Woman struggles with Dacor oven problems

January 31, 2012 8:56:26 PM PST
If you like to cook you might also like some of the sophisticated new kitchen appliances on the market. One Bay Area woman splurged on a high tech oven, but came out feeling burned.

A fancy new appliance might do a lot more for you in the kitchen, but there is also the potential for more things to go wrong, which is exactly why this longtime baker got so frustrated.

In those difficult days after the San Bruno pipeline explosion, Carol Hoenisch was at home just blocks away, baking food for the weary firefighters, or at least trying to.

"I'd bake cookies for them and throw them out because I couldn't bring them to the firehouse like that. Chocolate chip cookies were just the same, soggy in the middle," said Carol.

She said her Dacor wall oven wouldn't heat up like an oven should and it never had.

"It's a guessing game. And it's a watch, you have to sit there and watch it because if I turn it up a little bit, then they'll burn," said Carol.

She bought the combination bake and convection oven for $3,800 back in 2008 and she says food has been coming out raw or runny ever since. Her first disaster was a roast turkey.

"It was the most gorgeous, golden brown turkey I have ever see and when my husband cut into it, it was raw," said Carol.

She showed us pictures of the inside of the turkey.

"All this red, it was just nowhere near cooked," said Carol.

"And it had been cooking for hours, and I went to carve it and I said, 'what is this?'" said Carol's husband, Charles.

Technicians have been out a half dozen times to change the settings and replace parts.

"The high-limit switch? that's been a few times, temperature sensors, control panel, they changed the relay board. They said, 'Oh, it's off you know 50 degrees,'" said Carol.

Carol says she kept telling Dacor the repairs weren't working, she wanted a new oven. However, the appliance was already well out of its one-year warranty.

"It's an expensive oven. I said don't you ever replace an oven that's a lemon? And she said, 'Oh, well let's work on this," said Carol.

So, she contacted 7 On Your Side and showed us what happens when she bakes her famous persimmon bars.

"Supposedly, they take 20 minutes at 350 degrees," said Carol.

The oven beeps at 350 degrees. Carol pops in the tray and 20 minutes later out come the bars and they were still mushy. Carol's digital thermometer might explain why. The sensor goes in the oven, it reads 286 degrees, not 350.

"Possibly there were some manufacturing problems in the beginning," said Charlene Rospiel, the design manager from Dacor Appliances' South San Francisco showroom.

Rospiel says these ovens rarely have any problems and cooks swear by them, though the ovens do have complex features.

"They get a new appliance, they start cooking, and they keep using it the same as their old oven worked. And then they kind of get mad at the oven," said Rospiel.

However, Dacor wanted to make things right for Carol, so the company is giving her a brand new oven with a nice bonus.

"We offered her the exact model that she purchased and we're also going to go to her home and do in home cooking with her," said Charlene Rospiel, a Dacor spokesperson.

"I'm very grateful for what 7 On Your Side has done. Maybe after a few months I'll get my confidence back," said Carol.

We'd like to thank Dacor for really stepping up in this case and going the extra mile to provide in-home cooking instruction. Carol says her oven is now working perfectly.