Age Before Beauty

I know so many people who have beautiful stainless steel stoves. Gorgeous¬†porcelain¬†cooktops. Professional gas ranges. Oh, the list could go on…


I see all the bells and whistles. All the fancy programming. All the amazing features.


My stove? Came with the house. The house was built in 1969, but I’m not sure when this particular appliance was installed.


It’s electric, so, you know, not professional-quality in any way.


It has coil burners so, yes, stuff cooks over and falls in there and they get disgusting after awhile.


It has a timer, but it’s the kind you manually turn that makes that “BZZZZZZZ” sound when it goes off.


My stove is not pretty. My stove is old.


But you know what?


That’s okay with me.


Because it’s so old, my stove pretty much predates “planned¬†obsolescence.” Clearly, it wasn’t designed with the intent that it would be replaced in seven years.


Also because it’s older, my stove and oven are not computerized. The assembly is pretty straight-forward and, so, when something DOES eventually give out, we (read: my husband) can easily repair it. When my oven failed? He replaced the heating element in less than 10 minutes, for less than 30 dollars. Good luck trying that with a newer model.


My coil burners do get scungy under there eventually, but they don’t show their nastiness every single time something spills in the way that a flat-top stove does.


My totally “non-professional” cook-top still cranks out some very tasty meals two or three times every single day, if I do say so myself.


My old-school buzzer? Works even if the power goes out. It also keeps on buzzing until I turn it off, meaning I’m not likely to ignore it.


Truth? I’ve let myself feel slightly sad or embarrassed about my “inferior” kitchen before. I’ve watched friends and family upgrade their appliances to the latest and greatest while I continue to plug along with my oldie.


But I shouldn’t be embarrassed. There’s no shame in my old stove. In fact, in many ways, it’s made of sturdier stuff than its newer, more glamorous counterparts.


In this case? I’m choosing age before beauty.


What kind of stove do you have? Do you love it?



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16 comments to Age Before Beauty

  • This post is so timely for me! My brother-in-law and his wife just bought a new house and it has a lovely granite kitchen with beautiful stainless steel appliances. The appliances in our (rental) home are old and not pretty at all, and I was feeling a little bummed about that. Thanks for the reminder that the most important thing is not shiny and pretty and new, especially when the old appliances work to feed my family just the same. :)

  • My oven is probably 25 years old and is set into the cupboards. My stove top is on the counter and I actually quite enjoy having it separate…it lifts up easily to clean. Though I would love a convection oven one day, I’m grateful to have one that works (though it’s too small for my favorite cookie sheet).

  • mlearley

    Ours is old…came with our older house. It’s called a drop in stove. The burners are flat on top but they still come up off the stove…not sure if that makes sense. The controls are along the side and not behind the burners b/c it lays flush with the counter tops. I’ve never seen anything like this until we moved into our house. We do want to replace it b/c 2 of the burners don’t work, so a large meal (Easter) takes longer and the oven burns things…we set the temp lower and decrease the cooking time, so we can continue to check on things. It’s not fun.

    • I think your description made sense, Michelle! Oh, it’s a totally different story if things don’t work. I would definitely want to replace ours if part of it didn’t function. Hope you find what you’re looking for when the time comes to replace it! :)

  • Shirnell

    Our stove is newer but it came with our house. It’s a flat top stainless steel model with the computerized oven temp thing. I used to think I’d rather have a flat top stove but I don’t! It’s so hard to keep clean and if anything boils over it burns to the stove top.

  • Funny I never thought about, but you’re right–all the professional ones are gas. I am happy with electric. Though I prefer my flat top for ease of cleaning to the old school drip bowls under the burners.

  • Susan

    I have a state-of-the-art Viking kitchen. It is really pretty but I’m gone all day and don’t get home until 7PM. I probably cook dinner once a week and breakfast twice a week. I wish I could stay home and make healthy meals. I live in Los Angeles and we need the dual income to pay the bills.

    It’s the microwave that really gets used.

  • Sonya

    I have a newer stove that looks old fashioned; like a cookstove. It is a Heartland stove. Six gas burners on the range and an electric convection oven. I use it EVERYDAY! I love this stove. It isn’t SS, but it is black and white. It came with our home when we bought it. It fits this house though because it was built before 1850. My stove before this one…a very old gas stove that had a pilot light that stayed lit all the time and had zero bells or whistles, not even a timer! Nice thing about that stove was you could still cook when the power was out.
    I enjoyed your honest take on this.

  • Totally true about older appliances not being meant to be replaced! I don’t think ours are old (in fact, the fridge was bought when we moved in) but they are basic. (We get what the school gives us.) I have a small, electric, coil-range stove – although it does have a digital clock/temperature read thing. Our fridge is small and the freezer is tiny. Sometimes I miss the nice appliances we picked out for our condo in Nashville … but it’s just stuff. They work. The end.

  • Sonja

    When we first got married our stove was tiny-20 inches wide!I think it was original to the house-1930 something! The oven had to be lit every time you used it. It didn’t like me, and sometimes would take me 15-20 minutes to light it! (it always lit the first time for hubby, but he wasn’t always there when I wanted to cook!) I was so excited when my mil bought us a new stove for our 6th anniversary. Unfortunately, we moved 2 years later, and I now have all electric, I miss my gas range!! I do not like the flat top, in fact it broke within a few months of when we moved here! So I’m on my second flat top in 2 years. Yeah, it’s definitely not as well made as that old stove!

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