Saturday 15 January 2011


The soldes are on.

These are the twice a year sales, which are held France wide on dates set by the government. Outside of the set dates, it is permitted to have soldes, but you need to apply for a licence from the préfecture to do so. You can give discounts, you can have special offers, but you can't call them soldes unless you have the permit.

We are currently looking for a cooker (stove, range, call it what you will) and thought the soldes might be a good time to buy. Imagine our surprise, then, when the particular items we have in mind are listed on websites as being part of the soldes and showing discounts of 30% or more, but 10 Euros more than the normal discounted price.

One day, we will have a stove where the freezer now is.
The dilemma is that items that were previously well out of our price range are suddenly only just more expensive than we are wanting to pay. Living where we do, this means we have to make a trip to either Tours or Poitiers to look at the newly almost affordable items to feel them over - see them in the flesh, work out why the oven capacity of some cookers is half the size of other cookers (even though the external dimensions are the same), and check how sturdy the knobs are. Once that is done we can make a decision about ordering online: in the local electrical stores these items are still in the "out of our range" range.

The choice looks like being narrowed to the following:
Of those, The Hotpoint and the Gorenje are the two new ones in the calculations. If anyone out there has any experience with these cookers (or their UK equivalents) we would love to hear from you. This decision has taken months, and is no closer to resolution.



Niall & Antoinette said...

They all look great. Have no experience with any of these; but personally would always go for an oven where I can see what's cooking rather than have to open the door and lose heat.
Then if all things are equal I look at how fiddly the button/knobs/other bits are--the more the bits stick out the more the bits collect grease however good you clean :-).

Pollygarter said...

Our previous cooker was a 6-burner Panasonic job. The oven was enormous and we used the combi microwave to bake/roast/stew as often as we did the main oven. We never used the grill at all. The biggest trouble for me was that the darned thing had only one actual shelf. The rest of the space was for a tournebroche (which took two chickens and we only used it once). The shelf was just wide enough for two baking trays. You couldn't do a really big batch of buns for example, or cook two things at different temperatures. I's say only go for a tournebroche if you know you'll use it regularly (funny that's the French word for rotisserie).

The Panasonic also had the trick of roasting its control microprocessor and refusing to do anything at all (that's what the repairman said). There's no way of knowing that till you've had the thing one day longer than the guarantee, though.
Good hunting!Pity you can't do a test batch and see what it's like to use. My mother used to test Radiation cookers by doing a batch of scones in each one that left the factory (before WWII). She never made scones after that.

Emm said...

Just on appearance, I'd prefer the last two, the Gorenje or the Sauter. As said above, better to have a door you can look through than be forever opening a solid oven door. And the controls on those two look a bit more substantial--few things worse than a tiny burner knob when you're grabbing in a hurry with a hot pad in hand.
If there something like Consumer Reports available to you? The independent ratings/evaluations could be helpful.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Those all do look nice, and I wish we could have a stove with a big oven like that. We just don't have room in our kitchen for a wide stove and a dishwasher as well. But we can make do with what we have. By the way, we use our tournebroche/rotisserie quite a lot. It's a nice feature to have, I think.

There is a French equivalent to the U.S. Consumer Reports. It's called Que Choisir ? There's a web site here.

Susan said...

All of them have doors you can see through - it just isn't clear from the pics. We've checked all the reviews we can find. The Hotpoint and Gorenje don't seem to have any reviews at all. The Smeg and the Sauter are more widely available and have generally positive reviews.

Anna Johnston said...

I've used the SMEG before & seriously, I'd marry it if it were legal to marry an appliance :) The oven is one of the best I've ever played with, lovely wide deep shelves, even temp.... the list goes on :)

Susan said...

Anna: Thanks. It's good to have a professional opinion.

Anonymous said...

Made me laugh about the cookers - we have a lovely Italian job sat outside our door in a crate. Big door, stainless steel, chunky knobs but no flashing lights or stereo, just a good solid propane hob and electric oven - unfortunately they sent the wrong model - from the UK! We now have the correct one and are waiting for them to send someone strong to collect it - so if anyone is interested ...
It's a Bertazzoni

Simon said...

Anon - an address, and the time you are going out, and we'll be around with a SuperU truck....

word verification is "malises"

Anonymous said...

Well, it's been with us since before Christmas, so I'd be glad to see the back of it - one cooker is enough for anyone!

If anyone is interested (maybe the supplier would rather it stayed in France after traveling from Italy - UK - France and back to the UK) - give us a call
02 47 97 06 65 we're in 37


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