It is time for a new stove in the paying for private school household.
Our 30 year GE Spectra Electric Oven is awesome – it cooks food inside the house without lighting it on fire with the push of the button. But it’s a smokey mess and a health hazard. We would probably be fine with it but we are inspired to replace it but not break the bank doing so.
Unlike many newer stoves this one has exposed coils on the bottom. The theory being that you use the self-cleaning option to blast all the particles and you would never need to clean the bottom by hand with anything other than a wet rag.
We tried this self-cleaning thing twice. The fumes and soot and smoke were overwhelming – even with the windows open and us out of the house. On the second run on it I thought that maybe sending soot and carbonized cleaning supplies that were into the air wasn’t good for anyone . And I could blast it out of the house where it would immediately harm anyone walking in the neighborhood.
Maybe I was doing it wrong? So I went to the internet and was appalled to find that the self-cleaning option will kill small pets, and reduce the life of the oven (and presumably the oven operator). Yeah I don’t want that – but what to do? Research of course!
In my search I found that the Maytag Company offers an awesome Aqualift technology that uses water and heat to get some of the grub off the sides. It doesn’t make the stove spotless but attacks the gunk at the bottom, which is what really smokes up. No chemicals, no fumes, lower energy use. To my way of thinking this appears to be the perfect stove.
Imagine my surprise when folks were posting notes about how it doesn’t clean the sides and is totally lame. So the manufacturer dutifully returned to the high energy approach and retailers discounted the AquaLift models.
We got ours, new I might add, for $537 instead of the original $899. Even with this small challenge I think this technology should be the most expensive, not the least, given the leap the company has made in a healthier and greener self-cleaning option. Go them.
100 years ago our ancestors cooked on wood stove or an open fire. Before that they cooked outside in the fire – if they were lucky. Many people, today, right now, are cooking with cow dung. Here is a handy instructional guide on how to do so.
But folks on the message boards are going nuts:
“The AquaLift cleaning feature does not work. I tried it twice in a row & still had crusted patches of grease to deal with.”(Home Depot Message boards)
And I don’t mean to pick on this particular person – I am sure I would react the same way and then need to catch myself. Here is the point; stop trying to optimize everything. A working stove is awesome. All of them are modern engineering marvels of system engineering a the stove level and more broadly mining, materials engineering, electrical utility generation and input, financial management, shipping and logistics, regulation, insulation, retail and advertising.
A working stove that steam cleans itself is super -amazing – awesome.
To pay for private school you, retire early or do anything worthwhile you must be ok with second place in a lot of other areas so you can focus resources on something meaningful and worthwhile to both you and the broader community.
I am not saying you need to dry your own poop into cooking blocks and use it. Or even use cow dung (unless you have ready access to a free supply of pellets).
However, if you always seek to optimize on everything by purchasing the best means your income – essentially your life energy – will be frittered away in a thousand different directions and the optimized solution might actually be way worse for your health than a lower cost alternative.
By changing our perspectives on what is awesome ( a hot plate is way better than hot poo, for example) you can focus on what is important to over the longer term.