My biggest reason for the cooler is temp control, I don't know about you guys but I had a hard time with temps on the stove last weekend. They we jumping around alot
coolers are great for that. but Jeff's suggestion of a preheated oven can help a lot too. If your oven can go that low.
Some go lower than that. as I say preheat, turn it off, put the minimash in, I don't think there is much rise.
+1. I remember after starting AG I thought about using the oven I had at the time. Except at its coolest it wouldn't go cooler than ~ 200F. A little over mash temp.