Friday, July 30, 2010

Is this the perfect apartment range, or just the perfect range, period?

Allow me to introduce you to the Dacor ER30G. This is a Natural Gas powered free-standing range. It gives you a cooktop, and the oven in one 30 inch package. At the moment, I am quite smitten by this unit. Frankly, I really have no criticism of the unit. There isn't anything I would change. I almost never say such a thing. That is high praise indeed, coming from a hard-ass like me.

This is a logically optimal product. Somebody who really, really, really understood kitchen cooking and possibilities was responsible for this engineering feat. In this life, it is a rare event when you can scour a product for weaknesses, design flaws, or shotcuts, and find none. I think this is one of those rare occasions. I'm pretty happy about that.

So what makes this range great? Ah! I thought you would never ask. So let me give you the rundown

It's 30 inches in width. That fits the compact slot of just about any apartment I have ever seen. It's small compared to some artisan chef models. These can reach 48 and even 60 inches in width. Still, this Dacor lacks nothing, as I will show you.

  1. The stovetop features 4 burners: 18K BTU, 15K BTU, 15K BTU, and 9.5K BTU. This means each and every burner is more powerful than the strongest burner on my current stove, which is only 8K BTU. The backburner on this stove is 118.75% more powerful than the prime mover on my current stove. The big burner is 225% more powerful than the big burner on my current stove.
  2. The big iron grills of the stove top form a continuous surface across the entire stove top. They go almost all the way to the edges in every direction. Little if any surface space is wasted. This gets the most cooking space possible out of your 30 inches of space. The efficiency is much appreciated.
  3. The oven is 4.4 cubic feet, and features 4 modes. Bake, Convection Bake, Broil, Convection Broil.
  4. The basic oven is powered by a set of hidden 30K BTU burners. That is a lot of gas for a stove. My Weber Genesis can blast 42K BTUs, but it is nowhere near as well insulated as the Dacor range. Further, my Genesis has neither a convection fan nor a broiler.
  5. The convection system has been dubbed a three-part convection system. This consists of a fan, and air baffle and a filter. The filter allegedly prevents cross-breeding of flavors. You can allegedly bake a salmon and a strawberry pie in the same box, and the pie won't taste fishy. I find this difficult to believe. The convection is what I am excited about. Convection is crucial. The filtration system? Well... we'll see if it works... maybe... but I have no real interest in this feature, one way or the other.
  6. Now for the absolute slam dunker-ooski? I am talking about the clincher. The Dacor ER30G series features an 18K ceramic infrared broiler. Yep, that's right, I said ceramic infrared, just like my Solaire, the TEC and the Luxor. The key difference is that my Solaire only pumps 14K BTUs. My Solaire is hell-a-strong. An 18K ceramic infrared broiler is hard to conceive. In terms of engineering, the Dacor broiler resembles an upside-down TEC grill than anything else. Tiny gas blow-torches superheat a ceramic plate that begins to drizzle infrared waves down upon your food.
As a relatively new owner of a powerful infrared grill, I have wondered why this superior technology hasn't found its was into our high-end ovens. Evidently, it already has. I just wasn't aware of this fact. Great engineering firms were thinking what I was thinking several years ago. Great minds think alike. I am glad you guys are way ahead of me.

This is a powerful piece of technology. Powerful enough to cause a man to change his basic religion. Prior to investigating the ER30G, I was pretty close to 100% confident that I would get an Electrolux Infinite Icon induction cooktop, and some minor oven. I was leaning towards the Ikea (Whirlpool) Mumsig S50. I really wanted the induction cooktop. Given the presence of the grill on the balcony, I felt the oven was a much lower-priority.

Well... Dacor has altered my perspective on things. I am pretty excited about the notion baking a few dishes inside that oven. I think Alton's apple pie and Sunny's Mac-N-Cheese will be pretty phenomenal when baked in this unit. Let's not forget the Sullivan Street Bakery No-Knead bread. Pizza should be absolutely fantastic when cooked in an oven like this.