I wanted Hotpoint... My mother always liked the brand for being reliable, economical, and functional. Those it has been. It is quick to heat, gives a lot of options for timers; I usually use the the timer that will turn off the oven once it starts to beep (plenty loud, too!) and my husband chooses just the timer frequently as he tends to cook everything on the lowest recommended time and wants a reminder to at least check it. The oven itself is pretty large and well lit. I have never had issues that led me to believe the temperature wasn't at true heat and have been pleased for recipes that call for directly in over or preheat. It is quick to preheat and has a low setting where we can use to it also just keep things warm. I haven't used the broiler often, but the few times I have it gave a fast sear to the top of things without burning (think meringue, here). Now, as for the stove top. Hmm... Ceramic burners and covers that I thought would be such an awesome improvement as I do really prefer gas over electric. The ceramic has not impressed me. I definitely need to let the drip covers, grates, and ceramic burner covers soak, and even then, well, it is a task. Needless to say, I may scrub one immaculately, but my arm doesn't last much longer. I have tried quite a few different cleaners and now want to try SOS pads, but I still don't know if I'll have the stamina to get them clean. Grease is terrible on these to get off- you know it's really baked on when it's so near the flame. Plus side, well, they are durable to the cleaners and to the abuse our pots and pans throw at them. Even with the Barkeeper's Friend cleaner though, it is so hard to keep it looking new. That is also the case with the oven window, I finally took a razor blade after scraping some paint off windows and tried- that DID clean the window, but again, it doesn't take long to muck up again. I started the "self clean" once, but saw it required the oven to heat up so high I couldn't bear to do that in our house, in the kitchen. I have no problems cleaning the oven by hand, but be aware you may have to put up with that too. It has been reliable, does cook well with multiple btu burners for simmering and for quick sauteing in a large pan too, and the oven has been true to temperature fitting two cookie sheets easily. I would probably purchase this again simply for those main reasons, although I may look for ease of cleaning or at least black to camouflage what I couldn't scrub off. Temperature Control I have never had issues with burning or under- cooking in the oven, and the burners have many functions to choose the correct setting for the size pan and the amount of heat you want delivered. Heat Distribution I can put a pan in the oven and not worry about rotating it, they cook evenly. For the cook top, well, it really does depend on the size of your pot or pan, but the flame burns evenly. Durability Hotpoint, well, it continues to rock at this particular area! Design Although the window is a pain to keep clean, I do wish it was larger. If I am using multiple large pots or pans, it can take some maneuvering, but that is due to space itself rather than design. This is not really the oven to be used if you are looking at a high price remodel with a chef's kitchen, but it is functional. Ease of Cleaning It is a pain to clean. Don't want to use self clean cause it requires high heat for quite a long time, but the oven is easy to remove debris from. Stovetop grates and accessories are a pain to scrub and never seem to get clean, hard to tell scuffs from excessive dirt at times. Yes, once they are cleaned as well as can be, they look pretty good... for a day!
Stevens Point, WI