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View Full Version : When you're cooking for a crowd do you use that 5th burner?


gingerpeachee
05-07-2012, 08:52 PM
We're hoping to eventually be a big family (Okay fine, I'm hoping). My uncle works for PC Richards and is going to get be a wonderful price on a GE stove because we REALLY REALLY need a new stove. I was originally interested in one with a 5th oblong burner in the middle but after reading the reviews it seems the only time anyone ever uses it is when they make pancakes. I'd happily settle a model thats about $400 cheaper and just purchase an electric griddle but now I'm wondering.... Am I going to be missing that 5th burner?

raisingcropsandbabies
05-08-2012, 05:13 AM
I love it for pancakes, grilled cheeses, eggs, french toast, big amounts of meat to brown (I do freezer meals so will brown 5 lbs. of meat on it), hamburgers/sausage patties, etc. I found that the middle flame can be kind of weak so I always have to put it on the two highest flames to get a normal heat from it.

That said, you can use a double burner GRIDDLE on 2 burners. I love it my 5burner top, but I got it as a gift from my husband and didn't get a say. (not complaining, but if I had to think about the money aspect, I would have been more hesitant).

I wish they came out with rectangular boiling pots cause that would be super handy with it!

Mamatoabunch
05-08-2012, 11:30 AM
The 5th burner isn't such a big deal to me, but have the grates continuous on top, not separate makes cooking w/ very large pots easier. What I need is two ovens!

doodah
05-08-2012, 01:12 PM
Well I cook for my three, my husband and me, plus my brother.....plus sometimes my daycare kids. I use our griddle ALL the time. Really that is one of the few kitchen gadgets that we use constantly. We just have a regular four burner stove but I could definitely use a double oven already.

doodah
05-08-2012, 01:12 PM
Well I cook for my three, my husband and me, plus my brother.....plus sometimes my daycare kids. I use our griddle ALL the time. Really that is one of the few kitchen gadgets that we use constantly. We just have a regular four burner stove but I could definitely use a double oven already.

SageR
05-08-2012, 04:21 PM
I have a five burner. I do use the middle burner but only because I leave my griddle on top of the stove pretty much all of the time. I love our griddle and use it everyday - actually, we rarelymake pancakes but almost always have eggs for breakfast and then grilled cheese (I can make 6 at a time), quesadillas... I don't think I've ever used all five burners at once, maybe at Thanksgiving? I agree about having continuous grates, it definitely makes moving things - especially when you're holding the latest baby with one hand - much easier. And I agree about having two ovens. That's were I usually run out of room.

triplomom
05-10-2012, 03:02 AM
Hi, there! I have a GE Cafe (the old model), and to be honest, I hardly ever use the middle burner. Not because I have no use for it -- it's great for the griddle, browning roasts, making gravy in a roasting pan, and other applications where you would benefit from an elongated burner. The problem is that on GE ranges, this burner is underpowered. It's disappointing, but otherwise, I really do love my GE range.

Oh, and definitely do look for continuous grates!

HeatherlovesCDs
05-10-2012, 09:15 AM
I used to have one. I didn't use it often because the family wasn't as big then, but I did use it sometimes when I entertained. I'd use it now if I had it. The only problem is using it limits the size of the pots you can use around it.

Holly dolly
05-10-2012, 09:29 AM
We cook for large groups at our church and used to have one with a 5th burner. It was not used that often because, like pp have said, it limits the size of pots you can put on the sides and if the burners are going it is severely underpowered.

If you have the storage space...I would think saving the $400 and getting a nice electric griddle would be the way to go.

Good luck!

redbirdlady
05-10-2012, 09:42 AM
I don't have a 5th burner, but my MIL's stove does, and if I'm cooking on her stove, it means I'm cooking for a bunch of people. I have never used it (and neither has she.)

I can't make pancakes fast enough for my DH, 6yo, and 4yo with my electric griddle AND a griddle pan on the stove at the same time...I can't imagine what it's going to be like when I've got a bunch of teenagers in the house. (I want a hibachi stove SO badly, even if I only use it for pancakes and stir-fry.)

shreck
05-10-2012, 09:44 AM
We have a 36" cooktop with the 5 burners, and for me it's not the 5th burner that's necessarily great but having 36" of continuous grate is very nice. We're a family of 11, and I don't think we've ever used all 5 burners at once, not even at Thanksgiving. Ours is a Dacor Preference that we got as a floor model closeout for about $1000 off the retail price. It came with a full warranty and has worked great in the 2yrs we've been using it.

gingerpeachee
05-10-2012, 09:49 AM
Well, I went with this one

http://products.geappliances.com/ApplProducts/Dispatcher?REQUEST=SpecPage&Sku=JGB810SETSS

It had less to do with the 5th burner and more to do with the price and quality. I'm getting a killer deal and compared to the lower level models it feels more sturdy. I won't be getting another stove for like 20 years (hopefully). I'm really excited. The stove I have right now came with the house and I think its from like the 1980s and it sometimes shocks me if I try to stir with a metal spoon.

gingerpeachee
05-10-2012, 09:50 AM
Oh goodness, I didn't even consider 36 inch..... *sigh*

triplomom
05-10-2012, 11:34 AM
I think you made a good choice. Mine is very, very similar to the one you're getting. The cast iron grates are great, and very low-maintenance, because anything that spills onto them either burns off or becomes part of the seasoning. If I'm not mistaken, all GE ranges have a functional bottom oven, i.e., that thing that looks like it's just a warming drawer actually goes up to 450. It accommodates large casserole/roasting pans, so it can take anything from a big tray of lasagna to a brisket flat.

You know, when I cook for a crowd, I find that I use a lot of other appliances, which free up burners on the stove. Between the fryer, electric roaster (good for huge batches of chili, soups, stews, and even rice dishes), grill/griddle, etc., I end up not even using all my burners. Besides, when I cook for a crowd, it generally involves things that I make ahead and/or bake in the oven. I don't think I've ever used all the burners at once.

As for the 36" range, I looked into those when we were setting up our kitchen while rebuilding our home after Hurricane Katrina. There was a 36" Kenmore Elite model that I was seriously considering. It had a main oven and a side oven. But if I'm not mistaken, I changed my mind because the interior dimensions of the main oven were way small, and reviewers said the side oven was not very useful because it was very narrow. So, I went with the GE, primarily for the bottom oven.

Mamatoabunch
05-10-2012, 02:01 PM
We use an electric griddle for pancakes, makes 8 big ones a6t once. I need a second one though.

triplomom
05-10-2012, 03:01 PM
We use an electric griddle for pancakes, makes 8 big ones a6t once. I need a second one though.

Ehhhhhhhhhh, plugging in two separate griddles at once might overload your kitchen circuits. What you probably really need is a commercial/catering griddle. They're not cheap, but you'd probably do well to get one on auction. Still, even with a commercial model, I'd hesitate to operate any other kitchen electrics while the griddle is on.

pharmmama
05-18-2012, 01:56 PM
I think you made a good choice. Mine is very, very similar to the one you're getting. The cast iron grates are great, and very low-maintenance, because anything that spills onto them either burns off or becomes part of the seasoning. If I'm not mistaken, all GE ranges have a functional bottom oven, i.e., that thing that looks like it's just a warming drawer actually goes up to 450. It accommodates large casserole/roasting pans, so it can take anything from a big tray of lasagna to a brisket flat.

You can also use it to cook a turkey :) Remove the backbone so you can lay it flat and you can cook a whole turkey in just a few hours AND free up your oven for mashed potatoes or pies. It's called spatchcocking.

We have a cast iron griddle on our stove and get miles of use out of it. We can even flip it over and it has a grill side if we are so inclined. But we rarely use the grill side, just the griddle.

triplomom
05-29-2012, 03:24 AM
You can also use it to cook a turkey :) Remove the backbone so you can lay it flat and you can cook a whole turkey in just a few hours AND free up your oven for mashed potatoes or pies. It's called spatchcocking.

Yes, right you are! Would you happen to be a Good Eats fan? :D