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Viking range

Karen_Wise's picture

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I need help on choosing a pro-style dual-fuel
range. I had always figured on getting a
Thermador, but then Consumer Reports just came out saying that Viking was the best range they've ever tested! And I've heard that the Thermador simmer setting doesn't work well and makes an annoying clicking sound. The only bad thing I've heard about Viking is that it's hard to clean. Does anyone out there own a Viking? Is it indeed hard to clean? I'm debating between the 36" model plus an additional wall oven and the 48" double-oven model. If you have the 48" model, are the ovens big enough? They're considerably less deep than the Thermador ovens. Any and all info would be greatly appreciated, and I apologize in advance if you've been over all this info already before!

Nancy_G.'s picture

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Karen,

I recently remodeled my kitchen and quite a bit of research in this area. I was warned off the Thermador by several people, one of which was a chef and another a dealer who sold them but said that they were awful to have service because parts were difficult to get.

I ended up with a Dacor duel/fuel range and I'm very happy with it. The burners are 14" from each other which makes bigger pans heat more evenly. The drawback to this is that when you are using a smaller pan it gets really hot around the edges. When we use our milk steamer for lattes I have to use a hot pad to turn the nob on to release the steam.

On the plus side, each of the burners is 15000 BTU instead of having one or two hot burners. The gas burners are sealed so clean up is much easier. The oven is wonderful and very large capacity. It has two timers on the oven which I like but you operate them with a touchpad - I don't like. Seems like you have to hold it down forever to time for any length. It comes with a griddle, wok ring and simmer plate. I ordered 3 cookie sheets which completely fill a rack. 2 sheets easily hold a regular cookie recipe.

I only had room for the 30" unit but Dacor makes an incredible double oven/6 burner duel fuel with similar features. I think it's a 48". They have a website
dacorrange.com I think. Price is comparable to other professional ranges. Take that back, a basic Wolf (all gas) cost almost as much as the duel fuel.

I found a dealer that actually let me come and cook in their showroom. Ask around, it's a great way to compare.

aussiechef's picture

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This has come up before but it's a tad on the difficult side to do searches on this site. I've had a Viking for three years. The only good thing is the infrared broiler in the top of the oven. Fantastic.

The oven takes
i way
too long to heat up. I had to replace one of the oven burners 2 days after the warranty expired for a cost of $300. Now I have one burner that comes on but the electonic starter decides not to go off, so that'll be yet another expense.

The burners, despite the BTU's in the manual, are not hot enough, since the pots sit too high above the flame. The simmer is oh-so-excellent.

It's easy to clean - everything just comes apart.

It's easy to move pots from one burner to another.

A friend who also got one loves it, and has not had a hint of the problems I've had.

I wouldn't get another Viking.

SHGLaw's picture

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Hope I'm not butting in, but I had a Garland restaurant range for years and love it. Sure, there was some excess heat in the kitchen, but a small price to pay for a range that could do anything and everything.

I've just moved and bought an Imperial restaurant range. 60" with 6 burners, raised griddle and broiler. Once you cook on a real restaurant range, anything else is a toy. Even though its commercial, it has electronic oven ignition and full insulation on the sides and back. You could park a truck on it and nothing will break.

Most of the names that get into the magazines, Viking, Wolf, etc., are marketing to the general public with more money than know-how. They're for people who want to spend a bundle to look like they're a cook but who don't really care how it cooks as long as it looks cool. There's a fairly broad range of ranges out there that don't advertise to consumers. If they're advertising in trendy magazines, then you're paying for it. If you want to cook (and don't mind a real commercial range), then go to a few restaurant supplies and check out the real thing.

aussiechef's picture

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Whether someone has to cook with a bunsen burner or a range onto which they park their truck has nothing to do with cooking ability.

MEAN_CHEF's picture

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The bunsen burner sure takes some of the fun out though.

Chiffonade_'s picture

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Won't bore anyone with the details but S.O. and I recently were handed the stove in the attachment, all for the price of a forklift rental $50. It's a South Bend.

SHGLaw's picture

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Absolutely true, but completely misses the point. The subject is equipment, not fig-vinegar. Enjoy your BB.

FlavourGirl_'s picture

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What will be the first meal from this??

MEAN_CHEF's picture

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Good work. There is nothing that can't be put back into perfect working order fairly easily on those things.

Chiffonade_'s picture

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South Bend had a website...and they actually still sell this model! (Won't know what will come off the stove first. Our landlord is converting to gas soon but until he does, it remains covered and waiting for a little bit of medical attention :)

Jean_'s picture

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Bore us with details!!! Is everyone just green with envy, or what!!

Chiffonade_'s picture

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Assuming she means it, here are the details excerpted from an e-mail I sent my friends back east. Mean, this is one for the memoirs. I have attached another picture.

c (*) (*) (*)

OK, here's the story. At the Community Center where I volunteer, there is an enormous commercial stove. The building that houses the Community Center is owned by a couple here in town, the Smalls. They decided to sell the building to the town. This means they needed to clear out all or most of the contents of the building that weren't included in the sale. Mac (a 79 y/o woman who runs the CC) was with the Smalls on Saturday in the Community center, inventorying the contents. "I wish I could do something with this stove," Mr. Small thought out loud. "I have a volunteer who would kill for it," replied Mac, ever aware of how much we love the stove.

It's a monster. Six burners on the right and 4 jets under a griddle (that has to weigh 100 lbs) on the left. Double ovens. Wayyyyyy heavy duty. And it's GAS!!!!!!!!! We visited the South Bend website and were stunned to learn that 1) They still make this model (it has to be from the 60's or 70's); and 2) NEW, it retails for $6100 with an additional $750 for the stainless steel backsplash on it.

"If she can move it, she can have it." Mac got on the phone immediately and said, "The Smalls say you can have the stove if you can get it out of here." I asked to speak to Mr. Small. "You wouldn't be pulling my leg, would you??" He assured me he was not and said, "Y'all are going to need 4 brawny men to get this thing out of here."

This morning, we went to the CC to take a look at the stove and figure out how we were going to move it...It is a beast. We decided to put 2 pieces of carpet underneath it to facilitate sliding on the vinyl tile floor. We got the carpet under the feet (no easy task) and took a deep breath. We got behind the stove and pushed...and it moved! Unfortunately, when we got it far enough away from the wall where we couldn't use the wall for leverage, our feet slid on the floor (it looked like running in place). "Take off your shoes and socks," S.O. suggested. I gave him the hairy eyeball and asked if he was serious. I surmised he was serious - he was removing
i his
shoes and socks. So here we are, two small barefoot people, behind this hulk.

But it worked. Our feet stuck to the ground enough to give us traction and off we went...a full 70 feet from one end of the community center to the other.

We went to the local hardware store and rented a "forklift and operator" for $50. He helped us get the stove onto the sidewalk. "S*** this is heavy!!!!!" and that was coming from someone who lifts for a living!! He maneuvered the forklift under the stove and off they went.

Please see the attached photo. I believe in Colorado, a stove always gets the right of way.

Jean_'s picture

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That story is truly worthy of your memoirs! I just wish you were riding triumphantly on top of the thing in the picture. LOL!

aussiechef's picture

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Wonderful story - is this going to launch your catering business? Next, we want to see a picture of you cutting the ribbon and breaking a bottle of champagne....whoops, wrong vessel....anyway, when it's settled into its new home, keep us posted.

Rebecca's picture

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Congratulations, Chiff! Great photos, too (& we are green here)...

CLS's picture

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ITA about the green envy part. Chiff, that thing is spectacular. Are you going to have to reinforce the support structure under the kitchen to carry the load? Or have you thought that far ahead? This is a great discussion. I, too, am planning a kitchen renovation in about 4 years. Barring a manna from heaven like Chiffonade had, I am leaning at this moment to the Kitchenaid professional style gas stove. They have a lot of options I like. Has anyone had any experience with it?