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How to Buy a Foreclosed Home

Energy Conservation for the Kitchen

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Top Five Homeowner Tax Saving Ideas


Take the Oven

It's not the Hansel & Gretel variety.

First Choice:
Electric, gas, convection, combination, microwave.

The first choice you face when buying an oven is what type to buy. Should you choose electric, gas, convection, microwave or a combination of choices?

Here is a brief overview of each type:

  • Electric: Most chefs prefer electric ovens because they tend to brown food more evenly than gas. Broiling, however, is better at higher temperatures which usually means gas.

  • Gas: Gas ovens are great when cooking high-heat items. They are tend to heat faster than electric.

  • Convection: These are the preferred ovens for bakers. A convection oven circulates the air within the oven. They cook faster with less energy and offer even cooking. They tend to have a drying effect though, so you wouldn't want to use it for foods that need to retain lots of moisture. But they are great for pastries, breads (with hard outer crusts) and roasts. But note that these ovens do not have a broiling capacity, so they are often added as a second oven, not a primary one.

  • Combination: Can't make up your mind? Now you don't have to. You can actually find ovens that combine gas and electric or electric and convection. It allows you to have the best of both worlds.

  • Microwave: The speed racer of ovens. This is the only way to cook if you are single or in a hurry. It's also great for heating up leftovers or frozen dinners. And who would eat baked potatoes anymore if it weren't for the microwave? This is a must-have second oven for most homes.

Buying Tips:
Check these out before you start shopping.

  • Self-Cleaning: This is a must! The cost difference is negligible and it certainly beats having to get down on your hands and knees to clean up baked on crud. Put It Through the Test Open all the doors and pull out the racks several times to see if it passes your stress test. It's fine if the manufacturer says it is durable...but why not put it through a quick test of your own.

  • Size Matters: You can find ovens in a variety of sizes from 24-inch to 36-inch. Most kitchen designers recommend at least 27-inch to 30-inch as the basic size. Consider what you have to cook and the size of your pots and pans before you choose your oven. You may also want to look at the rest of your kitchen and how much space you have.

  • Safety: Be sure to look for child safety locks and other safety features if you have small children. Some ovens allow you to lock other potential cooks from using your oven.

Enough of Ovens...

Let's turn to the Range option.

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