Dreaming of a French Range? Learn everything you need to know about a Lacanche Range – design, functionality, cost, delivery, installation, pros and cons and alternative options.
When we undertook a remodel, we designed a classic kitchen with timeless style and functionality in mind. As an entertaining enthusiast, baker, cook and recipe developer, I designated a significant portion of our budget to a range.
I extensively researched professional ranges / ovens including Wolf, Thermador, Viking, Blue Star, Lacornue, Lacanche and Dacor. The Lacanche was the only range I couldn’t see in person (though it is more widely available today).
Why We Chose a French Range
A French stove feels timeless, warm, and classic. When we installed ours over 8 years ago, they were rarely seen in American kitchens.
One notable difference between most Thermador, Wolfe, Viking and Blue Star ranges is that there are no windows on the doors. I was drawn to the simplicity and sophistication of Lacanche (and Lacornue). They feel understated yet elegant.
The French are known for culinary art. Technique and precision are highly regarded. With a passion for cooking, baking and entertaining blended with overuse as a test kitchen, I wanted a professional workhorse.
You can design a range that fits your style and needs! Both Lacanche and Lacornue are designed to fit your kitchen and configured to your cooking and baking style. The number, style and size of ovens, type of cooktop options and functionality and more are hand selected (learn more below).
French Range Configuration
Gas Oven – Gas ovens creates and maintains moist heat that naturally circulates. It makes everything so moist and flavorful. They’re perfect for baking breads and cakes as well as roasting meats and vegetables. A larger gas oven cavity is desirable to allow more space between racks and the ability to prepare larger items like a turkey.
Note: Broiler is not available in Lacanche gas ovens.
Warming Cupboards / Drawers
The number of ovens, style, functionality – gas, convection and or electric can all be selected.
Based on the style range you select, the cooktop is also customizable! You select number and style of each burner (circular or rectangular) including btu’s. Ceramic Induction, large or petite French top, Teppanyaki, even a Lava Rock Grill are options!
- Style – The brass knobs and burners make my heart sing. The grates are easy to remove to clean the cooktop (though Lacornue’s enamel drip plates would be preferable to the Lacanche that easily scratches). The ovens are easy to clean as well. The unlacquered brass knobs patina, adding warmth, character and interest. I don’t miss the windows, especially not cleaning them!
- Broiler – There is no broiler in the gas oven. I miss this feature and didn’t realize how often I used it. The broiler in the electric oven takes a considerable amount of time to preheat.
- Convection – I overlooked that Lacanche convection is not as efficient as modern convection.
- Gas Oven – The left side of our range bakes significantly faster than the right side. Items placed on the left seem to rise more naturally than the right. Even with rotating items, I must adjust bake times. The snapshot below is from one of many tests I conducted to learn more about our gas oven to enhance predictability.
- Quality – After a short period of time, the seal came out of our gas oven and soon after, the convection/electric oven. Despite reinstalling several times, they continued to fall out (and do to this day). I contacted customer service several times and was blamed for over use, temperature, etc. They requested photos, cook times, and temperatures when the seal would fail. The support manager said it was an oven gasket, separate from the peripheral door seals, but there were no techs. Luckily, eventually a reader who was considering a Lacanche and referred to my issues was the spark the company needed to address them. They sent a service tech from Florida since no one in the Midwest was available.
- Issue – I was told that ours was one of a handful of ranges isolated to early 2017 ranges, with a seal issue. I was never contacted about this issue and no attempt was made to resolve. I was disregarded and blamed while trying to resolve what I later learned was a known issue.
- Resolution – Seal and gasket was replaced, but both continue to fail and drape out of our ovens.
Convection is preferred for baking because it provides an even rise bake in addition to reducing bake/cook time.
- Lacanche convection bakes on a bias, with fans solely in the back of the oven. Items must be rotated halfway through bake time to bake evenly. Even in doing so, I find that Lacanche convection is not the best choice for baking, yielding an inconsistent rise. Rotating is cumbersome when baking multiple items (or cookie sheets) at once. Opening the oven while baking allows air to escape mid-bake, which isn’t ideal. In addition, the fans consume 2″ of the oven. Recently, Lacanche has noted the convection oven is not recommended for smaller models including Cluny, Chagny, Beaune or Bussy due to further limiting the already small oven space.
- Modern convection utilizes multiple fans to circulate the air, eliminating the need to rotate halfway through which is user friendly and efficient.
More to Consider
(Our costs were from 2017)
- cost of freight – $1,575
- additional cost of color – black is standard, color upgrade is $900
- additional burners – I paid an additional $850
- cost of installation
- time/availability. It takes 3-6 months for your range to arrive depending on the shipping method you select and lead time, so plan accordingly
- the handles stick out several inches from the range, so be sure to include them in your measurements for walkways. Most cities have codes that dictate how many inches you need.
To make it fit seamlessly into our kitchen as a centerpiece, without standing out, we had our cabinet paint color matched to the Lacanche Ivory enamel sample.
Though we were already going through a remodel, installation was a considerable expense given the number of people it took to successfully get it through the door, placed in the kitchen at the proper height and properly leveled.
Our Lacanche was installed before our marble to ensure the marble would not be damaged, but that made adjusting the height a little tricky. It’s about 1/4 higher than our counters, but I didn’t want to go through the additional expense to have it disconnected and reconnected and before we knew it, the backsplash was in and we were committed.
While we had a lot of confidence in our team, they had never installed a Lacanche before and there was a learning curve, even with the abundance of documents shared from the Lacanche team.
Two of my burners left the warehouse turned wrong which is why we were having issues “firing” them up. As previously mentioned, it cooks flawlessly now.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the issues we experienced in our first year of ownership.
I looked at a French range as an investment – a workhorse for our family and business. I wasn’t concerned about service because it would be years before it would require any maintenance.
From the start, we had a few problems. I’ll be very honest – I become quickly overwhelmed and the manual, emails back and forth were just too much for me. We had our plumber out again (at our expense) to make adjustments that Lacanche recommended to the best of their ability with the information provided.
We had a second plumber, then my husband Chris attempt to correct the issues. I gave up. I wanted to enjoy it and let go of the frustration. Lacanche reached out a couple times about a fix, but honestly, I didn’t want to keep sinking time and money into it.
It is my understanding that Lacanche now has more installers/service techs nationwide, however we were offered very little support for both installation and repairs.
We were offered nothing other than manuals that our experienced plumbers, electricians and General Contractors struggled with. They did not have recommendations for experienced installers or technicians.
When we invested in the range, I didn’t anticipate any service needs for several years.
Plan, calculate placement, timing and rotation to ensure even baking.
Frequently Asked Questions
It depends which one you purchase, but I can in my gas oven (on the left). I use 6 of these cookie sheets at a time in the electric / convection oven to the right.
Most Lacanche French stoves will run at least $10,000, depending on customizations and specifics. Of course, if you’re shopping in the US, shipping plays a large part.
This is a question that will receive a different answer from everyone. While Lacanche is more sleek, timeless and minimal in its aesthetics, La Cornue seems to have a better reputation for performance and upkeep.
I know this is a lot of information and that it’s not everyone’s experience, but hopefully it helps you make an educated decision about whether or not it’s right for you and answers all of your questions.
You can learn more about my friend Chloe’s experience with her La Cornue here for a great comparison between these two brands of French stoves.
Do you have a French range or are you considering one?