Cooking with Gas!

Ok, so I could cook with gas before.  But now it’s a much more pleasant experience.  The original RV oven went to a new home, along with the oven’s pilot light, too-small broiler compartment, and manual ignition stove top.

I wanted to replace it with a fairly inexpensive, but good looking gas range.  I wanted a waist-high broiler, so that anything I could fit in the oven could be broiled.  I wanted electronic ignition, so there were no pilot lights to mess with.  I wanted sealed burners to make cleaning easy.  And since it would be free-standing, I wanted a storage drawer to make up for some of what I’d be losing in terms of storage. Oh, and since I have LP, not natural gas on board, it would need to be able to run on LP.

Then we came to the question of 20″ or 24″ width.  Some of that ended up dictated by clearances and the space available.  Between the water heater and refrigerator cabinet, there was just enough room to squeeze in the dishwasher, range, and spice rack if a 20″ range was used.  A 24″ range would mean giving up the pull-out spice rack, and while there were more 24″ models to choose from, they were much more expensive (albeit from more well-known brands).

Avanti GR2013CSS 20″ Gas Range

What I ended up with was an Avanti GR2013CSS 20″ range, in stainless with a black glass door with window.  The link above is to Amazon, but at the time AJ Madison had a better price (more on that later).  It’s narrower than the range that came out, but also fills the full cabinet depth.  The oven cavity is a lot more usable–a 9×13″ pan fits with room to spare, with the long dimension running front to back.

It was easy enough to swap out the orifices on each burner (6 of them including the two in the oven), and installation was straightforward.  I did have to space it out from the wall just a little though, in order to clear the drain line running from the kitchen sink.  Overall, it’s a much better feel in terms of quality than the old range, particularly when it comes to the oven door.  It’s a properly sprung and sealed glass door, like what you’d expect at home.

I do wish the burners had a little wider range–there are three burner sizes (1 large, 2 medium, and 1 small), but I often find myself moving a pan from the large burner to the small one when going from a boil to simmer.

I definitely like not having to mess with the pilot light, and both the stove top and oven are much more usable.  One thing I did though, to make the covered workspace more functional, was to raise the countertop height just a bit from the standard 36″, so that the rim around the grating was at the same height as the bottom of the countertop, and the cover was routed out to surround the grating.  The weight from the cover keeps the grating from rattling, and the grating keeps the cover from sliding around.

Interior of oven, with light on.
Interior of oven, with light on.

I don’t often use it, but it is kind of nice having a light in the oven.  I suppose I’ve grown accustomed to opening the door to take a look after years without a window.  It’s an incandescent bulb, but assuming it won’t be on for long periods of time that shouldn’t be a big deal for energy management.  Notice that there are two racks in the oven as well, and both are usable with casserole dishes or cookie sheets.

I paid $488 delivered last January from AJMadison. Amazon shows it at $642 as I write this–so quite the savings from AJMadison, though it did take a little while to get them delivered (part of that due to a couple of winter storms).

After a year using it, I’m still pretty happy.  One of the igniters has been a little flaky once or twice, but other than that it’s as good as new.  Bouncing down the road, nothing has picked up wear marks, and the drawer hasn’t opened at all in travel.

Next up is the over-the-range microwave/convection oven.

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