for some new appliances. Harvest gold, huh. I guess they could've been avacado green( or is that the same decade?. Let me know what you end up with.

Bonnie

shoefling
05-20-2003, 08:44 PM
Bonnie,

I got out my owner's manual to see what I could find out. My broiler element in at the top of my oven. The manual states that it may cylce on and off during baking and is only used to heat the oven quickly and brown the top of food. The bake heating element is in the bottom of the oven and is not visible. So I don't think that I am getting the "radiant" heat. The manual states that the oven should be preheated. I normally just preheat mine until the thing beeps to tell me that it is preheated, maybe 10-15 minutes? The manual says it should take 8-10 minutes. I don't know what to tell you! Like I said, I grew up using gas and it has taken me a while to get used to this electric stove/oven. It just cooks differently! I am sure that there is a difference between electric and gas but I agree that it should not take 30 minutes to preheat an oven! I feel your pain!

Sarah

Ms. Chevious
05-20-2003, 08:59 PM
I probably shouldn't tell you that my crappy apt. issued oven heats up in...oh, about 3 minutes TOPS. Sorry!
What a bummer for you though, there's no way I'd have that kind of patience!

bbenedict
05-21-2003, 03:44 PM
Thanks Sarah for all the additional info. I'm a teacher and will be off for the summer at the end of next week. I'm going to try to bake and really keep some anecdotal records so that I can go back to my appliance folks to see if they can help me.

Ms. Chevious...oh, how I long for a crappy apartment oven.

Sigh!