I hadn’t planned to change any of our appliances as part of our kitchen remodel. All of them are fairly new, purchased when my husband bought our house (before I was in the picture) in 2014. However, as our project began taking shape, I realized a double oven would be very convenient when I want to bake a loaf of garlic bread at the same time as a lasagna or even while hosting holidays and entertaining (which we WILL do again!).
While living in Chicago for 14 years, I only cooked with gas. I became accustomed to it and grumbled almost nightly about the electric range in our current home (the oven took 20 minutes to heat up and a minimum of 30 minutes at an even higher temperature than recommended to cook a frozen pizza with toppings we added). My husband Bart, who is a volunteer firefighter and, therefore, highly concerned about fire safety, told me I’d never again have a gas range. (I can’t have a real Christmas tree either. Sigh.) In fact, by 2016, when we replaced our forced-air-gas furnace with a heat pump (see Part 2 for more about this part of our home renovation), Bart had the gas line to our home capped and the gas meter was removed.
As I began researching double ovens, my desire for a gas unit kept growing. I didn’t want a wall oven because I need every inch of cabinet space I can get, so I looked for double oven ranges. I came across the Verona 36-inch Prestige Series Double Oven Range, an Italian product distributed by EuroChef USA. I found a number of posts about this range by food bloggers and home designers on Instagram and just fell in love with the stunning look of the range. I could visualize this beauty in my kitchen and just knew it would fit my design perfectly!
Then I started researching the Verona’s capabilities: You can cook in the oven via traditional convection, forced convection (no preheating required!), convection cooking with ventilation and broiling. You can even sterilize (when canning, for example) and defrost frozen foods in this oven. This beauty also is a workhorse!
After several days of back and forth with Bart about the gas line (and after garnering the support of our electrician—who also volunteers with the local fire department; our electrician said he has put out more fires caused by toasters left plugged in than gas appliances), Bart finally acquiesced. (Unplug your toasters, people!)
I ultimately chose the dual fuel Verona, meaning the stove is gas while the oven cooks with electric. Despite my love of gas cooking, I also wanted to be as energy efficient as possible. (I should mention the range also is available in all-gas and all-electric models.) The range arrived on Jan. 6, and our family had fun unboxing what felt like a wonderful New Year’s gift. My plumber and electrician arrived a couple days later to hook it up, and the gas company restored the gas. Then, I patiently waited until Jan. 10, Bart’s birthday, to cook in the Verona for the first time. I wanted the first thing I made to be for Bart’s birthday as a thank you for agreeing to the range of my dreams. I baked cinnamon rolls in the smaller side of the oven for breakfast while brownies (our preference over birthday cake) baked in the larger side.
I opted to try traditional convection first while I get the hang of the new oven. The Verona only took 12 minutes to heat to 350 F—an improvement already. And, the entire time the oven is baking, the light inside is illuminated so you can see how your dish is progressing. No need to press another button—super convenient.
I’ve begun experimenting with the different ways to bake and broil in the oven, as well as have learned to use the different burners depending on what I’m cooking on the stovetop. The back burners offer 8,000 Btu/hour while the front burners emit 12,000 Btu/h and the middle burner provides 17,000 Btu/h. These burners have power!
Discovering the new functionalities of my beautiful Verona has been a fun experience every day, and my lucky husband has many years of delicious meals in front of him!
Read the previous posts in my home-remodeling series:
- Part 1: The Backstory
- Part 2: I Work from Home
- Part 3: A Dream Bathroom
- Part 4: The Outside Receives an Update
- Part 5: Little Things Can Create Big Impact
- Part 6: To Basement or Not to Basement
- Part 7: Let There Be Light
And the next post, Part 9: Restoring Hardwood Floors.