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New Stove: Kenmore 92402 June 18, 2011

Posted by marksun in tools.

the new stove

We got a new  Kenmore 92402 stove from Sears.   This is a freestanding, flat glass-top stove going for about $630.  Pricewise, I put it in the lower mid-range.  Initially after a couple of meals and a batch of biscuits, the stove seems to do what stoves do.  The stove doesn’t have many wow factors, save one, which I’ll get to in a minute.  No convection oven, no turbo mode fast boiler element.  The electronic features are basic and functional.  I like the clock timer.  The oven light works great.

As far as cooking, I’d have to cook more to report on this stove’s performance.   After two days, so far so good.   Biscuits came out fine.

Adjustments:  It’s an adjustment from the old coil-top design to the ceramic-glass top.  The heat is different, not necessarily better or worse.   The main adjustment from a coil top to this flat glass-top is  residual heat.    The glass/ceramic retains a lot of heat and releases it slowly after the stove is turned off.  That’s a property of this design.

The main issue has to do with the oven and the fact that use of the oven causes the stove chassis to get hot.    The stovetop front rim gets hot with the oven on, and the entire dashboard panel including the panel top gets hot.   I used to put stuff on the dashboard top – that is a bad idea with this stove and since electronics abhor the heat, may affect the longevity of the electronics  housed in it.  The bigger issue is that the stovetop front rim gets hot (127 to 145+ deg) which brings us to  the wow factor, as in “WOW! that’s hot!”.

Venting.   Normally I don’t focus on venting in stoves, but that is probably one of the issues with this stove. The oven is vented by the space between the back of the stove-top and the rear dashboard causing the rear of the stove to heat up.  The top of the oven door itself has vents to release heat from the interior of the double wall of the oven door. While this contributes heat to front rim through convection, I don’t think it is the main source of heat. Rather, heat is conducted directly by metal to metal contact of  the  oven interior to the  stovetop rim. This seems to be due to the stoves construction. The Google hits on “kenmore oven door gets hot” indicates that this is an issue with Kenmore stoves and their OEM, Frigidaire.  A quick search shows similar complaints for Kenmore 9745, 9747, 9517, 9661[01245].

Can I live with this?  Sure-  I can and do live with all kinds of dangerous stuff around the house, but   D, alarmed, called Sears to complain.   The sales person called right back, concerned  that the unit may be faulty. A technician will be here next Saturday to determine if the stove is faulty.  (I don’t think so) ..

Flash to the present.  Tech came today- … as expected this is how new stoves are – the tech pointed to the place in the manual that the stove gets hot.  He says all the stoves get hot, and it is due to the modern construction of stoves that leave little space for insulating the oven from everything else.  He also said that price does not improve the situation, it’s the design.

Out of five stars possible, the stove gets four.  It’s not a bad stove and but for this flaw, it would be fine, one point off for the modern trend away from niceties like insulation and heavier construction we say back in the day.

Postscript – 3 months later.
Initially we were a bit put-off by the heat from the oven heating up the metal parts of the stove-top.   I don’t know for sure but I think the construction and insulation on my old stove (purchased at least 15 years ago, maybe 20) was just better and it did not conduct heat from the oven compartment like the newer designs do.   After using the stove, I no longer worry about the heat from the oven.

As for the venting at the rear dashboard and loss of that space to store salt, sugar, what have you, I constructed a wooden shelf over the dashboard.

The flat top stove seems to heat a bit slower than the coil top but the heat is more even, and the flatness works well with straight-edge flat modern pots and pans.

Which brings me to another thing … pots and pans have to complement the stove and with the “upgrade” to a flat stove top, I am going to upgrade the cookware too.   My oldest pressure cooker (the one that belonged to my dad) for example, is not perfectly flat on the bottom – it’s rounded.  It won’t work well on this stove.  I’ll have to replace it, probably next time I’m ono for lau-lau.

Ya just gotta adjust!