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Help me choose an Electric oven

 
pollinator
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Hi, we moved into a place that didn't have an oven installed. I'm going to need one, especially as Christmas is approaching. The typical Japanese size oven is just 31L whereas i'm used to a European sized one around 76L. My options are:

1. Panasonic 31L oven that also does steam cooking and has a microwave  function which I don't need. It states its 3.55kw maximum power consumption.
Pros: much cheaper than the other option. Smaller so maybe more efficient, but judging by the KW it says it is almost the same (I don't know how to properly compare the efficiency so why i'm asking here). Much easier and cheaper to install. Much easier and cheaper if repair is needed. Made in Asia so smaller carbon footprint than imported from further away.
Cons: much smaller oven. Will I be able to do what I want with it? Has a microwave function which i'd rather not have. Panasonic company is not as ethical as the other company. Not sure about working conditions during manufacture.

2. Miele 76L, includes steam cooking. Says 3.5kw.
Pros: No microwave function. Good size. More ethical company. Likely working standards during manufacture.
Cons: imported from Europe, not sure where built. Much more expensive than the other option. Much harder to install into current kitchen and more expensive. Repair work will also be more expensive.

Any pearls of wisdom? Advice? Which woukd you choose? Is there any way to compare the efficiency? My house is completely electric and we have 8.3kw solar array so looking for an electric oven only. Need it for baking but not for roasting meat we are a vegan family.
 
pollinator
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Efficiency is a tough one.  They both use the same power when the heater is on, but how often it turns on depends on the insulation (which the miele is probably better) and the amount of dead space in the oven (smaller is better as long as it isn't TOO small). So they are pretty close and the difference will be how you use it.  If the Panasonic is big enough to hold the meal, it will probably use less power. If you have to cook/bake in batches because it's too small and the miele could do it all in one batch, that would be more efficient.  But you could also spend the price difference on upgrading solar or an instant pot or roaster or other extra cooking tool just for Christmas.

I can tell you we LOVE the steam function on our cuisinart.
 
Posts: 55
Location: Burnet County TX zone 8a
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At this particular juncture in time, I would only consider offgrid appliances.  Example click here

We bought a fancy Samsung and it's been unreliable. Only the top burners work if the power goes out.

EMP, solar flare, civil unrest, whatever, power could go out.
 
N.Y. Anzai
pollinator
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Reno Husker wrote:At this particular juncture in time, I would only consider offgrid appliances.  Example click here

We bought a fancy Samsung and it's been unreliable. Only the top burners work if the power goes out.

EMP, solar flare, civil unrest, whatever, power could go out.



We have a stove top and small fish grill/broiler (never used for fish mind) already. Induction and its working great. We are gridtied. We sort of netmeter because we usually make more energy than we use. Unofficially though because there are no proper netmetering plans here in Japan.
Just need an oven now to bake and roast.
 
Reno Husker
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Location: Burnet County TX zone 8a
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N.Y. Anzai wrote:
SNIP
We are gridtied. We sort of netmeter because we usually make more energy than we use. Unofficially though because there are no proper netmetering plans here in Japan.
Just need an oven now to bake and roast.



Is gridtied in Japan better than in the US? Kind of a gilt cage here. We just unhook from the grid if we need to be on our own.
.
 
gardener
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I have a strong bias towards Miele.  Over the years and properties we've had Miele dishwashers and clothes washers (and Asko and Bosch washers too).  The Miele dishwasher was/is so awesome I wanted to stand on the roof and shout "My dishwasher is better than yours!".

I find the European appliances are designed for a very critical European audience, while the Asian produced pieces sold in the USA are cosmetically interesting and engineering poor.  Yes, the Miele can be expensive to repair but parts are available.  Refrigerators in particular seem disposable now.  Ovens are simpler and they should hold up better than a refrigerator.

An essential question is the warranty.  In the USA warranties are almost non-existent now.  In Japan?  IKEA (including in Japan) offers a standard 5 year warranty so you might consider their offerings (https://www.ikea.com/jp/en/cat/appliances-ka002/)
 
pollinator
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They probably both use the same power as that's the maximum you can draw on your circuits and no one wants an underpowered oven. I would go for the larger oven because no oven cooks well right at the edges and with a small oven it's all edges.
 
N.Y. Anzai
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Reno Husker wrote:

N.Y. Anzai wrote:
SNIP
We are. gridtied. We sort of netmeter because we usually make more energy than we use. Unofficially though because there are no proper netmetering plans here in Japan.
Just need an oven now to bake and roast.



Is gridtied in Japan better than in the US? Kind of a gilt cage here. We just unhook from the grid if we need to be on our own.
.



Well i'm not 100% sure of the exact system we have, whether it is grid tied or intertied. I believe we use the solar power we make and any excess goes to the grid. When we need more (on very cloudy days or night time) we use from the grid. The reason i'm not sure is that my Japanese isn't that great and my husband who is Japanese doesn't know or care to know about the English technical terms. Anyway, to answer your question I think it WAS better to be grid tied in the past. The Japanese government launched a scheme where they forced all electricity providers to buy excess solar energy for a great rate as a way to become more environmentally conscious. The company would give you 10 years of 30 yen per kwh. 30 yen is about $0.29. The cost of grid energy is 18 yen for the first 120kwh per month then 24 yen for after that. Both cheaper than the energy we are selling.

They have stopped that scheme in 2018 so people who signed up before the closing date will still get 10 years. Those who want solar after that or after their 10 years are up will only get 9 yen per kwh.

So we bought a house this year. I initially wanted solar and a battery until I did more research on the environmental and social impact of both (lithium lakes and cobalt mining and all that). I couldn't possibly buy them new. We were very lucky in that we found a house on the secondhand market. It was only a couple of years old and turns out it was an old model house for an architectural firm. Its nothing mega fancy but has more insulation that most in japan (which isn't saying much as most Japanese houses are very poorly insulated). It has triple pane windows. It has a heat pump water heater and aircons. It also has a solar array. They put 8.3kw of panels. It has power conditioners (I assume on of the same function that people use batteries for, to standardise the flow of electricity). It also has a socket I believe (I need to check precisely however as I've not used it) that can be used In the even of a power outage to power appliances from our solar energy directly (but only two sockets and it is in a bit of a strange location). They also included a monitoring system where we can check our usage day by day. We can see how much solar we made, how much of that we used, how much we bought and how much total in the day we used (very useful for changing habits and what not).

Anyway the lucky thing for us was that they set up the electricity contract before the cut off date and then transferred that to our name so now we have another 7-8 years on that tarfiff where we can get 30 yen per kwh. In August (our first month after moving in, we had the two air conditioners on 24/7) and they paid us ¥18,500. Not as credit but actually paid to us. We then will get s separate bill for the energy used in the evenings and that is expected to be around ¥6500 (includes connection charges) so not only did we not pay anything for our electricity that month, they also paid us over $100 for the excess. Of course winter will be different so we'll see what happens then.

The price of the house? Well in our area and size, the price was only around ¥2 million yen higher than some of the brand new houses being built however they are all 2x4 construction not 2x6 and fitted with aluminium framed windows only double paned. They are thrown up within a month or two and marketed by a big housing company, where we believe most of the money goes into marketing rather than quality materials. To top it off, the ones being sold near us have less land too so all in all I think we got an amazing deal. The solar panels alone would have cost ¥6 million themselves and that doesn't include all the power conditioners and all the other stuff needed to make things work. Most things here in Japan are expensive in comparison to the US so dont be shocked by the numbers. They are average I suppose.

I'm still considering what we should do at the end of the 7-8 years. I'm thinking probably we will have to buy a battery in the end and had the idea to save all the money we get paid from the excess solar to eventually buy a battery. Still not too happy with the ethics of it but i'm also determined I don't want to give the energy companies my money. I'm okay with it whilst they are paying us (just, under persuasion from husband) but i'll not have our money go to them.

Anyway that was a really long answer! Sorry!
 
N.Y. Anzai
pollinator
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Eliot Mason wrote:I have a strong bias towards Miele.  Over the years and properties we've had Miele dishwashers and clothes washers (and Asko and Bosch washers too).  The Miele dishwasher was/is so awesome I wanted to stand on the roof and shout "My dishwasher is better than yours!".

I find the European appliances are designed for a very critical European audience, while the Asian produced pieces sold in the USA are cosmetically interesting and engineering poor.  Yes, the Miele can be expensive to repair but parts are available.  Refrigerators in particular seem disposable now.  Ovens are simpler and they should hold up better than a refrigerator.

An essential question is the warranty.  In the USA warranties are almost non-existent now.  In Japan?  IKEA (including in Japan) offers a standard 5 year warranty so you might consider their offerings (https://www.ikea.com/jp/en/cat/appliances-ka002/)



I love Miele too. Just the price is quite ridiculous ¥500,000 ($4770) for the most basic one (which woukd be around (£1000-£1500/$1950  in the UK). The Panasonic isn't cheap however but around half the cost coming in at ¥250,000/$2385 and if we go for an older model we can get it down further maybe to ¥160,000/$1525.

The main problem is that Japanese companies all tend to collaborate and have standard sizes for everything. So my kitchen unit would happily accommodate the Panasonic. Should be an easy fit. The Miele would not fit easily, would require the counter to be raised (which I actually need doing because i'm tall) and then also need all sorts of adjustments. Whilst we will get the counters raised eventually, finding all the money for all the things that need doing in the case that we choose miele is such a lot and I'm not sure we'll have time before Christmas. My husband knows I had my heart set on the miele but I think we just can't afford it. We also need the garden doing and that costs a LOT here. I'll probably have a go at building raised beds and herb spirals but I can't dig up concrete nor build fences. Can you believe though that just those things would cost almost ¥1 million yen. Why are things so expensive here?! 😭 the garden is probably only 30-50m2 as well 😅

Anyway the garden is sort of our priority as we have a 2 and 5 year old that want to be outside and I have chores to do inside so need something secure and safe.

Sorry again i'm going off on a tangent...
 
gardener
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N.Y. Anzai wrote:
...
The main problem is that Japanese companies all tend to collaborate and have standard sizes for everything. So my kitchen unit would happily accommodate the Panasonic. Should be an easy fit. The Miele would not fit easily, would require the counter to be raised (which I actually need doing because i'm tall) and then also need all sorts of adjustments. Whilst we will get the counters raised eventually, finding all the money for all the things that need doing in the case that we choose miele is such a lot and I'm not sure we'll have time before Christmas. My husband knows I had my heart set on the miele but I think we just can't afford it. We also need the garden doing and that costs a LOT here. I'll probably have a go at building raised beds and herb spirals but I can't dig up concrete nor build fences. Can you believe though that just those things would cost almost ¥1 million yen. Why are things so expensive here?! 😭 the garden is probably only 30-50m2 as well 😅

Anyway the garden is sort of our priority as we have a 2 and 5 year old that want to be outside and I have chores to do inside so need something secure and safe.

Sorry again i'm going off on a tangent...



Don't get me started on the standard heights of everything in Japan. The sink in one house is so low that you have to bend your back to a weird angle to use it, but be careful of the ceiling beam that's at forehead height and right above the sink for some reason!

Anyway, if you want to think about it some more or wait to buy your oven, you could maybe do this year's Christmas baking at a public building. Your city might have a cooking classroom that residents can reserve for free or usually a few hundred yen. Most of the time, the classrooms include a small oven at each station. I reserved our town's cooking classroom for our moms group and made cookies. We made way too many and had four ovens going, but it was a fun time.

There is hardly anyone living here so not much demand for the classroom. In a bigger city, it might take more paperwork and a "baking club" that includes a couple friends. Our classroom is inside the health center (hoken center 保健センター)or if there is a childcare support center (kosodateshien center 子育て支援センター) it might be in there, or possibly your community center if it's a big one. Your town office would know, assuming they are the helpful type...

The nice people at Japan simple life might be able to advise on cheaper gardening hacks and probably the oven situation as well. It's a small forum for people currently living or planning to live in Japan. They talk a lot about gardening and farming, and there is a "city life" section.

 
N.Y. Anzai
pollinator
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Amy Arnett wrote:

N.Y. Anzai wrote:
...
The main problem is that Japanese companies all tend to collaborate and have standard sizes for everything. So my kitchen unit would happily accommodate the Panasonic. Should be an easy fit. The Miele would not fit easily, would require the counter to be raised (which I actually need doing because i'm tall) and then also need all sorts of adjustments. Whilst we will get the counters raised eventually, finding all the money for all the things that need doing in the case that we choose miele is such a lot and I'm not sure we'll have time before Christmas. My husband knows I had my heart set on the miele but I think we just can't afford it. We also need the garden doing and that costs a LOT here. I'll probably have a go at building raised beds and herb spirals but I can't dig up concrete nor build fences. Can you believe though that just those things would cost almost ¥1 million yen. Why are things so expensive here?! 😭 the garden is probably only 30-50m2 as well 😅

Anyway the garden is sort of our priority as we have a 2 and 5 year old that want to be outside and I have chores to do inside so need something secure and safe.

Sorry again i'm going off on a tangent...



Don't get me started on the standard heights of everything in Japan. The sink in one house is so low that you have to bend your back to a weird angle to use it, but be careful of the ceiling beam that's at forehead height and right above the sink for some reason!

Anyway, if you want to think about it some more or wait to buy your oven, you could maybe do this year's Christmas baking at a public building. Your city might have a cooking classroom that residents can reserve for free or usually a few hundred yen. Most of the time, the classrooms include a small oven at each station. I reserved our town's cooking classroom for our moms group and made cookies. We made way too many and had four ovens going, but it was a fun time.

There is hardly anyone living here so not much demand for the classroom. In a bigger city, it might take more paperwork and a "baking club" that includes a couple friends. Our classroom is inside the health center (hoken center 保健センター)or if there is a childcare support center (kosodateshien center 子育て支援センター) it might be in there, or possibly your community center if it's a big one. Your town office would know, assuming they are the helpful type...

The nice people at Japan simple life might be able to advise on cheaper gardening hacks and probably the oven situation as well. It's a small forum for people currently living or planning to live in Japan. They talk a lot about gardening and farming, and there is a "city life" section.



I really don't know why I didn't think of that before you know since I used one of those spaces for my eldest's first birthday party. I suppose it is because we are in a completely different city now. We moved to outskirts of Sendai-shi. I'm not sure exactly where I'd be classed as living because whilst we are only 7 mins walk away from the JR station and 15 mins from the supermarket, we are also only 16-17 mins walk to the nearest rice field (its actually opposite the supermarket). So we are semi rural I suppose yet in Japan residential land is expensive and even in this area the prices have sky rocketed. We only managed to get 165m2 plot (that includes what the house is sitting on so our garden is very small). Some people in the area have double plots with rows of veggies but the owners are all old so the land must not have been anywhere near as expensive when they bought theirs. I'd love it if there was a decent allotment scheme here like they have in the UK. The nearest is a 30-60m2 patch about 1 hour bus ride away. In the UK I had a half plot allotment as a kid that was 125m2 (full plot is 250m2) and was only 15 mins walk away. It had a shed already built there too! Remember that time fondly...but climate is very different here. Summer I can't cope with very well.

As for Japan simple life I think I might have signed up there but totally forgot about it. I'm going to go back and check again. Thank you for reminding me.
 
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