NEW! Google Custom Search

Loading

Professional Ranges Survey

Ivan_Warringotn's picture

*
Ok everybody it's time for a range survey. Post your brand, free standing, drop-in, length, configuration, purchase price. I will tally the results and post.

Ivan

Robbie_Watson's picture

(post #53665, reply #1 of 92)

*
I am an appliance specialist in a kitchen remodel and design firm. I would be happy to try to answer any questions about "professional" ranges or any other appliances. If I can't answer the questions I will try to get an answer from a manufacturer.

Robbie Watson

Cooking_Monster's picture

(post #53665, reply #2 of 92)

*
Hi Robbie, what a generous offer. I don't have any questions for you myself, but maybe you could help Paul out here:

< Obsolete Link > MadMom "Microwave Ovens- Compact & Midsize" 1/16/01 3:13pm

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #53665, reply #3 of 92)

*
I have a question. I have a Viking 30-inch dual fuel. Rather than spend the $200+ for the Viking portable griddle I have been searching for a cast iron one that fits. Any ideas?

Robbie_Watson's picture

(post #53665, reply #4 of 92)

*
You might try the cast iron griddle by Lodge. The advantage of the Viking griddle is that it locks onto the grates. this makes it very stable. I don't know of any other griddle that will do this. The other benefits are the nonstick surface on the Viking griddle (We use it in our live cooking demo's to cook a garlic shrimp recipe on) and I often use the griddle to defrost frozen food. It is amazing how the aluminum surface "absorbs" the cold and drastically lowers defrost times. I would maybe look at garage sales or thrift shops for a cast iron one that someone else has seasoned to see if you like it. Then if you don't you can buy the Viking griddle and not have spent as much on the cast iron one. I hope that has been helpful.

Syb_'s picture

(post #53665, reply #5 of 92)

*
Robbie, do you know if there are any gas ranges available that don't require electricity for the oven during the time it is on? Or, is there a range that draws around 100 watts or fewer (around 1 amp or fewer)? It seems that all the newer ones require lots of electricity. I don't need any of the fancy electrical gizmos on a range, but I do want a couple of high BTU burners. I have e-mailed many manufacturers and gas appliance organizations, talked to appliance service people and salespeople (They know nothing about how their products work.) There are a few websites that include watts or amps in their specifications. Other than that, I haven't found any answers except negative ones from a few of the many e-mail messages I've sent.

I'm pretty sure that there was a time when there were gas ranges that didn't require electricity, but had high BTU burners. If I could find out when these stopped being made, I could be looking for an older range that would work for me. Or better yet, if I could find a newer model that used little or no electricity, my problem would be solved, and DH would be mollified.

If you can shed any light on this, I will be astounded.

Robbie_Watson's picture

(post #53665, reply #6 of 92)

*
I will check the spews when I get to work tomorrow but I can't think of any offhand that draw less than 1 amp. Most of the professional type ranges that we sell Viking and Wolf have no electronics the only thing that they use electricity for is for the ignites. It would also be helpful to know if you are planning to use natural gas or propane because that can effect the number of range options available. If you want really low amperage because of power outrages you might have to go with a commercial range that has a standing pilot in the oven and no ignites for the top but that is fairly dangerous in a residential environment. I actually had a conversation with one of our long time manufacturers peps about gas ranges and he said that about 40 years ago many ranges had extremely high output burners (up to 20,000 but) but that that trend ended because of the hazard of catching clothing on fire when the range top was lit. He said the but ratings were lowered when they went to sealed burners (no secondary air flow to enhance combustion). The electric ignites were also added as a safety feature. You may want to check newspaper ads for and old used Chambers or other alder residential range. I understand that there is a company in Chicago that refurbishes and resell old ranges but I don't know the name of it. You also may want to check in areas with a high Amish or Mennonite population to see what they are buying. I hope I was able to astound you (or at least be a little helpful) I will see what else I can find out tomorrow. email me with your more specific requirements and maybe I can come up with something. robbiedon@aol.com

Robbie

Syb_'s picture

(post #53665, reply #7 of 92)

*
Wow! I am astounded. That's more information than I've gotten from all the people I've contacted. Can you believe that no one has told me there was a connection between high BTU burners and sealed burners?

Thanks for your help. I'll email you with more specifics.

Robbie_Watson's picture

(post #53665, reply #8 of 92)

*
I didn't want to mislead you. There are sealed burner units with high BTU output but they are not as efficient as the open burner ones of the same BTU rating because of the air flow. I did not get much info today on the amp usage of ovens I believe that the answer will be that on the "professional" type ranges the only electrical usage will be for the igniters unless the convection fan is on.

Robbie Watson

Christine_B's picture

(post #53665, reply #9 of 92)

*
I have been lurking around this site for sometime, and value your opinions. Now I need some help. Cooking has been a hobby for some time; now it's finally time for me to build my dream kitchen. An electric cook top is my ONLY option. All I ever read are negatives. I would prefer a gas top, but can't have it. What in your opinion is my best bet for a professional electric cook top? I've looked at Viking and Thermador. I've heard Viking is overrated and over priced. Do you feel glass or old style coils are best? I'd like to hear about those who've actually used an electric cook top. HELP!!

Robbie_Watson's picture

(post #53665, reply #10 of 92)

*
Christine,

I have an electric radiant cooktop at home but I use gas at the live kitchen in our showroom. I like my smooth cooktop at home but it does have drawbacks, 1) it takes longer to cool down than coil burners so that you have to be more careful about temperature management, 2) it works best with very high quality cookware i.e. All Clad, Caphalon something with a good core and a heavy flat bottom. I actually use a lot of the new Kitchenaid cookware stainless steel works best aluminum and copper can stain the top, 3) you aren't supposed to use cast iron on the cooktops but I do on mine at home (I don't reccomend it to customers). The ease of cleaning makes up for all these drawbacks. You can usually just wipe it when finished or for tough stains you can scrape them off with a single edged razor blade type scraper. It is important to seal the cooktop before you use it the first time. They usually come with a small bottle of sealer/cleaner-polish that I try to use once per week. The Viking electric cooktop is probably too expensive for most people, I would never say it is overrated. Kind of like Mercedes is overrated. It is very well engineered and like their gas product it has some nice features that others don't have. It microcylces so that it actually comes on and goes off many times per second so that it actually maintains a better simmer than even some gas cooktops. You can use a griddle on it because it has a bridge element. My choice for electric cooktops is the G.E. JP930 cooktop it also has a bridge element for using a griddle and is very well made and G.E. has the largest service fleet next to Sears. If you are going to buy an electric cooktop look at this one to save money and put the leftover into a great dishwasher or a Miele Coffee Machine. Only you can decide about the coiltop question. If you do a lot of canning, deepfrying, wok cooking, cooking in huge pots, or can't give up the cast iron and corning ware then the coils are better. I don't do much of this I use my wok and deepfryer outdoors now on my gas cooker, I use my cast iron in the oven mostly and I have never been a big corningware fan. I hope this helps if you have any other more specific questions I will be happy to answer them.

Robbie

Marie-Louise_'s picture

(post #53665, reply #11 of 92)

*
Welcome, Christine. Here's my thoughts on the subject from a few weeks ago: < Obsolete Link > Marie-Louise "I've narrowed down my search..." 2/11/01 3:17pm

I've cooked on electric more than I've cooked on gas, but now that I have a Wolf gas range, I am hopelessly spoiled. There are two major drawbacks to an electric stove:

The first is that the temperature doesn't change rapidly. Once a pot is boiling on an electric stove, it won't just stop because you turn down the heat. Same thing w/ turning down the heat to braise something after you've sauted it on high. Gas is more responsive, although the big cast-iron grates on the home gas stoves retain a lot of heat. You can learn to adjust for that by turning down (or up) the heat a little sooner, or by having a second burner heated at the lower temperature.

The second problem is that a lot of electric stoves never, ever get hot enough. As I said in my other post, I once had an electric stove w/ these cast iron discs called "hobs." It took forever to get hot, but once it did, it was really hot. There are certain things (stir-fries, fried chicken cutlets) that are frustrating to make on an electric stove in comparison to my gas stove, but for most things it works just fine. Not having a gas stove will not make or break you as a cook.

PS Consider buying one of those propane Weber BBQs w/ the burners attached. I have no idea how many BTU's they are, but at least for part of the year, you could have a gas burner!

Christine_B's picture

(post #53665, reply #12 of 92)

*
Robbie,
Thanx for so much for your advice. Again, I have no alternative but electric (I have thought of propane, but sitting on a bomb holds little appeal!) . I'll look at the GE JP939. I believe the Thermador also has the bridge element (a big plus in my book). I cook pretty elusively with Le Cresuet. From your description, I think Le Creseut would fall in to the type of cookware that would play with the electric cook top. Correct??? I do have some large copper pots and pans I purchased at Fauchon in Paris. When you say "...copper may stain the top", does that mean "cannot ever be cleaned off? Should I be looking for the "new ribbon technology" a couple of the manufacters offer? If so, how does it improve the unit?

Any POSITIVE responses/advice would be much appreciated.
Christine

Christine_B's picture

(post #53665, reply #13 of 92)

*
Robbie,
Thanx for your response. I cook almost exclusively with Le Creuset. Will that qualify for what you think will work on the electric cook top? I do have a large copper pot and a large copper pan I purchased at Fauchon in Paris many moons ago. You say cooper could stain, does that mean forever?

Does the new "ribbon technology" I read about help the cooktop's performance? If so how?

Any comments are greatly appreciated. As I say electric is my only option (I briefly had thought of propane, but sitting on a bomb did not suit me).

Christine

Robbie_Watson's picture

(post #53665, reply #14 of 92)

*
I have 1 pc of Le Creuset and I don't use it often. Copper pans can stain the surface permanently because it can oxidize on the ceramic leaving rings. Most of the better cooktops in the industry use ribbon radiant elements and they are faster to heat up but the problem is the time it takes the surface to cool. This may not be an issue if you are used to cooking with cast iron and understand its heat retention properties and how best to use it. I would revisit the propane idea I use propane for my gas logs and within the next year will switch to a gas range using propane. In the South propane has been the only option for gas until very recently. When properly installed I can't imagine that it is any more dangerous than natural gas. I don't recall hearing about any accidents with propane.

Robbie

Christine_B's picture

(post #53665, reply #15 of 92)

*
Robbie,
You did make me re-think propane. I asked around and there are folks at work that have had them for some time with no problems. I'm thrilled with the thought of a gas cook top in my future. I'll have to talk with our contractor, but we have some acreage, and I don't think it will be a problem. The thought of my dream kitchen being less than a dream with an electic cook top was torturing me! Thanks for the help.

Now, what are you getting for your gas cook top, and why? I'm starting over in my quest for the perfect cooktop.

Christine

P.S. I'm in South Carolina

Robbie_Watson's picture

(post #53665, reply #16 of 92)

*
I will probably go with a Viking gas range or I may buy the Wolf. I really like both of these products and for me it will come down to who will give me the better deal. I haven't finished my kitchen design yet I have an architecht working on the addition to the house now. We have 4 full time kitchen designers at work and they are having a "contest" to see who can come up with the best design using some cabinets that are in the warehouse. These cabinets are from an old display that I have always liked and they are trying to use them in conjunction with some new cabinets. I am going for an arts and crafts/shaker look so the cabinets are pretty plain.

My ideal kitchen would include:
Viking or Wolf 36" rangetop 6 burner professional series cooktop. Having cooked extensively on both of these units I can't really tell any difference the Viking may simmer a little better.

Miele Walloven: I have cooked in one at their school in New Jersey and it is the best cooking oven I have ever used.

G.E. Advantium: We have one in our live demo kitchen and we use it everyday. It will operate as a microwave or serve as a second oven.

Miele Dishwasher: I already own it and I believe it is the best dishwasher in the world.

Miele Coffee machine: An expensive, extravagant, in the wall coffee maker that makes the best coffee that I have ever tasted.

When it all comes down I will probably not get the Miele wall oven because of space constraints I will probably only get the 30" range instead of the 36" cooktop and separate wall oven.

Tell me where you live in S.C. and I may be able to point you to a dealer. I am in Cary, North Carolina. Our Viking/Subzero/Wolf distributor is in Charlotte and they have a Kitchen Arts Center that you can visit by appointment and look at many different pcs of cooking equipment all hooked up live. If you will be in the Charlotte area anytime soon let me know and I will give you their phone # so that you can go by and play in their kitchen.

Robbie

Louis_Matherne's picture

(post #53665, reply #17 of 92)

*
Is that Miele wall oven significantly better than the Viking oven? Both electric I presume

Robbie_Watson's picture

(post #53665, reply #18 of 92)

*
Both of the ovens are eletric. The Miele oven is a true European convection system. It has no internal bake element. All the heat (except for broiling) is generated outside the oven cavity which is a very even bake. You can bake large items directly on the floor of the oven and it comes with a rotisserie because of Miele's use of electronics it has a very accurate oven temperature. This accuracy is probably the area where it is significantly better than any other oven. My favorite feature is the autobake feature which allow's you to use a temperature probe and set the temp for the meat to cook to. When the internal temp. reaches w/in 10 degrees of the desired temp. the oven will begin to countdown and it will tell you how long it will take to finish the item.

Whether it is better than a Viking oven depends on what your intended use is. The Viking is a much heavier oven with much heavier racks. If you plan on doing a lot of multi rack baking or you bake often with heavy pans the Viking racks are much more professional and durable. I guess the answer is they are both great just depends on your expectations of the oven. I have cooked a lot of food in a Viking oven and have always gotten great results. The Miele also has a completely different look (not as professional) than the Viking. I would certainly be pleased to have either one in my kitchen. If you have any specific requirements for your oven I would be glad to tell you which one I believe would work better for your needs.

Louis_Matherne's picture

(post #53665, reply #19 of 92)

*
Robbie,

Thanks for the reply. I've been pretty much set on getting a 48" range and I'm still trying to decide between the Dacor, Viking, and possibly the Wolf or Garland. I've been convinced that electric ovens are best for even cooking, so that probably rules out the Wolf and Garland. However, electric ovens don't come with infrared broilers except for the Dacor.

There are/were 2 reasons I wanted a range verses separates. Getting the ovens under a vent and hoping for the infrared broiler that comes with the Dacor. If I decide to go with the Viking over the Dacor because of the better burner system, I'll loose the Dacor infrared burner that is suppose to be so good. Once I've made that choice, the only reason to stick with the range is to keep the ovens under the hood. Have you followed my logic so far?

WRT Viking, it had not been on my list until recently because they down rate their burners for propane, which is what I'm on. However, I'm told I won't notice the difference. Have you ever been able to compare a Viking on propane to NG?

Louis

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #53665, reply #20 of 92)

*
Just an opinion - Don't let the broiler get in the way. I cook more than most people and my broiler is primarily for toasting bread. You don't need an infrared to do that.

Louis_Matherne's picture

(post #53665, reply #21 of 92)

*
Interesting. I hear so much about the value of the infrared broiler but have wondered just how important it really is.

What do you think of my concern to have the ovens under the hood? Smokey ovens happen from time to time in our house so it makes sense to me to have the ovens under the hood. However, if this was as important as I seem to think, no one would use separates.

Louis_Matherne's picture

(post #53665, reply #22 of 92)

*
Yesterday my wife and I took another look at the 48" Viking and Dacor side by side. When it was all said and done, we both prefered the Viking but for one thing. The Viking ovens look small particularly in comparison to the Dacor ovens, which are large for a 48" range. The primary Dacor oven is 27" W x 21 1/4" D x 15" H (4.6 Cubic Ft.)verses the Viking 23" W x 15 3/8" D x 16 1/8" H (3.3 Cubic Ft.). The secondary oven for the Dacor is 15" W x 21 1/4" D x 15" H (2.6 Cubic Ft.) verses a somewhat measly 12 1/8" W x 17 1/4" D x 16 1/8" H (2.0 Cubic Ft.) for the Viking. I'm not even sure that second Viking oven is useful for anything. Additionally, both of the Dacor ovens are convection and only the primary is convection on the Viking.

Our preference for the Viking primarily comes down to the cooktop - the burner system and the integrated griddle. The Dacor ovens look like a better system to me.

Louis

Libby_B.'s picture

(post #53665, reply #23 of 92)

*
Does anyone have an opinion on the 30" Thermador gas
cook top with continuous grates, sealed burners and
a BTU range of 210 to 15,000.? I'm switching to gas
and after MUCH research I think I like this one. I
have not seen Viking upclose and personal but from
what I've seen on line I still like the Thermador.
I can get the Thermador in town (very small town) and
would rather deal with local merchant. Enjoy Cooks
Talk - have learned a lot!

Robbie_Watson's picture

(post #53665, reply #24 of 92)

*
I don't think that you will notice the difference between the natural gas and the propane. I have sold lots of Viking units for propane and I have propane myself. The great thing about gas cooking is the ability to raise and lower the temp. instantly. This is going to be the case no matter which you use. I don't think that there is a disadvantage to a gas oven. Most rest. ovens are gas and it is a much moister heat than electric. New gas ovens are as accurate and even temp. as electric and if you use the convection fan that makes the temp. even more accurate. The gas ovens have huge burners 30,000 BTU which gives them great recovery time. This makes them more accurate because the oven takes less time to get to temperature after the thermostat tells it to come on. At our last cooking demo we had a customer that was interested in the Dacor range and I made 1 group of Creme Brulee under the gas Wolf Broiler and on under the Viking electric broiler and no one could tell the difference. As far as having the hood over the range to vent the oven it is a great idea I use that as a selling feature often because gas ovens and broilers throw off a lot of heat. When I broil or bake for a long period of time at work I always turn the hood on to vent the heat that the oven puts out. The Viking secondary oven is smaller but it is plenty large enough for 9x13's which is about the size of what would usually go in them i.e. casserols or turkey dressing both items that would probably not benefit from convection cooking. I believe that the dual fuel unit will also proof bread in the secondary oven. Take your largest pan in and put it in the Viking oven it will fit Dacor measures their total oven capacity with the door open not usable capacity. I'm sorry if I am preaching but I went to Wolf, Subzero, and Viking training on Thursday and a lot of things are fresh in my mind.

MadMom_'s picture

(post #53665, reply #25 of 92)

*
Louis - be sure when you're looking at a convection oven that you get one with a separate convection heating element...not just a fan blowing hot air around; it will work a lot better.

Katie_Reilley's picture

(post #53665, reply #26 of 92)

*
My husband and I have been looking at a new gas cooktop, and have seen DCS, Dacor, Viking and Wolf. My husband was disappointed in the stamped steel construction of the Viking, but we both liked the unit (6 burner). We currently have a Thermidor, and the stamped steel burner is always having ignition problems, and doen't hold its setting well. The steel also seems more flimsy than the cast iron parts of the other types. Any opinions?

Robbie_Watson's picture

(post #53665, reply #27 of 92)

*
If you are talking about the part that I think you are on a Viking rangetop (the open stainless steel burner) it is made of this type of steel because it doesn't warp the way that cast aluminum burners do and it doesn't rust the way that cast iron burners do. The by-product of combustion is carbon dioxide and water vapor so it is much better to have stainless steel burners than cast burners. I have never had any problems with their igniters the re-ignition works well even on simmer and the nature of the open burner and their more expensive valve is to hold the temperature setting. This has been true on all the Viking and Wolf rangetops that I have cooked on. The Wolf burner is semi-sealed and the burner it self is cast metal and the rings are brass. Try to find a dealer that has them hooked up so that you can "test drive" them. We put live kitchens in all of our stores just for that purpose.

Katie_Reilley's picture

(post #53665, reply #28 of 92)

*
Robbie
Thanks so much for your information...you're generous with your experience!

One more question - is there such an animal as a Wolf gas cooktop? I couldn't find one on their website, but it appeared from your comparisons that Wolf had a cooktop. Were you referring to the gas range?

Appreciate your assistance!

Robbie_Watson's picture

(post #53665, reply #29 of 92)

*
Wolf makes a rangetop just like Viking does. It has the controls on the front of the unit and is the top of a range with the oven cut off.

Robbie Watson

Louis_Matherne's picture

(post #53665, reply #30 of 92)

*
Robbie,

Thanks for your feedback on my questions. Today my wife and I visited a distributor for Thermador and Wolf. This was a working showroom. They unfortunately do not carry Viking or Dacor.

My wife fell in love with the Thermador primarily because of the simmer feature, sealed burners, and the size of the ovens – BIG! The on and off clicking is really not that bothersome.

I am not, however, fully convinced and we still need to visit a working kitchen with Viking and Dacor (in the next couple of weeks). While the primary oven is really big, some sugar cookies that the sales representative cooked for us did NOT cook evenly. One side of all the cookies – both trays – were slightly darker than the other. I’m betting this is a product of the convection feature but I’m just guessing. This is not true convection either. There is no heating element with the fan.

I’m also concerned about the reliability of and service for the Thermador product given what I have read and heard about this company. However, the units look to be well built. The sales representative says that the Thermador valves are all brass whereas the Viking valves are aluminum. I would think brass is better. He also didn’t think much of the Viking build quality but of course he doesn’t sell Viking.

Louis